Christmas is around the nook and Shopping Season is here!
And that calls for putting your business on the forefront to grab some attention (and drive more sales) to achieve those year end goals you’ve been working on.

That’s why I’ve created a quick guide on holiday marketing which includes some of the best small business Christmas marketing ideas too!

How and where consumers are shopping has changed quite significantly over the past years.
While the majority of millennials in urban metropolitan cities shop online frequently, we are also seeing this trend expand to rural towns as well.

53.3% of millennial shoppers from non-metros surveyed by Shopify for the Festive Shopping Outlook Report 2021 showed a strong preference for shopping online. Overall, more consumers are shopping online with 76.9% of those surveyed by Shopify looking to do so this festive season because of the convenience it offers.

YouGov research also reported that 91% of consumers plan on shopping online during this festive and holiday season.

While this is the best time to bring forward your best deals and discounts, it is also the one time when it gets tougher to get your offers noticed.

So we took into account the most commonly used channels by consumers and brought together some of the best seasonal marketing strategies you can implement to ensure that you’re on your consumer’s mind (and cart) during this period of gifting and crazy year-end shopping!

Now let’s get down to finding the best holiday marketing strategy for you.

Taking a look at some of the most successful industry brands out there and we will examined how they are reaching the right audience at the right time with the right message with their seasonal marketing campaigns.

Here are some of the lessons we learned from them, listed as simple steps or even a checklist to help you run the best holiday marketing strategy this year:

First things first. Whether you have an offline store, an online one, or both, it’s time to give it the look and feel of the season!

If you have a physical store, adding a few lights or a Christmas tree for some happy, winter cheer can go a long way in getting into the groove and inviting more footfall.

Design flyers and distribute around your vicinity and beyond.
Display a banner or a bill board to create awareness to the public.

Similarly, if you have an online store, make sure you bring in some festive and holiday season cheer to your design. You can do this by simply changing the hero banner image on the homepage to something that reflects the festive cheer.
Or if you’re taking your sale live, you could showcase this as a banner.

You can also make your profile picture have a Christmas feeling on your page or personal wall on Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, etc.

Then you can create an additional page to display all your discounts and deals, and redirect websites to this page. For example, ‘Secret Santa Sale’ for your Christmas marketing campaign, could be a page that displays all the items that are on discount.

Another good idea and holiday marketing campaign example of something that works to capture attention is to use product labels to highlight the items on sale. They’re also a subtle design element that makes it easy for visitors to spot the items on discount amidst the hundreds that may be present on your site.

Bonus tip: You can also promote a hashtag that subscribers can use to participate in the contest while sharing a purchase on social media. This is one of the ways you can gather social proof, which can become one of your most influential marketing assets.

Example of brands marketing campaign:
*Apple: Make Someone’s Holiday.
*Geeksvillage: GeeksXmas
*Coca-Cola Canada: Give Something Only You Can Give
*Microsoft: Find Your Joy
*Kool-Aid: All I Really Want for Christmas feat. Lil John
*Resy: Where to Spend New Year’s Eve
*Erste Group Bank: #EdgarsChristmas #believeinlove #believeinchristmas
*Google: Santa Tracker
*Disney: From Our Family to Yours
*Heathrow Airport: The Heathrow Bears Return
*Walkers: All Mariah Carey Wants for Christmas

Take a look at your products, what your customers are buying actively and then create a holiday season sale collection. These could be individual items that you offer on discounts for the time period. Or you could even bundle different items to create packages they are more likely to purchase.

For example, Nivea puts all their products together in gift boxes with custom packaging for Christmas sale.

Similarly, an effective Christmas promotion idea is to set up a Secret Santa page wherein shoppers making a purchase from the collection, receive a surprise gift alongside their order.

Think strategically about how a consumer can make use of your collection or offer and go all out with it.

This is also a good time to bundle your slow-selling products with hot-selling items to make the purchase more valuable for your customers, and to get your inventory out.

