I love Christmas, but every year, without fail, I’m OUTRAGED when I see the first mince pies on the supermarket shelves.
It’s always offensively early. It happens when I least expect it; often I still harbour hopes for long summer nights and I’m just not ready to start thinking about short, dark and cold winter’s days.
Unlike Wizzard I don’t wish it could be Christmas every day. I want it to be Christmas in December, because that’s Christmas time.
I’m sure I’m not alone, but as consumers our behaviour suggests we are dragging Christmas forward every year. Nearly a third of people surveyed by YouGov about their Christmas shopping habits said they’d start to buy Christmas presents by the end of October.
So if you’re a small business owner and you want to sell to consumers, now is the time to get cracking (or is that jingling?).
Before we know it, Christmas will be everywhere. Your customers’ thoughts will be turning to gift shopping soon, and you want to be at the forefront of their minds when this happens.
So don’t let denial about Christmas stop you. Here’s why now is a good time to get started.
The gift of time
I often liken marketing to meal planning. I’m always amazed at how much time, effort and money meal planning saves. Such efficiency! Such a great reward for a little investment of time! So economical and straightforward!
It’s the same with marketing.
Get the bulk of your thinking done before you get caught up in the busy-ness of Christmas. That way you have a framework to follow and it’s just a case of putting the content together, which - once you’ve planned it out - should take a lot less time.
You can also schedule regular posts ahead of time so that you don’t even have to think about those in the busy festive period.
Investing some time now frees you up to either get on with running your actual business and selling to customers in the coming months, or to jump on other marketing opportunities that present themselves without having to worry that your day-to-day marketing will fall by the wayside.
Trial and error
The end of the year always brings with it loads of marketing opportunities. These seasonal trends can be the perfect sandbox for your to test the kind of content you want to publish for your core audience. Try experimenting with different types of content for Back to School, Autumn, Halloween, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and so on to see what really resonates with your audience.
Then take what you’ve learned and apply that to your Christmas marketing.
Creatures of habit
The festive season is one of the best-researched periods, so there’s loads of stats and trends reports available to inspire your thinking.
I’ve already referenced YouGov statistics in this post, but there are many other organisations that study consumer behaviour in-depth. It may be worth your while skimming some of these and seeing if there’s something that pops up that resonates with you.
But the tool that I hope everyone looks at is Google Trends. This shows people’s search behaviour, so you can put in a search term related to your business and look at when people in your area and country search for it.
See how people in the UK search for handmade gifts over the last year.
Knowing this info allows you to plan for it and make the most of the opportunity. The last thing you want is to miss that spike in activity around your products!
Get Christmas marketing help
Even Santa has elves. If you want your Christmas marketing to be great, enlist some professional help.
There are a few ways in which I can help you with Christmas marketing.
Christmas marketing workshop: I’ll be holding two small, practical workshops in September to help you kickstart your thinking and planning for the festive season. There’s also an early bird discount available if you book before the end of August. Book now.
I have a download with 50 Christmas marketing tips and ideas available. Check it out.
I have limited availability between now and the end of the year to help with your marketing. This could be an hour or two of brainstorming ideas, creation of graphics or social media posts, or writing website content. If I can’t help, I can recommend some brilliant and talented people I trust to do a good job for you. Get in touch.