Five marketing tips to prepare your business for Christmas

Five marketing tips to prepare your business for Christmas

Posted: Tue 17th Oct 2023

During the festive season, brands bombard consumers with Christmas marketing. So, standing out from the crowd while also embracing the festivities can seem a daunting task. But mastering it will boost brand loyalty, expand your audience and drive sales.

Christmas marketing isn't as straightforward as adding snowflakes to social media posts or some sparkle to your shop. Customers will be seeing festive advertising throughout November, so timing and personalisation are vital to cutting through the noise.

Customers start their Christmas shopping early, with around 25% having got their gift-buying under way by the beginning of September. Consequently, your small business should start looking into a strong strategy to drive sales as soon as possible.

From creating fun festive content to managing customer expectations, here are five must-dos when planning for the Christmas season.

Five ways to get your business ready for Christmas

1. Planning is key: Start well in advance

Ideally, summer is the best time to start planning for the Christmas season. However, it's never too late to start, though there are important steps you can take to ensure you're successful.

Make sure to:

  • set clear goals

  • do some market research and make sure you know what your customers want

  • put all your campaigns and initiatives into a calendar and assign specific deadlines for each action – for example, email marketing, social media posts, website updates, new designs and so on.

When planning, be sure you're considering other key dates for your business. Don't overlap your activities with important shopping events such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

2. Collaborate with other brands or existing partners

Delight your customers by delivering new, unique experiences and content while you engage with new audiences. Partnering with non-competing brands offers a wide range of possibilities for all budgets. Read on for some ideas below.

A fun or heartwarming Christmas video with an existing partner

This can make an engaging alternative to a static Christmas card. It also allows you to position your products as the perfect Christmas gift while associating your brand with positive feelings and values.

Organise a special advent calendar with daily giveaways on your social media channels

Connect with new complementary (and non-competing!) brands to offer your followers a series of contests to win prizes. This expands your audience every day, while building loyalty among existing customers.

These kinds of initiatives inspire recipients to share your content, increasing its reach among prospective customers. Video has become a primary form of content across all social platforms – you only need to look at the rise of TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts to see its impact.

Some other engaging ideas for festive video content include gift inspiration, gift-wrapping tutorials, behind-the-scenes tours, and Christmas-themed Q&As.


Watch this webinar to learn how to make the most of the festive period to increase your search volume, keyword rankings and sales:


3. Revamp your website and decorate your physical shop to make it more festive

While your marketing strategy should extend far beyond some Christmas decorations, these are still fundamentals to include. Don't forget your product photos too!

Cooler colour schemes, such as blue or violet, work best for wintertime marketing. Traditional red and green can work too, but be careful not to overuse them. After all, you want to stand out from the crowd!

The same goes for festive elements like Santa hats, reindeer and snowballs. Experiment with a number of different versions to find the perfect match of colours and themes while still showing off your business branding.

Apply the same logic to your packaging, merchandise or thank-you cards for the festive season. Great packaging can make a difference, especially in the age of Instagram and TikTok unboxings, so take the opportunity to get everything Christmas-ready, from your shopping tags to your stickers. Design personalised boxes, bags and wrapping paper just for Christmas, and tap into your customers' excitement for the season.

Lastly, plan out all of the seasonal signage you'll need this year, including any festive sales or events you're running during the Christmas period. That way, you're ready to go when the sale hits.

4. Run Christmas marketing email campaigns

According to YouGov data, in 2021 the average Brit spent £388 per person on presents and gifts. And approximately half of the UK will be doing their Christmas shopping online. This is where email marketing can make all the difference.

Autumn is a great time to start. Online stores should think about running email campaigns from the beginning of November. For travel, hotels and the restaurant industry, it's better to start crafting Christmas newsletters in September to give your customers more time to plan and buy special products and packages in advance.

Not sure where to start? Here is an example of how to make the most of your marketing outreach and boost sales across the festive season using sequential emails:

  • Spark interest with a teaser email to generate some intrigue. Videos and GIFs are useful here but don't say what's to come. Just hint at it.

  • Unveil the mystery – let your customers know exactly what they'll get.

  • Add the countdown – countdown timers remind that Christmas is near and urge people to shop.

  • Announce the beginning of the Christmas sales.

  • Send out a message on Christmas Eve – say thank you, congratulate people, and show them that you care. And wish them a Merry Christmas!

5. Prepare festive templates and special social media content for your channels

The festive season is incredibly busy for businesses, so it's a smart idea to schedule your social media content in advance. Here are some examples of what you could do:

  • Work on an appreciation video for your loyal customers

  • Use Christmas templates and ads

  • Use a branded Christmas hashtag

  • Create custom branded stickers for people to add to their posts and stories

 Relevant resources

Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

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