Just as soon as the witches and skeletons of Halloween are packed up and Thanksgiving comes to a close, social media starts to fill with various Christmas advertising campaigns. It seems that with each passing year, Christmas arrives earlier and earlier.
The cynics among us will think it’s a digital marketing technique designed to make us reach for our wallets to spend more than we intend to. While many gimmicks pull on our heartstrings, if you look closer, past the tinsel, the mince pies, and Mariah Carey, there are many sensible reasons why it’s good to celebrate early.
This article will highlight all the many reasons why social media marketers are not the bad guys for starting Christmas advertising campaigns early and why it’s really worth celebrating Christmas early.
Five Reasons to Dive into Early Christmas Advertising Campaigns
Marketers worldwide have prepared for the Christmas advertising campaigns a little earlier this year. Research from PwC has shown that up to 75% of consumers are searching for deals heading into the Christmas season, with bulk shopping starting as early November, before key dates like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Of course, social media marketing plays a huge part in this rush, with ‘Christmas sales’ often used in advertising alongside images of snow, Christmas lights, and good old Saint Nic. But there are lots of benefits to starting as early as soon as you can.
Below are five reasons that will inspire you to pull down the decoration box, open the eggnog, and iron that Christmas jumper in the coming days:
#1 It’s Scientifically Proven to Make You Happier
One of the main reasons why getting in the festive spirit as early as you can is great is because it puts you in such a great mood. Science has proven that simple things like putting up Christmas decorations can trigger the feel-good hormone dopamine, resulting in a better mood and more energy.
Even seeing bright colors from decorations, playing ambient music to set you in a Christmassy mood, or simply seeing Christmas icons and symbols each day can trigger memories that can be a source of positive emotions that can improve our mood tremendously.
This is perhaps one of the reasons why Christmas advertising campaigns on social media are an effective digital marketing strategy as we approach the holidays. Seeing all the festive images makes us feel great about ourselves and spend more. But there’s no reason why you can’t channel these emotions for yourself at home!
#2 You Can Make Friends Easier
Feeling Christmasy can be contagious—but in a good way! Research has shown that celebrating Christmas (even early!) has a positive effect on neighbors around you.
While people often worry that by getting in the Christmas spirit early and hanging up their decorations, they’ll look crazy, the opposite has been proven to be true!
A paper on ‘Environmental Psychology’ found that neighbors interpreted seeing Christmas decorations positively, thinking that the homeowners in question were more friendly, pleasant, and sociable.
It also found that homeowners could use decorations to their advantage, as it communicated to others that they were open to making new friendships and connections in their locality as the Christmas season set off.
#3 It Works Out Much Cheaper
As the saying goes, the early bird gets the worm—and in this case, the worm has better deals, prices, and choices. By starting early in the year for your Christmas spending, you’ll be able to budget more effectively over a longer period.
There is no need to wait for any of the early holiday seasons to start. Take full advantage of discounts throughout the year, including around big shopping seasons like Back to School, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. You’ll also have a better selection of products as shops will be well-stocked with popular products.
By planning and spreading your spending over a longer period, you can also avoid interest rates on credit cards and loans that many last-minute shoppers take out to fund their panic buying.
Finally, the economy can be very unpredictable. And if inflation continues to rise as in the last few months, we can expect price increases on a whole range of Christmas items and services. Better to strike now, while prices are stable than to leave it to the last minute and see a sudden hike for the same items!
#4 Flying Home for Christmas? Don’t Take Your Time
Christmas is a special time when families from all around the world come together to celebrate the holidays. And while you probably know ahead of time if you need to travel, many of us don’t realize how much we stand to save if we book our flights ahead of time.
Statistics from Google Flights have shown that the best time to book your flights for Christmas 2023 is 71 days before departure. And every day that passes, you risk increasing your booking costs.
This is a big change from their research from 2022, which found that travelers got the best deals with only 22 days left before departure. It also shows that the Christmas season is starting earlier and earlier. Who knows what the best deal for Christmas flights will be in 2024?
#5 Being Organized Reduces Your Stress Levels
Whether it’s buying presents, preparing food, sending cards, or planning to visit all your family, Christmas can pull you in several different directions quite quickly. No wonder some of us feel out of depth as the holidays approach.
But by starting early, you’ll be able to negate a lot of this stress and manage your time more efficiently. Start small and plan simple tasks, like writing down your shopping lists, sorting your address book, organizing gifts, or gradually shifting decorations from the attic one by one can all make a huge difference come December.
As you approach the big day, freeing up time can also allow you to try new things and start new traditions. Why not try your hand at new desserts for Christmas Day? Put some effort into your wrapping.? Or visit old friends you’d otherwise miss out on—it’s your free time, make the most of it!
Six Safety Tips for Marketers This Christmas
With all the reasons why it’s worth celebrating Christmas early, social media marketers can blamelessly plan their Christmas advertising campaigns. But social media advertising should not be the only point of attention.
Marketers should be cautious about their online activity. That’s because as we spend more coming up to Christmas, criminals become more opportunistic.
So, how can you get into the festive cheer while still looking after the safety of our Christmas advertising campaigns? Below are five essential tips for being safe in the weeks ahead, both online and offline.
#1 Be Wary of Cybercriminals
Christmas is when so many marketers advertise their company’s sales and discounts on social media. This is something criminals are now using to their advantage.
Research from the Federal Trade Commission found consumers lost over $392 million in online shopping scams in 2021. And this problem is only getting worse as scams become more common and sophisticated.
