Fun Christmas Marketing Campaign Tips & Ideas… Doing a Christmas marketing campaign? Here are my best tips and ideas for how to promote your business or products during the holiday season! make sure to snag the free seasonal holiday printable included in this post!
This is part of my Seasonal Marketing series where I cover all the marketing holidays and how to make the most of their built in opportunities.
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A Note About Christmas Marketing Before We Start
There are so…many…feelings about the holiday season here in the United States. People will post memes on Facebook about whether it is okay to say Merry Christmas anymore, posts about putting Christ back in Christmas, and whole newscasts dedicated to the “war on Christmas” that may make you hesitant to jump into the fray.
Please ignore all that in your Christmas marketing!
You can just do what feels good for you and your business. Say Merry Christmas on your graphics and in your messages, or say Happy Holidays if you are hesitant to take a stand. Proudly wish your followers Happy Hanukkah if you are Jewish or Happy Kwanzaa if you celebrate that holiday. The idea is to show joy for the season, not to try and spark a controversial note!
Christmas Marketing Is Super Fun
The nicest thing about doing your Christmas marketing campaign is that it is a fun holiday! There are lights and trees, children and candy canes and as a business owner it might be the best time show a little behind the scenes of your life so your followers can start to know you as a person and not just a business with a logo!
You can also have fun with your posts, going super traditional or funny and wry, anything really goes and is appreciated this time of year.
When Should You Start Marketing For The Christmas Holiday?
If you are in the ecommerce business, you need to start in September or October for sales, but there are many other ways you can market your products throughout the Christmas season. If you are in the services business, Realtors, Medical or Financial, then I would not start before December 1st.
Google trends says that Christmas as a search starts in November and runs almost exactly to the 25th…
While Christmas SALES marketing has a very commercial intent, Christmas marketing can feel more like family, friends and home. Some business owners (like me) are looking to build awareness and attract specific seasonal traffic.
Shop owners are trying to get people into the door while bloggers, authors, and online business owners are trying to get attention via email or social media. Realtors, insurance agents and other service people are building rapport by attending parties or brining bottles of wine or fun Christmas gifts to their best clients.
There is not a wrong way to market at this time of year!
The Christmas Customer Journey
Before we get started with details and examples of Christmas marketing, let's talk about the customer journey through the holiday season.
There is definitely a beginning, middle and end to this time period, and you can have fun with each of the different time frames!
Early Christmas Season
Let's start early Christmas season the day after Thanksgiving. If you are in ecommerce or own a physical store I am sure you did a Black Friday or Small Business Saturday sale. But now we can turn to all things in PREPARATION for the holiday.
For example, this company that sells tape is capitalizing on the fact that people need to have supplies like tape well in advance of Christmas present wrapping time.
This is a time of excitement and wonder when we are all still excited to shop, put up our Christmas trees and decorations and start planning our cookie exchange. In this phase we want to be hopeful and inspiring with our marketing!
You could share baking or gift tips, promote your products safely or start planning on which Christmas parties you are going to be attending.
Middle Christmas Season
The middle Christmas season lasts from about a week after Thanksgiving until a week before Christmas. We all know that we need to be doing thing to help get ready for the season, but the sense of urgency is still at yellow or orange threat level, but not making us crazy yet!
It still fells like we have a enough time to do anything and could possibly whip up a present or two before things get crazy. What I loved about this post is that it is from a Realtor, who jumped on a seasonal trend and got featured in a random blog post. Like I said before, Christmas doesn't have to be so serious and business like.
Last Minute Christmas Season
That last week before Christmas is a time to get out of the way and just help people cope! Last minute presents are being purchased, gifts are being wrapped, kids are coming home from school jacked up on peppermint and dreaming of a pile of presents and pretty much no one is going to be paying attention to a sincere, business marketing message.
What you can do best now is to help with last minute gift ideas, funny Christmas memes, and generally just sharing good will towards all men! Take this week and spend it with your family instead of worrying about marketing your business!
In case you don't know, all of the major social media channels recognize hashtags now. Some use them frequently like Twitter and Instagram, but even LinkedIn has jumped on the bandwagon and you can add relevant hashtags to your posts.
What you will do is make your social media post like normal and then add about 3-5 relevant hashtags at the end to get more likes and shares.
