It may be three months away, but in the business sense we need to get our Santa hats on. Businesses need to be planning their gifts and offerings (AKA promotional offers) well in advance. This means being savvy and planning ahead.
There’s a bit of stigma attached to early Christmas product promotion, but don’t be put off. It’s been well researched that businesses that campaign early for Christmas do better than those that don’t. If you’re already planning ahead for Christmas, well done you, you’re in good company, Coles and Woolworths have already added Christmas paraphernalia to their stores Australia wide as early as August.
Why get ready early?
One of the main reasons to start planning now is because people are spending now. According to one Australian study up to 51% of Christmas shopping is done in November, 30% in December which means the other 19% is done before November. Statistics from Google Trends also show that Christmas shopping searches last year started as early as October. People are already searching for ideas and inspiration of what to buy for their loved ones and you have an opportunity to give them exactly what they need.
It’s not all about the gifts. If you’re a service-based industry you don’t need to miss out. Christmas is a busy time of year for everyone and people will be making extra use of services that make things quicker and easier for them. Here are three reasons to get started early:
Creating a content strategy takes time. Maybe you need some Christmas promotional pictures. You might need to outsource some content. Giving yourself as much time as possible to organise your content means you won’t be left throwing something together last minute or suffering overwhelm when you have a lot to do in a short space of time.
Having a plan is also a Contingency plan. If you have a setback of any kind, such as attending an event or you get the flu. Anything that could potentially disrupt your workflow can come up. If you create a strategy that allows for those unplanned moments then you can rest assured and enjoy the season.
You will have more time to test your marketing. What are people’s buying trends this year? What copy works best on your ads? Which picture is getting more of a response? If you’ve split tested early you’ll be rocking by the time the Christmas shopping really hots up. Find an old successful copy that you know worked and re-cycle it, update it and make it applicable to your Christmas offer.
How to plan your marketing in advance
Starting your marketing strategy early will put you in front of people sooner. This will give more time for people to become familiar with what you offer and create curiosity around your brand. Even if people don’t buy now, the more contact they have with your brand the more likely they will be to buy from you in the future. If you can create a buzz around what you have to offer early, you have more time to generate word of mouth sales.
If you don’t know where to start, try working back from the week before Christmas on your editorial calendar. Look at what you will be releasing at what point. It is a well-studied phenomenon that people need to come into contact with your brand up to seven times before they trust you enough to buy from you. It makes sense to start building trust and engagement as early as possible.
Everybody loves a party. Online or physical, inbound or outbound marketing it doesn’t matter, do both. Christmas is a time to celebrate. For instance, a launch party could expose a new product line. If you don’t have anything new to launch, create a special hamper of things put together from your existing range.
We previously shared with you our 17 tips to boost sales. These will help to get the juices flowing and up your holiday season marketing game.
It might seem like it’s a long time until Christmas, but it will be here before you know it. Taking the time to plan now and start your marketing strategy early gives you more time to generate sales. It also means you can relax and enjoy the Christmas season knowing you have everything in place.
If you have any Christmas marketing tips, please don’t hesitate to share below in the comments.