Small businesses across the globe have had to change strategies in multiple ways to counter the pandemic and to stay afloat. With how volatile 2020 has been, we can count on the festive season being like no other. The behaviours, activities and routines of your 'ideal customer' have been impacted. This means how receptive your customer may have been to your Marketing tactics previously, may not be as effective or may have to be adjusted to fit their needs
Digital adoption has accelerated during the COVID-19 outbreak. The older generation often referred to as 'Gen X' or 'Boomers' have become more and more familiar with eCommerce, with millions of them now beginning to shop online.
What does this mean for your small business?
Along with the increase in the number of consumers and customers, there has also been a surge in the number of businesses that have integrated an eCommerce element into their business and began using Social Media during this period. It also means how your business is represented online is more vital than ever.
We’re beyond the “I just need an online presence” phase now – Your online presence is the face of your business for the foreseeable future and beyond. Remember how much time you spent decorating your shop, or office? Yeah, it’s time to do that for your online store and presence.
It's important to remember, marketing isn't always about showcasing or bombarding the customer with pictures highlighting the product you sell; it's also about showcasing what your brand represents. Yes, the product or service matters; but people want to know who they're buying from too.
So what do you need to do for your 2020 Christmas Marketing Strategy?
Showcase your brand values on Social Media
Focus on building your brand and sharing its values. The only way your consumers and locals will know what you’ve been up to during the pandemic is through social media, so use it to showcase everything you’ve been doing. Think about your social media strategy for the festive period and take this time to build up an authentic relationship with your consumers to allow them to understand your values.
Give back to your community
How you've helped the community and people during COVID-19 will make a significant impact on your potential customers. They're more likely to remember, follow or purchase from you when they can trust you’re a brand that connects with its community and customers.
Partnerships and Collaborations
Some of us have been hit harder than others with the pandemic crisis, so partnering up with other companies, businesses or collaborating on some sort of campaign might be a great idea which will help both of you. For example, you could collaborate with another business to do a Christmas competition or giveaway.
This generally involves you posting something on your social media feed, encouraging them to interact or engage by ‘tagging their friends’ or ‘sharing to their story’ whilst tagging you in it. That way, you're giving back to the community, raising brand awareness and following whilst helping each other out.
One of the best ways to involve consumers into your business is by providing them real-time updates. Instagram and Facebook offer a 'Stories' feature, which allows you to upload images or videos for a time of 24 hours. Additionally, Instagram has also introduced "Reels" - their rival the newcomer TikTok.
This is a great feature which allows or prompts your followers to engage, something as simple as "Releasing a new product – Can anyone guess what it is?" would encourage them to engage with you, spark interest and also keep them engaged. They would want to know what this new product is, and that element would keep them engaged with your page.
Plan your Christmas content
It’s never too early to start your Christmas marketing plan. An effective strategy is to start planning what you’ll post, on what platform so you’re not rushing around trying to create and think of content to post during your peak season.
It's never too early to begin planning; the right time is now!
Diversification of content is vital to keep your followers and customers engaged and interested in your content. Not everything should be focused on promoting your product or service, it’s strongly recommended to plan posts that are specifically there to entertain, inspire or engage your following to allow them to interact with you.
A good way of doing this is by asking your followers a question, prompting them to engage. This works great using the 'Poll' or the 'Ask me a Question' feature on Facebook and Instagram. For example, one of the questions you could ask is "How do you plan to celebrate Christmas this year?" and see what everyone plans to do this COVID Christmas!
Who doesn't love sales? Especially when it's Christmas, and everyone looks forward to splashing out on gifts for themselves and loved ones. Make use of this festive period and make sure you run some promotional offers and sales to encourage your consumer base.
People are more likely to splash out during the festive period, so you need to give them every incentive to spend on your service or product.
Depending on your product or service, you could entice your customers by offering them a service which might be appealing to them given current COVID-19 circumstances interfering with how Christmas is customarily celebrated.
You could create gift hampers out of the products you sell or offer gift packaging service with personal messages for those who wish to ship directly to their loved ones. All of these things would make things more convenient for your consumer and also appeal to them during the festive period.
Remember what I mentioned earlier about designing or putting as much time into your online presence as you would in a shop or office? So why not brighten up your page, add a ‘festive’ element to your logo, add a cover photo which reflects the festive season.
This will help your followers and consumers get into the Christmas spirit and also shows them you’re dedicated to your business and connecting with the community. Something as simple as this can be very effective.
When is the right time to start?
If you haven’t already started, the next best time is NOW. Christmas marketing takes time to plan, create and schedule. Before you know it, the Christmas rush will be upon us. Get a head start on your competition and begin putting your marketing campaign together now.
If you want to get the most out of Christmas campaign but don’t know where to begin, or how to get started, then get in touch with us. We understand how busy it can get, and we have a wealth of experience to be able to plan execute and deliver successful marketing campaigns.