The holidays are a time of coming together, celebration, and — for brands — exponential sales growth.
Ready to get festive? Here’s what you need to know (and do) to ensure your digital marketing plan is fully prepared to make the most of the festive season.
Create a Calendar
There’s more to preparing for the festive season than marking December 25th in your calendar. Do your research and consider every single holiday that could present a chance for your brand to run a campaign.
The different kinds of holidays you can take advantage of throughout the festive season include:
- Black Friday
- Cyber Monday
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day
Remember, seasonal sales start well before the actual holidays. Keep a separate list or calendar to keep track of these holidays and plan around them accordingly.
Create an Action Plan for Each of Your Digital Marketing Channels
Whether it’s Google Ads, Facebook advertising, AdRoll, organic social media promotions, or even platform advertising like Taboola, every single one of your digital marketing channels should be utilised in your festive campaigns.
Depending on the platform, you or your marketing agency should plan what kind of campaigns you’ll be running, the goals for each of them, and how they should look.
Maybe that means nurturing an email marketing campaign to drive traffic to your website for sales, or increasing social media engagement through a giveaway.
“You can’t expect to get instant results or easy results just because it’s Christmas”
Whatever it may be, have a clear view of what you want to achieve, where you want to execute it, and what each step towards that goal looks like. Be sure to check what your competitors are doing and use this as a launching off point for your own ideas.
You’ll also want to ensure your advertising budget is sufficient for whatever festive period you’re targeting, and make sure you’re set up to monitor campaign performance and measure results on a daily basis.
Remember, these are short campaigns, so making quick, data-driven decisions is vital.
Prepare Your Website and Marketing Tools
The holiday season is chaotic, but that doesn’t mean your marketing strategy has to be.
Ensure your eCommerce plugins are up to date, your hosting is secure and stable, and your website is generally prepared to handle an influx of traffic.
Create dedicated landing pages to direct traffic from ad campaigns that leave the user no room for guessing.
Going to be running email marketing? Automate your campaign to better target users and encourage them to engage with your brand during the festive season.
“ Your customers don’t just appreciate getting their orders in time for the holidays— they expect it.”
Running search and display campaigns? You can adjust and automate those, too. Smart bidding strategies like Target CPA or Target ROAS let Google automatically set bids for you, and you can also apply seasonality adjustments. These will help performance during short-term events that you expect will significantly change your conversion rate (such as holidays).
For example, you can let Google know that you expect conversion rates to increase by 40% during Cyber Weekend, and the automatic bidding will take that into account for the dates you specify.
You can use ad extensions to promote sales or add season-related messages if you don’t have time to write a full set of new ads. Callout extensions can add brief messages to your ads, promotion extensions show the deal you have on for a specific product or service, and site link extensions can direct users to the sale page on your website.
Make sure your keyword list is up to date, too. You might want to broaden your reach with additional keywords if you have a particularly attractive sale running. Keywords involving phrases like “sale” or “Kris Kringle ideas” could be worth adding depending on what you offer.
Utilise Your Database
You can’t expect to get instant results or easy results just because it’s Christmas. You have to put in the work earlier in the year by growing your database and generating engagement.
Once you’re there, use customer lists and remarketing lists to reach the right people. You can add these to your campaigns so that your ads are targeting people who are likely to convert during a sale or specific time of year.
“Have a clear view of what you want to achieve, where you want to execute it, and what each step towards that goal looks like.”
For example, you could use a list of people who purchased on your site last December for your Christmas-related ads this year.
Finally, don’t forget to notify your audience of shipping cutoff dates and times via your website, social media, and email. Your customers don’t just appreciate getting their orders in time for the holidays— they expect it.