Published: 00:00, 25 September 2017
| Updated: 10:32, 25 September 2017
The best seasonal marketing campaigns for businesses in Kent are those that are planned in advance.
Despite Christmas being just under 100 days away and probably the last thing on your mind right now, thinking now about your advertising and marketing around the festive period can help you make the most of your festive season advertising.
Here’s a handy guide to getting it right.
1. The first questions to ask is: what works?
Before starting this year’s plan, why not review your activity from previous years?
Look at what was most effective in encouraging sales and new customers.
Review your social media, email marketing, leaflets, broadcast and print marketing to see what worked and what didn’t, and make a note of it for this year’s plans.
2. Have a target for this year’s seasonal activity
Set out with a clear vision of what you are trying to achieve this year.
Christmas is often the most important time for any business selling products and services direct to consumers.
From taxi companies to pharmacies to emergency plumbers.
Think about why a potential customer would buy from your business in the run up to and over Christmas and shape your activity and plans around this.
For example, Kent is a semi rural county.
People are very likely to plan a night out and want to order a taxi ahead of a party so your objective is to ensure they choose your company.
For a party venue, people are likely to want to know about your Christmas party plans and your target is to make sure as many people know about this as possible.
3. Create an activity plan
Think about when and where your audience will want to hear about Christmas products or services and where you want your targets to be by certain points in the run up for Christmas.
No one wants to go shopping for new furniture just before Christmas - but they may wish to buy food just beforehand.
Understanding when your customer wants to hear about Christmas products or services will help you start your marketing at the right time, including updating your website and social media activity.
4. Update your social media feeds and website
Nowadays your website and twitter and facebook profiles are a really important part of your business - even if you don’t actually sell online.
Customers will use your online profiles to research your business and to find out more about what you offer.
They’re just as likely to do this from a web enabled mobile phone as a computer.
You need to ensure your website is up to date, has festive photos and well written and current content.
You need to ensure your website is responsive so that it appears properly on different devices.
People are busy especially at this time of year, so ensure your website navigation is easy.
A good thing to do is to set up a separate section or page on your website for everything Christmassy.
Things to include will be details of any special offers, different opening hours, or things like a Christmas gift service. Make sure your contact details are visible on this page.
5. Get ready for Christmas
Whilst you still have some time and have got some targets, an up to date site and a plan, now is the time to consider the methods that you will use to drive more website traffic to your site or into your store.
Use your experience and notes from previous years to think of creative ideas to achieve this.
It might be worth rethinking things that didn’t work well, or do more of what did work last year.
Using a few different channels such as advertising in local newspaper Christmas features, on local radio and digital and social channels will help you reach a wide audience.
It’s important not to promote yourself too far away from where you are based as most people have fairly standard travel times for different products.
Make sure your creative approach, messaging and theme is consistent across all of these channels.
Keep records of how successful your campaign is.
This will help you in planning your marketing activity going forward. For instance, if you know how many customers you get on average, measure the uplift in the weeks before Christmas.
Similarly, measure the traffic to the Christmas section of your website. You may wish to have different links from different channels such as social and digital advertising.
With social media advertising, it is really important to schedule activity and plan this in advance – especially as you will be busy.
There are social media management tools that are freely available that can help you with this.
You can write and schedule updates and time delivery far in advance of when you want to send them.
Christmas has lots of opportunity and is a critical time for many local businesses in Kent whatever product or service you sell.
By spending some time now thinking about and planning your Christmas marketing, you’ll feel more confident when it comes to the big day itself.
For more advice, guidance or information on the seasonal opportunities offered by KM Media Group or to get a free health check on your website, social media and online creative, contact KM Media Group at firstname.lastname@example.org or via kmmediagroup.co.uk
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