It’s the most wonderful time of the year…and it can certainly be the most lucrative for businesses of any size. But with every company looking to cash-in on the festive season, the market is incredibly saturated and so standing out with a well-planned and engaging marketing campaign can make all the difference.

We’ve put together a list of dos and don’ts to help you improve your festive campaign and take advantage of the holiday season spending.

Do:

1. Start planning early

The best marketing campaigns are usually planned months in advance. If you’re looking to launch your festive campaign around late November, it’s a good idea to begin looking at your strategy, budget and content ideas between June – August. Any later and it will be a rush, resulting in avoidable mistakes and stress.

2. Know your audience

The key to a successful festive marketing campaign and increasing online sales is knowing your audience. What is your product or service and who are you predominantly aiming this at? This will tell you the tone to take, what your key messages are, how to produce your content with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in mind, the imagery to use, and the best platforms to promote your campaign. If budget allows, engage in some market research to gain insight into your audience and what they best respond to.

3. Think about offers and promotions

Everyone loves a discount – or even better, a freebie. Customers will scour the internet for discount codes and special offers, especially around Christmas. If you can offer a deal, especially one with a time limit, it’s sure to gather interest. Try and use this as a way to encourage customers to share your social media content or tag a friend too, to maximise awareness and traffic.

Don’t:

1. Forget a call to action

There’s no point planning a great campaign if potential customers aren’t guided through next steps towards making a purchase. Make sure it’s clear how they can proceed, whether that’s a click through to your site from social, picking up the phone or attending an event.

2. Abandon your brand and its values

While it’s easy to get caught up in the festivities, don’t sacrifice your brand. If customers engaging with your campaign can’t associate it with your company, they won’t build up recognition, which could impact both short and long-term sales. It’s good to incorporate festive colours and images, but don’t let them take over at the expense of the things you want customers to associate with your brand.