The advent calendar is a classic Christmas tradition that has provided a ritual for the ages. Since its invention back in the late 19th century, each day in December has been something to savour in the build-up to Christmas day itself 😋
As such a strong tradition with symbolic influence, it’s no surprise the advent calendar has been adopted as an effective marketing tool. Since the UK chocolate addition was introduced by Cadbury’s in 1971, they have taken on many forms and styles as a great incentive strategy.
It’s a very popular tradition, with 61% of people in the UK claiming they have gifted an advent calendar to someone in the past. So, what is advent calendar marketing? And how can you use it to your advantage this year?
What is advent calendar marketing?
Advent calendar marketing is an opportunity for businesses to promote their products and services for each day of December in the run-up to Christmas.
By applying the traditional countdown process associated with advent calendars, a brand can capitalise on this tradition through its own form of advent calendar that applies to its identity, culture, products, and services.
In the build-up to your advent calendar marketing campaign, you want to generate as many leads as possible to build your following.
Another thing to consider before you start your advent calendar marketing campaign is to make a plan that establishes your goals and objectives for your marketing incentives. Utilising social media, your website, PPC ads and video marketing are all brilliant platforms to utilise this festive marketing form.
Advent calendar marketing ideas
Advent calendar marketing is a form of incentive marketing itself. There are 24 opportunities to promote, sell or create engagement with your brand. Advent calendar marketing provides a great opportunity to introduce loyalty incentives, special offers, mystery savings, gift guides and time-sensitive offers. Here are a few ideas to get the balling rolling 👇
- A “gift” for every day
Traditionally, an advent calendar provides the customer with a gift every day 🎁 Now, this doesn’t mean you have to ‘give’ something away. The gift just needs to be of something of value. The key to this strategy is that it will keep your customers engaged while increasing your brand awareness over the Christmas period.
Don’t forget to promote and share across multiple channels or give too much away. Intrigue is the key. Keep them guessing and they will come back each December day for more.
- Wish list
Christmas is a time where wishes come true. ✨ So why not create a wish list theme for one day. This could involve a competition incentive, asking for a prediction of the most desired item in a product popularity challenge. The winner who guesses the product receives a free giveaway of that product.
Alternatively, you could get new and old customers to make a list of their favourite products/services from your business, with the winner receiving their chosen ones for free.
And if you want to go one step further, make everyone a winner by making unsuccessful entrants a “runners-up” prize. For example, an email containing a 25% discount code.
- Show off your products!
Select a day or two to showcase your products online, building excitement, interest, and desire. You can then target specific audiences by segmenting your email list or running targeted ads.
Social media is an ideal channel for this idea as it is a great way to talk about your products in more detail and boost enticement. Remember, lead with the benefits.
- Guess the Christmas character
Another advent calendar marketing competition, but with a twist. Like a chocolate advent calendar, behind each door, there is a question to answer. If the customer answers correctly, they will reveal another section on a larger image that displays a Christmas character.
Guess the Christmas character first, and you win the prize. However, you only get one guess. Instagram is an ideal platform for this competition, as you can create a stunning tile effect. Alternatively, you could experiment with interactive content in email marketing.
- Christmas is about giving, not just receiving…
A series of good deeds must be completed to compete for the ultimate prize. Make up a list of tasks or goodwill gestures to get people talking about your brand and spreading a bit of Christmas spirit.
The winner receives the ultimate prize 😍
- Timing is everything
Use the all-important ‘day’ association in an advent calendar to your advantage. Make special offers time-sensitive to one day only. Customers will feel the pressure as an incentive to act.
- Design a daily gift guide
Recommend gift guides on certain days, maybe once a week. Customers can also contribute with what they think is the best gift guide. This will increase brand awareness as well as unity between your customers. After all, Christmas is a time for sharing and helping each other.
- Christmas tree competition
Who has the most impressive Christmas tree? 🎄 Encourage social followers to share pictures of their Christmas tree, and you can pick a new winner every day.
Alternatively, you can get people to take a festive-themed picture showcasing your product or service.
- Puzzle games
Spot the difference puzzles, optical illusions, and distorted images are all fun ways to get people to stop scrolling on social or click-through via email.
You may even want to try doing your own version of “Where’s Wally?”, but with your product or an employee hidden in the crowd instead.
- Write to Santa
As a way of promoting user-generated content, you can host another competition where customers must write a letter to Santa, convincing him why they deserve the big prize on offer. The winner can be the funniest and most persuasive piece of writing that can then be shared online at the end of the day.
- Make a Christmas meme
Who doesn’t love a meme? Encourage your customers to make the funniest Christmas memes on social media. Once again, this will generate engagement with your brand and provide user-generated content to display on social media platforms.
Christmas is a time to spread joy and laughter. This will promote your brand in a positive light and produce togetherness for your company’s culture.
- Repurpose your best material
Repurposing your best material over the year can rejuvenate interest and celebrate a successful piece of content. You can even repurpose the content into a video or infographic to keep it fresh.
Start utilising advent calendar marketing
We hope this has given you some inspiration for your advent calendar marketing campaign this December.
Remember, showcase your products, use your customers, get creative and have fun! This classical Christmas tradition is there for the taking 💪
If you need any advice or help to implement an advent calendar marketing strategy, get in touch with our team at Flamingo Marketing Strategies. Christmas is a busy time all-around, but we can help you stand out from the crowd and generate sales over the holiday season!
Have a great day,