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For the Holidays: Your Digital Marketing Checklist

Here's a guide to digital marketing throughout the holidays, in four channels
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It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas--at least online.

With Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and the abundance of shopping in between, businesses around the world are already unleashing their of holiday marketing campaigns. These digital recommendations will help you get the most out of your holiday marketing dollars.

Paid Search

Stand out from the competition by focusing on the details. You can do this by putting together seasonal paid search campaigns using the season's highest searched keywords.

For example, the query volume for '"sale" keywords consistently increases during the holidays. Take advantage of this trend by using sale terminology in your ad copy. Leverage incremental search queries, rotate holiday ads that are closely derived from the ads that have worked the best for you, and use day-parting to massively scale up and down during short time periods.

It's also important to pay special attention to the unusually short stretch between Black Friday and Christmas this year. Because Thanksgiving falls on November 28, the shopping period between the two shopping holidays is shortened to a mere 25 days.

With less time for consumers to tackle their holiday shopping, researchers are expecting consumers to start earlier. You can encourage early shoppers to become early buyers through pre-Black Friday and pre-Cyber Monday promotions and perks. Make sure to keep your analytics and retargeting up-to-date so that you can see which of your products get the most views, which reviews are the most read, and which items get added to wish lists. Use this data to figure out which products are likely to be in the highest demand. That'll help focus your digital efforts later in the holiday season.

Social Media

During last year's holiday season, traffic to social media sites converted at a rate 77% higher than it did during the rest of the year. Social media campaigns for the holiday season are starting earlier each year, which means you need to gear up earlier too if you want to take advantage of relatively low costs.

Display

Display ads allow marketers to target individuals who have previously interacted with their brand on social networks and other websites, making this second touch point more likely to convert. Display ads also allow marketers to target individuals based on the particular device that they use to interact with their brand.

In addition to targeting capabilities, display advertising is ideal for updating your creative with relevant offers. While you should be doing this anyway, the holiday season provides a unique opportunity to target users on a granular level because of the increases in individuals' online activities. The more data you have to work with, the better you can target your best consumers or qualified leads. The prices of available inventory skyrocket during the holiday season, so it's important to target only the most relevant customers.

Out of sight is out of mind, so don't allow your brand to slip from your customer's minds. Stay in front of them with display advertising.

Email

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways for marketers to reach consumers at the last minute and on modest budgets. That said, customers will receive hundreds of emails a day during the holiday season. The majority of online shoppers will use an email during their path to purchase, so make your email marketing campaign count with dynamic content that is relevant and tailored to users.

Customize your holiday email content with gift specifics such as pricing, who will be receiving the gift, unique gift categories, product type and best sellers. Consumers will appreciate the unique content, and your email campaign will have a better chance of increasing ROI.

Last updated: Nov 7, 2013

JON MORRIS | Founder and CEO of Rise Interactive

Jon Morris is the founder and CEO of Rise Interactive, a digital marketing agency in Chicago which specializes in digital media and analytics.




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