The festive and holiday season sales aren’t just all about the deals and discounts for consumers. A lot of your potential customers are also looking for things like express shipping or discounted shipping.
So take consumer psychology in mind while creating offers and discounts for this seasonal sale.

A few offers and discounts that you can experiment with for Christmas marketing and holiday season promotions include:

*% off storewide
*% off on select items/ collections
*% off on a defined cart total
*Free shipping for a limited period of time
*Discounted shipping
*Free shipping on orders above a set threshold
*% off on volume purchases
*Buy x, get y discount

As soon as you have your festive or holiday season sale planned out, use email marketing to reach out to your existing customers and subscribers. But remember a one-time announcement will do you no good!

Start with a sneak peek into the discounts to create excitement around the sale. Then gradually countdown to the sale, nudging your subscribers to create wish lists or keep a tab on the products going up on sale to not miss out on a good deal.

If you’re open to taking pre-orders on the discounted prices, remember to clearly mention the same in your emails. And finally, when your sale goes live, remember to clearly state the same in the email as well!

Pro tip: Keep your subscribers engaged even during the sale using email marketing to recommend products based on their browsing history, previous purchases and more. You can also use emails to seek product reviews or feedback from customers.

According to a study, about two-thirds of online shoppers today use social media as a part of their shopping journey. But it’s also a fact that posting on social media or creating video content is no longer enough to grab consumer attention. To get your festive and holiday season sale deals noticed, you should leverage social media ads.
Social media ads like Facebook, Instagram, Etc.

Depending on which platform your audience is the most active on, create ads that announce your sale, share discounts and deals or even collections that are up on a special price. But don’t forget to combine it with a good ad copy that lets shoppers know that these deals are time-sensitive!

Depending on the social media channel you’re making use of, you can also set up shoppable ads like these to make it simpler for your audience to buy products they see in the promotions:

According to a study conducted by Google, 39% of consumers are influenced by a relevant search. This simply means that for most of us, online shopping journeys start from the search engines.

Now ranking high up on the search results when there is so much content being published, can be tough and time consuming. This is where search ads come in.

Similar to social media ads, you can use search ads to direct traffic to your seasonal sale page for specific keywords. This will ensure that when someone is searching for ‘christmas gifts’, your ad becomes visible to them right at the top of the search results.

Have you ever gotten stuck in a rut where you don’t know what gift would be best for a festive celebration?
Or did you run out of ideas to surprise your friends and family on Christmas?
Or maybe you’re hosting a party during the holiday season, but you don’t know what games you could play together?

The very first thing you’re most likely to do, is head to the search engine to look for answers. Now your consumers are the same!

Now i’m not saying that all of these searches were made by someone who eventually did go on to make a purchase online. But these were consumers with a high intent of making a purchase, seeking information that they may use for online or offline shopping.

If you have a unique set of products that fall into different search buckets, leverage content marketing to target these keywords. You could write a quick blog with a list of gift ideas. Or you could simply create an Instagram guide with the help of carousels to share gift ideas from your collection of products.

If not gift ideas, you can actually use content marketing to share a story, talk about a sensitive topic or something that your audience cares about during this period.

For example, Heads Up For Tails always has timely content up on their blog to guide pet owners in making the right purchases. Their focus is to educate first and then sell!

If content marketing is a completely new strategy for you, I highly recommend you get a professional to assist you with it.

Did you know that 64% of consumers think brands should contact them via SMS more often?

There are about 75% of consumers who want to receive texts with special offers or notifications of ongoing discounts. And that’s your sign to start leveraging SMS marketing this festive and holiday season!

Reach out to your existing customers and subscribers via SMS. Send them a quick update about your ongoing deals, let them know when you have the sale live or share a special coupon code with them to encourage them to visit your store.

You can run a series of SMS campaigns such as these for your Christmas marketing too!

If you have a store on Jumia, Jiji, etc, getting started with SMS marketing is easy. All you need to do is install an app and set up your text marketing campaigns. Explore all SMS marketing apps here.

