Tag Archives: christmas

‘Tis Time to be Boosting Your Seasonal Marketing


As we fast approach the Christmas holidays we believe that it is never too late to add some sparkle to your seasonal marketing. Even if you haven’t the time or experience to implement these over the next few weeks – you have approximately 52 weeks left to get ready for the next one.

Every year we can count on a few seasonal stalwarts: decorations will be up earlier than the previous year (people will be complaining about this), the John Lewis ad and Christmas FM will single the real start to the festive season and the Miracle on 34th Street movie will start showing on TV.

What is changing slightly, though, is the effect of the internet on shopping habits and behaviours.

The over-riding message of this post will be that it is really important for small business owners to boost their efforts during this hectic season of impulse buying. The rest of this post will offer 28 activities you can start, continue, or consider for next year. In fact, most of them are transferable to other holiday seasons also.

Seasonal marketing lends itself to much more than just SEO and advertising. People are usually happier and appear more open to interacting with brands. These interactions may be through channels such as social media, on-site reviews, blog comments and video feedback.


Because buying behaviour is different around this time of year, driven by festive cheer and promotions (discounts and special offers), – a simple seasonal marketing plan therefore, might include some or all of the following:

– A festive-themed landing page to promote an offer / attract the Christmas audience

– A PPC campaign that has identified keywords from your clients rather than popular festive ones

– Branded video content that will encourage positive comments from browsers (or sales)

– Email and social media activity to generate a buzz around your brand (share discounts)

– Joint marketing activity with regular activity you have planned (use search & social data)

Before we continue with the tips, however, we have two recommendations. Our first one is to check out what worked, online, for you last year. Google Analytics is a great tool for determining which channels were responsible for most of your sales. They can even reveal how your customers found you.

Our second recommendation is that right now you should review your budget. If you have budgeted a specific amount for seasonal marketing – check if you’re on track. If not, don’t worry – you might still be able to put aside a small amount to do some of the activities listed below.

Whatever activity you pursue, though, it must serve to attract traffic to your website / outlet, generate sales and/or enhance your brand.

Make your Seasonal Marketing Smarter and Wonderful this Year

Content Marketing:

  • Think about the content you share. It is a time of joy and goodwill. Relax your tone, have a bit of fun and go off-piste with your content (if you dare).
  • Share seasonal content with your audience e.g. useful seasonal tips get shared the most.
  • Spread a bit of holiday spirit in your campaign – relax the sales pitch (e.g. John Lewis)
  • Change you visuals graphics to be more seasonal – especially for smartphones
  • Organise a (brand-relevant) Christmas competition e.g. share a funny Christmas jumper pic
  • Include a specific Christmas offer in your content (free shipping, BOGOF, special discount)


Digital Marketing :

Increasingly, shoppers have begun to rely on online shopping and this year looks no different. With such growth in online shopping, the number of ways your business has to reach people has increased significantly. Try these ideas to differentiate your business:

  • Offer a gift messaging service – allow recipients know when the gift is en route
  • Use your data base to personalise messages via SMS to customers
  • Set-up push notifications to reach people when they are shopping
  • Produce and share gift guides e.g. videos, flipbooks and segment into categories
  • Use seasonal emojis in your messaging
  • Use geo-location (beacons) to offer deals when customers are close by
  • Ensure that your website has a responsive design (check here)
  • Integrate your social media promotions across all channels you use
  • Make use of seasonal hashtags (try hashtagify)
  • Make sure your business address, directions and opening hours are correct
  • Offer live support on your website (try drift.)

Use your imagination when engaging your customers, be it online or offline. Get people excited about Christmas and your brand. As competition increases around Christmas like no other holiday, don’t miss the opportunity to really engage with your audience through smarter marketing.


Christmas Hashtags

Tips and ideas to boost your seasonal marketing

Almost any organisation can add a bit of seasonal sparkle to their branding. If there is a small cost, well we reckon it can be justified as a renewable resource year on year. Spread sparkle on such things as social media profiles, header images, emails, online ads and of course eCards. In addition to the tips outlined above, here are 12 others that might help boost your activity:

  1. Remember – don’t skimp on the decorations (use brand colours if possible)
  2. Reward social media friends / followers with exclusive seasonal discounts
  3. Use a specific theme for a campaign e.g. tips over 12 days of Christmas
  4. Place your print catalogue / book / holiday brochure online and share ideas
  5. Check your campaigns / SEO for keywords that reflect your seasonal campaign
  6. Use remarketing and create a sense of urgency in your advertising
  7. Get involved with a charity campaign locally (host a fundraising event)
  8. Distribute exclusive offers to customers that have downloaded your app (if applicable)
  9. Form a group to promote the local community
  10. Get branded Christmas cards, sign them personally and send to customers
  11. Provide free chocolate samples and have gift cards available at cashpoints
  12. Provide gift wrapping and tagging beside impulse buy points in store


It is never too late to add some sparkle to your seasonal marketing. In this post, we provided business owners with 28 practical tips on how to boost their marketing activity this Christmas. Many of the tips will work for all types of organisations and if not perhaps it is time to start planning for 2017.

