It’s never too early to start planning, and the holiday season is unlike any other time of the year, brimming with opportunities for businesses to connect with customers and drive sales. If you’re aiming to capitalize on this lucrative period, you need to plan your advertising strategy meticulously. Here’s a checklist to ensure that your holiday advertising is prepped for success.
1. UNDERSTAND YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
- Analyze Demographics: Understanding the age, gender, location, and interests of your audience will allow you to tailor your marketing message effectively.
- Identify Their Needs: Uncover what your customers want and how they want to be reached during the holidays.
2. SET CLEAR GOALS AND KPIs
- Determine Objectives: What do you hope to achieve with your holiday advertising? More traffic, sales, brand awareness? Consider using a blend and attaching percentages to each layer in the marketing funnel to organize your marketing spend budget.
- Establish KPIs: Set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your campaign. Be ambitious, but realistic!
3. DEVELOP YOUR UNIQUE SELLIING PROPOSITION (USP)
- Identify What Sets You Apart: Highlight what makes your product or service unique. This is so important, and no, “excellent customer service” (in most cases) isn’t the primary value to your business.
- Create Value-Oriented Messages: Communicate how customers benefit from choosing your brand. This can be as easy as outlying the features and benefits of a product or service your company offers.
4. CREATE A CONTENT CALENDAR
- Plan Ahead: Develop a calendar detailing when and where you will release your holiday content. Consistency is key here.
- Include Various Channels: Diversify your approach by including social media, email, blogs, and more and outline/understand how each will marry to the other for a cohesive marketing strategy that isn’t inundating to the consumer.
5. OPTIMIZE FOR MOBILE
- Responsive Design: Ensure that your advertising content is mobile-friendly. The best way is ensuring that your website is responsive in its design (allowing the website to display in a user-friendly way on desktop, tablet, and most importantly, mobile devices).
- Use Mobile Advertising Platforms: Leverage platforms like Google Ads to target mobile users specifically.
6. PERSONALIZE YOUR ADVERTISING
- Utilize Customer Data: Tailor your content and offers based on individual preferences and past purchase history. Advertising that states the consumer’s first name has higher conversion rates.
- Create Segmented Email Campaigns: Divide your email list into different segments to send personalized messages. This can be quite a heavy lift, but it’s well worth the time. Unsubscribes are at high right now and you can’t afford to lose a consumer’s subscription because you’re placing content in from of them that they’re not interested in.
7. ENGAGE WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
- Build a Social Media Presence: Connect with your audience through engaging posts and advertisements. Consider using a social content management platform to achieve this.
- Utilize Influencer Marketing: Collaborate with influencers that resonate with your brand and audience. Influencers do not have to have national recognition. Find local and regional influencers that you can tap into!
8. OFFER EXCLUSIVE DEALS AND PROMOTIONS
- Create Limited-Time Offers: Use urgency to motivate customers to act quickly. If supplies are limited, state that! It only lends to the sense of urgency you’re trying to create.
- Promote Gift Ideas: Provide solutions to common holiday shopping challenges. Consumers love ideas on gifts to purchase for their families, partners, children, etc.!
9. TRACK AND ANALYZE PERFORMANCE
- Use Analytics Tools: Leverage tools like Google Analytics to keep track of your campaign’s performance. And if you don’t have Google Analytics set up on your website, set it up now!
- Adjust as Needed: Be prepared to make real-time changes based on the data you collect. But be patient here! You need to allow time for the campaign to run and gather data for you to analyze and adjust to. Typically, a campaign needs to run for an absolute minimum of two weeks to exit its learning phase and really start generating performance data for you.
10. PROVIDE EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE
- Offer Multiple Support Channels: From chatbots to helplines, make sure customers can reach you with ease. Some consumers like to communicate behind a keyboard, and others want to speak over the phone. Understand your consumer’s habits and cater to them.
- Prepare for Increased Traffic: Ensure that your team is ready to handle a potential influx of customer inquiries. Nothing is worse than not being prepared and providing a poor consumer experience. Why? Because reviews of businesses during the holiday season increases rather heavily, so don’t get stuck on the end of a bad review!
The holiday season is a bustling time for shoppers and marketers alike. By following this checklist, you’re positioning your business to tap into the holiday cheer and translate it into tangible results. Remember, preparation is key, and understanding your audience, setting clear goals, personalizing your approach, and tracking your performance will ensure that your holiday advertising resonates with potential customers.
Whether you’re a small business just starting with online advertising or a seasoned marketer, these steps can guide you to make the most of the holiday season. Plan, execute, analyze, and enjoy the success that follows!