Right now, most of the world is recovering from the back-to-school transition or getting ready for Halloween. But for national brands and digital marketers, now is the time to plan ahead for the holiday season.
1 in 5 retail sales occurs during the holiday season, and according to a 2017 survey by Deloitte, more than 50% of holiday spending now occurs online. An effective digital marketing plan could make the holidays your most profitable time of the year. But without a proper game plan in place, consumers could leave nothing but coal in your stocking.
As you develop your digital marketing strategy for the 2018 holidays, we’ve compiled four tips to help you plan ahead for the season.
Examine Every Touchpoint for Consumers
When planning your digital marketing strategy for the holidays, it’s important to keep in mind that people don’t just spend more at this time of the year — they also spend differently.
Here are three key points to keep in mind for the holiday season:
- Consumers are hunting for great deals and discounts during the holiday season, especially in the time around Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- Many purchases at this time of year are gift purchases for other people, which changes the way purchasers evaluate services and products.
- Shoppers are bombarded by ads and offers during the holidays, making it harder to capture and hold consumer attention at this time of year.
Spread Cheer (and Deals!) Through Social Media
Social media is a great way to build brand awareness and generate sales during the holiday season. So if you don’t already have a November and December content calendar in place, now’s the time to get started.
In terms of paid posts, social media is a great avenue for programmatic marketing during the holidays. (We’ll touch on programmatic ads in a moment.)
Meanwhile, your organic social media efforts over the holidays should include a mix of engagement-friendly seasonal posts, plus offers on seasonal deals and discounts. Healthy engagement metrics are important on platforms like Facebook, so try to post at least two engagement-focused posts for every promotional one.
Harness the Power of Programmatic Marketing
Programmatic marketing is a highly targeted method of digital marketing, and it’s one that’s ideally suited to holiday season.
These campaigns take user-specific data — pages they’ve visited, searches they’ve made, geographic and demographic signals — and then use this data to show users the most relevant ads possible. For example, if a user searched for “winter boots on sale” within the past hour, a programmatic ad campaign can show them an ad for your BOGO offer on snow boots.
Programmatic ads have impressive engagement and conversion rates all year long, but they’re especially effective during the holidays. Consumers are more inclined to make impulse purchases at this time of year, which these types of ads encourage. Programmatic ads are also a great way to recapture users whose purchasing journeys were interrupted partway through — a common issue for holiday shoppers.
Create a Holiday-Focused PPC Strategy
PPC advertising is most effective when consumers are in a purchasing mindset. So, it should come as no surprise that November and December are some of the best (and most competitive) months for PPC marketing.
One of the easiest ways to optimize your PPC campaigns for the holidays is to take existing keywords and add seasonal modifiers. Holiday shoppers will often search for deals and discounts using search terms like “holiday discounts on ________” or “Christmas sale for ________.” When tied to an appropriate seasonal promotion, these types of keywords can be dynamite for holiday retailers.
When planning for holiday PPC campaigns, keep in mind that competition ramps up at this time of year. Keyword bids are higher, and PPC budgets need to be adjusted to accommodate this competition.