Get Your Online Strategy Ready for Holiday Season: A 5-Step Checklist

October 17, 2015

8:00 am

Q4 is at your doorstep. For businesses, that means the potential for double the revenue and massive sales. Obviously, you won’t reap the rewards unless you come prepared. Now is the time to start mapping out your digital marketing campaign for the holiday season. Here’s a 5-step checklist to help you make you sure you are ready for the fast-approaching holiday season.

Analyze past holiday-season data

Before actually crafting any new plans, take a look at your holiday stats from last year. Where did most of the traffic come from? Was it social media or email marketing? Special influencer campaign or paid search?  You already have the answer to these questions right in Google Analytics. For instance, if  last year’s holiday email campaign brought 35% of conversions last year, it may be a smart move to revive it this year.

Next, take a look at top-selling products and those that performed worse than you have expected. Where your prices not competitive enough? Did your loyalty program fail or your merchandise just wasn’t in the highest demand last season? Use price optimization software to gain more insights and adjust the prices and discount strategy. Retail stores will be able to quickly capture and analyze data from any source – store, online, mobile, social media, loyalty programs and weave a consistent and competitive pricing strategy to increase revenue!

Craft your holiday content marketing campaign

Start early with researching new keywords and crafting seasonal blog posts. Schedule them in advance to focus on intensive promotion once the posts are published, rather than desperately thinking of new post ideas. If you’d like to reap even bigger rewards, consider tapping into new content marketing channels. Pinterest graphics, seasonal funny infographics, video tutorials – the opportunities are plentiful when it comes to on-the-moment trendy content.

You should also consider a more frequent publishing schedule during holidays as you will often want to create content around specific holiday keywords and promote them to every potential buyer out there before the season is over!

Build holiday-special landing pages

Make sure you have several landing pages to A/B test the heck out of them and identify “winners” and “poor performances” at least 2 weeks in advance.  First of all, that allows you target your holiday marketing campaign at a larger segment. Secondly, you can direct the majority of your traffic to those winning pages with highest conversion rates. And lastly, by the peak of the holiday season you will already have a tested set of landing pages that are likely to bring you massive sales. No doubts and second-guessing!

Map out your email marketing campaign

Depending on your usual email marketing schedule, you may want to become a bit more aggressive and send out special offers more frequently. Consumers are now in high alert buying mood – if you don’t target them immediately, your competitors probably will!

Again, do all the planning in advance. Putting together a bunch of last minute emails is a recipe for disaster. Craft all the auto-responder emails and sales texts ahead of time. MailChimp and AWeber both allow scheduling email campaigns for specific times and dates, so make sure you have everything mapped up. As you already identified your best performing landing pages, think of the best ways to direct and convert your email traffic there.

Schedule your social media posts

Last but not least comes your holiday social media campaign. Have your special offers and coupon codes ready and scheduled them for publishing at key times. Buyers often scout social media for quick discounts  and promo codes during holiday seasons.  Don’t be afraid to share some direct offers as well – most people are already searching for them anyway.

Don’t forget about the power of holiday hashtags as well. Those can attract a massive deal of purchase-ready consumers. Holiday-specific images can perform great on Instagram, Pinterest and now even Twitter and generate a higher click-through rate.

Again, if you’d like your campaign to run smooth and effective, drip-feed most of the posts well in advance with scheduling tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, and Latergram.

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Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She's slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien

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