If you’re reading this before November, congratulations. You’re on the right track. The holidays are a busy time for whatever you celebrate, but especially for marketing. In order to prepare for a holiday campaign, honestly, we suggest you start in July.
Here’s a Checklist our team at CatapultX has developed to help you have a successful Advertising season for your business.
- Previous Campaign Analysis - Have you conducted campaigns during the previous holidays? What went well? What didn’t?
- Past Performance Research - Conduct market research on past performance. Are your customers buying during this time? Whether your business is B2B, B2C, product or service-based, you’ll want to conduct research on your past performance for holidays.
- Market Research - Are there any trends in your industry that occur during late November/December? Do research on search trends and general market conditions for your industry.
- Refresh Your Channels - Do a brand check to make sure your branding is consistent across your social media, email and web channels.
- Competitor Research - Conduct an analysis of your competitors. What specials or promos did they have in November/December?
- Decide on Budgets - From your past research, you should have an idea of what has been spent before. If your business is new or hasn’t advertised before, you’ll have to do research, which can include general CPM or CPC per keyword or channel.
- Define the Product or Offering - Meet internally to decide if there is a specific product, offering or special that your business is looking to promote.
- Establish KPIs - Decide what performance indicators will be important for your business.
- Check Lead Generation Tactics - Make sure you have correct and optimal setups for lead generation on your website. Generating first-party data will be important for email campaigns and retargeting.
- Optimize Your Target Pages - If there are specific products or offerings that you’ll be targeting, be sure to give them some extra love in terms of design, content and SEO. If you are running a general campaign, do an overall refresh.
- Define Your Strategy - Research what marketing channels have performed for you in the past. If you’re looking for traffic driving strategies, think about search ads, product ads and On-Stream video ads.
- Begin Prepping Advertising Content - Start creating your visuals, copy and content for holiday ad campaigns.
- Segment Your Audiences - Finalize your target audience segmentation methods.
- Revise & Finalize Content - Make sure your content is finalized, your landing pages are setup and your
- Start Setting Up Campaigns - Whether you run your own campaigns or have a DSP who runs your advertising campaigns, you should begin setting up campaigns or passing content and strategy over to your DSP by the end of October.
- Brief Your Team - Practice good internal communication by communicating final strategies, offerings and marketing collateral to your internal team.
- Decorate - Now it’s time to decorate! Swap out your logos for Holiday-themes, add additional creative elements to your website.
- Send out Email/SMS/Direct Campaigns - If you have a direct marketing strategy, now is the time to send in preparation for Black Friday specials and beyond.
- Launch & Analyze - In the first few days after launch, analyze CTR, ROI and ad performance. Make any adjustments and ensure everything is working correctly.
- Monitor Budgets - Monitor budgets and ensure you are budgeting or bidding appropriately.
- Monitor Competition Creep - Keep an eye on competition and ensure you are staying ahead of the game.
- Stay on top of Follow-up & Outreach - Make sure your sales or support team are keeping up to date with new leads or customer requests.
- Update Creative for Final Dates - Make adjustments to your creative for any final dates or information, such as out of stock items, back-orders, last shipping days, countdowns, etc.
- Take a Deep Breath - Do it. You’ll need to.
- Analyze What Worked - Sit down with your results and analyze your campaigns. What worked well for you? Make a list for next July so that you’ll be ready when the time comes.
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