2018 Digital Marketing Holiday Checklist

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Digital Marketing Holiday Checklist imageIt's only October, but already we're seeing countdown to Christmas memes on Facebook. The response is usually something like, "Ugh, give me a break! It's not even Halloween yet!" But for businesses who count on successful holiday sales to pull off a profitable 4th quarter to finish out the year, it's not too early to start planning online marketing strategies for the holiday season.

There are a lot of important dates to remember for your 2018 digital holiday preparation! You don't want to overlook a key opportunity to grow your customer base, so be sure to include these in your plans. We all know that during this season everything moves at a faster pace and with greater intensity. This is why it's so important to plan ahead and be prepared before the holiday season actually hits. Below is a list of four key areas that you don't want to miss taking advantage of for the holiday season.

Deliver Your Brand Message with Stellar Website Marketing

As we know, people let their fingers do the walking and they research to find the products and the services they want online. Your website needs to be ready for the holiday season, it's the gateway to your business. Consumers need to be able to easily find your site and navigate through it.

   Tips:

  • Review your content, branding and website design. Your website is a reflection of your business, so it needs to clearly and accurately show who you are and what you do. Make sure your site has a clean and updated look before the holidays.
  • Ensure people can find your site when they perform a search on a search engine. Search engine optimization (SEO) works to put the right words in the right places so search engines know what it is that you do and sell. If you haven't touched your SEO in a while, or ever, this is a must before the holidays.

Encourage Brand Engagement with Strategic Social Media Marketing

Consumers use social media to help determine which products they want to buy and which businesses they want to work with. Your business should have a presence on the major social media platforms. Use these networks to increase brand awareness and reputation, to engage with consumers, to highlight new products and services, and to educate consumers.

   Tips:

  • Have a social media strategy in place before the holidays begin. This might include prepared contests, giveaways, videos, educational posts, etc.
  • Let the data do some of the work for you. Use social media reports to determine the best directions to take where your social strategy is concerned.
  • Plan to use paid social advertising and paid post promotion to expand your social media audience and to increase engagement levels.

Expand Your Audience with Optimized PPC Ads

Paid search campaigns and display ads are effective ways to raise awareness of your brand and drive sales. Ad impressions and conversion rates tend to see an increase during the holiday season making it the perfect time to run this type of campaign.

   Tips:

  • Be prepared to increase your ad spend during peak holiday dates. Use data from previous holiday seasons to determine the best times to target your desired audience.
  • Plan a retargeting strategy to keep your brand in front of online consumers who have already shown an interest in your product or service.
  • Use keyword research to choose the greatest searched keywords to use in your ads. Using trending keywords and topics in your strategy will help give your ads an advantage.

Reach Your Audience on All Devices with Mobile Marketing

Shoppers will be using mobile devices including phones and tablets to shop this year; there is no question about it. Consumers are well informed, and they want to find the products and services they are looking for quickly and easily. If they can't find it on your site, they will not hesitate to go to the next site. Mobile search and mobile optimization are of utmost importance this year.

   Tips:

  • If your site isn't mobile friendly or doesn't load quickly, you are almost guaranteed to lose out on customers this holiday season. Now is the time to make sure your site is up to par. If it isn't, begin the transition now.
  • If you already have a great mobile site, consider creating an app to encourage customers to be more interactive with your brand. Use apps to push notifications and leverage geographic targeting to better understand your customers' behavior.
  • Run mobile ads for key holiday dates.

Extend Your Reach Using Email Marketing

Email marketing is a form of direct marketing to deliver a unique experience to current customers or potential new customers with the goal of driving them to purchase or improve loyalty and lifetime customer value.

   Tips:

  • Since email can often be dismissed as spam, center email marketing around creating personalized and interesting emails that customers open and engage with.
  • You need people to opt in to your emails. This can be anything from a signup form on your website to buttons and forms on social media.

Ring in the New Year with Good Data

As you're making your plans for digital marketing in the 2018 holiday season, it's not too late to consider the 2019 holiday season too. Start collecting data now that will be helpful in planning for 2019. The more data you can collect the better. Google Analytics is one option, but there are a number of other options available too to dig even deeper.

The next few months will determine how your year goes and exactly where you stand as a business. Make sure you have a good plan in place when it comes to your marketing strategy. Unidev can help with each of the areas listed above. Contact us to get started with your 2018 holiday marketing plan today!