We’ve been thinking of doing this post for a really long time. With Deepavali, Halloween and Christmas all round the corner, we figured that now’s the best timing to get this published. Basically, we’re interested to explore how seasonality affects digital marketing, and then this post came about. Hopefully this will be able to shed some light about seasonal digital marketing and be useful for you to review your current planned strategies for Christmas.
Planning for a campaign takes a long time, and it’s not like Christmas is the only event that you’ll be planning for in the entire year. What about New Year’s Day, Lunar New Year, Valentine’s’ day, Black Friday and so on? As such, do start early to avoid missing out certain dates or not planning enough.
One ingenious way is to grab a calendar and mark out all events and happenings for the entire year. This way, you can work out your timeline and prepare for these events beforehand. Think about your campaign goals and budget allocation. Then, draft out an initial plan of action. This will give you more headway to prepare for unanticipated happenings along the way.
Before starting on the action plan, you need to understand your customers and your business well. Go on to Google analytics and check out your seasonal search traffic. Look at year on year data for the past two to three years to understand the seasonality of your audience and when traffic starts to spike.
People usually start searching for Christmas related items such as gifts or food recipes in advance, probably at the end of October and throughout the month of November till December. Therefore, it would be good to incorporate such search behaviour into your digital marketing campaigns.
Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner can help you run lists of keywords to detect search volume spikes and declines. You can also compare different sets of keyword phrases to see which ones perform best for different groups of audiences.
You probably already have a list of keywords for your usual SEO, but don’t forget to add in seasonal keywords now that Christmas is approaching. Think about what people would tend to search for, then add variations and long-tail keywords to boost your search rankings. Normally, you might be creating and promoting content based on “Gift Ideas for Kids”. For Christmas, you would most likely have to promote it as “Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids”. This would be more relevant to what users are searching for, which increases the likelihood of your page appearing in their search results.
While Christmas is a theme in itself, you can delve further into the meaning of Christmas, or perhaps focus on portraying the joy of gifting. Just keep in mind that these campaigns should be in line with your company’s values and objectives.
Take for instance, Starbucks. Traditionally, Starbucks has a 12 days of gifting promotion during the Christmas period. This includes having time sensitive offers for each of the 12 days, such as 1 for 1 venti-sized Christmas beverages and discounts for purchase of limited edition Christmas mugs and tumblers. Such offers provide a sense of urgency to customers and urge them to make purchase immediately, in case they miss out on these offers.
In addition, as you formulate your campaign, aim to create reusable assets. Here, we’re not saying that you reuse the same things every single year. What we’re emphasising is for you to have assets that can be easily modified when required. One way would be to create a well optimised landing page for your Christmas campaign that includes an appropriate title, description, headline tags and quality content. When you reuse the landing page again the next year, it would have been indexed by search engines already.
Besides search marketing, you can also use social media to gain awareness and build hype around your campaign. Starbucks usually share their promotional offers and photos of new drinks and other products on Facebook. This informs their followers about the new items and promotions that they are having, and allow them to share this information with their friends. This in turn, builds virality as it gets shared by more people online or through word-of-mouth. With that, your campaign can potentially increase its total impressions, and ideally, conversions.
Social media also encourages user generated content. For example, you can get users to share photos of their own Christmas trees at home and the best decorated ones get to win some gifts or vouchers. This increases the level of interaction and engagement that your followers have with your brand and subsequently, build a stronger sense of brand loyalty.
Since people usually start searching for Christmas gift ideas rather early, chances are that they have been to your page and have seen your products. But they are probably still in the midst of comparing different products and haven’t made up their minds.
As such, you could engage in remarketing ads to remind them of your products. Constant exposure to your brand can subconsciously leave a lasting impression in the top of users’ minds. Subsequently, when they make their purchase decision, they may be more likely to be nudged towards purchasing your products.
Email marketing should not be forgotten as well. You can build your customer list and send out newsletters to inform them about the campaign. Going back to the previous tip on retargeting, you can also send out reminders to your customers, especially those who have abandoned their carts.
You can also include special promotion codes or discount codes in your emailers to different groups of customers to measure the performance of each emailer, and find out which groups of customers are more likely to convert. Based on such data, you can then craft out better strategies to target them.
Now that we’ve come to the end of the post, we hope you have a better understanding of how digital marketing helps in your seasonal marketing campaigns. However, don’t forget about your off-season marketing strategies. All your marketing strategies have to be well integrated to establish a holistic brand image, which affects how others view your brand.