It’s that time of year once again! People are putting up their Christmas decorations, and holiday shoppers are rushing malls and online businesses in search of gifts and goodies to offer their loved ones over the festive season.

Every year, around the holidays, marketers set out strategies for attracting and converting browsing shoppers into paying clients. While it may seem as if you just finished planning last year’s holiday campaign, every new year brings new opportunities and challenges. That is especially the case now, as consumers and businesses navigate holiday gift-giving, celebrations, annual vacations, and other end-of-year activities in the aftermath of the pandemic.

With holiday retail sales predicted to rise 7% to 9% this year over last, and analysts predicting even higher e-commerce sales growth, putting a good communications plan in place early on is critical to success. If you don’t have a communications plan in place by the time Black Friday – the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season – approaches, you should know that time is running out.

Of course, you aren’t the only company looking forward to this time of year. Hopefully, your Christmas public relations and marketing plans are already in the works so that you can get a head start over your competitors. After all, for stores and e-tailers alike, the holiday season is often the busiest and most profitable. During the peak Christmas season, advertising bid prices can skyrocket to up to 140% of the normal rates.

This article will look at some tips for preparing an effective communications plan for holiday marketing. Let us dive right in.

1) It is never too early to start planning 

Although holidays may not have been on your mind throughout the summer and early fall, this would have been the ideal time to begin organizing your brand’s public relations campaign. A practical public relations approach is engaging, well-planned, and well timed. Begin by compiling a comprehensive media contact list of relevant writers, editors, and influencers. These people are ideal brand ambassadors since they have developed ties with their audience based on trust. Connecting with your target audience through these connections will help your band gain credibility.

Once your firm has finalized its Christmas media lists, it’s crucial to develop relevant press materials, such as product descriptions and pictures. You need to have these brand assets on hand and ready to go for your connections as interest grows.

Do you need help building an effective media list? Pressfarm has a media database of over 1 million journalists, bloggers and influencers across niches and industries. Sign up today and find the right media professionals to cover your brand.

If building media lists isn’t your thing, Pressfarm can also create custom media lists for your brand, thus helping you to connect with the best journalists in your niche. In addition to helping you to reach the right media professionals to tell your story, Pressfarm can also create quality content that appeals to these journalists.

With a professional press release, some winning guest posts and an eye-catching media kit, you can make a splash in your industry. By submitting this content to the right media outlets and startup directories, Pressfarm can help your brand to rank in relevant search results across different search engines.

With one of Pressfarm’s PR packages, you can reach a wider audience and win people over to your brand this holiday season.

2) Get everyone on board to prepare

You need to have all hands on deck during the holiday marketing season. Your team can prepare in three ways:

  • Start by learning from previous campaigns.
  • Invest in research. Gain the most valuable insights.
  • Create a content calendar to help everyone stay on track.

By implementing an agile, flexible, and resilient go-to-market framework, you can adapt. Finally, iterate. Don’t be hesitant to put a campaign to the test; keep repeating and learning as you go.

3) Have fun with your pitches

It’s not easy to get the attention of editors, especially during these hectic months. Editors receive an avalanche of product pitches during the holiday season, so it’s critical to craft a pitch that will pique their interest. What benefit does your product provide to customers? Why is your product superior to the competitors and what makes it the ideal Christmas gift? To ensure that editors remember your product, highlight its merits in a pleasant, engaging way. There are plenty of Christmas themes to choose from, including stocking stuffers, secret Santa must-haves, and more. Don’t be scared to think outside the box to make your goods stand out among the crowd.

4) Capitalize on holiday themes

No one appreciates a Scrooge over the holidays, even when it comes to advertising and branding. Don’t be stingy with your marketing budget over the Christmas season. This is the moment to create brand associations between traditional holiday themes and your company, so come up with a snappy tagline that incorporates the sentiments of the holiday. While you should avoid  being cheesy if this isn’t your traditional brand voice, you can definitely use Christmas stereotypes to create a positive message that positions your brand as the perfect place to shop during the holidays.

Additionally, the holidays are a great time to highlight how your company respects different cultures and styles of celebrations. Start thinking about how your brand might commemorate several global holidays right now, and then start creating authentic, well-thought-out messages. Your consumers will be grateful for your thoughtfulness.

Of course, you want to make sure the image you’re painting for your brand over the holidays aligns with your professional image. Also, don’t go too far. Look for one or two ways to include holiday themes into your messaging naturally. You can take this a step further by developing holiday-specific content. Contact media outlets to feature your product in a holiday gift guide or provide holiday-related tips and ideas, such as a survival guide, cooking ideas, or gift-wrapping tutorials.

