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Can your marketing strategy handle the upcoming holiday season?

Now that Halloween is behind us, we’re all looking ahead to the hectic holidays, starting with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, followed closely by Christmas and the new year. Black Friday and Cyber Monday alone brought in UK sales of £5.8 billion last year with £1.2 billion of sales occurring online (Source: Telegraph). Do you have a marketing strategy to bring some of this revenue your way?


Advertising tactics to consider for the holiday season

According to Sale Cycle, brands tend to see a significant increase in consumer spend during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. To make sure you’re a part of this, there are a number of tactics that you could consider to ensure that your brand, products, and services are placed in front of the right people at the right time.

Consumer spending increases significantly on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Many customers are referred to as connected-consumers as they go through an ever-changing number of online and offline touchpoints on different devices to get the information they require. An example of these many touchpoints can be seen along the customer journey below and you’ll want your brand to be visible and engaging every step of the way.

The customer buying journey has multiple stages and touchpoints to consider

Taking these into consideration, you can create an integrated marketing strategy across multiple marketing channels, driving your audience towards a purchase and beyond.

WEBSITE TACTICS

Tailored experiences will be key to maximising your impact, so you’ll want to be armed with as much information about your audience as possible. If you have the right tracking in place on your website, for example, you can see where they’ve come from, what page or product they looked at, where they were searching from, what device they were using, and so much more…

This data is invaluable in anticipating your consumers’ needs and allows you to highlight products or services they might be interested in or update pages where you see most people leaving your site, all in the name of improving user experience and increasing conversions.

SOCIAL TACTICS

A recent survey identified which different digital channels are most important during Black Friday, and it seems that social media has a major role to play.

The importance of different digital channels for Black Friday

We recently shared an A-Z of social media tactics that you might want to use to reach and engage your target audience more effectively.

If, however, you don’t think you’ll have time to brush up on your social media alphabet in time for the holiday season, then paid advertising may be the answer. Paid advertising can help you reach the right audience and generate relevant traffic to your website or social media pages, whatever your key objectives for the season may be.

It was reported that last year Facebook was the social media channel that generated most return on investment. Facebook advertising is extremely targeted – you can ensure only the people in a certain area, demographic, or behaviour pattern see your ads, which means there’s minimal budget wastage. The granularity of Facebook’s targeting options and the variety of advert formats you can choose from mean you can utilise your adverts to reach your audience at various stages in the customer journey – such as to increase brand awareness, drive consideration, and encourage conversion and loyalty.

Facebook brings in the highest level of return of investment

You can also utilise Facebook remarketing to reach people that have visited your Facebook page or your website but left without purchasing or getting in touch with you. Customised messages can be shown to these potential customers to drive them back into the page and encourage conversion.

EMAIL

Going back to our “most important digital channels”, it’s clear that email marketing email is also one of the top channels for reaching consumers, no matter how many times we’re told that “email is dead”.

We recently wrote about modular email and how it allows brands to create marketing emails that stand out for their personalised, relevant content. Depending on how much information you have on your audience, you can create emails that shout about your products and services – or tell the story of your brand – in highly personalised ways, taking into account a subscriber’s demographics, geographical location, previous engagements with your emails, and so on.

Though we all know that brand emails can sometimes get lost in the noise of Christmas, using a modular template to promote your messages for the holidays could have guests looking forward to a brand message with more relevance than they’ve come to expect from other brands.

SEASONAL SEARCH ENGINE TACTICS

Let’s not forget the search engines in the seasonal madness. During the holidays, people will be actively searching for relevant deals rather than waiting for brands to place their products and services in front of them.

Research has shown that 60% of people don’t know the difference between a Google paid ad and an organic listing. This shows enormous potential for reaching the right audience with pay-per-click (PPC) tactics – bidding on specific brand and product-related keywords so that when a consumer goes in search of their present ideas, your brand appears at the very top of the first page of Google.

Conversion rates from PPC are also normally quite high as a result of the increased consumer intent. They already had intent to purchase – and there your ad comes up! From there you just need to guide them to an engaging landing page and encourage them to purchase with a simple and easy user experience. Nothing to it, right?

GOOGLE REMARKETING

Google Remarketing is another great way to reach out to a potential customer if they leave your website without converting. Remarketing ads can continue to grow the brand message or even be more direct with a harder sales message, depending on how much you know about the person being retargeted. For example, have they visited your website multiple times? Have they abandoned their basket with products inside? There’s nothing wrong with showing them that pair of shoes they’ve had their eye on a couple more times… They clearly want them, after all – they might just need a little extra nudge to spend their hard-earned cash.

Remarketing as a tactic encapsulates the entire idea of marketing into one specific method – using Google to keep your brand, product, and services in front of your potential audience at all times, guiding them through the buyer’s journey without them ever feeling like they’re being targeted and sold to. If you see something enough times, it’s only natural that you’re more likely to recall it positively and take the steps to research, consider, and purchase whatever product or service keeps appearing before your very eyes. You’re only human.

Remarketing is an effective way of bringing potential consumers back

GOOGLE DISPLAY NETWORK ADVERTISING

Google Display Network advertising is similar to Google remarketing, but focuses on those who haven’t visited your website yet – but they sit nicely within the target audience for your brand, waiting to be intrigued. These adverts show similarly to the remarketing adverts, i.e. on various different websites, as they target the customers by looking at the criteria you’ve set up in the Google AdWords platform. These adverts work well for creating brand awareness and driving people to visit your website for the first time, and could work well in bringing in new customers throughout the holidays.

Research has also found that customers are twice as likely to recall ads when they’re exposed to those same adverts on multiple devices. Therefore, cross-device marketing tactics are important to ensure you reach your target audience and guide them into the conversion stage, whether they’re browsing on their tablet when commuting to work, using their laptop during a lunch break, or checking their phone while watching TV in the evening. A seamlessly integrated strategy across all key devices will ensure the best results and return on investment.

ARE YOU PREPARED?

And, finally, don’t forget to consider how your website or social media pages are geared to handle the traffic spikes during the holiday season. Do you have the customer service ready to answer online queries? How quickly will your website pages load if the traffic to your site doubles? With the time-sensitive nature of Black Friday and Cyber Monday events there is a risk of losing customers if your servers cannot handle the increase in traffic. A KissMetrics report found that 30% of users would leave the website if it was loading for more than 10 seconds. Make sure it’s not your website they’re leaving, or your social channels they’re waiting for a reply on.

How long are users willing to wait for your website page to load.

Well, we’d love to keep talking about digital marketing tactics until Father Christmas touches down… but we’ve got marketing campaigns to wrap up. Need help getting your own digital strategy ready for the holiday season? Give us a call and we’ll get a hot drink ready (it may or may not be mulled wine)…

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Aiste Rudamine – account director

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