Over the festive season in 2012, 2.8 billion visits were made to online retailers, and Facebook alone was responsible for 4% of this incredible traffic. The research by credit company Experian also revealed that festive emails sent in November garnered 70% more sales than those sent in December, highlighting the importance of creating a foolproof online strategy for Christmas well in advance, and being able to implement it in the months leading up to December 25th.
Scott Dylan, social media expert and digital marketing consultant, with a raft of experience in helping businesses to shape their Christmas campaigns, says, “The importance of having a great online strategy is vital at Christmas, when every business is vying for a slice of the pie. The online sales in recent years have been colossal and it is important that all organisations are well prepared and have a coherent and effective strategy in place to draw in new clients and turn over great Christmas profits.”
Whilst September is still considered fairly early for sending out email campaigns or promoting Christmas products, there are still some steps that can be taken to prepare a business for the festive onslaught of web traffic, and social media battles with competitors. One of the first things to do is hone the keywords the business is using. Analytics data will list the most popular keywords that people used to find the site over the festive season last year, and some further research will allow these to be honed and perfected. Long-tail keywords allow for more specific searches, while the broader keywords draw in traffic.
Using a report from last year’s Christmas sales, businesses can also figure out which were their best-selling products and services and focus on promoting them to the online crowd. Choose key categories and start from September with link-building practices and plenty of original web content. Google and other search engines penalise websites for trying to do this too quickly; it is classed as spam and the site will be ranked down, which is why it is important to start a few months in advance to raise the rankings of best products and improve the content gradually.
It is also crucial not to forget existing clients and customers when planning a social media strategy. Not everyone who purchases from a site in November or December will be buying for Christmas, and it is important not to neglect regular content on social media and the website itself. Use a mixture of relevant news content and festive-themed posts across all social networks to keep the hits coming in, whether for Christmas-related purchases or simply for prospective clients looking to buy after the festive fuss has died down.[content_box color=”#000000″] [/content_box]