It’s that time of year again already. Yes, really. Already, we’re receiving requests from the media for Christmas PR stories. Just as Christmas window displays seem to be appearing earlier each year, the world of marketing and PR is no different. Starting your Christmas marketing campaign early will give you plenty of time to promote your products and prepare your social media calendar.
Why start your Christmas marketing in July?
The National Retail Foundation reports that about 40% of customers start their holiday shopping before Halloween. So, you’ll want to have your adverts, press releases and products ready to go for September. This means a summer of preparation – Michael Buble may be able to hibernate until December, but sleeping on your marketing efforts may cost you when the festive season rolls around.
Not only do customers begin shopping early – the media begins to prepare for Christmas even earlier. By starting in June or July, you’ll be ensuring that you work to the media’s schedule for PR opportunities. Journalists begin asking for products to review around this time, and when they write up Christmas gift guides later in the year, they will often mention products that they have already reviewed or written about. So, by starting later on in the year, you will miss out on valuable opportunities to get mentioned in major news outlets.
Top tip: if you need help promoting your business for Christmas, why not enrol in our ‘How to Write a Media Release’ e-learning course?
How to prepare your Christmas PR and Marketing for 2021
Design your Christmas products
Lines of products should be formalised by July so that you can begin the PR process. If you’re going to be ready for the Christmas PR opportunities that start popping up over the summer months, you will need to have products ready to review. Gather your customer feedback from last year to see what performed best and if you could introduce any new products to fulfil your customers’ unmet needs.
Create your promotional materials
Now you’ve got your products, it’s time to promote them. Think high-quality product images with descriptions, ready to distribute in a product guide. If you are participating in any Christmas fairs, order any flyers, business cards or banners that you will need for them.
Make a marketing master plan
Christmas is an incredibly busy time of the year, so it will pay off to be prepared with your marketing materials. Consider which social media channels you’ll use to promote your Christmas campaign. It’s important that, whichever channels you use, you make sure your campaign is consistent. Here are our top ideas for your next Christmas marketing campaign.
There are plenty of free graphic design tools available, such as Canva, that you can use to design your Christmas posts and promotions.
If you are a B2C company, your products might be well suited to Christmas fairs and other pop-up events. These events often become booked up months in advance, especially in major cities, so you should begin researching these early on. If you are local to Yorkshire like us, applications are already open for York’s St Nicholas Fair.
Plan your sales
Customers may be looking to snag deals from as early as September, and Black Friday is another huge event that customers will use to look out for bargains. Think about what you will offer and when, and how will you promote your sales?
Help your customers out
As exciting as Christmas is, it can also be very stressful. Plan out helpful reminders, such as the last dates for shipping in time for Christmas. You could even give back to your loyal customers by offering exclusive Christmas promotions.
Give back to the community
As Cliff Richard says, Christmas is a time for giving. If you are able to, why not plan a Christmas fundraiser for a cause close to your heart? This will demonstrate your business’ ethics to your customers, while doing good at the same time. At Little Seed Group, we are passionate about supporting wildlife and children in our local community and would like to encourage you to support charities like The Island, Whitby Wildlife, Hedgehog Emergency Rescue, The Hedgehoggery, The Chocolate Dream who all do amazing work. You can find out more about our commitment to these causes on our Corporate Responsibility page.
Schedule and automate
Get as much done in advance as you can, by using social media scheduling tools and email automation. While some platforms have built-in scheduling features, social media management platforms like Hootsuite can be used to schedule posts across all channels from one place. Meanwhile, email marketing platforms like MailChimp are great for scheduling emails.
By scheduling your posts ahead of time, you’ll ensure you have plenty of time for your own Christmas this year. Better yet, why not hire us to manage your Christmas social media and email marketing campaigns for you?
Has the Christmas PR and Marketing season snuck up on you? Don’t worry – our PR services are here to come to your rescue. Get in touch for a natter and we’ll get your Christmas PR campaign off the ground in no time.