Boss Lady

How to get noticed in the run up to Christmas business

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…or is it? Whether we like it or not, Christmas business is set to look a lot different to Christmases of yesteryear – the only thing is we’re not sure quite how different yet. Will we be able to see our families and enjoy a semi-normal time? Or will a countrywide “tier 4” lockdown create a rather insular Christmas with well wishes offered via phone and zoom calls only?

The lack of clarity around the Christmas period is in fact a microcosm of the wider question marks that have affected us throughout the year. Such uncertainty has been no more prominent than in the business world – and heading into a key period like Christmas partially blindfolded is a problem for business owners across the country.

With the buzz around Christmas not quite as loud as normal, a sensible approach would be to focus on building your brand presence heading into the festive period, but how should you go about this in testing times?

Create a campaign with an incentive

Your social media presence over this period will be more important than ever. As we all know, it’s not just about getting your customers to see what you’re promoting, but also to engage and interact with it. Incentive encourages engagement, so what better way to start off your Christmas media campaign than with a competition?

This can be something as simple as a caption competition, or a photo submission competition which involves your customers interacting with your product in some way, with the winner(s) receiving a prize that’s exciting enough to get people talking and participating. With themes like “the 12 Days of Christmas” or an advent calendar count down, you can make your campaign a day to day giveaway, keeping excitement high and raising the profile of your brand.

Cover off your COVID admin

Every business this year has had to adapt to COVID, whether that’s setting out in-store social distancing measures or adjusting their business model to the terms of the pandemic. It can be painstaking, time consuming and downright boring, but it’s also necessary, so it’s important you have your COVID ducks in order heading into Christmas.

How does you business need to adapt to be financially, practically, logistically and legally sound this Christmas within the parameters of new regulations? Do you need to make physical changes in store, or manage customer expectations online?

Whatever it is that needs doing, get the planning and preparations completed early.

Give a festive spruce to your shopfront

Just as with your social media, your shopfront, be it online or physical, should demand engagement over the Christmas period. People are generally feeling a bit down in the dumps at the moment, so make sure a visit to your business reflects the typical excitement and cheer of Christmas via your web design or in-store experience.

If customers can get a sense of escapism from your brand during this difficult period, it’ll likely mean they’ll come back for more in the future.

Do your bit for charity

Doing your bit for charity during this period is a win-win move. You help a cause in need, which in turn gives you (and your employees) a personal sense of achievement and warmth, but it also raises your brand perception both internally and externally.

Again, life is a bit rubbish at the moment, so it makes sense to raise a bit of cheer for all involved at your business for the non-professional benefits alone. Whether it’s a wacky Christmas jumper day or festive bake off, have some fun and raise some money – alongside some spirits. It’s all for a good cause, and it won’t do you brand any harm, either.

Create a content posting schedule

Christmas is traditionally a time for companies to blitz their customers with “look at us!” advertising material, and with everyone stuck inside right now, that tactic is unlikely to change. Naturally, through this period you’ll want to keep your customers updated on your latest products, offers and events as a business which requires a regular stream of content. With that in mind, the last thing you want to do is take a last minute, haphazard approach to your content delivery – instead, head into the period with a defined content schedule.

What’s going live and when? What products are you detailing? What sort of imagery and tone do you want to use? To grab peoples’ attention amid a swathe of media being thrown at them, your content needs to be of the highest quality. A prepared and considered content schedule should help you and your team to manage this.

During tough times, its important your business paints a picture of a better days ahead, especially over the Christmas period. Your approach to building your brand presence both on and offline will be key, so it’s essential you head into this period prepared, motivated and with a positive attitude.

Where the latter is concerned, don’t forget to have some fun. Get the Christmas decorations up early, get your staff in the Christmas spirit and try and make the festive season what it’s supposed to be about, which is happiness and cheer. That should rub off on your customers, who’ll hopefully repay you with a successful quarter for your business.

About Raeleen Hooper

Raeleen Hooper is a well-respected women in business. As Chief Sales & Marketing Officer for the Snap Franchise Group and as part of the executive team, she is working to transform the business from instant print outlets to becoming the leading brand in print, design and websites.

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