Many retailers will be stepping up their spending on digital marketing and advertising this Christmas. But plenty of firms, smaller businesses in particular, operate on relatively modest budgets in comparison and perhaps don’t have additional resource to promote their brand more heavily during the festive season.

So what can they do in order to get Christmas shoppers transacting with them over the next few weeks? Zoe Ripley, international marketing director at ChannelAdvisor, has a few recommendations…

Run social media promotions

Facebook and Twitter are ideal platforms to run Christmas-themed promotions or advertise seasonal products. With Christmas being at the forefront of everyone’s minds, SMEs have a good chance of boosting their social following and attracting more traffic to their main website.

However, Ms Ripley believes that in order to get the best long-term results, brands should record their social following both before and after the campaign. This, she said, should include noting which posts got the most retweets and Likes, so they can see which ones worked best.

“This is valuable data that you can use when planning next year’s Christmas campaigns,” Ms Ripley remarked.

Showcase festive gifts on Pinterest

There’s no need to limit yourself to Facebook and Twitter, as Christmas shoppers will often turn to Pinterest in order to get ideas and inspiration for festive gifts. Ms Ripley therefore advises smaller retailers to set up their own Christmas gift guides on the site, with each one broken down into categories such as budget, gender and age group.

Investing in photographs of your products in festive surroundings could pay for itself in no time at all if it gets people turning to you for their Christmas presents. Ms Ripley added that buyers referred by Pinterest are ten per cent more likely to follow this up with a purchase than visitors to other social networking sites.

Provide customers with delivery updates

Hoping that deliveries arrive on time can cause plenty of worry for shoppers at this time of year. Retailers could therefore ease people’s worries by using social media to give order and delivery updates.

For instance, they could pledge that if a customer orders an item on a particular date, they can expect to receive it by a set time. This simple assurance could encourage shoppers to think that you are a reliable option this Christmas.

Ms Ripley noted that in recent years, consumers have started to regard the launch of festive commercials by major brands as the “official start to the festive season”. Indeed, she said ads from firms such as Boots, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer are now “eagerly” awaited by the British public.

“Possibly the most anticipated Christmas advert of all is that of John Lewis,” Ms Ripley commented. “The retailer’s Christmas adverts, famous for tugging at the nation’s heartstrings, demonstrate the power of advertising, as well as social and digital marketing initiatives that run alongside the advert.”

It’s fair to say most SMEs won’t be able to put similar investment into their festive campaigns, however by using many of the same platforms in a creative and engaging way, they should be ideally placed to deliver great results this Christmas.

Digital marketing tricks to boost Christmas sales, Professional Jeweller

Posted by Robin McCrink