Hoteliers, here are some Christmas campaign tips!

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This week, Ireland has reached the half way point in the second wave of a Level 5 lockdown. Elsewhere, various restrictive measures are being put in place to try and curb the ongoing spread of the virus – for example, the UK has gone back into lockdown and New York will now require bars and restaurants to close from 10pm.

Back home, the government have begun talks on an exit plan for Christmas, beginning in early December when Level 5 restrictions are expected to be removed. A decision has most certainly not been reached as to how the month of December will look, with some TDs pushing for a Level 2 status (people may travel between counties, wet pubs can open) while others are in favour of a safer but stricter Level 3. Whatever happens, it still looks as though hotels will be opening their doors once again, hopefully to those travelling from around the country, and if not them, then definitely to bookers within the county looking for a treat or a long-time coming getaway with family and friends.

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We have been talking a lot about gift vouchers, preparing for Cyber weekend, and prepping your winter activity over the last few weeks. Here are some additional tips for your Christmas campaigns!

Cutting through the noise

There’s always a lot of marketing noise from all sides around Christmas – and this year, that noise will likely be even more urgent than usual, as many Irish businesses vying for attention will be chasing more sales to help make up for the year that was in it.

With this in mind, try and think of ways you can make your campaign or offer stand out. You can reference your USPs here as well as putting the Christmas spin on whatever you’re offering. Consider what are the elements that will make someone’s stay in your hotel extra special, maybe moreso than if they stayed somewhere else?

Christmas is an emotional time. The best marketing campaigns out there play on this fact, and use emotion to try and connect with people (you only need to recognise the hype around John Lewis Christmas ads each year to see what we mean!) Use everything you have at your disposal to create something worthy of an emotional reaction to your campaign. Think about how effective visuals can be, for example.

Remember too, that this year people may be feeling especially emotional! Many have hardly seen friends or family for months now, and whether they’re planning on a reunion at Christmas or interested in booking something for further down the line, keep the fact in mind when you’re choosing your language and visuals.

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Your Christmas content

You may have done this already, but the first thing to do when you’re planning your Christmas offers is to plan and allocate budgets. Do it now if it’s not already done! If you’re a Net Affinity client, get in touch with your Account Contact to discuss.

Your Christmas offers and content deserve a dedicated landing page. It’s easier for people browsing to be directed to one clearly laid out page full of all the content they need to browse, pick, and choose from. It will also boost your site traffic from an SEO perspective.

Make sure all of your content and visuals match across your marketing platforms, including email, social media, paid ads and your website. This helps to simplify the message and avoids any confusion! Confusion = a blocker between someone browsing and actually booking.

Speaking of simple, try and word your offers so that they’re super easy to understand. You don’t want your packages to come across complex, all over the place or just downright unclear. When you are clear yourself as to what your offers entail, you should be able to communicate them clearly, too.

It could be a good time to be generous, too. Not only is it Christmas, it’s Christmas in 2020 which has been the strangest year on record for a lot of people! Perhaps you want to offer good value for money, or offer your loyal customers a special offer through email marketing.

Flourish with a little sparkle

Pay attention to the little details. Consider adding the likes of snowfall to your website homepage, a countdown clock to encourage a sense of urgency, or a Christmas-themed action bar directing people to your corresponding landing page. Pay attention to the look and feel of these elements when you’re designing your email and social collateral.

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A reminder – what are the best ways to promote your Christmas vouchers?

  • Launch a Christmas-themed voucher
  • Remarketing and email marketing are the key to selling vouchers and will help provide the best ROI
  • The use of vibrant, eye-catching and emotive visuals within your ads will help to attract potential buyers
  • Use an early purchase incentive

In previous years, Christmas voucher sales have picked up from December 10th and peaked on Mondays during the week, with the weekend seeing a drop. We may see a different trend this year depending on how the situation we are in impacts people’s shopping behaviours.

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