The holiday season is just around the corner, which, to put it bluntly, means that consumers will be making a vastly increased number of purchases over a short period of time. The problem for businesses and marketers is that this is common knowledge. Competition for market share is fierce (to understate the matter), and knowing how to leverage digital assets and channels is crucial if you don’t want to lose valuable and convertible customers to competitors. In light of this, we’d like to highlight a few digital marketing essentials to consider before plunging into the festive season battleground.
- Know your customers and create messaging that speaks to their specific needs and culture
This first principle is true for all marketing efforts, but remains especially pertinent here. Having a thorough grasp of the habits, needs, demographics and cultural-identity (i.e. where your customers fit into the diverse South African cultural landscape) will guide the development of your brand’s messaging and digital channel choices. If you have several segmented target markets, employ multiple purpose-designed messages rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all approach.
- Hit key emotions with your campaign
People have a strong tendency to buy from brands that they have a relationship with, and in order to conduct an engaging and distinctive campaign you can leverage the season’s feelings of generosity, family and friendship to build that relationship. Marketing expert, Sujan Patel, notes:
“People tend to think consumer decision-making is purely rational, but the truth is that all people make decisions emotionally before justifying them rationally. As a result, a successful holiday marketing campaign should be an emotional one.”
- Analyse your traffic data and identify the best digital channels for brand communication
If you have a constrained budget, carefully select your digital channels to ensure that you maximise your return-on-spend. Over the Christmas period, social networks (for example) are busy places where members are constantly sharing personal photos, memes, festive stories and yes, great deals. If your customers are active on social media, you may want to shift budget into this area rather than spend on less-effective AdWords campaigns. But a fundamental to bear in mind is that customers will be searching the web for bargains, so SEO should be a priority. Don’t leave this part of your marketing strategy until the last minute: instead, identify your most profitable keywords (and even put a Christmas spin on them) and start with link-building exercises as early as possible. In this instance, early preparation is paramount.
- Get into the festive spirit and spruce-up your website
Credible research shows that consumers, especially if they work fulltime, make use of the information super-highway to compare deals, search for present ideas and buy products. In this regard, your website is your primary store front, and it pays to expend some time and effort on theming it around the season’s festivities.
The consideration of the above key factors should help in conceptualising, designing, preparing and executing a successful festive season digital marketing campaign. A last crucial element is the power of creativity; in fact, your imagination could turn out to be the vital differentiator between yourself and your competition. SO THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX!