It’s that time of year again, the time that often defines a businesses entire year; and digital marketing is a big part of that!

One third of shoppers are doing their shopping even before Halloween hits (I happen to be one of “those people”).  If you haven’t planned your digital marketing campaigns yet, you might miss out on your best season yet.

1. Prep your campaign – it’s all in the planning folks!

Start conceptualizing and building your campaigns before the wave of the holiday’s start rolling. Build your campaigns one at a time, with clear goals, key performance indicators (KPI’s) and enough time for your brand to resonate with your target audience for the biggest ROI.

WORK SMART. Start by planning with the end in mind. Be specific with your campaigns. Know what KPI’s you want to follow and know what outcomes you expect.

Make sure your promotions are measurable. The best thing about digital marketing is the ability to track, assess and revise as you go. Be realistic with your goals and make sure all your campaigns are achievable.

Relevance is key. All your efforts should be relevant to your business objectives, the season and the business goals. If you’re planning on your initiatives early enough then your projects should be within a good timeframe. Set specific dates to have creative and content done so your campaigns are ready to go when the time is right.

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2. Target new customers

Looking for new customers can be a challenge. Hopefully you have a business plan and you know who your primary (and secondary) target audience is. Knowing who your perfect customer is, where they are and what their interests are (just to name a few), is key.

Showing appreciation for your existing customers shouldn’t be dismissed, but finding new customers to do business with simply means growth. Digital marketing to your demographic doesn’t always mean just one medium. It usually means several so make sure you understand your options and what is going to work best for you.

Facebook advertising can be extremely effective because you can target your ideal customer through:

  • age
  • gender
  • location
  • interests
  • behaviours

… for as little as $10/day if your in a smaller, or very specific demographic. Comparatively speaking, you can create a Facebook ad for a month for the same price as a traditional piece (newspaper, magazine, radio etc) for a day or week.

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3. Know what’s trending

Shopping is 24/7 in this digital age and about 75% is done via mobile. Some shoppers spend many hours researching gift giving ideas… Pinterest is a popular platform for ideas and creativity plus plays a major commerce role despite a relatively small user base. The pinning platform drives 16% of overall social revenue. Amazon is a resource that can often save people time and money. According to SocialMediaToday, 81% of people’s buying decisions are influenced by their friends’ social media. According to Hubspot, consumers are 71% more likely to buy something based on social media referrals and according to the Business Insider, Facebook accounts for 50% of total social referrals and 64% of total social revenue.

Don’t be fooled by Instagram’s popularity. Understand that, from a business marketing perspective, this platform is best used for brand awareness.  It does continue to evolve, however, so I think it will get more and more useful.

The holiday season is a big one for retailers, so make sure your campaign stands out. Make sure it’s professionally branded and executed and targets your ideal customer in the most efficient way.

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4. What’s working and what’s not

It’s all about testing and your history will greatly influence your future. Every single time you do a campaign you should understand what worked and what didn’t. Sometimes this can be a bit difficult but that’s why there’s ‘split testing’. When you split test an ad, make sure your differences aren’t huge so you can really understand what’s working better. Don’t be afraid to split test creative only in one campaign, and then copy in another.

If it’s not creative or copy, look at your campaign objectively and ask yourself if the campaign really speaks to your target audience, or if it’s something your target audience is really interested in. It’s also important to ask yourself if you’ve used the right mediums to reach your audience.

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Bonus Pro Tips

Too often businesses neglect their digital presence and then panic to get things working at this time of the year.

Maintaining your creative and content schedule keeps your brand rolling all year ’round. When the fall ‘push’ comes, you’re already in the forefront of your audience’s mind. Executing some relevant campaigns is much easier, cost effective and they usually perform better.

There is no magic marketing that works overnight. It’s about planning, consistency and maintaining a professional online presence.

Lastly … keep it simple. Over complicating a campaign, can overcomplicate its understanding from your viewers perspective, your teams efforts and even your kpi’s.

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