Start Now: A guide to planning your festive marketing campaigns ahead of time

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Have you started planning your digital marketing campaigns for the festive season yet? You may think, gosh, it’s the middle of summer, why would I need to think about Christmas right now? The truth is, to pull off any campaign successfully, you need to plan. The earlier you start, the better your chances are of getting enough exposure. So, ideally, you should start planning your festive marketing as soon as possible.

Why you should run a festive marketing campaign

Before we guide you through the steps below, let’s look at why you should run festive digital marketing campaigns in the first place.

When it comes to the holidays, the internet influences eight out of every 10 shoppers in their purchasing decisions. Around 64% of shoppers will use their mobile phones to search before heading to physical stores. And 68% of shoppers will visit YouTube on their phones to determine what to buy. If you’re not going to use online advertising over the festive period to market your product or service, you’re missing out.

Step 1: Start with what you want to sell

Knowing what you want to sell is the key to building a great festive campaign. Do you have special deals you could run in line with certain holidays? Can you offer free shipping or delivery on specific items? Is there a product in your inventory that you need to sell more of? This is the first decision you need to make.

Top tip: When determining your offer, think about the kinds of products or services people would want to give as a gift, like gift cards and hampers.

Step 2: Know your audience

Now that you know what you want to sell, you need to think about who you want to sell it to so you can tailor your marketing campaign. You need to know where your target audience lives online to reach them there.

For example, is your product or service aimed at Gen Z? You’re probably going to find them on TikTok and YouTube. Are you wanting to talk to millennials? Instagram is the place to be. Is your audience slightly older? A Google Ads campaign might be best.

Knowing who your audience is and where they spend most of their time when they’re online is key to pulling off a successful marketing campaign.

Top tip: Your festive campaign messaging should speak directly to your target audience and solve a problem or pain point they’re facing.

Determine your timeline

The Christmas period isn’t the only time people spend money. Approximately 56% of shoppers complete their festive shopping before December, and 39% of consumers start their festive shopping earlier in the year due to their concerns about long delivery times and shortages over Christmas.

This means that your festive campaign shouldn’t start running five days before the big holidays. Instead, you want to start driving brand awareness as soon as September.

Cyber week, which is the week after Black Friday each November, is when many consumers start their Christmas shopping.

Your festive campaigns shouldn’t stop on Christmas day either. Interestingly, 68% of consumers are likely to spend money the week after Christmas, and nearly 50% of them plan to shop sales and promotions in the first few weeks of the new year.

Top tip: If you can start sooner than September, do so. Time is of the essence here.

Pick your holidays

Christmas isn’t the only big holiday that you should plan campaigns for. If you ship to the US, there’s Thanksgiving to think about. There’s also Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Kwanza, Hanukkah, and New Year’s. If you can pair a particular product or service with some of these special days, you should.

Top tip: Don’t try and market for every holiday. Aim for two to three and personalise your marketing activities for those occasions. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great for product-focused holidays, for example.

Choose your channels and factor in their lead time (H2 HEADING)

Knowing where your audience spends most of their time online will help you determine which channels you should include in your digital marketing campaign. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that different channels require different lead times.

Take Google Ads, for example, you’ll want to get your creative (your copy and design) done soon so that you can start running ads early. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising sometimes takes several weeks to learn about your audience and optimise before you see results. If you’re building a landing page for your holiday campaign, you’ll also need a lot of lead time to pull all the parts together.

Top tip: Social media is the best and quickest way to start getting the word out early about your festive offering. Nearly 81% of consumers search social media before making a purchasing decision.

Put together your plan

Now it’s time to sit down with a calendar and plot out the important dates within your timeline for the launch of your campaign. You’ll need to note when you want each touchpoint to be ready. You may also want to consider bringing extra help on board to execute your campaigns effectively.

Top tip: Use Google Docs and Sheets to create a campaign calendar so that multiple people can collaborate in one place.

At PrimePixels, we’re big on planning ahead, and our digital marketing experts are ready to start planning your festive digital marketing campaigns. Contact us via our website, and let us help you reach your audience with powerful messaging about your offers.

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