Christmas is a difficult one for B2B organisations. While many B2C companies are gearing up for their busiest time of the year, B2Bs are winding down. But with a neat marketing theme presented to you on a platter, and all of your customers in a buying mood, it can feel like a big opportunity wasted if you don’t do SOMETHING.
But what is that something? While you don’t have to go full John Lewis and make a heart-warming, tear-jerking Christmas ad with an irrevent acoustic cover of a well-known song, it’s nice to get a little festive, have a little fun and show a different side to your business.
Here are 4 ideas for some B2B Christmas marketing campaigns that won’t take too long to execute.
Give something back
Christmas is a time of giving, and a great time to give back to those who are less fortunate. For your Christmas campaign, why not pick your favourite cause (or poll your staff for their ideas) and set up a donation scheme based on engagement from customers and prospects?
This could involve sending an email to your subscriber database, letting them know that for every person who clicks on the link in your email, you will donate an amount (say £1) to your chosen charity. The link could lead to an article about your charity work throughout the year, more about your chosen cause, or a page generally about your CSR (corporate social responsibility) schemes. This campaign is a great way to get people engaged with your brand and your content whilst doing something for a good cause. This would work great either as a standalone campaign or as part of your Christmas newsletter/friendly “Merry Christmas from us” email.
It’s a classic, and again, a great way to get people engaged with your brand whilst having a little fun. You might even make a sale out of it – entrants could compete for money off their next order, or if this doesn’t suit your model, you could just offer a voucher or fork out for a prize. It doesn’t have to be anything too extravagant – perhaps a hamper or a couple of bottles of wine (never underestimate people’s appreciation for food or alcohol).
The competition can be anything you want it to be, but here are some quick fire ideas to get your brain going:
- Redesign your logo with a Christmas theme – share with you via email or social media with a branded hashtag.
- Share pictures of their Christmas jumper days over social media with a branded hashtag.
- A 12 days of Christmas countdown – run a 12 day quiz, where you ask a Christmas theme question each day, and pick a winner from the correct answers.
It’s up to you how you get entrants for your competition – you could launch it via email to your subscribers, or if you’ve got social media following do it there too. The ideas above are actually quite involved too – you could do something more light-touch if you’re strapped for time, such as “retweet for a chance to win” or “comment for a chance to win”.
This is a relatively simple one, but never underestimate the power of giving someone a personal, genuine “thank you”. Christmas is a great time to show your customers appreciation for sticking with you. Depending on the size of your business and customer base, you might to choose to send physical cards or even small gifts to your customers. If you’ve got a larger customer base, this might get a bit expensive (not to mention difficult to arrange), so a well-written and well thought out personalised email would not go amiss. Using your email marketing or marketing automation tool, it’s easy to create a message using personalisation tokens that makes your customer feel a bit special. Round it off with a nice festive design or maybe a Christmas photo of your team to create a nice warm message.
For bonus points, why not include an e-voucher as part of this email? It could be something relatively inexpensive like a Starbucks or Costa voucher (I’m a Costa girl myself), but that extra bit of effort will make your customers feel special.
Share your personality
Finally, Christmas presents a great opportunity to share the “human” side of your business with your customers. Particularly in B2B, personality and character can easily get lost in more corporate tone and messaging. But at the end of the day, people buy from people. This is particularly key in service-based businesses where good relationships are paramount. Whether it’s featuring your team’s best Christmas jumpers or a quick recorded video message (you could sing a carol if you’re feeling brave), it’s a great time to show the people behind the logo and let your customers know there’s a friendly face on the end of the phone.
In B2B, Christmas marketing isn’t necessarily about flogging more stuff. As in the examples we’ve discussed above, it’s more about letting people get to know your business and interact with your brand on a more meaningful level.
But remember – marketing is for life, not just for Christmas (I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself). If you’d like to discuss how we could help you run successful campaigns all year round, get in touch.