The holiday season comes with an atmosphere of greetings and joy. It is also a time for businesses and marketers to focus on getting as many conversions as possible to maintain a high ROI. In this blog – we hope – you will get some insights on how to prepare your marketing strategy and what to expect for the upcoming holiday season!

What do we mean by the holiday season? For example, In November we have Thanksgiving , followed by Black Friday Sales, before leading right into the Christmas / New Year sales. Here in Indonesia, we have much public holidays and golden weeks.

Social Media Insights for Holiday Season

Most Social Media forums state that there will be a massive increase in spending from the ''big players'' during this holiday season. Those forums also predict that Q4 will cost businesses an additional 43% compared to the regular season. With that in mind, it is expected that the ad spend will see an increase during this quarter.

If you are a regular player to Facebook Advertising, be ready. Since you might share the same target audience as the big players (Think Amazon, or Tokopedia here in Indonesia) and therefore, may potentially be impacted by this. Social Media advertising works by reaching as many people as possible, but the audience size does not increase. This means if more people are advertising, and the target audience doesn’t increase, you may have a harder time generating the advertising results you are used to.

Always monitor your metrics – especially your conversions, reach, and impressions. Expect to have an increase in your Cost per Conversion. Don't forget to check your 'Visitor Loyalty Rate' and 'Days to Purchase' metrics to refine your social media strategy more.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Insights for Holiday Season

Prepare your keyword research for the upcoming holiday as people will look for keywords that include ''promotion,'' ''deals,'' ''sales,'' and ''discounts.'' If you are using Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends, you can see how the trends are moving and how much spend you will need.

Since PPC ads are focussed on the ''intent'' behind the keywords that people use – and are also competing for only a few places on the Google SERP – the price will surely increase. More people will be targeting the same keywords as you are. If you already target some keywords that contain an intent to look for a discount during the holiday season, you need to be more focussed on them during this time.

Don't forget to regularly check your 'Cost/Conv.' metric and the 'Search Terms Report' to ensure that you're attracting high-quality traffic.

Digital Marketing Tips for Holiday Season

It is best to say that people learn easiest from other peoples failure or mistakes. Based on our experience, some businesses might experience that their cost is increasing during this Holiday Season.

Below is a list of things that can spoil your campaigns, and should be avoided from your to-do list:

Bid Aggressively

Having such tight competition doesn't mean that you have to increase your budget nor spend your budget ruthlessly. Do keep in mind, the budget that you will spend should be returned in a positive increase in revenue or conversions.

Bidding aggressively – since most ad platforms are using an auction system – will get you nowhere except to drain your marketing budget.

Certainly, the more money that you are willing to spend, the more chance you have of showing up up in the search results. This will be unhealthy for small businesses who don't have much budget, or for whom the spend would not result in generating the required ROI.

But, rest assured, the amount of money that you spend only affects 50% of your chance to show up. The rest is determined by your Ad Relevancy and your Landing Page.

You can answer some simple questions below to re-think your ad relevancy:

• Are the ads that you serve relevant enough to your target market?
• Are the ads visually attractive enough?
• Will the ad copy engage with your target market?

Our recommendation is to leave your budget as it is. It is not considered a good option to force your company to be spend more than it should. You can stay within your current budget and still have conversions by focusing on getting the value that you have.

Most of the big players will be focusing on discounts or promo codes, you can show up by focusing on your brand value and offering a unique experience that only you can do.

Focus on what matters and what valuable most to your market.

Randomly use the Platform

Let us admit that everything is created for a purpose. Social Media Channels are each designed to serve a different purpose and are different from each other.

It's obvious to say that Instagram emphasizes the visual, posting the same content on Twitter won't have as much effect. Getting to know how each platform works could be lucrative for your business. It also ensures that you get your message right to your market.

If you already do market research, and you find out that your market is mostly on YouTube, then having a long sugar-coated and detailed caption won't get you the revenue you want.

You can maximize the impact of the platform by knowing how each of them works.

Faith-Based Initiative

Market behavior changes over time – and so do businesses. New trends and competitors are competing for the same market as you are. You cannot expect to have a market that has precisely the same behavior each year during the holiday season, as well as the competition.

Yes, your competitors are already prepared, might be more prepared than you are. It is possible that they developed this year's holiday season plan a long time ago.

It's undeniable that it is beneficial to have a long-term marketing plan. So that you won't be in a rush, trying to implement campaigns quickly and all of a sudden, you don't have something that adds value to your customers.

You can try these ideas below:
• Give a Discount
• Clearance Holiday Sales
• Bundles/Packages
• New Arrivals
• Free Shipping
• Additional Stay/Item for Free
• Cashback
• Increase Loyalty Card Points

Do it Now. Now. NOW!

Some proverbs – at least in my country – say that it is natural to be unprepared. Well, in this case, we don't agree. Other sayings also say that “victory loves preparation”.

With that being said, yes, it's better to prepare yourself rather than trying to implement a spontaneous action to increase your ROI after it has already fallen.

Let's say you are a Hotel and want to have a promotion. Consider these questions before starting your promotion:

• Is your website prepared?
• Do the visitors that come to your website – at least – know that you are running a promotion (ie. Is your promotion visible and easy to find)?
• Have you already checked that the promotion code is working on your booking engine?
• What should they do if they want to book the promotion?
• Isn't it annoying to put the pop-up banner on every page?
• Does the promotion banner look good on mobile?
• Do they care about your promotion?

Having these questions answered long before doing a promotion might help you to re-think or refine your promotion before executing it. You can also determine what kind of metrics you will use as a KPI, hence, you will know if your promotion is effective or not.

This data can also be beneficial for your future plans since you have additional insights regarding your market behavior, this will help you to prepare much better in the future.

Are you ready for the Holiday Season?

We hope this article has shed some light and proven useful for those wanting to make the most of the upcoming holiday season. This upcoming season may just be the most competitive season yet.

Therefore, understanding the bigger picture of your marketing plan can help you prepare to yield the best possible outcome.

At Island Media Management, we take a closer look at how this moment could be used to benefit your business. Get in touch with our team of experts now!

We can help you integrate your digital marketing strategy to maximize your revenue.

About the author

Raka Diraka

Raka Diraka

Raka has spent the last 7 years developing his skills in the world of digital marketing. A passionate digital analyst and a digital marketing practitioner, his passion lies in the measurement efforts of what we do in digital marketing, tracking, and optimizing conversion rates. In his words “It’s quite exciting to know if what we implement works well – or not; if not, at least we find something to improve along the way.”

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