IT’S TIME: CHRISTMAS MARKETING CHECKLIST!
With everything that has happened in the world this year, perhaps one element of hope some are holding onto is the festive period.
However, as any marketer can tell you, it’s not that simple. From about Black Friday onwards, marketing becomes a ridiculously busy industry. Special campaigns, Christmas messages, end of year events and more means that marketing doesn’t really stop when Christmas time hits.
To help you prepare, we’ve written a checklist to help you work your way through the festive period.
JULY: PR SEASON
We’ve written before about how July is when Christmas starts, especially in PR land. Getting your products and Christmas offers in front of your target audiences starts in July. Make sure you’ve decided what releases you want to send out and find a good PR agency to help. Getting in a gift guide is a surefire way to success.
If you’re a client of ours, we can help you with PR. Becky has been with us for years and works across all industries.
AUGUST: IT BEGINS
Christmas needs planning and a lot of it. The more work you can do in advance the better. In August, you’ll want to spend some time making sure your SEO is ready to give you a good fighting chance.
By mid-August, you’ll want to do your SEO. It takes Google a minimum of three months to crawl your site, so having your Christmas pages ready in August to help with your business being discovered.
SEPTEMBER: SITES, SOCIAL & SERVERS
Once you’ve got your Christmas pages live, look at the rest of your site. Is the customer journey clear? Are your Christmas gifting pages easy to navigate to? Run a Google Lighthouse test on prominent pages by pressing F12 and then head to the Lighthouse section. This helps to identify any key errors that Google will pick up when it does a full crawl.
Is your site fast enough at the minute? Optimise your site speed now as when the hordes of shoppers hit your site, it could slow it down a lot.
Similarly, with your server, check your hosting to make sure you have room to grow and your site won’t slow. If you’re at the upper limit, consider upgrading for the Christmas season. The extra breathing room could be the difference between a sale and a lost customer.
Drive that all-important footfall to your shop, website, offices through effective social media management. It isn’t as simple of scheduling a few updates. With algorithms from social media giants changing regularly and prioritising engaging content, you need to have a plan and people to execute it. So we recommend putting a plan together now that will identify content that needs to be created, photos to be taken, graphics required and more. National dates, blogging, PR, email campaigns, last order dates and more should be on this plan to make the updates as useful as possible and to give you time to manage your community, any questions and messages that come via your social platforms.
OCTOBER: THE FIRST HOLIDAY
Along with October containing Halloween, it also marks your last month to fully prepare. By the end of October you should have all your print materials ready, your discounts set up and ready to go.
If you have a brick and mortar shop, get your Christmas POS ready, and plan any Christmas displays.
From a personal point of view, get your Christmas party ready, you’ll need the chance to chill and social calendars get quickly booked up.
Double-check any scheduled posts for the next two months, the more ahead you are the better. Start to prep the Christmas blogs and social media posts going out to provide a minimum output level.
NOVEMBER: THE MADNESS KICKS IN
Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These two days strike fear into the heart of any retail worker. However, if you’re an ecommerce site, should you be worried as well?
However, in November, it’s your last chance to get your Christmas countdowns ready and ramp up the Christmas messaging. Evaluate how sales are looking so far, is a particular product selling well, have you got enough a headroom to discount it?
Analyse your data, and prepare for the Christmas madness.
DECEMBER: DECK THE HALLS
Right at the beginning of the month, communicate last shipping dates and send your corporate Christmas cards. Have some fun decorating and decide how you will be reactively posting on social media.
Update and publish your Christmas opening hours (use Google My Business as well here)
By mid-December, offer last-minute deals or gift boxes to incentivize those that are struggling to find presents. Make sure you let them know delivery dates.
Daily social media posts of available stock, opening times or any deals will go down a treat. Near mid-December send out a final email reminder with opening times, shipping times, a thank you message and anything else you want to include. We used a Christmas jumper GIF in ours last year, and more than anything, it was ridiculously fun to make!
If you work in retail, try and get some sleep and rest your feet! We’ve been there, it’s a ridiculously busy time of year.
NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS
Don’t neglect your January comes. Prepare your New Years Plans. Are you doing a sale, or what hours are you open? Communicate this all through December, and plan and schedule your content ready for the New Year.
If you are starting to worry about the amount of work you need to do, don’t. We have also put the key elements of this article into a download for you to keep and look at as and when.
As a bonus, we will also be giving prompts in our 2-min read which you can sign up to here.
WANT OUR CHRISTMAS MARKETING CHECKLIST?
Click to download below or call 01256 614921 to speak to on our experts waiting to help you through the festive season.