Our last tip is to make sure you load up your Spotify app (O’C&K has no affiliation) with suitable music. Although there are many playlists available for the special day – how about collaborating with the family and create a fresh one to suit all tastes.

“Thank you for reading our blog post today – we wish you Season’s Greetings and a Prosperous 2017″ – Aidan & Jim.

By The Way: Can We Send You Emails in 2017?

Twice a month or so we send an email with our best content. We never bug you; we just send you our latest piece of content.

Join others who love to get free smarter marketing tips –  right here, right now.

At the Christmas Party, dancing is allowed but not encouraged.

Christmas Party Dancing

“We want to create value for you by sharing marketing tips and timesavers” – O’C&K.

‘Tis the Season to be jolly, but be careful out there.

Yep, it’s that time of the year again. That time, when a lot of companies seem to spend their time panicking over their end-of-year goals, the Christmas party and reviewing the efforts of the ending year. The trouble is though, that when doing so, a company can take their eye off marketing communications, both internally and externally. We will look at some do’s and don’ts for the Christmas Party and then we’ll see what we need to keep in mind when looking ahead to 2015.

Let’s face it, Christmas is not the time to start being somebody you’re not. Just because ‘tis the Season to be jolly’, it shouldn’t mean that you try to be somebody else. For instance, you might have a glass of wine with a customer at lunch, and on your return to the office, decide to be more ‘open’ and tell somebody what you really think of them – this can cause total chaos in the ranks. In similar circumstances, one might feel a little safer to say things online that appear funny to you, but this also might backfire.

The ultimate place to be careful, of course, is at the (in)famous Christmas Party, where people ‘let their hair down’, this is a minefield and it can all end in tears. Not a good start to a new year. Such a gathering is not an opportunity for the boss to wind down or for you to tell her what you really think. You might have spent a long time earning people’s respect – don’t blow it all over a bottle of wine. The goal is to enhance your good reputation while at the same time having fun in a way that doesn’t get whispered about the following week.

Here are some do’s and don’ts in relation to the Christmas Party:

  • DO – thank the boss early in the evening; DON’T – treat the free bar like a buffet
  • DO – eat early; DON’T – talk about work colleagues (or customers) at the party
  • DO – wear party hats or antlers; DON’T – carry around mistletoe
  • DO – cancel any meetings for the next morning; DON’T – discuss work issues
  • DO – dance if you are asked; DON’T – try to repeat the moves from Saturday Night Fever

Without trying to be a killjoy, I believe that you should situate your mood somewhere between merry and jolly and a couple notches short of being full of festive cheer. By all means enjoy yourself but just remember to be careful out there. You have been building your personal brand throughout the year – use the party to enhance it – not ruin it.

Looking ahead to 2015.

Having survived the Christmas Party, what will the New Year have in store for us?  Well, one thing we do know is that customers will be looking for a personal experience with a brand, rather than being sold to. To do this, companies will have to integrate their marketing activities so that the customer experience is seamless, at whatever buying stage they are at. Also, the use of analysis, on which to base their marketing activity, should be more prevalent, so as to obtain a more effective return on their marketing efforts. 2015 will be about being smarter with your marketing communication.

As customer’s expectations (and choices) are rising rapidly due to modern day ‘connectivity’, so too are their expectations that businesses will understand them and satisfy their needs. In this regard, internal marketing will be as important as external marketing. Employees, as brand advocates will be an important element in customer engagement and indeed, retention.

Two elements in every company’s modus operandi will be even more critical next year as more and more people ‘go online’. 1) Local SEO, as opposed to nationwide SEO, will become more lucrative and 2) personal content marketing will be done through storytelling. In general, the online marketing experience will become an increasingly important tool of differentiation.

Tips and Timesavers.

Now is the time to agree your marketing activity for 2015. The very first thing to review is your message. Your message should be an honest reflection of your offering and one that is easy to promote and remember. Here are 5 tips to consider as you plan your 2015 activity.

  1. Revisit your marketing plan (what is your USP?)
  2. Does your marketing  talk directly to the buyer (is your message easy to understand?)
  3. Do you know your marketplace (what is your service’s / product’s appeal?)
  4. Have you a solid marketing image (have you a strong, clear public image, at all touch points?)
  5. How will you make your customer feel appreciated and important (consistent, excellent service?)

So to finish off before we go to our O’C&K Christmas night out this evening, here are some ideas on how to use social media as a layer rather than a channel during the Festive Season. Decorate your social media sites with Christmas decorations just like you would in your office e.g. your Facebook cover. Why not add some visual ‘spice’ to your photos, use Pinterest to help with shopping dilemmas, run contests online for prizes. I presume you have sent a personal holiday email to your customers already or why not create a Vine or Instagram video to wish them Season’s Greetings.

Our final thought is to encourage businesses to support worthy causes. Every business should have some form of CSR activity going on but especially around this time of year, as people’s minds turn to giving. Not only is it achieving social good, but it is also a good way to build goodwill for your brand also. We hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

We Supported Nurture this Christmas 

  If you have any other tips or timesavers please leave a reply below. If you’d like to receive similar content, just subscribe by clicking through the pink button, on this page.  Of course, if you want to get in touch, leave your details and perhaps we might meet for a chat, cheers.   Jim – O’C&K