We’ve barely taken the Halloween decorations down in the office and, lo and behold, a Christmas advert pops up on television.
ASDA’s the culprit, releasing their campaign earlier than any other major retailer on 1st November during a break between the X Factor.
Two schools of thought; the first is that it’s incredibly depressing (Bah humbug!) and campaigning for Christmas gets earlier and earlier every year.
The other one (that especially shows up in my Facebook feed) is that hooray, it’s nearly Christmas, time to put Mariah Carey on a constant loop.
The market’s definitely there, and if ASDA want to advertise for Christmas then it’s entirely their prerogative. Everyone’s talking about them at least (which is what marketing’s all about), and they’ll have to deal with the fallout as it comes whether positive or negative.
Interesting to note though is that there are two separate campaigns running, the ad which aired on the television at the weekend (see above) and an entire online series called ‘Dogs Do Christmas’.
The hashtag #BecauseItsChristmas has been designated with the TV ad also highlighting Shazam content, too. Make no mistake, this ASDA campaign is heavily focused on what it can do online and the message the supermarket can project to its customers.
Your Turn: Do you do anything different online when it comes to your Christmas campaigns or do you rely on your current customers to see you through? Let me know in the comments section below.
Put into context, too, all the other chains are said to start their campaigns next week, so ASDA is realistically only a few days earlier than the rest. Not too bad considering there’s been a 3,000 square foot Winter Wonderland open at Selfridges on London’s Oxford Street for the last three months…
It’s obvious why companies are eager to jump the gun. Improved product sales and footfall, but thanks to the internet there’s another reason. Get the campaign right and you can really resonate with an audience for the festive season and beyond.
John Lewis is candle bearer here, with its Hare and Bear and Monty the Penguin ads over recent years not only helping to break its sales records, but also becoming a Christmas tradition in its own right with the public waiting fervently for the next story they produce.
Again, the internet had a lot to do with aiding that success thanks to the shareable nature of the content and the social conversation around the ads.
Think of the whole holiday
So what can you learn from this to help your business grow around the busiest shopping period of the year? Smaller companies likely don’t have the resources available to become a John Lewis without a lot of forward planning, but there’s some work you can do right now to generate both buzz for your website and leads for your products.
It’s never too late to start when online marketing, thankfully, but obviously the earlier you lay your foundations the better.
For a quick fix for instance marketers with a budget can run a short-term PPC campaign for some instant results. Capgemini’s Tina Spooner once pointed out that a lot of people do their online shopping a week before Christmas, so careful planning can help you scoop up some savvy searchers.
It’s previously also been pointed out that a lot of people do their online shopping on Christmas Day itself, especially through tablet and mobile devices (that they’ve probably just unwrapped).
But there’s still time to start a creative inbound marketing campaign that will generate interest before, during, and after the Christmas period.
Your Turn: What’s been your favourite Christmas marketing campaign over the years, either off- or online? Did it inspire you to do something original? Let me know below!
5 creative Christmas inbound marketing tips
So what can you do to try and get in front of customers to help push some products?
#1 SEO Optimise your product pages
Make sure your product pages are well optimised with the right titles and meta descriptions to get a search boost. Have clear, simple, and informative product descriptions complemented by high-quality images and essential information.
#2 Make yourself mobile-friendly
As we’ve mentioned a lot of people do their shopping on mobile devices before Christmas, and having a speedy mobile site with a clear user journey and easy, secure payment options will not only help shoppers but give you a mobile rankings boost.
#3 Christmas-themed content
Producing themed content around Christmas such as blogs, festive imagery, videos and more can help people get in the spirit of the holiday and promote certain products. A local slant on festivities in the area can also draw more customers to your blog.
#4 Social sharing
Complementing your content with a social campaign can help spread it wider. Spending time on your social platforms talking to prospects, though, can also help brooch questions about Christmas and the potential presents you have available online for them to look at.
#5 Email marketing
Building an email list and contacting people that have opted in with Christmas offers, discounts, and other product information can help to drive traffic to your website, especially those pages with products you really want to push and promote throughout the Christmas season.
The clever company will also plan ahead with a creative strategy that incorporates their January sales, too, and follows up to build on those successes with a campaign that lasts the rest of the year.
Holiday periods are effective boosts for shops that have a creative online strategy that works for them, and it’s never too late to optimise for special occasions that pop up all year-round.
But for sustained growth and long-term success it’s essential to work on that campaign at all times to lower your costs per lead with inbound marketing techniques that turn panicky shoppers into valued customers.
If you’d like know more about website optimisation and how to construct the perfect Christmas campaign to help grow your business contact a Webpresence representative now.
(Image: Query Click)