So, how can you spot a fake scam from a genuine sale? Remind your customers that some straightforward ways to identify online shopping scams include:
- Sense of urgency: This is when a hacker uses the time to motivate you into acting rashly, including using countdowns like ‘Seasonal sales’ or highlighting the limited supply of an item.
- Suspicious activity: Scams on social media will have unusual activity, such as lots of comments, likes, or shakes. These are often fraudulent and aim to make the offer look legitimate.
- Strange URLs: Sometimes, the scam lures you onto a malicious website that can infect you with malware. Be wary of clicking links that take you off a platform.
- Poor photographs or information: Scams often copy legitimate product images and details from other websites. This process usually reduces the quality of the pictures, or they’ll be cropped at weird angles to remove copyrighted logos.
- Too good to be true: Scammers want to maximize your interest and may think of outrageous prices to trick you into clicking their links. If a price seems too good to be true, it’s because it is.
#2 Stay Protected Online
A virtual private network (VPN) is a proactive way of protecting yourself and your marketing data against cyberattacks this Christmas. It encrypts your internet connection, meaning no one can spy on your online activity.
Hackers cannot know the websites you visit, the details you enter, or even your location. This denies them vital information they need to target you.
Moreover, many VPNs will have built-in security tools that flag malicious websites and downloads before you click on them, block intrusive adverts, and notify you of suspicious content—protecting your devices from infection.
How to use NordVPN in 3 simple steps:
- Select your subscription plan and download the VPN app.
- Install the app and enter your credentials.
- Click ‘Quick Connect’ to find the best server for you!
#3 Update All Your Old (And New!) Devices!
Whether it’s the latest smartphone, personal computer, tablet, or appliance, Christmas is when many of us get the latest and greatest tech. Although brand new and straight out of the box, there’s a high chance that your gadget is already outdated and needs an update.
Hackers often target old technology to exploit known vulnerabilities. Updates are essential to combat this, as they equip your device with the information it needs to defend itself.
But your phone, tablet, or appliance won’t have these protections when opened for the first time. For this reason, if you’re using new tech this Christmas, always ensure you’ve downloaded and installed the latest patches before use!
#4 Secure Your Credentials
As someone who manages digital marketing and social media accounts, it’s important to take good care of your login credentials. To ensure the security of your accounts and information, it’s recommended that you:
- Use unique passwords for each account and avoid reusing them.
- Create complex passwords that include a combination of numerals, uppercase letters, and special symbols.
- Keep your login credentials confidential, and don’t share them with anyone, even if they claim to need them for legitimate reasons.
#5 Practice Christmas Crime Prevention
As shoppers start early, so do criminals—not just the cyber kind. As well as being safe online, it’s important to remember your physical security this Christmas!
Below are some simple but effective crime prevention tips that can help you avoid being a victim this festive season:
- Check your office or home: Inspect your security around the building, including door and window locks and alarm systems. Ensure dark areas around the outside of your building are well-lit.
- Safe storage: Store corporate gifts away from windows and doorways. Keep high-valued goods in secure locations.
- Stranger danger: Be wary of unexpected calls to your office door. Always ask for proper identification.
- Social blackout: Avoid oversharing the data of your company’s Christmas advertising campaigns on social media. Criminals can use this information for cyberattacks.
#6 Be Careful With Charity Donations
Christmas is a time of giving, and most likely, your business will want to share the feeling of goodwill with charities and post about the good deed on social media. Unfortunately, more and more criminals are operating holiday charity scams to defraud patrons.
To protect yourself from phony charities and make the most out of your Christmas advertising campaigns, be careful about how you’re sending money. Scammers often demand you send physical cash, a gift card, or a wire transfer, as these are quickly received and offer little protection if the scam is discovered afterward. Instead, use a credit card or a reliable third-party payment app like PayPal.
Next, verify that the charity is who it claims to be. Some scammers will ‘spoof’ legitimate charities, creating a fake copycat website or social media accounts to trick you into sending them money. Always check website URLs carefully for spelling mistakes or extra symbols.
Finally, you should only donate to verified, well-known, and reputable charities. If you’re unsure about the history of a charity, consider using websites like BBB Wise Giving Alliance, GuideStar, or Charity Navigator to verify a charity.
In the following, we’re going to go over some frequently asked questions:
Q1: Why Are Early Christmas Advertising Campaigns Becoming More Prevalent?
Early Christmas advertising campaigns are on the rise due to shifting consumer behavior. Research indicates that up to 75% of consumers actively search for deals well before the traditional holiday shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Marketers capitalize on this trend to engage their audience early and secure a share of the festive spending spree.
Q2: How Can Social Media Marketers Ensure the Safety of Their Christmas Advertising Campaigns in the Digital Landscape?
Ensuring the safety of Christmas advertising campaigns involves being vigilant against cyber threats. Here are some essential tips:
- Be cautious of online scams, such as those inducing a sense of urgency or featuring suspicious URLs.
- Use a virtual private network (VPN) to protect your online activities and marketing data.
- Regularly update all devices, old and new, to guard against potential vulnerabilities.
- Secure your login credentials with unique, complex passwords and avoid sharing them.
- Implement physical security measures, such as well-lit surroundings and secure storage for corporate gifts.
- Exercise caution with charity donations, verifying the legitimacy of organizations before contributing.
Embracing early Christmas advertising campaigns is not just a marketing strategy but a pragmatic approach with numerous benefits. From boosting happiness and fostering connections to saving money and reducing stress, the advantages extend beyond the realm of marketing.
Social media marketers can leverage the festive spirit to engage audiences and drive sales. As we delve into the holiday season, it’s evident that celebrating Christmas early is not only a trend but a smart and joyous choice.