There's six weeks until Christmas Day.
Quicker than you can say Bah! Humbug, the Christmas tress will be up, we'll be opening the doors on our advent calendars and people will be waiting for hours outside Aldi to get this years' Kevin the Carrot soft toy.
Christmas is the busiest time of year for most businesses, especially those in the hospitality and retail sectors. According to the independent, consumers are set to spend an average of £363 on Christmas gifts for their family this year and when it comes to starting the Christmas shopping, The Retail Times say that people in the UK begin researching what to buy 5.7 weeks before Christmas (mid-November) and 4.8 weeks before Black Friday (mid-October).
This means you should have your Christmas marketing plan in place now. If you haven't, don't panic. We can go through it together.
Revisit the ghost of Christmas past.
Your first port of call should be to look at last years reports. What marketing activity got you the best results, what products sold best and on what dates? Aim for a percentage increase on sales of those same products this year. Did social media adverts get you more conversions than Google ads? If they did, you should look to run more social media adverts this year.
Now create a timeline of key dates and opportunities that you want to utilise. If you want to take part in Black Friday for example, you should be thinking about marketing your Black Friday sale now.
Next create personas of your existing customers. Creating personas will help you better understand what marketing techniques work best for different audiences. Here are a few questions you could ask yourself to help you build personas:
- Where do your existing customers live?
- How much are your average transaction costs?
- How many times do your customers visit your website before buying your products?
Thinking about the ghost of Christmas present.
Now that you know who your ideal customers are and you have SMART objectives to achieve you can start planning this years' marketing.
- Social media adverts will help you to drive traffic to your website and can increase leads/sales.
- PPC Google Ads is a great way to get infront of people who are actively searching for products like yours. Use the keyword planner to find the most relevant search terms and embed those into your ad copy.
- Have you ever visited a website, then gone onto social media and seen an advert for the same product you were just looking at? That's because the company had a pixel installed on their website. Using a pixel will allow you to keep showing your products to people who you know are interested in your products.
- Organic Social media start to ramp up how often you're posting on social media, remembering the 80/20 rule. 80% of your posts should be useful and 20% sales. Any more than that and it's likely that your customers will get bored of your 'constant selling' and be put off from following you. It can be very useful to use social media scheduling tools like Hootsuite to make sure you have a consistent flow of content going out.
- It can take between three to six months for you to really see the benefits of SEO so you may have missed the boat for this year but making sure you've embedded the right keywords into your webcopy won't hurt though.
- Don't forget about the traditional media. It's interesting, human stories that will get their attention. Start collating a list of journalists from local newspapers and radio stations you'd like to get in touch with and start drafting press releases.
No matter what marketing channels you use, remember to test your text, graphics and videos first and keep your optimised campaign consistent across all platforms. Also make sure you've got your Google Analytics account configured so you can track all of your data in one place.
Information for the ghost of Christmas yet to come.
The main benefit of digital marketing over other forms of marketing like out-of-home or flyers is the amount of data it gives you. Keeping a record of this years data will help you to build a robust evaluation which you can then use as a basis for next years campaign.
That's a lot to think about isn't it? If you need help with any of the above feel free to get in touch, our grotto is always open.