‘Tis almost the season of festivities and joyful marketing campaigns! As peculiar as it may seem to be talking about the Christmas period as soon as October, there are great benefits in starting to plan out your marketing plan for the holiday season. There’s a lot of importance in staying ahead in the holiday game and kicking off your Christmas marketing planning as soon as possible could only lead to incredible advantages for your business’ strategy, content, sales and budgeting.
Here’s why you should start planning your Christmas marketing now:
Stay Ahead of the Competition
Starting early with your Christmas marketing plans is like the neighbour that wastes no time with putting up their holiday lights - it gets you noticed. Making plans about your Christmas campaigns as early as October gives you a great head start in staying ahead of your competition. Although they may also be in discussions as to what will dominate their Christmas preparations, it’s crucial that your brand does not lag behind and has a clear plan as to how the holiday season will roll out, both online and offline. This will make your brand’s visibility much greater, as your early preparation means you’ll be among the first to capture the attention of Christmas shoppers and enthusiasts, which can eventually lead to a better brand recall when it’s actually time for all the holiday shopping.
Maximise Your Budget
Budgeting is a critical aspect of any marketing campaign, more so when it has to do with specific thematics such as Christmas, which tend to take up a big portion of the allocated budget, especially if your brand is known to be profitable at this time of the year. It’s no secret that you and your competitors could be gunning for the same ad spots or spaces, or even trying to outbid one another in winning the most suitable and visible location for your campaigns to be successful. Planning ahead, as early as October even, could give you the opportunity to allocate your budget more efficiently and secure better advertising rates or even negotiate more favourable rates. It also gives you plenty of time to strategically spread your budget across different marketing channels and platforms, and gives you the upper hand in concentrating on the campaigns and areas that will deliver the best ROI for your brand.
Create Engaging Content
It all begins and ends with what the user or customer can actually see, and the more time you have to create high-quality and compelling content, the better your chances are at capturing the attention of your target audience, and even attract new followers. Whether it’s heart-warming storytelling of holiday stories, amusing videos, promotional visuals or visually appealing graphics, nothing beats early planning. Being able to capture the festive spirit and delve deep into the emotions and necessities of your customers during the biggest holiday season of the year, requires a lot of attention, brainstorming, originality and precision. Take the time to discuss ideas, develop concepts and get a jump on upcoming trends. Moreover, maintaining consistency throughout your visual direction, branding and messaging can be an added appeal for audiences, and getting a head start on everything can mean investing in a cohesive content strategy that will align with your brand’s values and resonate with your audiences over a teasing period, and eventually your campaign’s reveal.
Build Hype & Anticipation
Building excitement and anticipation for your holiday offering can go a long way to forming a powerful strategy for your marketing campaigns. Leveraging early planning for your Christmas content can generate a lot of buzz around your brand, with an extensive teasing period that will entice audiences to keep coming back to you, as well as give you plenty of time to create specifically dedicated content to your upcoming campaign to keep your customers engaged and intrigued. For example, giving sneak peeks into future promotions and product launches, creating extensive email marketing campaigns, teasing them with social media posts and stories or even Christmas-related events, can really pique the interest of audiences. Early planning also gives you the opportunity to create a holiday-themed storytelling mechanism that is nuanced and compelling, in creating narratives that will have an emotional connection and remain memorable to consumers when it’s time for the holidays.
Capture Early Shoppers
Believe it or not, many shoppers like to be ahead of the game and start their Christmas shopping planning as early as October. Targeting such early birds can start securing your future sales and also use it as an opportunity to influence a greater audience to trust your brand when the time comes for their Christmas shopping. Think of targeted messaging also that can prompt people to start thinking about early planning, and highlight the benefits and advantages that they can enjoy, such as avoiding long queues during the holiday rush, ensuring they find what they are looking for and securing the best deals. As soon as you start thinking about your Christmas campaign, the more you’ll be able to figure out the best incentives for your audience to reward their proactive behaviour, and thus entice more customers to get into the same frame of mind in order to enjoy potential rewards.
There’s no loss in delaying your Christmas marketing campaigns and strategies, but there sure are a lot of gains to benefit from by starting your planning way in advance. Setting your goals early on and giving yourself enough time conceptualise and develop everything to perfection, from your social digital content, advertising plans all the way to your email marketing and offline activations, your brand is much more likely to make a lasting impression and capture the attention and interest of a greater audience that will follow through.