Additional Resource : Instagram Hashtags… Tips & Ideas For Creatives and Professionals
I love all the different images that we have for Christmas! Actually the list is endless, but here are a few at that can get you started…
- Christmas trees
- Ugly Christmas sweaters
- Santa Claus
- Gingerbread men
- Strings of lights
It used to be that the only “official” Christmas colors were red and green, but you can use the entire rainbow of hues now. White and blue, black and gold, teal and red… almost anything goes now!
Pairing Your Products or Services With Christmas
Now that we have a good idea of what Christmas looks like, let's talk about how to we can pair Christmas with our products or services.
I thought that Nutella did this brilliantly by making a super small jar and then suggesting that it could be hung on a tree like a Christmas ornament. I know my little guy would go nuts if I gave him a Nutella ornament that he could eat after the holidays!
That is a great way to take what is functionally a grocery item and “Christmas-ize” it!
But you can do this even if you don't sell products! This post hooks real estate to Christmas for my Realtor friends!
source The Flying McCoys
And a Canadian bakery paired two powerhouse themes, Christmas Gingerbread Houses with Harry Potter and came up with a gingerbread version of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!
The key is to make it fun and playful rather than so serious!
I love how this product manufacturer paired Christmas lights with a phone charger… my husband said this is the second time I have showed him this… maybe he could take a hint!
Providing Christmas Seasonal Advice
Another way to do “marketing” or an awareness campaign AND provide value is to offer seasonal advice based on your industry. Here are some examples:
- Insurance agents – could talk about how to keep your house safe with all the lights around.
- Staffing companies or human resources – give tips for the holiday Christmas party and how to stay out of trouble at the office
- Real estate agents – can share home decorating tips
- Dog groomers – give tips about how to keep little Fido or Fluffy safe during the holiday season
Parties & Open Houses For Networking
One nice thing about the holidays is that as small business owners we can combine networking with marketing. Spending time with clients at an open house or holiday party can result in increased sales after the new years.
Here are some tips to make your networking more effective!
BRING A BRANDED BOTTLE OF WINE AS AN OPEN HOUSE GIFT OR CLIENT GIFT
Many wineries will allow you to customize your own wine label to be used on the bottles. Make sure that your labels include the branding of your company like this one from Specialized Physical Therapy did this year! The gals there take bottles of wine to all their referring physicians each year, giving them a reason to “popby” and also a thoughtful gift.
BRING COOKIES IF YOU ARE A BAKER
This truly is the time for cookies and sweets! If you are a baker and love making cookies, bringing a pretty holiday plateful is a great way to show your creativity and care!
Make sure to pick up a cute Santa plate to leave behind with the cookies. Go the extra mile by getting a creative or cool plate like these from LittleWormAndCompany on Etsy!
After doing these two, I realized most of my recommendations for something to bring are food or beverage related. OF COURSE you can bring something that is a more traditional gift-gift.
In that case I would try and pair it with either your own industry if you are getting everyone the same thing OR do individual gifts for each of your clients or customers.
Last but not least, let's talk about how serious marketing always seems to be. We are so darn earnest about wanting to promote and sell our products and that can sometimes come off as salesy or pushy.
This is a cute way to show that Christmas trees can be cool this year too! If you don't have cats you might not understand it, but how cute would this be to share for a vet or groomer?
Christmas is the perfect time of year to let loose a little bit and have some fun! Here are some fun Christmas marketing ideas!
- Dress up like Santa and drop in your on your customers or clients
- Take a picture of your team in ugly Christmas sweaters and send that as your holiday greeting
- Make your social media graphics a little more festive and fun! I love this one I did this year with the cute little pooch and the antler hat!
Fun Christmas Marketing Campaign Wrapup
Well there you have it! All my best fun ideas for Christmas marketing. I have to say that this is the hardest one to do for me because, except for the blatant sales I do for my Etsy shops, Christmas is a pretty low key marketing holiday for me.
I tend to make lots of cute marketing graphics to share on social media, and then call it a day since my kids are still relatively little, we have 3 parents alive and I prefer to spend time with my loved ones rather than hard core selling through the holidays.
I also think that there is a level of fatigue that everyone experiences about marketing considering how many Black Friday ads and emails that we have just lived through.
Not saying you shouldn't take the time to do something this year, but why not give yourself a little break! Put your campaign ideas into place and then go drink some eggnog and let the Christmas cookies fall where they may!
Merry Christmas to all of you and hopefully you are on Santa's nice marketing list this year!