Why You Should Plan Your Christmas Marketing Strategy Now (If You Haven’t Already)
It might seem far too early to be worrying about Christmas. But with 25th December just over two months away, there’s a lot of work to be done if you want to deliver a successful online Christmas marketing campaign this year.
I’ll be honest: I’m one of those people you see on Christmas Eve, fighting fellow last-minute shoppers for the single remaining box of Quality Street. So I was a little alarmed to learn that, according to research, 29 per cent of shoppers plan to start their Christmas shopping before Halloween.
But starting your online Christmas marketing campaign early is not just about targeting the organised shoppers. Consumers’ buying habits are changing rapidly, so you’ll need to develop a carefully thought out strategy that incorporates the full marketing mix. And as with all avenues of paid and organic search, the early bird catches the worm as far as Google is concerned.
This guide will help you devise and implement an integrated online Christmas marketing strategy.
Planning Your Online Christmas Marketing Activities
As with all successful online marketing campaigns, you will need to establish your goals first and think carefully about how you are going to achieve them. You should take all elements of organic and paid search into account, making any required on-site changes, optimising your site for mobile and bringing your Google Shopping feed up to date.
Begin the planning stage of your online Christmas marketing activities now by:
- Forecasting your budget and establishing your KPIs based on historical data
- Creating editorial and promotional calendars to map out Christmas-related content and promotions week by week
- Preparing contingency plans with your workforce or agency in case anything should go wrong
It is important to develop a structured seasonal calendar that brings all your online marketing ideas for Christmas together in a coherent manner. This will help you ensure that everyone is on the same page as far as content and promotions are concerned, and that the relevant people are ready to take action as soon as any problems arise.
Promoting Your Christmas Merchandise
Once you have a Christmas marketing strategy in place, you need to make sure your festive product pages are well optimised and easy to find.
- Create a Christmas category on your site for seasonal and bestselling products
- Check that all product descriptions and meta data in this section are clear and well optimised, with up-to-date pricing and delivery information
- Ensure that you’re making the most of seasonally-relevant keywords
- Align your ads with your promotional calendar
- Prioritise your Christmas and top performing products, focussing on the keywords that bring the most volume
These activities should give you a good foundation from which to further develop your online Christmas marketing campaign.
Building on Your Seasonal Marketing Strategy
Now that you have the basics down, you will need to fine-tune your seasonal marketing campaign to cater for the ongoing shift in consumers’ buying habits. Target mobile and tablet users with mobile-optimised pages, and by increasing location bids for searches occurring close to a store location.
You should also look to maximise the relevance of your ads by drawing more attention to those with extensions, such as sitelinks and callout extensions. In particular, highlight seasonal promotions and products with local inventory ads or product ratings to accentuate your credibility and set yourself apart from the competition.
Continually monitor your spend to make sure you’re not going over budget, and ruthlessly prioritise your high performing campaigns for as targeted a strategy as possible. If you find that you need more volume, target easy wins; if you’re underpacing, up your bids on keywords that deliver high profits but have low impression share.
Delivering a successful seasonal marketing strategy is by no means simple. It involves meticulous planning, implementation and analysis, as well as a good degree of flexibility. If you start to feel snowed under, just remember that all the hard work will soon pay off and before you know it, it’ll all be over – well, at least for another year.
If you would like some assistance with your online Christmas marketing strategy, contact Zelst today. We have been helping small businesses to bring their Christmas marketing ideas to fruition for many years, and will work closely with you to create a detailed strategy that is tailored to your business goals. Call 01423 701711 or browse our website for further information on our services.