Your first 30 minutes free
× How we work Services Book a specialist News Events Press Contact 020 3928 0900

How to Run a Successful Christmas Marketing Campaign

How to Run a Successful Christmas Marketing Campaign

A three-step guide to running a successful Christmas marketing campaign on social media.

How to Run a Successful Christmas Marketing Campaign

‘Tis the season for festive ad campaigns. Find out how to smash yours with our three-step guide.

‘Tis the season to eat, drink, be merry… and advertise. Much like mince pies, quality street, office parties, and the ubiquity of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You”, Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without Christmas marketing campaigns.

According to recent research by Google, 61% of shoppers would consider purchasing from a new retailer during the holiday period (November-December). The 2019 edition of Deloitte’s yearly Christmas survey suggested that the average UK shopper will spend around £567 on gifts, decorations, food, and all the rest of it — on average, we spend 39% more than our European counterparts, and around 44% of our Christmas shopping will take place online.

So it’s no surprise that the likes of John Lewis splash out on advertising at Christmas, but you don’t need a John Lewis-size budget to capitalise on the festive period and make this quarter an especially lucrative one.

As our Christmas gift to you, we’re going to help you nail your festive marketing in just three simple steps.


Step 1: plan

How soon do you reckon the John Lewis team are working on their next Christmas marketing campaign? The day after the current one launches? The week after? The following month? 

According to the team behind their ‘Excitable Edgar’ campaign, they start planning in January. While that might be overkill for smaller businesses, it’s always good to keep in mind that you can never start planning too early. There’s a reason the PR industry, for example, celebrates “Christmas in July”

Think about your paid (ads, influencers), owned (organic media — posts, blogs, website), and earned (third party referrals, organic shares, retweets etc.) activity and how can you implement all three into your overarching marketing strategy for this campaign.

Before you start creating promotional offers or marketing collateral to promote it, think about:

  1. What your KPIs are
    what do you want to achieve from this campaign and how are you going to measure success?

  2. Who your target market is
    yes, you (probably) already know your who this is, but think about how this might change at Christmas. Your target audience aren’t always going to be shopping for themselves, so think about how this affects your messaging and how you can connect emotionally with them

  3. What media channels should be used
    are your media channels appropriate for your audience? Don’t waste time or money on platforms where your target audience isn’t as active (a fashion brand aimed at millennials probably isn’t best suited for LinkedIn)

  4. Budget
    How are you allocating spend between boosting posts, ads, influencer marketing, & content creation?

  5. Objectives
    Why are you running this campaign and what do you want to achieve? Is it to increase new customers by 40% during the holiday period? Set realistic goals and the whole thing will become so much easier.

  6. Your existing customers
    Don't forget about them! Maybe bring them some Christmas cheer with a preview of your campaign? Use some of their user-generated content (UGC) to get them involved in your marketing directly. Social users resonate with people than brands, so… show them your people!

Step 2: execute

One social media post does not a campaign make. Vary your content and spread your Christmas marketing campaign out over a few weeks — the earlier you start, the more traction you’ll get, and with ‘new’ holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday taking place roughly a month out from Christmas, it certainly makes sense to try and get ahead of the rush. A few things to keep in mind:

  • Keep track of your performance — take on board learnings and make adjustments to your budget, targeting, hashtags and all the rest of it.

  • Use UTM (Urchin Tracking Module) codes to stay on top of your traffic and allow Google Analytics to track performance more accurately.

  • Don’t forget about it! Track performance, reply to comments, retweet, like, engage 1000%! You get out of it what you put in, and money isn’t enough to guarantee success.

Step 3: learn

Once your campaign has wrapped up, take the time to calculate the ROI and analyse the campaign. Make sure that you know what worked and what didn’t, so the next one is even better! You can take learnings from even the most successful campaigns…

It’s as simple as that. But what’s even easier is enlisting the help of an expert… and that’s where we come in. We run all sorts of social media marketing campaigns (not just Christmas ones…) for all sorts of clients, so if you’d like a bit of know-how and expertise at any time of year, then just get in touch for more marketing services London.