The (Controversial) Guide To Christmas Marketing

I’m just gonna come right out and say it.

I am a firm believer in a stripped back, ultra-considered marketing and communications plan over December and January.

Here’s why. Your audience is smart. They can tell instantly when something is forced. They will decide, in a microsecond, whether or not something is of value to them.

Christmas (or the holiday season) is the time of year where most people switch off and focus three things – friends, family, and themselves.

I don’t know a single person who isn’t excited to switch off from work for a bit. Whether they’re planning a big family camping trip or a restful couple of weeks churning through the stack of books that’s been beside their bed all year.

Yet every single year, I see accounting firms reminding people (far from gently) that they should be capitalising on tax breaks for their Christmas party and staff gifts. And they’ll post a vaguely re-written version of this same content every. single. year.

“Don’t forget about the Christmas Party tax break!”

It’s so tempting to go with the classic stocking-filler content. I 1000000% get it. And if it’s well written, and truly valuable, that’s totally cool.

But here are some of my guidelines to help you jump out of the box a bit and create some wicked content that could really get your audience engaged.

My Two Golden Rules for Content Creation

1. Consider the value to your audience.

A great litmus test?

If you’re grasping at straws to think of content to fill up the calendar, or you find yourself rewriting old content, it might not be good content. And I promise that you won’t lose your captive audience if you don’t send a “Merry Christmas” email.

On the other hand, if you feel like you are bursting to share amazing stories with your customers or followers and can’t wait to get down to it... it can actually be a sign that you’re in touch with your audience and that the content has real value to them.

2. Less really can be more!

This sounds so counterintuitive; however, just because everyone else has filled up their Buffer with 3 social media posts per day for the entire month of December, it doesn’t mean you have to.

Yes, studies show that people need to interact with a brand 17 times etc before they take the leap to become a customer. But effective brand awareness is more about the quality of the interaction than the quantity.

While it can feel like it’s best to be there right in front of their faces every day, this might not leave a great long-lasting impression.

When you open your email inbox on 1 December

Some inspiration for your content

Step away from templates and stock imagery and do something a bit out there!

We’ve been keeping an eye on big brands like Mailchimp and LinkedIn and how they’re using design innovation and creative writing to craft really unique, engaging content.

We LOVE this guide that LinkedIn created about the art of digital storytelling.

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When I think of the LinkedIn brand, I think “formal”, “corporate” and honestly a little bit “inauthentic”.

This piece of content changed my mind. LinkedIn stepped away from their typical aesthetic and tone and used illustration, cartoons and a great story to create this captivating PDF guide for businesses.

There IS real potential to tap into your audience while they have time off.

While lots of people are switching off from work or even social media, that doesn’t mean they’re switching off their phones.

People still want to read engaging content – maybe they’ll open up their Pocket or Saved Articles on LinkedIn and take time to immerse themselves in long-form articles or guides (see above).

Instead of sending out an email with links to stocking-filler blog posts, why not sit down and write an article about a part of your industry that you are really interested in? Or a story about your personal / professional development over the past year and how that’s really impacted your business? Or write a great guide (like the one above) and give it away for free?

Have you seen any amazing Christmas campaigns or content? Tweet @ us and let us know!

Happy Christmas Content Creating!

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