The last few months of the year offer a number of opportunities to boost your sales and marketing. Online spending has been increasing steadily year-on-year and due to the nature of shopping in 2020, online spending in the UK was over £18 million, 56 per cent higher than the same period in 2019.
But we’re not just talking about Christmas either – keep in mind that peak shopping season starts in September as we all return back to work and back to school after a well-deserved summer break, and this continues throughout several winter celebrations including Bonfire Night, Halloween, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday.
How prepared are you to be able to capitalise on the inevitable rise in search traffic? Have you prepared your remarketing audience in order to make the most of your PPC spend in the shopping season?
Don’t risk losing out to the competition – follow our step-by-step guide to make sure you are ready to make the most of the winter marketing season.
Revisit last year’s campaign
If you have any data from campaign activity that happened in Q4 or specifically at Christmas last year, then now is the time to resurface it. What worked well for your audience back then? We know how quickly things can change and that the Christmas of 2020 was not the same as 2019, so ask yourself as we enter the end of 2021, what do your customers really want from you?
Review your target audience
This leads us to our next point – get reacquainted with your target audience. Carry out further research to understand how the market has evolved and how their emotional triggers may have changed. Not only this, but how has the business changed?
Customers are now well averse in sourcing everything they need online. In 2019, as well as a rise in the expended spend for food, alcohol, and retail, in Q4 there was also a rise in floor coverings +12 per cent, household goods +19 per cent and hardware paints and glass +36 per cent.
So whatever your industry, check back in with your customer base via surveys and emails to re-discover their needs and expectations from you as a supplier or retailer. These valuable insights will shape your campaigns, your website, and your overall Q4 strategy.
It may seem a long way away, but the end of the year is fast approaching and you need to plan in those key marketing dates to make sure your SEO, PPC, website changes, and marketing campaigns are all aligned and ready for launch.
Here are some key dates for your marketing diary.
- Back to school: 1 September.
- Halloween: 31 October.
- Bonfire Night: 5 November.
- Black Friday: 26 November.
- Small Business Saturday: 27 November.
- Cyber Monday: 29 November.
- Advent begins: 1 December.
- Last posting date: approximately 22 December – check here for when Royal Mail release details.
- Christmas Eve: 24 December.
- Christmas Day: 25 December.
- Boxing Day: 26 December.
- New Year’s Eve: 31 December .
Assess this year’s goals
Are you looking to sell more of a key product line than you did last year? Or as a legal firm are you looking to data capture from your audience in this season so that you can perform targeted email campaigns?
Gather those numbers from last year’s campaigns and assign a target increase to all the areas that matter to your business.
Review your marketing channels
Now that you know what worked, you know what really makes your audience tick. It’s time to make a plan and review your marketing channels.
What new avenues should you be exploring this year and how can you consolidate efforts into the right types of marketing for maximum results? For example, if you are running several different offers throughout the season and tailoring these to different personas, a targeted PPC campaign might provide you the best ROI. For an always-on sales approach – such as selling sofas and soft furnishings in the run up to Christmas – a strong SEO strategy could provide some great results.
Create a message and theme that aligns with all of these
Finally, the fun can start! Gather your creative team and your marketing agency, work through the output from last year, your audience insights, your chosen marketing channels, and start creative brainstorming.
What new site content will attract your audience, from blogs to improved FAQs?
Be bold with advertising hooks to create compelling PPC campaigns guaranteed to convert.
Here’s a great example of creative wordplay from our recent work with our client, Fudge Kitchen:
Data, tracking, and personalisation
This last part is very important. Before anything is made live, make sure that you have all the right tracking and data capture opportunities in place.
If you are looking to include personalisation, check that your tracking is in place from September, in order to build audience data. For effective remarketing to take place, you will need an audience set up already.
If you are offering free quotes or resource downloads, ensure you’re able to effectively capture data and follow up on those leads.
If you’re looking to include email automation in your Christmas and end-of-year campaigns, build a strategy to reactivate and connect with your current audience. For more ideas, check out our guide to email automation here.
If you’d like to know more about supercharging your marketing strategy in time for Christmas, then please get in contact today.