5 Crucial Marketing Mistakes To Avoid Going Into The Holiday Season
There’s no doubting it – the holiday season is definitely upon us. Whether it is festive window displays, Christmas offers and sale signage, or celebratory ads and emails targeted to our shopping behaviour – the holiday marketing has well and truly kicked into high gear as well. Especially for small businesses, the holiday period is a vital time during which a good marketing campaign can help inject a significant boost in sales.
Need an excuse to call a lead you haven’t spoken with in a few months? Or do you just want to reconnect with your customers? Maybe you want to increase employee engagement and get everyone at your company in the holiday spirit. It doesn’t matter who you want to connect with; holiday campaigns are a great way to do it.
However, during the holidays, there are some challenges that small and medium businesses face. What kind of budget do you set? What campaign structure do you follow? What emails do you send? Are you talking to the right audience using the right language? There are always so many questions and a lot of second-guessing involved when planning any marketing campaigns, but especially holiday campaigns. After all, people are ready to spend because they are looking for the perfect gifts for themselves and their loved ones.
To ensure you make the most of the holidays and are not losing out on a great profit margin, here’s a list of 5 holiday marketing mistakes to steer clear of as we head into the holiday season.
Putting a hold on your search ad campaigns
If you run a Google Ads campaign, you may very well be considering turning off the campaign while you close for the holidays. After all, you might be wondering why you should spend on advertising if you’re not going to be in to service orders.
Turning off your Google Ads campaigns can have an adverse effect on your overall search results ranking. After fighting your way to the top with a successful campaign, a drop in your AdRank could occur when you put a hold on your campaign. This, in turn, would mean a greater chance for competitors to steal your position, as the higher your AdRank, the more importance your website gets in search results.
Speaking of competitors, it is also important to remember that pausing your campaign or turning it off completely gives them more ROI on their advertising, as there is less competition for the keywords you’re targeting. When the holiday period is over and you decide to turn your campaigns on again, it can take weeks, or maybe months, to get back to where you were before – and most likely, an increased spend as well.
Instead of running a seasonal campaign (in case that’s not something you want to do for your business) you can also choose to adjust budgets and timings of your Google Ads to ensure that you’re not out of the game entirely. As long as Google can see activity on your account, they will look favourably on your business and you will be able to hold on to some of the ranking you’ve worked so hard to get. Additionally, use this time to maintain your brand image and keep your customers aware of when you will be ready to service them again, perhaps driving clicks to a standalone landing page that details what they can look forward to in the New Year. For the right products and services, your customers will be willing to wait until you reopen.
As a side note, remember to keep on top of the SEO trends on the horizon for next year, and ensure you have a good, clear SEO strategy in place to have dominance over both paid and organic search results.
Not strategising on social media
As a small business, your social strategy should be one of your top holiday marketing priorities. Holiday-centric posts (and seasonal content in general) tend to elicit stronger engagement levels than evergreen posts during seasonal events. The more people that like and share your holiday content, the greater your brand’s visibility online. Holiday campaigns are the perfect opportunity to get the attention of people who may have put the idea of your product or service on the back burner. It is a great idea to increase your social media activity during the holidays, and also decorating your page to reflect the festive mood of the season.
It is also important to remember to get your social media ad campaigns approved before you close your doors. If you want to run social media ads to increase sales by both targeting cold traffic and running retargeting campaigns, you can create them today, and submit them for approval. You can schedule start and end dates for each ad campaign you create on most platforms. Your campaigns won’t go live until the designated dates as long as you set them, so there’s no risk of accidentally launching early.
Breakdown of nurturing processes
While you and your business take a break, it is important to remember that there are more people online than ever during the holiday period.
If you are an ecommerce website that has had sales running up until a week before the holidays at least, you can be sure people will be following up with you. They are going to be messaging you asking about shipping dates, order status, product information.
You’ll get requests about changing shipping speeds or locations after the order has been processed. It is important to have someone overseeing these requests as they come in, and setting up quick replies or integrating your CRM with your inbox is an easy way to manage these queries and stay on top of your customer service.
Even if you do not sell online, setting up automated responses and nurturing campaigns through the holiday season makes good sense for your business. Facebook Messenger bots set up to answer basic FAQs will help your customers know that they can actually rely on your brand to deliver even when you aren’t around. Email campaigns that remind them of what you offer that they may not have looked into is also a great way to prime them for an upsell in the upcoming year.
Forgetting important emails
The end of the year is an important time for many – whether people are celebrating the end of the year or Christmas with their family, it does turn into a time of reflection. Reaching out to loyal clients and customers isn’t required by any means, but even a quick personalised note thanking them for their business can help build that always-important relationship.
Similarly, sending out an email blast in the New Year before everyone is back to the daily grind allows you to stay on top of their minds when they are ready to get back to work and require your products or services. It is also a great way to showcase anything new you have going on – sales, new products/services, or even a new business structure. If it is new and exciting, the New Year is a great time to talk about it!
Not planning for the New Year
With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s common for many small business owners to unplug for a few days or a whole month after New Years. Don’t fall into this trap!
Strong customer relationships are forged through repeat purchases and interactions. If you’ve had a sleigh-load of new first-time customers come to your store in December, don’t wait until the next holiday season to interact with them! Get them back to your store in January to turn them into repeat buyers.
Holiday marketing prep needs to be a priority before you’re stuck in the middle of the holiday season with no posts, no campaigns planned and ads that aren’t getting approved. Take a few hours to make sure that you’re ready for the holiday season because it’s here. Feeling too overwhelmed with all you have to do for the holidays before your business closes? Get in touch with the Yes Digital team and we’ll be able to help you sort out your holiday marketing strategies.