5) Start attracting shoppers early on 

Prospective customers aren’t all the same. It’s common knowledge that the new clients you acquire during the holiday season have a lower customer lifetime value than new customers who come to you at other times of the year. One wise move you can make is to attract “holiday” shoppers early on and create a specialized customer relationship management plan so that these early-birds are already loyal to your brand and are worth more rather than less when the holidays arrive.

6) Use PR tools to find target audiences 

Your target audience will probably vary and expand during the holiday season. Customers may be looking for things they would never buy for themselves while looking for gifts for loved ones, friends, and coworkers. In order to appeal to a broader audience during the holidays, your targeting must be a little more flexible and broad.

Use your PR tools to figure out how your target audience changes. Of course, Google Analytics is a significant player in this arena. Look at Google Trends to discover how many people search for similar products to the one you’re selling and what keywords are most popular during the holidays.

Additionally, your marketing team should review data from the previous season further to improve their tactics and calendar for the new season. You should also clean and analyze your company data and segment your audiences according to demographics and behavior. When it’s time to distribute your Christmas messaging, you will know that your content is reaching the appropriate people on the right channel at the right time.

7) Familiarize customers with your offerings

You need to complement your holiday with proper planning that gives customers ample time to familiarize themselves with your content, services, and goods. It’s also critical to communicate clearly with customers and set expectations, including a plan of what to do if a disruption occurs. Remember that supply networks, in general, are suffering and you could have delays in delaying product availability and delivery.

8) Take advantage of holiday hashtags 

Hashtags are terrific for promoting your company’s messaging, especially during the holiday season. You can create your own holiday-themed campaign, like Starbucks’ red cup art campaign, and encourage your audience to create user-generated content with it. You can also leverage popular hashtags to market your products, such as #StockingStuffer or #LastMinuteGifts, by using them on your social media posts. Use popular hashtags to get in on the conversation. Using hashtags in a creative way can definitely help you to go viral and acquire traction around the holidays, especially if you come up with a creative or amusing response.

9) Build Personalized Holiday Campaigns 

The Christmas season is all about making people feel special, so it’s the perfect time to include customized elements in your public relations campaigns. As you may be aware, customized branded content is in high demand these days, and customers will enjoy personalization even more during the holiday shopping season. During the Christmas holidays, there are numerous ways to include customization. The OfficeMax “Elf Yourself” website is one of the greatest personalized Christmas PR projects to date. This concept was unique because it was more about providing a pleasant, individualized experience that engaged people than it was about selling the business. What’s more, it worked, as shown by the 800 million videos generated and shared on social media.

10) Use your network of influencers 

Since their fans look to them for guidance, ideas, and inspiration, partnering with social media influencers can benefit you during the holiday season. Fashion and lifestyle influencers usually share gift ideas, holiday clothing advice, and home décor inspiration. If the product or service you’re advertising fits more under the category of New Year’s resolutions, healthy living influencers can recommend festive meals and exercise ideas. Naturally, food and beverage industry influencers will be stepping up their game to create new festive dishes in time for the holidays.

The holiday season is the ideal time to partner with influencers, regardless of what industry you’re in. They’ll most likely be grateful for some content suggestions, especially if you can tie it into their holiday content. Always do your homework on the size and demographics of each influencer’s audience. With this information, you can ensure that your product and brand are a good fit for their following.

You may also think about incorporating more engaging influencer content by offering freebies and hosting contests during the Christmas season. These tactics are pretty popular and a good way to increase likes, shares, comments, and views. You can also look into future collaborations with various firms to build an exclusive giveaway reward.

11) Follow up and follow through 

Make sure to follow up on your pitches once you’ve completed your initial round of outreach. If your contacts have any questions or are interested in product samples, get back to them as soon as possible. Time is of the essence over the holidays, and it’s critical to stay on top of any requests to help editors and writers remain on track with their deadlines. Finally, thank your contacts for their time and consideration, and maintain the relationship you’ve established as the new year starts.

If you take time to plan your PR holiday campaign ahead of time, then you can get your holiday messages out ahead of your competitors. Being prepared in advance also gives you time to experiment with different strategies.

Conclusion

When it comes down to it, it is never too early to start holiday PR. With an effective PR strategy, you can achieve your goals, spread joy, and create memorable experiences for your customers this holiday season.