2018 Christmas Online Marketing Checklist

For many small businesses, the holiday season can contribute a significant proportion of revenue to the total annual sales. It is therefore critical to get your online marketing right for this important time of year! Follow our online marketing checklist to get it right!

I really don’t want to be talking Christmas already, but many online retailers are already focused on this period and even beyond it.

With the right planning, the holiday period can be a huge success for your business and here are 5 steps to help you on your way.

Social media is one part of an online marketing plan and I will give you detailed tips to help with that but remember it is important to focus time on all parts of your online marketing.

 

1. Marketing Plan

Spend some time planning out the next few months – this will not be time wasted.

Focus on how much time and budget you have to put behind this seasonal push. If you plan to spend money on advertising, how much will your budget be and what platforms are best to reach your target audience? Plan your resources over the period and whether you need to recruit more help or outsource some work.

Spend some time setting some realistic and measurable goals for your business, basing them on previous holiday seasons where possible.

 

2. Email Marketing

Email marketing can be a great way of reaching your audience, but it is often over-used so ensure that your emails are targeted to segmented groups and, as with all marketing, relevant to your audience. If you have a customer database or email marketing list, make sure you are GDPR compliant when contacting them.

 

3. Website

If you are an online retailer, now is the time to tidy up your website, clean up your product catalogue and ensure everything is functioning correctly.

Conduct an audit of your website and work through repairing broken links and ensuring your SEO is up to date. Use relevant search terms in your content and ensure they appear in your tags and on the page.

Make sure your opening hours, contact details, returns information and delivery commitments are up to date and that the site images are reflecting the holiday season.

 

4. Blog & Content Creation

If you have a blog page, now is the time to write some interesting content for your website, especially before you get too busy with orders! This content can be used on social media posts to drive people to your site all through the months up to Christmas so use it to promote your products or ideas.

Think about producing gift guides for him/her/kids, beauty guides to get you through Christmas party season or holiday recipes. Create whatever content is most relevant for your business and which will add value to your customer.

 

5. Social Media

Christmas is a great time to engage with your audience and customer base. Inject some festive fun into your posts and make sure you are on top of increased activity on posts and on direct messages. Increasingly people are using social media as the main communication with retailers so make sure you check your notifications regularly. Social media, as you know can be time-consuming but is definitely a great way of getting your message and product information out to your customer base.

 

  • Focus on your target audience – make sure you know your customer inside-out. Check Google Analytics and Facebook Insights to fully understand your customer demographics and establish how people are finding or reaching your e-commerce website. Focus your time and budget on that audience and check you are using the right social media platforms for your business. If a platform isn’t driving sales but you like using it, you may be wasting important time over this festive period.

 

  • Plan your advertising – Work out your advertising budget and what products are best for you to promote based on popularity, stock levels and revenue opportunity.

Take time to test copy and creative for your ads so every penny is well spent.

 

  • Facebook Advertising – Check you have the Facebook Pixel installed on your website, so you can use the full targeting functionality in Facebook Advertising.

Set up custom and lookalike audiences on Facebook Advertising for different product sets and customer groups. Facebook Advertising can be used across Instagram and the wider Audience Network if you are looking to grow your reach.

 

  • Google Adwords – If you are using PPC advertising, increase your bids over the holiday period to ensure visibility and update keywords and copy to reflect relevant search terms.

 

  • Build a content calendar – plan your social media content around the key shopping dates and generate new interest in your products by planning a good mix of relevant created and curated content.

Share interesting content like gift guides and stress-free Christmas ideas to ensure your audience is not just bombarded with Christmas commercialism.

Think about running a Christmas competition to increase engagement around one of your best-selling items. Just be sure to check the platform rules around competitions and follow them.

Use your posts to keep people up to date with the latest products and generate interest in best-sellers and trending products.

 

  • Scheduling – Social Media posts can be planned ahead using one of the many scheduling tools out there. Write your posts in advance and have them ready to post when you know you will be busy. This will save you a lot of time and stress. If you have never used a scheduler, try Facebook’s own scheduling tool which is really easy to use. Other companies like Buffer, Hootsuite and ContentCal has free plans for entry-level users.

 

Key Shopping Days 2018:

Do you know the key dates in the run up to Christmas – I have compiled a list for you to plan around:

  • 1st October – Buy British Day. Launched by Best of Britannia in 2014 to promote British retailers and producers
  • 31st October – Hallowe’en. Now a larger retail day than Valentine’s Day
  • 23rd November – Black Friday. Historically a US shopping holiday and viewed as the start of the holiday shopping season.
  • 26th November – Cyber Monday. Another US shopping tradition after Thanksgiving, often used for sale hunting.
  • 1st December – Small Business Saturday. Celebrating and supporting small businesses.
  • 15th December – Free Shipping Day. To encourage online sales ahead of the last minute rush
  • 25th December – the Big Day. Often online sales are seen starting now.
  • 26th December – Boxing Day. Seen by the majority as the start of the sales on and offline.

 

By spending some time now on our festive online marketing checklist, you will be well on your way to a successful Christmas period for your business!

Grab yourself a festive tipple to get you in the mood and happy planning! I wish you a successful Christmas!

xx

Susie Smith – Social Media Consultant

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