Gone are the days when “Preparing for Christmas” is an acceptable phrase. Too long and cumbersome for any social media post or hashtag, too antiquated in its housewifely connotation, the waft of orange, cinnamon and pudding must now be disseminated through more minimalist channels.
The lead up to Christmas has long been prime time for all business pertaining to the retail industry. Certainly at Scene & Herd HQ, our Scottish producer, distributor and retail clients look for increasing media output, promotion and features as the season hots up, and rightly so.
The key our clients, and every retailer in the country, are looking for is how best to market their products, maximise outreach, and watch the curve on the all-important sales graph grow steadily steeper. Success depends on being up-to-the-minute with market knowledge, marketing techniques, promotional campaigns and the energy to see it all through.
The whole mentality around marketing, promotions and sales has changed incredibly rapidly over the last decade, and what constitutes a successful campaign today has very little overlap with its predecessors. Understanding the ever-developing world of social media is challenging for many, and harnessing its power to work for you and your business is an Everest in itself, but with gold at the summit.
The great news is that posting on any social media platform is easy – good start – but turning a post into a successful Christmas season campaign requires a bit more effort. Here are a few tips we use daily on our clients’ behalf:
- plan your campaign in advance – themes, hashtags and images for your social media, discounts, vouchers and codes for online and in store. Be clever and use catchy phrases as well as popular hashtags to maximise interest and views.
- interact – with everyone and everything relevant on your media platform – partners, clients, suppliers, producers, retailers. The more you target, tag and mention, the more re-posts and the greater your outreach.
- if time is tight, link your platforms – save time and effort by only having to write your post once.
- anything is newsworthy – from the most generous discount to being low on stock, shout about it!
- promote events well in advance – if you are having a special sale evening, a reception, an online bargain day or any other time-sensitive event, promote it early and keep the reminders coming thick and fast.
Finally, and this will be a relief to many, use email! Do not flood inboxes or overface clients, but a targeted, tasteful seasonal sale email in addition to your winter newsletter can often result in higher sales than a social media campaign. Emails can be earmarked and referred back to by online shoppers. People constantly compare prices and hunt for deals so if yours is worthwhile they will remember and use it.
Now we are in a world where 280 characters has to capture the imagination, herald a discount and illicit an action, Christmas season marketing has never been more intense, tight-fought and key to annual sales. It is well worth being in the centre of all the action, but also remember the alternative methods remain worthwhile.
Give us a call if we can help, and good luck with your #FestPrep.
Contributed by Kate Duncan, Scene & Herd Consultant and Event Management Specialist
Scene & Herd specialises in all aspects of rural communications from traditional public relations to digital marketing and everything in between. Contact us for an informal chat.