We need to talk Christmas! It’s time to build your Christmas Online Marketing Plan. Many online retailers are already focused on this period and even beyond it.
For many businesses, the holiday season can contribute a significant proportion of revenue to their total annual sales. It is therefore critical to get your online marketing right for this important time of year!
Follow our 6-step online marketing checklist to get it right!
With the right planning and a 6 Step Christmas Online Marketing Plan, the holiday period can be a huge success for your business and here are the steps to help you on your way.
1. Marketing Plan
Spend some time planning out your marketing for the rest of the year – 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 around Black Friday so ensure that your emails are targeted to segmented groups and, as with all marketing, relevant to your audience.
If you are building up a customer database or email marketing list, make sure you have an automated flow for new subscribers so they get the latest offers.
If you are an online retailer, now is the time to tidy up your product catalogue and ensure everything is functioning correctly, especially your check-out and abandon cart flow. If you are using Shopify, see if you are eligible to use their new ‘One Page Checkout‘ as speedy checkout is definitely a win. Set up Apple Pay, Klarna, Shop Pay so customers have payment choices.
Make sure your 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 Meta 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.
- 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.
- 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 Meta Business Suite‘s own scheduling tool which is really easy to use.
6. Paid Social Advertising
Work out your advertising budget and what products are best for you to promote based on popularity, stock levels and revenue opportunity. Start building up audiences in October for retargeting later and test different offers over short periods of time to see what works best.
- Paid Social Advertising budgets – be prepared for CPMs/CPCs to rise dramatically as competition in the auctions increases. The big players have huge budgets and some businesses who don’t have an offer may decide to dip out for a few days over the Black Friday weekend.
- Offers and Discounts – decide on whether you can offer a discount. Many companies will offer 15-50% off over Black Friday but for some businesses this is unrealistic. Consider a ‘gift with purchase’ for added value instead if possible.
- Google Advertising – If you are using Google advertising, increase your bids over the holiday period to ensure visibility and update keywords and copy to reflect relevant search terms. If using Performance Max campaigns update budgets and target ROAS goals to suit your budget.
Do you know the key e-commerce shopping dates in the run up to Christmas 2023? I have compiled a handy list for you:
- 10-11th October – Amazon Prime Day
- 31st October – Halloween. Now a larger retail day than Valentine’s Day
- 24th November – Black Friday. Historically a US shopping holiday and viewed as the start of the holiday shopping season.
- 25th November – Small Business Saturday. Celebrating and supporting small businesses.
- 27th November – Cyber Monday. Another US shopping tradition after Thanksgiving, often used for sale hunting.
- 14th December – Free Shipping Day. To encourage online sales ahead of the last minute rush.
- 20th/21st December – Probably the last posting day for most businesses due to the weekend.
- 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!
Don your Christmas jumper to get you in the mood and happy planning! I wish you a successful Christmas!
If you need help with your Paid Advertising planning, get in touch via the Contact page.