Whether or not you like that the Christmas decorations are already on display in shopping centres, it’s undeniable that the festive season is just around the corner. And we come bearing the gift of good advice.
Here are what we consider to be the 5 most important steps to maximise the return for your business in the upcoming festive season.
1. Analyse Past Data
Take the guesswork out of what strategy you should pursue by tracking the success of previous years’ campaigns. You should adapt your strategy based on:
- Your bestseller
- The busiest days of trade and website traffic
- Which social channel had the most engagement
- Where website traffic came from
- Which campaigns were most successful, and which you are yet to try
Looking at Google trends, it’s actually in November that we first see a big spike in searches for “Christmas sales” or “Christmas gift ideas”. If that’s when people are going online to start buying gifts, then that’s when you want your business to capitalise on those searches.
“As it nears Christmas day the pressure increases to get the shopping done, so be the easiest and most attractive option.”
2. Adapt Your Digital Advertising Channels
Now that you understand what’s been successful in the past, you can adjust your plan of attack this festive season. Consider all major digital marketing channels and how each of them could work for your campaigns.
Social Media— This is obviously hugely important during the festive period. Why? Because this is how most people will find out about your promotions and be inspired by the products that look cool, are trending, and are on sale.
Retargeting— Potentially one of the most effective strategies as you will be retargeting those who have engaged with your brand throughout the year, and are now ready to buy. As it nears Christmas day the pressure increases to get the shopping done, so be the easiest and most attractive option.
Search Advertising— Primarily via GoogleAds, which appear when you are searching. As we already know, people use Google to inspire their Christmas gift ideas, so it makes sense to ramp up your paid visibility on this channel. Of course, every other business thinks the same. You might find you need to bid more aggressively during the festive period.
Blog— Tailor your blog to be holiday focussed (just like this one!) And be sure to feature links to your relevant promotions or services.
Email Marketing— We know the importance of email marketing, and how emails are a great way to communicate your promotions. The best bit is? You can write them out weeks before you hit send. Even if it’s just to wish your clients happy holidays!
3. Plan Your Promotions
There are a whole lot of promotional campaigns you can use across your digital channels to engage customers and promote your products. Here are just a few ideas:
- Flash sales
- Advent calendars
- Free shipping for this period
- 10 days of Christmas (a different promotion for each of the 10 days leading up)
- Pre-Christmas Boxing Day sales, New Year sales, or any other excuse for a sale
- Combo gift deals
- Free holiday gift wrapping to boost conversion
- Secret Santa sales sent as email promotions
You might use one, or five, but definitely don’t use zero. Everyone is ready to spend money and they want to get a deal, so maximise your return with promotions.
“Preparation is key. But if you’re on top of it, the return on the festive period can be massive.”
4. Create a Campaign Calendar
This is a crucial step to your festive season digital marketing plan. If you haven’t used a campaign calendar before, then you are missing out on the sweet feeling of successful organisation. It works the same as an advent calendar, except instead of plastic-tasting chocolates, each day you get a plan of action and a scheduled social media post.
A campaign calendar manages promotion dates, updates to graphics and banners on your website, scheduling posts and changes, and is crucial in a time that can be overwhelmingly busy.
A handy tip: dates for ending promotions are just as important as starting them. You don’t want to get to the new year and still have an old ad running.
5. Conduct a Website Audit
Leading up to the festive period is the ideal time for a serious audit of your website’s functionality.
Are there any dead links? Is the SEO of your festive blogs fully optimised? Are all your pages optimised? You’ll likely receive way more traffic than usual, so are you sure your website can handle it?
According to Google, 30% of users expect the page to load in a second or less. And 61% of customers who visit a store that isn’t mobile-friendly will go to a competitor’s site. So your site definitely needs to be optimised for mobile, and it also needs to be fast.
Preparation is key. But if you’re on top of it, the return on the festive period can be massive.
To make sure everything is perfectly prepared and tied together with a red bow, reach out to the experts who have already been through a few festive seasons, and know how to get the best results for your business.