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An example of a seasonal campaign using social media to boost awareness

Author's avatar By Expert commentator 05 Dec, 2013
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A case study of a campaign to create a a sustainable online presence for a seasonal brand: Christmas Tree World

When Christmas Tree World initially approached us with grand schemes to conquer the artificial Christmas tree market throughout the year, we knew this project was set to be a campaign our entire digital team could sink their teeth into.

Christmas Tree World came to us looking for a responsive, animated website re-design and a social media and content plan that would generate B2B interest 52 weeks of the year.

As a result, Christmas Tree World proved to be a unique challenge for our digital marketing team, who were duly tasked with generating a campaign that would attract B2B and B2C interest for a late summer re-launch.

Aside from building brand awareness and increasing conversions for Christmas 2013, we also had to establish a strategy to ensure Christmas Tree World was well positioned for the 2014 season.

Four months after launch, and an engaging content plan, successful competition and a carefully managed PPC campaign has helped Christmas Tree World generate impressive sales and achieve high levels of social engagement.

Starting from pencil drawings and wild ideas, the expertise across our development, design and marketing team was fully utilised to create an online presence that was fresh, superior to competitors and sustainable.

Design and Development: Animation, product displays and hand-drawn graphics

Christmas Tree World required a design that would evoke excitement whilst still ensuring the product categories were the main focus of the site.

In order to lend a completely bespoke feel to the site, our designers set about creating hand-drawn illustrations so we could incorporate unique aspects of the Christmas Tree World brand.

  • Custom illustrations were drawn up

These were then transformed to digital through digital colour work and assigned as header and footer artwork.


Bespoke graphics allowed us to bring the client’s vision to life and incorporate the company mascot - can you see the mascot clinging onto a tree?

On the client’s request, an animated graphic that would differentiate the site from competitors was required, so we set about developing some

  • Bespoke coding

We wrote 'bespoke coding' in order to create an animated snowing scene which would remain constant throughout the site.

Our e-commerce platform of choice is unreservedly Magento, so this was a clear choice for a site that would:

  • Require an extensive product display
  • Require bespoke discount codes adding throughout the year
  • Handle a large number of product categories on the site
  • Install a ‘compare’ feature so viewers can shortlist products from individual categories with ease.

With a visually strong site with high usability, we then set about implementing a digital marketing campaign that would create year-on-year revenue growth and position the brand as a market leader in 2014.

The final header, complete with animated moving scene.


Digital Marketing and Consultative PPC: Clean link-profiles and efficient pay-per-click campaigns

As the Christmas Tree World site underwent an entire re-design yet kept the original domain name, a complete link clean up was necessary in order to ensure the new site wouldn’t be tarnished with any historic penalisations.

Our marketing team then set about ensuring tracking and analytics tools were accurately measuring both organic and paid searches and conversions; previously the Google Analytics set-up wasn’t allowing us to see the division of paid and organic. This allowed us to take a critical view of both our SEO efforts and a client-managed PPC campaign.

Drawing on extensive experience with high-budget campaigns, our senior consultant honed an already successful PPC campaign to ensure the budget was achieving maximum efficiency.

Onsite and Offsite Content: Christmas cheer and user-engagement

After initially optimising the site from a technical perspective, we then focused our attention on a detailed content plan which would allow us to generate engaging content prior to the festive period.

User-generated social media campaign

With an onsite blog in place, we applied a user-generated social media campaign to create content that customers actually wanted to read, share and see from a company focused on a theme which naturally generates excitement.

This content consisted of:

  • Regular blog posts, both onsite and through blogger outreach.
  • How-to videos, created in-house after asking what customers wanted us to feature.
  • A design competition ran in conjunction with our agency. This allowed us to approach craft and parenting blogs who could promote the competition for us.

The result was content that attracted high levels of engagement – essentially, our target audience were telling us what they wanted and we responded accordingly.

Social Media: Mascots,competitions and appealing to the audience

In order to achieve high levels of user-engagement and increase brand awareness, a strong competition strategy was required to re-invigorate Christmas Tree World’s previously unmanaged social media channels.

We consequently created a strategy allowing entrants to 'Win Christmas 2013’, a prize that proved to be appealing enough to attract high levels of engagement despite an early launch.

Thunderpenny app and Facebook

Creating a Thunderpenny app with bespoke graphics gave us a professional and easily manageable way of collecting entrants while targeted Facebook advertising allowed us to build up a loyal following of Christmas enthusiasts. The Thunderpenny app additionally gave us a platform to collect contact details for email marketing.


Easy to create and customise, a low-cost Thunderpenny app gave us the opportunity to collect an email marketing demographic.

Once we had attracted high levels of engagement, previous customers began sending in images of products in their homes without any prompting, a gesture which attracted much interest and, consequently, sales.

Freddy the cat Mascot

Christmas Tree World wanted to incorporate their mascot, Freddy the cat, into the branding and social media, so we set about creating a presence for Freddy that would feature his ‘charms’ while not distracting from the customer service aspect of social media.

Not unfamiliar with the concept of company mascots, we chose to create a ‘Freddy Friday’ feature to give a recognisable beacon to Christmas Tree World’s social media strategy. Freddy was given a ‘grumpy cat’ persona and, again, attracted high levels of user-engagement and interaction.

Moving Forward

With Christmas Tree World currently reaping impressive sales via both organic and paid search and a social media presence attracting significant levels of engagement, Christmas Tree World is already well on its way to exceeding sales targets for 2013.

With 218, 122 visits between August 1st 2013 – December 1st 2013, Christmas Tree World have achieved record profits over previous years.

In the New Year, our strategy will focus on ambition preparation, ensuring that we target high profile brands and offer them products and fresh content during the early Summer months

In order to appeal to high-profile sites we’ll be utilising a low budget PR campaign through the winter and spring months to build a range of outreach and product promotion opportunities.

By approaching home and interior design publications and offering products for review and photo-shoot usage, we will secure high-profile coverage for the ‘festive’ period by forging these connections before our competitors. Throughout the Winter and Spring months we will also be using our client’s ‘young entrepreneur’ credentials to target business blogs and start-up publications.

So keep a look-out for Christmas Tree World in the last quarter of 2014; after a year of carefully implemented digital strategy, there’s little doubt Christmas Tree World will be riding high as a market leader - even despite the fact that nobody wants to see Christmas content in June.

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By Expert commentator

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