Don’t shoot the messenger, but it’s time to prep for the holiday season! When creating a digital marketing plan, one thing that is often overlooked is being able to test campaign ideas, medium mixes and the like so that your digital advertising campaign is a well-oiled machine during the holidays. Obviously, no one really wants to think about the Christmas shopping season when we’ve barely made it through Halloween, but it’s very important because generally speaking, you don’t want to be taking a lot of risks and changing up strategies, or partners in the middle of the busiest time of year for most retailers.
What Kinds of Digital Marketing Tactics Should You Be Testing?
Did you take stock of what went well within your online advertising strategy during the holidays last year? What did your competitors run with last year? Anything you can glean from your successes or challenges in digital media last year? It’s always great to take an inventory of what worked well to determine your next steps. It’s equally important to understand what might have proven to be less successful last year to course correct and ensure that you don’t repeat last year’s mistakes.
While an online advertising campaign should be constantly optimized, the doldrums of summer is typically a great time of year to take a step back and do a full audit of your campaigns to find areas for improvement. At times, choices are made along the way within a paid search campaign and then those decisions are never revisited. Look at your digital marketing efforts in a holistic fashion to determine where you might be able to test new mediums, targeting groups, keywords or creative. Summer is typically a lower-stakes time of year to make great decisions that will prove to be successful in the coming months.
Creative Banners & Messaging
Unfortunately, there’s always a mad dash to the finish line when It comes to the holidays. Typically, the holiday shopping season makes or breaks an entire year for a retailer so there is a lot riding on the success of all marketing efforts. As a result, creative is often second-guessed, or being worked on until the last minute for a display campaign for example. You can start banking creative that you know works based on analytical data from campaign metrics. If an image with certain attributes is typically a high performer for your campaigns, create more images like that one. That isn’t to say that you won’t have additional learnings in the summer and fall months that you can apply to the holiday season, but starting to bank proven creative winners will only prove to help you feel more prepared for the holidays rather than scrambling around and hoping that you get things out the door in time.
What If I’m New to Digital Media?
That’s fine too! While cost-per-clicks might be lower during the summer, and competition a little less fierce when it comes to keyword or demographic auctions, you’ll want a finely-tuned campaign going into a typically busy time of year. Just understand that it gets competitive, so what you may have gotten away with over the past couple of months is going to need a bit of TLC as more players enter the space over these next couple of months.
Be Prepared for Anything
The Boy Scouts have a saying, “Be Prepared.” In general, this is a great life lesson, but it also applies to digital marketing. When you have data and metrics to back up decisions and you’re able to look holistically at a campaign and understand what’s working well, and where there are areas of opportunity, you’re able to be confident that you’re prepared. If you plan for the craziness of the holidays, you can mitigate some of the issues that crop up. If all else fails, contact us and we’ll make sure that you’re set to make a serious impact to your bottom line this year.