The best marketers are the ones who are constantly looking ahead and planning for the future. That’s why, despite summer only recently coming to a close, most marketers are now turning their attentions to their holiday marketing action plan, to ensure that Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year 2016 are their most successful yet.
If you’ve not started your holiday marketing strategy yet, don’t worry – we’ve put together a guide and checklist for you, covering the three main pillars of digital marketing: blogging, social media and paid search. Read on to discover how you can make these marketing avenues work for you this holiday season.
Target: Set yourself a target to work towards and to judge the success of your campaign against. Once you’ve settled on this, you can start working out how you’re going to achieve that goal.
Hook: Come up with an offer or incentive that’s relevant to your campaign – this will hook your audience and will provide the base for your marketing endeavors.
Mobile: Make sure that everything you do in the run-up to this festive season is optimized for mobile. Mobile spending is set to be huge this Christmas, and this is one potential market you don’t want to miss out on.
Landing pages: Prepare landing pages to a) boost conversions and b) provide quality analytics for you to digest when the holiday season is over. Boosting conversions is more than a simple offer code application. Landing pages should match your campaign messaging and feel, as well as having flawless functionality to maximize its potential.
Start to prepare your editorial calendar now. Your blog is one of your business’ most useful and flexible marketing assets, and you can use it to build interest in your products, create share-worthy content, and publicize your own sales and discounts. There are many free tools out there to use online, as well as useful templates to download, such as these from Coschedule, so start making the most of them!
Your focus should be on making your customers happy at this time of year. Consumers spend more at Christmas than at any other time, but most are still looking for bargains. Understanding your customer base and generating ideas for your blog based on their wants will ensure they keep coming back to you for great gift ideas and content.
Update your social media for the festivities
Dress up your social media profiles to ensure they’re ready for the holidays! On Facebook and Twitter, you can change your cover photo to a festive version of your existing picture. For retailers, showing off some of your top products or offers here is a strong way to grab attention right off the bat. You can even be creative with your profile picture and brand logo - just make sure consumers can still recognize you at a glance.
Make sure you promote your blog content and offers on every social media platform you have, and optimize each post visually. Busy consumers looking for gift inspiration are more likely to click on a beautiful image than scrolling through endless text, so make sure your images are attention-grabbing.
Don’t be afraid to let your hair down a little on social media when it comes to Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. Consumers love to see the human side of businesses, so a snap of you pulling crackers in the office or sharing a Thanksgiving meal with your colleagues is sure to enhance your brand’s connection with your audience.
Remember to update your profiles as each holiday passes. There’s nothing worse than having an out of date cover image or status update!
Research has revealed that ad impressions get a 50%+ boost and conversions rates increase by up to 60% over the holiday season – so paid search is certainly worth looking into if you have the budget.
Make sure to budget properly for the entire period leading up to Christmas. You don’t want to overspend or run out of steam in mid-November. Take a look at when your sales and conversions peaked last year, and try to arrange your campaign so that it peaks at a similar time.
With the peak in PPC opportunity comes the potential for high spend, so ensure your keyword strategy is on point before you begin. Don’t waste budget on keywords that historically show less than ideal conversion rates as the media spend these consume may be better spent elsewhere.
If you want to keep your costs low, you can also promote things that don’t necessarily require a click. For example, if you include an offer code or state that there’s free shipping in your ad, your customers will receive the message without needing to click, ensuring that your PPC costs won’t break the bank when it comes to January.
Here's your checklist!
Planning is key for your marketing action plan. With that in mind, here’s your handy holiday pre-flight checklist for all your festive fun…
What have you got in store for your holiday marketing action plan? Let us know in the comments!