How to plan for upcoming Christmas campaigns;
Why it is important to start early and how to start planning ahead?
Some people may think talking about Christmas in September is too early, but not for us!
Time is one of the most valuable factors to ensure you have created the most successful campaign. Leaving yourself the right amount of time enables you to assemble a strategy for your campaign, which you can then evaluate throughout the entire process. But what is the best way to incorporate strategy?
Having just graduated two months ago, Ellie Roberts, our Marketing Assistant Manager, has learned the importance of using strategy as well as having seen the importance of its use with our clients.
In this article, Ellie will discuss how to plan for upcoming Christmas campaigns with a 6-step process to follow, as well as explain why it is so important to start planning early and be ahead of the game, including tips that she learned at University from academics as well as beneficial processes learned from experience within the workplace.
Having a strategy is one of the most important ways to help guide you through creating your Christmas campaign. Having assisted many SMEs with their marketing in Kent, we strongly believe here at I Do Marketing that using strategy to guide you through a campaign is a recipe for success. Having a plan allows you to break down exactly what needs to be done, taking into account your goals for the campaign whilst ensuring action can be taken to meet these goals, as well as the ability to analyse your campaign.
Of course, each Christmas campaign will differ for each business, depending on whether you sell products or services. But to help you on your way, I have outlined six steps for you to follow to help you plan your Christmas campaigns;
- Plan goals/desired outcomes from the christmas campaigns
- Create branded Christmas content
- Consider a promotion or offer
- Begin with Black Friday
- Don’t stop when the big day comes
- Get creative
1. Plan goals/ desired outcomes from the Christmas campaigns
Goals are essential for any business; they allow us to have something to work towards, which gives us the drive and passion to succeed. But where do you start when trying to decide on your goals?
SMART goals are an excellent way for you to ensure you are staying focused and have a clear direction whilst being able to identify priorities with the help of time management. SMART is an acronym that stands for;
You can find out more about SMART goals from our previous article found here; SMART Goals for Marketing
Your goals could be centred around anything that could assist with your business’s success. This doesn’t have to be limited to Christmas campaigns, overall, your goals may help you in the long and short term.
To help you think of some goals for your business, here are some examples of our client’s goals here at I Do Marketing;
- Increasing social media presence and awareness in Canterbury.
- Increasing the number of quality contacts for email marketing campaigns in Kent.
- Gaining loyal followers on social media platforms who are based within Kent.
- Creating a strong and recognisable brand in Canterbury and other local areas.
- Driving traffic to their website for the purpose of converting new customers
2. Create branded Christmas content
Don’t worry; I’m not suggesting you completely re-brand your business! Christmas is an excellent opportunity to put a spin on your current branding and the typical content that you publish. It is a way to differentiate your content from the rest of the year yet still use your distinct branding identifiers to be recognised. As a business, you may also choose to increase advertising spend and the content you share around this time of year; therefore, by keeping your branding similar, you can raise your brand’s overall awareness while giving it a new and fresh look for the holiday season.
Simply use your existing branding identifiers, such as
Then put your christmas spin on it! Once created, you can include your new logo in all social media posts during Christmas.
An example using our logo;
3. Begin with Black Friday
As mentioned, time is one of the most important factors when creating an effective campaign. A great way to kick-start your Christmas campaign is to begin with Black Friday, especially if you sell products online. You can start working toward your Christmas campaign goals at the beginning of November. If your goal is to increase the number of quality contacts you have for an email newsletter, you could create social media content that includes a countdown until Black Friday, letting people know if they sign up for the email newsletter, they will receive an exclusive offer. If your goal is to increase your social media followers, the same concept could apply by letting people know exclusive discounts will be revealed on your social media stories to encourage people to follow your account.
As mentioned, time is a handy resource when executing a campaign. When deciding on a strategy for your Christmas campaign, it may seem overwhelming with the amount of work that needs to be completed. This is why planning your time is essential. Here is an example of a calendar that you could use to help prepare for the upcoming months to ensure you stay on track with completing your tasks;
4. Consider a promotion or offer
A promotional offer over the festive period is a great way to help stand out from the crowd during the busiest time of the year. For many businesses, Christmas is the most popular time of year, meaning competition is at its highest. As mentioned, the best time to start your Christmas campaign is around Black Friday. Afterwards, you can begin advertising your seasonal offer or promotion running throughout the holiday period.
This promotion can be at the centre of your Christmas campaign. Consider including an offer on days you know your website or social media traffic is high. The best thing about it is the more you promote your offer, the more statistics you gain; you can then alter your offer to help increase the success of your campaign and meet your goals. This is another reason why the earlier you start your campaign, the better.
5. Don’t stop when the big day comes
Many believe that once it strikes midnight on the 25th of December, it is time to stop your Christmas campaigns. However, there is still the opportunity to continue running the campaign until the 1st of January.
This is the opportunity for you as a business to offer an additional promotion on Boxing Day or begin to phase out your Christmas campaign between the 26th to the New Year. Whilst phasing out your campaign, remember this is your final opportunity to reach your goals, which you set at the beginning.
Can you phase your Christmas campaign into a new marketing campaign for the new year? If your Christmas campaign has been successful, you may wish to create a new campaign starting in the new year, which allows you to create new goals building on the ones you made previously.
6. Get creative
AND FINALLY, get creative with it! Christmas is an excellent opportunity to push yourself to do something that may be new to you and your business. Use platforms such as Canva and Mailchimp to get more creative, and use your current brand identity to push your campaign to help increase your brand recognition. This is also a great opportunity to reach out to previous clients, but do make sure you follow GDPR compliance when you do.
If this is your business’s first Christmas campaign, give it your best shot! Using a strategy will help you to stay focused and manage your time. And remember, it’s never too early to start planning for Christmas!
Check out the link below to book a Discovery call to help kick-start your Christmas campaign or to discuss your marketing tasks in general.
Written by Ellie Roberts
Marketing Assistant Manager
Ellie is our Marketing Assistant Manager who works alongside our Marketing Managers; she helps support the team by creating social media content and email campaigns whilst completing many more marketing tasks to assist in delivering marketing strategies and plans to clients.