It's about that time when businesses are preparing or have already rolled out their festive themed ads and promotions in hope of attracting new customers taken in by the Christmas spirit. This period of the year is undoubtedly one of the biggest opportunities to maximise sales growth, but how can you achieve this without having to spend more than your planned marketing budget?
'tis the season to... maximise sales & conversions from your festive marketing! ⛄ ?
Whether you're under pressure from your boss to hit your annual targets, or just fancy switching your tactics up for your festive marketing activity - our guide has the answers you need.
According to Google, 61% of shoppers would consider purchasing from a new retailer during the holiday period, and 46% did during the 2017 holiday season. Proof that the opportunity exists to be taken advantage of, but you need to make sure you're ahead of the game, with more organised, creative and engaging marketing campaigns.
Here are our tips to reach your target audiences and start driving your conversions and sales over the Christmas period:
1. Get ahead of the game.
Let's start with the basics... If you haven't already started planning, you should, now! You should be planning your Paid, Owned and Earned festive campaigns well in advance to ensure that you've covered every channel and so that you launch your campaigns on time. When planning your campaigns, you need to know:
- What your KPIs are
- Who your target market is
- What media channels to use to reach this target market
- How much budget you'll need
- The objective of each campaign
While this may seem obvious, you can never play down just how important the planning stage is! 'Winging it' will put you on your bosses naughty list, not just Santa's... Plus, do you really think Santa manages to fly around the world on a sleigh in one night without a detailed plan?
2. Measure your efforts.
How else will you know if your campaign has been a success?
You'll want to measure your ROI and track your KPIs. This is valuable data that will allow you to adjust and optimise your campaigns as they go on based on performance. You should always use this data when you begin to plan for the following year's festive campaigns!
For example, your KPIs over the holiday period may be different to your usual metrics, so your reporting needs to reflect this - otherwise how will you justify the impact that your strategy had? There are different ways to measure, from easy to complex:
- Google Analytics Custom Campaign Tracking Parameters - setting these up with a unique naming convention will allow you to isolate results from this campaign in the future.
- Data Studio - this free product is part of the Google stack, as a result it easily integrates with a number of familiar data sources. This means you can quickly set up some very impressive dashboards, integrating all your data sources into a single point of truth!
- Attribution Reporting - understanding the efforts from your seasonal activity and the impact this may have had on other channels can be really useful to plan future campaigns. Many reporting platforms offer some sort of attribution reporting nowadays, a good place to start is the model comparison tool in Google Analytics but for advanced client analytics we use Campaign Manager (within the Google Marketing Platform).
- Data Profiling - if you were hoping to attract a different audience, you can see if the campaign had that effect, by profiling your audience after the campaign has run and the sales cycle has been completed and then use this longer term to determine lifetime value of customers attracted through seasonal offers / campaigns. Once again Google Analytics can come to the rescue,compare data from the demographics and interests report to understand what user types are visiting your site.
3. Be lazy - Automate!
Modern day CRM and CMS systems allow you to automate various parts of your campaigns, saving you precious time that you can use to work on other aspects of your campaign.
In fact, you can automate just about everything:
- Smart Bidding Strategies (Check out our guides and tips below)
- Social media campaigns
- Email campaigns
- Digital ads
- Web and marketing analytics
There's no shame in taking the easy route, automation is there to make your life easier. Just make sure your creative, designs, copy and ads are up to scratch before you do so!
4. Themed ads get more attention. ?
Be sure to create holiday themed ads that are going to resonate with your target audience. Consumers want to feel the Christmas spirit during the holiday season. This also makes your ads and content more eye-catching, increasing engagement and the likelihood of a conversion.
Think about the ads you still remember that would've been around at Christmas time. There are some great examples knocking around, surely you remember the Coca-Cola Christmas truck?
You don't need a brand budget or TV campaign to have an impact or create conversation amongst your target audience - our 12 days of donkeys Christmas campaign for The Donkey Sanctuary is a great example of showcasing the same product (donkey adoptions from the programme) but using a Christmas theme to maximise noise in a key period and attract more supporters via this programme.
5. Santa can't deliver this for you...
Create and publish interesting, useful and themed content for your target audience, be sure to include any promotions or special offers that might tempt them into purchasing! This could include blogs, infographics, downloadable content - anything that you think will resonate with your target audience.
Establish the channels that your target market use most often and customise your content to promote on these social media channels, even establish a hashtag to use with all your festive posts so that users can find your content more easily.
You should be promoting your content organically and anything you feel would generate a lot of engagement with your target audience can be promoted through paid media to maximise reach and conversions.
Also, tell your stories through PR; you want customers to know about any special deals or new products you have available so make sure you get these out there!
There are tactical ways you can promote seasonal or time sensitive offers (e.g.) last posting dates, discount codes, offer pages on site without spending additional budget! Ad Extensions within your PPC campaigns can get great visibility, especially on brand ads where competition is lower, and this gives you more opportunity to show your time-sensitive offers to boost site visits and conversion.
6. Your website is your temple.
Make sure that your site is in the best shape of its life! Ensure the loading speed is quick and that your site offers a great UX. Research shows that 57% of visitors will abandon a page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, so you need to ensure your website is rapid (https://conversionxl.com/blog/11-low-hanging-fruits-for-increasing-website-speed-and-conversions/).
If you’re loading speed and UX is not user satisfactory, you’ll lose potential users / customers to your competitors who may offer a better and quicker experience.
Also, think about potential bandwidth during peak traffic times – if you are in retail and expecting high numbers of site visitors, you don’t want your site to go down and lose you valuable conversions to a competitor… get a handle on what happened last year and plan for all eventualities. There are tools out there that allow you to throttle traffic volumes to save your servers from getting killed, for example, Cloudflare.
Check out website development blogs and free content containing top tips and guides to improving your website performance, just click the links below:
- 5 tips to turbocharge your website
- 7 Deadly Sins of Website UX
- Form Validation - The Sin Destined to Send You to UX Hell
- 5 tips for AMP success
If you would like to gain insight as to where you can improve your website UX, get in contact with us regarding our FREE website UX audits.
7. Be humble – assess where you could have done better
You should assess the positive and negative outcomes of your campaigns, identify the KPIs that weren’t met and the ones that were. Identify content that flopped, assess whether your site speed was acceptable, if an ad didn’t perform, what was the reason?
This way you can establish how to improve your next campaign and the following years festive activity.