4 Ideas for B2B Marketing at Christmas

Here’s a quick fact about an iconic Christmas song. Did you know that The Pogues recorded ‘Fairytale of New York’ in August?

Why would we share that? Because it illustrates a point: if you want to make a splash at Christmas, you’d best start early! If October seems too early to think about B2B Christmas marketing, bear that in mind.

B2B marketing at Christmas – is it worth it?

Christmas is a strange time for B2B businesses. In the B2C space, it’s often the busiest time of the year. For B2B, it’s often when things are winding down.

But this doesn’t mean there’s no point in any marketing at all. In fact, Christmas is a perfect time for B2B marketing. Why? Because it allows you to show another, more personal side of your business and brand. Whether you’re B2B or B2C, people buy from people. Any chance to humanise your brand is worth it.  

And is October too early to start thinking about Christmas B2B marketing? Of course not! You need time to form a plan and put it into action. If you don’t believe us, ask The Pogues!

What Christmas marketing works for B2B businesses?

The short answer? You should use Christmas to humanise your brand. It’s rarely a good time for a hard sell, but it’s a great opportunity to convey a more personal, light-hearted image.

B2B businesses often struggle to show their human side. They’ll focus marketing on products and services, and not much else at all. It’s no surprise that these businesses wind down their marketing at Christmas. After all, B2B services are very handy, but not many kids want them for Christmas!

But the thing is, there’s more to marketing than talking up products and services. We’ll repeat a previous point: people buy from people. It doesn’t matter whether they’re buying for themselves or on behalf of a business. They want to deal with people they like and trust.

Use your Christmas marketing to show that. Now, here are four ideas to get you started.

1.    Show customers a personal touch  

Why not start by sending your customers a personalised, branded message? It could be “merry Christmas” if that’s appropriate. It could just be a “thank you” for sticking with you.

The point is simple. It’s to remind customers that you care, and you appreciate them. There’s nothing quite like a personalised message to get that across.

It might seem more like customer service than marketing – but there’s crossover there. Marketing is about retaining existing customers as well as reaching new ones. If you get the tone right, you’ll get a lot of goodwill and perhaps some word-of-mouth praise.

Exactly how you do this will depend on the size of your business. If you’ve got a huge customer base, email is probably more practical and affordable than cards. Either way, it might be worth considering something more special for VIP customers.   

2.    Do something for charity

Now we’re moving into more public-facing activity. Do you do or any of your team do any charity work? Christmas is a great time for it, and a great time to highlight it. Even just sponsoring someone else’s charitable work is a good idea.

Why? Well, helping charities is a good thing in and of itself! But also, this is a perfect chance to show your human side. If you’re helping a good cause, tell people.

You could even try a charity challenge with another business – say, a supplier, or anyone you’ve got a good relationship with. This allows you and your competitor to benefit from each other’s reach.

Regular social media updates are a good way to raise awareness, get your message out, and encourage donations. Not only does this paint you in a good light, but it helps the charity too!

3.    Try a competition

Everyone loves a competition. This is a fun way to get some real engagement on social media channels. You don’t need a luxury prize either – something as simple as a hamper is enough to get people interested.

It’s probably best to keep the format simple. It could be a quick quiz question, or a little challenge relevant to your brand. Make sure you sort the practicalities too. Specify how people should enter, and any deadlines.

You also need to consider who can enter. Customers only, or anyone? Businesses or individuals? For B2B, it makes sense to keep it on LinkedIn and have businesses enter. After all, they’re your target audience.

This can gain you a lot of engagement, expand your LinkedIn network, and show your business in a fun light. Make sure you leverage it on social media too – including a picture of the winner with their prize!

4.    Show off your lighter side

We’ll end with a more general point about content that works in the festive season. If business slows down for you at Christmas, there’s not much use in hard-selling products and services. And that’s why we’re returning to a common theme here: humanise your brand!

Do you have a Christmas jumper day? Do you do secret Santa? How about a Christmas party? All of these things can be leveraged for marketing. Just take pictures and put them out in social posts. 

Why? You spend the rest of the year showing that you’re serious professionals who get the job done. Christmas is your chance to show your fun side and a little warmth.

The options are endless!

These are just some of the ideas you can use for B2B marketing at Christmas. Whether you want to humanise your brand, show off your culture or expand your LinkedIn network, Christmas offers the chance. If you’d like some help or advice, get in touch.