• How to plan your festive season digital marketing: A step by step guide

How to plan your festive season digital marketing: A step by step guide

Words: Jessica Turner, Managing Director of Confab

If you are reading this, the festive season is upon us all, there’s no escaping it now. Whether you love or loathe early christmas shopping and the sound of Boney-M echoing through every public space, I personally think that after the wild year 2020 has been, the planet could use a good dose of festive cheer.

First comes Halloween, then comes black Friday and then before you know it you are having small talk at the office Christmas party and finally leaving milk and cookies out for Santa (then don’t forget those Boxing Day and New Year sales). It all happens so fast.

If you are a business owner or marketer, the festive season is an opportunity not to be missed should you be looking to acquire new customers, meet and exceed sales targets or even clear stock. We believe that the success of your festive season digital marketing lies in having the right plan in place, and just like your old highschool teacher always said ‘failing to plan is planning to fail.’

Key dates to bear in mind:
  • November 28th – Thanksgiving (USA)
  • November 29th – Black Friday (If you sell anything, this one’s for you)
  • December 2nd – Cyber Monday (If you’re an E-commerce business, don’t forget this)
  • December 23rd-30th – Hanukkah
  • December 25th – Christmas
  • December 26th – Boxing Day (Boxing days sales are a must!)
  • December 31st – New Year’s Eve
  • January – Sales, sales, sales

Steps to planning your festive season digital marketing

1. Define your objectives: As simon Sinek says “Start with Why”

What is your business specifically wanting to achieve this festive season? Take a moment to sit with your team and write down your measurable and tangible goals and objectives. We are firm believers in having fewer, more specific objectives rather than many intangible goals that may only confuse your team and dilute your marketing strategy.

2. Assess your current digital marketing efforts and decide what changes you want to make

What have you done well in 2020 that is working or has previously worked? Maximise on this. What have you done poorly in 2020 or what opportunities have you missed? Improve on this. 

Make a list of changes or additions you want to make to your current marketing strategy specifically with the festive season in mind. 

3. Define your budget

Set aside a set amount that you want to allocate purely to your festive season digital marketing. Bear in mind that if you are maximising what you already know is working for your business (as per step 2 on this list) then your budget will be an investment that will be paying dividends after the festive season. Once you have your budget clearly defined, then begin to apportion this between your digital marketing channels giving the most budget towards your most successful channels.

4. Define your value proposition

Are you having a sale? Are you launching a new product or range? Are you running a giveaway? Clearly define what your value proposition will be this festive season and then begin crafting your marketing message using your 2020 marketing insights to give you a window into what has already worked for your business. 

5. Prepare your marketing collateral

Get your copywriter clicking away at their keyboard. Get your designer sharpening their tools. Get your creative team or agency preparing your digital marketing collateral as soon as possible so that you have enough time for reviews and changes whilst not missing any important deadlines. Every day counts when it comes to festive season marketing! 

6. Launch your campaign

Advice we would like to offer regarding the launch of your festive marketing campaigns, is to let your customers know ahead of time that something exciting is on the way. Why not work on a pre-launch campaign for your giveaway or send out an email campaign or bulk SMS a day or two before your new range is released to get them ready and waiting (credit card in hand) for when your campaign launches? 

Ensure that you’ve prepped a follow-up campaign after your initial launch to continue reminding your target audience of your festive season offers. 

*Remember, this is an exceptionally busy time and businesses are fighting for online space in front of their customers eyes. Make sure your campaign doesn’t get lost in the noise. 

7. Make adaptations, Measure and Report

Launched your campaign and it has not been as successful as you’d hoped? Don’t wait until weeks have passed, be front-footed and make adaptations whilst your campaign is running. Stop what is not working and try something new. 

At the end of your festive season campaign, make sure you gather and measure your data and pull valuable insights for a campaign report so that you can use these insights for your next campaign (next up: Valentines Day). 

Festive Season Digital Marketing Checklist
  1. Have you defined your festive season marketing goals?
  2. Is your digital agency aware in advance of your marketing plans so they are able to meet your deadlines?
  3. Have you prepared a festive content calendar in advance?
  4. Has your website been updated for the festive season?
  5. Are your social media channels looking festive?
  6. Have you utilised your existing database of customers for your campaign?
  7. Do you current customers know about your specials?
  8. Have you defined your festive closing times and are your customers aware of these in advance?

Need help perfecting your digital marketing strategy? We are always happy to help. Book a meeting with us here to chat.