Aaah the ‘C’ word, it’s presence haunting us since August when highstreet retailers started to display twinkling items and gift sets right next to the holiday shop. Three months on, the ever looming festive season is just around the corner and ready to pounce, bringing with it not only Christmas cheer but the perfect opportunity for businesses to capitalise from this time of year. Now I am well aware that I do not need to advise businesses to prepare for Christmas and make hay while the sun shines, (or the snow falls) however as December approaches businesses are faced with the perfect opportunity to cash in on those shoppers who are frantically trying to get those presents crossed off their lists!
Is it really all in the timings?
But it’s a bit late to be marketing for Christmas this close to the big day, right? Wrong! If you’re a digital marketer, now is the ideal time to utilise your social media platforms for one last forceful push to increase your Christmas sales. In fact, here in the UK the majority of Christmas shopping is done last minute, which fortunately for retailers, results in chaotic consumers spending far more than the minority of shoppers who are organised. Even better, if you are an e-commerce business it is predicted that this year UK shoppers will spend a total of £17.4bn online, which is a suggested growth of a whopping 19.5% compared to last year. This combined with the busiest month in retail ahead, makes it the optimum time to use social media to capitalise. Of course offline marketers have been planning for Christmas 2014 as early as last year, but hey ho (ho ho), thanks to the advantage of social media’s ability to be reactive in realtime you can afford to start your Christmas marketing now.
Where to start?
Amongst all the platforms, Pinterest is by far the one with the most existing Christmas-based content, which provides a great opportunity for businesses to capitalise on those who are already in the festive mood (and may have been pinning festive decorations since March) and intrigue those who are yet to be enticed by the sound of Jingle Bells in November.
What if your product or service does not specifically target Christmas shoppers? Well there are still ways you can (and should) incorporate Christmas into your Pinterest marketing strategy, which I will explore later.
Let’s be strategic
Earlier this month I wrote about how Pinterest’s Rich Pins could benefit your business, and although they are the perfect tool to enhance your sales this Christamas, Rich Pins are not quick to implement and for most businesses will require a developer to link them to your website. Therefore my advice is this; keep it simple (less is more as the saying goes) and follow these top tips for an elevated Pinterest strategy this Christmas.
- Create boards that glow - Christmas is all about that ‘warm cosy feeling’ and ‘sharing the love’, so you should be creating boards that do exactly that! Evoke memories and emotions that are nostalgic and Pinners will be re-pinning your content in no time.
- Remember the ‘C’ word - this is an obvious one, but it is absolutely paramount that you remember to add the word ‘Christmas’ into your Pin description so that it can be found in searches. Another key word is ‘festive’, and depending on your target market location ‘Holidays’, as this is frequently used in the US.
- Don’t be afraid to mix it up - just like with all other platforms, your content blend on Pinterest should be impeccable in order to yield results. Don’t oversell Christmas with boards created from lots of products Pins, instead pepper aspirational images with product Pins that will create a very subtle and underlying ‘sales message’ rather than boards that shout ‘we sell gifts, buy yours today!’
- Be aspirational - every Pinner worth their salt knows that Pinterest thrives on ‘aspiration’ and at the heart of every board is someone’s desire to have a dressing room the size of a small house with a whole wall dedicated to colour coded shoe storage (not me - promise!), or a longing to own a Tuscan Villa in the hillside with those antinque double doors (again, not me - honestly!). Therefore make sure your Christmas boards tap into the hearts of your target audience by including dreamy pins, such as Nordic Christmas scenes, grand Christmas trees and idyllic fireplaces hiding those wishlist presents. Trust me, no one can resist the urge to re-pin the idea of their ‘perfect Christmas’, which of course when blended with your very own product content can enhance your sales prospects.
- Educate and inspire - just like with any other social media and blog content, people respond well to informative pieces. Good news here is that everyone needs a helping hand at Christmas time, which makes for the perfect opportunity to create informative festive boards that offer a little guidance or inspiration (or ideally both) this Christmas, such as recipe ideas, DIY decor ideas or even creative gift wrapping solutions. By offering content that is both inspirational and informative you are more likely to receive interactions from other Pinners.
Be sure to check out the competition
Before you start to implement your Pinterest Christmas marketing strategy make sure you check out what’s already out there. For Pinners with the ‘aspirational’ edge take a look at Martha Stewart’s collection of holiday Pins, whereas The White Company offer an example of how businesses can create inspirational boards by utilising an excellent blend of product and non product Pins. If it’s serious Christmas cheer you’re after look no further than Starbucks who are the king of pinning sugar coated Christmassy goodness that’s guaranteed to make you want to snuggle up to a viewing of Home Alone, and most importantly, accompanied by a Gingerbread Latte (there go those sales!). Finally if it’s informative boards you’re looking to research, take a look at Whole Foods Christmas Pins, which offer ‘outside of the box’ festive recipes and decor ideas, that will have every supermum jumping for joy.
Christmas is not just for Pinterest
Unless you are a business who uses only Pinterest to execute your digital marketing strategy (which I estimate to be zero), it is important to remember that other platforms can not only support your Christmas marketing strategy, but also compliment it in a way that will only help to enhance those sales! I recommend taking a look at our other blog articles which cover how Twitter can also boost your sales this Christmas.
My message this Christmas - Keep calm and Pin on…