With about 340 million users (and increasing), Nigeria is one of WhatsApp’s biggest markets There are more than 100 billion messages sent via WhatsApp every day. That only goes to say how frequently we use the chat app daily

And that’s reason enough for you to start using WhatsApp for seasonal and holiday marketing.

Similar to SMS marketing, you can use WhatsApp to send out broadcast messages to announce your sales and discounts. You can even set up follow-up messages to remind subscribers about the ongoing sale when it goes live, recover abandoned carts or even nurture them post-sale with review requests, product recommendations and more.

Setting up a WhatsApp broadcast message or other marketing campaigns for your Online or Offline store is easy.

A popular alternative to WhatsApp, is the Telegram app. It has been downloaded more than 340 million times worldwide in the past 2 years. According to The Next Web, Telegram’s active user base has grown by 240% in past year, making it another promising channel for businesses to reach out to their customers for promotional purposes.

Similar to SMS and WhatsApp marketing, Telegram too can be used to send out broadcast messages about your ongoing sales. You can also send sale/ discount updates during the holiday season to keep customers in the loop and nudge them subtly towards making a purchase.

Some businesses also use Telegram to create exclusive communities for their customers, wherein they share special discounts or early bird offers before the holiday season sale kicks off.

Owing to the increase in the number of online businesses, some consumers are becoming sceptical about sharing their contact information with brands. Imagine getting bombarded with promotional messages on email, SMS, WhatsApp and other platforms!

This is where web push notifications come in, offering a soft-touch communication channel. A store visitor can easily subscribe to getupdates about deals and discounts without sharing any of their contact information.

If you have been using web push notifications to grow your subscriber list, make sure you make it a channel to promote your seasonal sale. Start early by promoting an upcoming sale, building up to the day of launch and then a few regular updates to keep people engaged by automating messages around the time left to avail deals.

In case you haven’t tapped into web push notifications yet, you can easily download an app to get started.

According to a study conducted on the retail markets, the gift card market in the country is slated to grow speedily.
Consumers today want to give the gift of choice to their friends and family on different occasions. And it’s no longer restricted to birthdays.

Set up gift cards on your online store for Christmas, New Year and every little occasion in between. They make for great last-minute gifts that no one minds receiving too!

But make sure that you promote your gift cards proactively on all popular channels of communication. Be it through social media, ad campaigns, web push, SMS or even with promotional banners on the website, don’t forget to get them in the limelight.

Christmas is one of the most magical times of the year.

However, even if you’re not the biggest fan, you’ve got to admit that it’s the perfect season for gift-giving and showing your appreciation to your loved ones.

On that note, we know that Christmas gifts are the part that many people struggle with because of the countless options available out there.

Holiday gift basket filled with a variety of goodies. Isolated on white.

Here are some of the Christmas gift ideas can gift to your customers;
Christmas ornaments
Cocktail gift set
Holiday gift baskets filled with all kinds of beverages, wine, choclate, etc.

When you start promoting your season sale, remember that it’s not a one-time effort. An average internet user sees about 5000 ads every day, on different channels and in different formats. There’s a high chance that they may forget about yours by the time they need to make a purchase.

This is why you need to set up retargeting and remarketing ads to bring back consumers who had shown interest in your initial set of promotional ads or other marketing efforts to promote seasonal, festive and holiday sales.

Since this is an audience that is already aware of your discounts and the deals you’re offering and has been introduced to your brand before, they are more likely to convert.

Running re-targeting ads on social media and re-marketing on search engines is easy if you have an Online store.
If you’re new to running re-targeting ads, you can reach out to us and we will be glad to be of help.

In conclusion;

While we’ve listed out some basic steps to ensure you maximize your Christmas seasonal marketing strategy, holiday marketing strategies may vary based on who you’re targeting, what you offer and the resources available to you. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to seasonal marketing. But when it comes to e-commerce holiday marketing, there are a few best practices and tips that we do.

Check our the next blog to see how you can run your christmas sales successfully on your e-commerce website space.

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