Halloween is over and November 1st has rolled around, which means Christmas decorations have come out in full force. Businesses are ramping up for Black Friday, and they won’t calm down until the new year has begun. Now’s the time to start considering holiday marketing campaigns to make your December a jolly one.
Let’s turn to popular Christmas music for our inspiration this season, shall we?
1. Oh Christmas Tree
Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree! The tree is a symbol as much as an object. It’s a community project to decorate in many towns, it’s a family project to set up in homes around the world, and it’s a shining, brilliant beacon in the cold and darkness of a long winter.
Idea: Market yourself as a beacon of light and warmth. Offer something a little extra with every purchase during the December season. Coupons for free coffee or hot cocoa. Free candy canes or gingerbread cookies. Candles with Christmas scents. The sky is the limit! Get together a team to brainstorm ideas for small items or coupons for items that can represent the ideas of warmth, of coziness, of companionship, of light. Partner with other businesses to help provide those items.
Idea: Market yourself using an actual Christmas tree. Make a game out of it! Make an interactive Christmas tree that you shake presents out of, with a random present for each user who registers or makes a purchase. It’s up to you what those presents are, but make them worth the user’s time. You can double up with this if you have a physical storefront and a mobile presence; make a tree app that runs based on a unique code you hand out with each purchase.
2. Jingle Bells
In many ways, Jingle Bells represents everything there is to represent about Christmas. It’s packed full of imagery; the sleigh ride, the fields, the bells, the joy. It’s a bright and happy carol, known by and sung by everyone. On the other hand, it’s fiercely popular and overdone; a representation of the consumerist drive to exploit every ounce of the holiday. On a third level, Jingle Bells is a carol with a long history and lyrics few people actually know.
Idea: Go all-in with commercialized carols. Write, produce, sing and record videos of branded Christmas carols to send out in digital or television advertising. Hire a choir to sing your deals carol outside your store.
Idea: Run with the trivia of the unknown lyrics. Research weird origins for Christmas traditions, unknown lyrics for popular carols or even make up your own astonishing “facts” to make users laugh. It’s not about an embedded deal; it’s about building momentum with a volume of weird and amazing facts. Think Snapple Facts or a Christmas version of Coke’s names on cans promotion.
3. Deck the Halls
Deck the halls is a carol all about decorating your surroundings, singing, gathering around a fire, telling tales and laughing in the face of the cold winter ahead. It’s also strongly referential to Yule rather than Christmas.
Idea: Run with the Yule idea and come up with a promotion that follows burning or symbolically burning a Yule log. Set up a donation station for a good charity with the goal of reaching the bottom of a burning log.
Idea: Decorate! It’s quick and easy to update the color scheme and images on your site with Christmas variations. Hang stockings from your navigation, put lights around your logo and pile snow on your footer. You can even use scripts to make something a little more dynamic.
4. Two Front Teeth
All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth. They’re simple and easy and above all, they’re free. Heck, losing the first two got me a little payout from the tooth fairy. This carol is more of a story, so why not form a narrative out of your marketing this season?
Idea: Give out something small and free, particularly to children who shop in your store. Candy teeth, little toys, small discounts; whatever you feel matches the theme and the abilities you have to give as a business.
5. Winter Wonderland
A Winter Wonderland might be overkill depending on your location, but you can make the most of it. Snow and ice, white and blue and the powdery colors of a winter morning, that’s what this carol is all about.
Idea: Redecorate everything with ice and snow! The crystalline aesthetic will be especially popular among children this year, just look at how many kids dressed up as Elsa from Frozen for Halloween. Ice castles are a sure draw if you market anywhere near kids.
6. 12 Days of Christmas
The 12 days of Christmas is perhaps one of the most famous marketing carols ever made. It’s practically custom-made as a framework for promotions and sales.
Idea: Follow the 12 days theme to its logical conclusions and create a two-week-long promotion, with a new deal each day of the 12. Ramp up from small deals to something heavy at the end, to encourage people to check back every day. For bonus points, give people additional discounts if they’ve bought something on previous days.
Idea: Hold a 12-day-long contest. Come up with questions, trivia, puzzles or activities to earn a check mark for each day, with entry into a contest to win a major prize coming for people who complete every day.
7. Silent Night
Silent night is a calm, gentle carol with more religion than celebration involved. Many businesses won’t be able to pull off something so religious in nature this holiday season, but if you’re one of those that can, you have a ready in with Christian families.
Idea: Uphold the silent night values by holding promotions for items that encourage spending time with family. Christmas meal ingredients or recipes, gift exchanges and the like are all valid targets.
Idea: Hold a special event on a particular night, with extended hours or limited-time promotions for the 9 p.m. and later crowd. Carefully avoid the religious themes and operate with the theme of calm and night.