It’s no secret that the holiday season represents a huge opportunity for online stores. Online holiday shopping is becoming increasingly common among shoppers who are looking for the perfect gift. Many online stores will make most of their sales during this time period so having a carefully planned online marketing strategy for the season is a crucial component to having a successful year.
Creating an effective online marketing plan specific to the holiday season can seem daunting, however it’s a huge opportunity for any business. The competition for advertising inventory is stiff and there are many things that need to be taken into consideration. To make the task less daunting, Hide and Seek has decided to post a guide on how to craft an effective holiday marketing strategy.
Here are 7 tips that will help you create a successful online holiday marketing plan.
1. Plan early !
The key to any successful holiday campaign is thorough planning. And to develop the best plan possible it is important to start as early as possible. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time (This means starting now if you already haven’t). Consumers are aware that packages take more time to get delivered during the holiday season so many will make early online orders. Data shows that people begin their holiday as early as October.
This extra time will also allow you to build audience lists you can then use in the future to build brand loyalty. Tip number 7 will go deeper into how you can build brand loyalty during the season.
2. Look at previous years
Take the time to gather as much information as possible. Look at your data from the last holidays, try to determine what worked and what didn’t. This information is vital in helping you craft the best strategy for your business. Look out for trends or opportunities you might have previously missed out on. Advertising budgets for social and search will need to be adjusted. There will be a surge in search volume and more competition for digital inventory. KPIs will also need to be adjusted. Since costs will increase, you will need to redefine what success looks like during this time period so that expectations are clear.
3. Make sure to hit every important day
Take note of what are the most important days within the holiday season for your audience. You might want to direct certain efforts toward certain days depending on your business. Here are some important days to consider:
- Saint Nicholas: In the Netherlands, Saint Nicholas is one of the most important days of the year. Saint Nicholas happens on the 5th of December and will be the day where the majority of gifts will be exchanged.
- Cyber Monday: Cyber Monday has been gaining a lot of popularity over the last few years. Year after year, online shopping has increased on cyber monday. Online spending will most probably break a new record this year so effectively advertising Cyber Monday deals can be very beneficial.
- Black Friday: Black Friday used to be a significant day for brick and mortar stores, however according to a survey, 45% of consumers reported shopping “all online” or “more online”/“much more online” than in-store. This is 11% more than what the same survey reported in 2019.
- Christmas: Ensure the creation and distribution of ads related to Christmas throughout November and December. Consumers will be on the lookout for gift ideas so ensure that you advertise your products well in advance.
4. Understand the competition
Another thing to consider is your competitors. Have a good understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. Although having a good understanding of your competitor’s strategy is helpful, make sure that the strategy you develop is different. Don’t copy what your competitors are doing. Make sure you have a really well defined target audience and a solid grasp of the channels they use. An early and careful analysis of all these factors will lead you to an educated and successful marketing plan.
5. All channels matter
Be sure to consider all the ways your audience might find your business and your products. Beyond trying to reach new customers, look for ways you can reach your existing customer base with interesting offers. Whether it’s through your Newsletter, Facebook page or Instagram feed, make sure to keep your brand at the top of people’s minds. Regularly leverage any owned media to get your message across but be careful not to over post either. This period is also a great time to experiment with new channels. TikTok has been gaining a lot of traction with younger audiences and offers a relatively low CPMs. This medium represents a huge opportunity to build awareness around your product to an audience that will be asking their parents for presents in the next few weeks.
6. Content is a competitive advantage
When considering paid advertising, it is important to note that the competition will be rude. Many of your competitors will also double down on their advertising so an increase in spending will be required. Another way to beat the competition is through content. Being able to create better content overall can be a major advantage when competing for attention. Try to showcase your products in the best way possible. Create personalized ads that are relevant to specific audiences. Make sure you are considering every way to reach the right audience with the right message at the right time.
Think of ways your ads can stand out and ensure you are advertising any discounts your business might have. You can also create a sense of urgency by creating exclusive offers, limited time offers or reminding customers of final delivery dates. Creating a sense of urgency can be beneficial however you must be careful and avoid creating any false urgency.
7. Actions speak louder than words
The holiday season is about giving back. Doing something positive for others during the holiday season is a great way to maintain a good brand image. There are many good actions businesses can do that leave a positive impact. Last holiday season, businesses and consumers were looking for ways to help each other out.
Try to find ways in which you can offer value to potential customers. Identify potential customers who might have dropped off in the consumer journey (i.e. people who added a product to the cart but did not check out) and offer them a value proposition such as deals or special offers. The holiday season is also a great time to create brand loyalty among your existing customer base. One idea is to support other businesses in your area or partner with them in order to raise money for a good cause. Actions speak louder than words so taking the time to engage in charitable activities is the best way to go above and beyond with your marketing.
Hide and Seek is ready to help your business prepare for the holiday season. Feel free to contact us and set up a meeting to discuss how you can make the best of this season.