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Written by Mackenzie
Are your Christmas and Black Friday campaigns and marketing strategies up to speed? November (if not earlier) marks the beginning of a shopping frenzy with the peak being between Black Friday and Christmas. People are busy online shopping for gifts, food and decorations, meaning brand websites need to be fully optimised to be able to deal with the influx of shoppers.
If you are looking to stay on top of the hottest Christmas trends and Black Friday hacks then the team at Flaunt have you covered. In this guide, we will get you all up to speed with all the important marketing tricks just in time for the festivities to begin.
Why The Best Christmas Campaigns Are Created In Summer
Online exposure doesn’t happen overnight, which is why many businesses will be planning to crack the Christmas code and begin the initial stages of their festive marketing campaigns during the hottest days of the year. This is all done with the aim of getting ahead in the Christmas gift market and completely ‘sleigh’ the competition – see what we did there?
It’s crucial that businesses are in the driving seat during the critical months leading up to the Christmas period, as gifts will be flying, people will be partying and Bucks fizz will be flowing.
With this in mind, let’s check out the 6-month search trend for ‘Christmas gifts’ in the latter half of 2021.
As we can see, there is a steep increase of interest in the term ‘Christmas gifts’, starting as early as August and we then see a sharp decline in the following weeks/months – we are bound to see the same this year. This handy piece of data allows businesses to gauge how much time they have to prepare and position themselves online for increases in demand, enabling them to provide the best customer service during their busiest periods.
With this in mind, let’s take a glance at the first UK Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for the term ‘Christmas gifts’, to see which companies look like they’re already gearing up for Christmas.
Information retrieved on November 8th 2022
If a SERP happens to be purely commercial it tends to show that there is heavy competition within it and it would likely be difficult for an outsider to suddenly shoot up the ranks – not impossible, though. It’s also worth noting that the SERP presented only contains organic results and doesn’t take into account Cost Per Click (CPC) advertising, which is often seen on competitive and popular SERPs.
Like butter to bread, quality content is crucial to your website, especially if your website is going to stand a chance against competitors during one of the busiest times of the year. With this in mind, make sure that your website is ready for the influx of Christmas shoppers, especially if you’re utilising a handful of PPC campaigns, as well as organic methods, to help you along the way.
A PPC campaign can offer Christmas gift companies quick access to users, whilst organic search can offer long-term revenue to companies offering technically brilliant websites that adhere to strict search engine regulations.
To expand on this golden nugget of insight, Flaunt has shared their top tips to ensure you are ready for Black Friday and Christmas.
How To Get Your PPC Campaigns Ready For The Festive Season
You may find yourself spending a lot of time implementing paid media strategies for Black Friday and Christmas, and it sure is worth it! Planning your Christmas and Black Friday advertising campaigns ahead of the festivities is important for three very simple reasons:
- Potential for more sales
- Catch customers on payday
- Prime time for causal shoppers
Plus, if you are looking to get the most from your paid media strategy over the festive seasons, you will need to ensure you have all your paid media channels covered.
Make sure that you’re running search ads across Google, Bing or both, as the majority of people start their purchase journey with a search engine; ‘Googling’ the products they want.
Google shopping campaigns were the second-highest revenue drivers for clients during the Christmas period last year. This isn’t really a surprise, as shopping ads give you a quick overview of the product, description and price; pretty much all you need to make a decision.
Display Ad Campaigns
Make sure your display banners are ready before Christmas! This will not only give you the time and space to be extremely creative, but it will also drive people to your website.
Social Ad Campaigns
For some businesses, particularly in eCommerce and some of the more consumer-facing industries, social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are the main channels for driving revenue. They’re innovative and engaging and it’s no secret that people love spending time browsing them!
For more information have a gander at our blog on how to get your PPC campaigns ready for Christmas.
How To Use Amazon Advertising For Black Friday
Over recent years, Amazon’s advertising platform has been taking major strides. With the ability to reach over 300 million users and the value that it can offer advertisers, it’s a no-brainer when it comes to utilising Amazon’s ad platform over the festive period.
If you’re a seller on Amazon, you’re probably wondering how you can increase your sales over this major shopping weekend and the festive months. With so many deals on Amazon offered by so many competitors, how can you make your products stand out?
- Optimise your advertising campaigns on Amazon
If you already have advertising campaigns running, be sure that they are optimised in order to perform at a higher Return on Ad Spend (RoAS).
To do this, we recommend:
- Increasing the campaign budget
You will want to make sure you are ready for the spike in bids and the increase of shoppers clicking on your ads. Running out of campaign budget before the end of Black Friday will likely cause you to lose sales so preparing your budget for increased traffic is crucial.
- Pausing underperforming keywords
Many keywords may generate a lot of clicks but not necessarily convert to sales. This drives up the cost of advertising without providing much return on investment. To find underperforming keywords, look at the keyword targets and organise them by RoAs. Any keywords that aren’t meeting your desired performance level can be paused.
- Adjusting bids
With Amazon, you are able to choose the bid or price you pay for each click on our ads. Amazon provides a recommended bid but sellers can increase/decrease the bid from there. Sellers are also able to choose a bid strategy in order to be more competitive.
- Improve merchandising on Amazon
Merchandising is one of the most important aspects of selling on Amazon. Marketing your products by creating professional-looking content and thorough descriptions is crucial to being successful on Amazon.
Here are a few tips to improve your product listings:
- Feature important products on storefront
Utilising your brand’s storefront is a great way to place best-selling or new products in front of your customers. You will want to make sure that before the holiday season, all your prettiest and most popular products are prominently featured on your storefront.
- Create and schedule amazon posts
Amazon allows you to schedule and post content which can help you reach shoppers that are interested in your brand. Choose a product, create a caption and decide which image will display. Next, schedule when you want the post to display and watch shopper engagement with your brand increase.
- Add any additional images or videos to listings
Customers rely on images and videos on product detail pages to decide if a product is worth buying, so it is extremely important to have relevant, clear photographs on your product listings.
- Customer engagement is key
A great way to skyrocket your brand’s followers is to engage with them. With Amazon, you can manage your customer engagement and easily set up email marketing campaigns to help promote your best sellers during this festive period.
Is Your Site Ready For Black Friday, Christmas And New Year?
In the months leading up to Christmas, you will need to make sure you’re prepared by fortifying your site. The months before the festivities are a great time to upgrade your systems and complete any larger web development tasks.
Looking to push new features, and projects or undertake huge website development tasks? It’s time to get ahead of the game and do it before the influx of festive shoppers.
Add Black Friday banners to home pages and make sure your sale pages are up for the stampede of eager shoppers. You will also want to think about resetting any sale functionalities including coupon codes and discounts that can be added at checkout – you want to make sure your website is ready and the chance of anything going wrong is minimised, especially when you have a flurry of customers trying to get the best deals for Christmas.
Always make sure any images on your site are up to date to keep things looking fresh and consistent. A tip-top website optimised for the winter seasons can inject some excitement into your site and keep users excited until the very end of their user journey.
Flaunt Top Tip
Add CTA buttons above the fold on all your best-selling product pages! This will help to entice buyers early and give eager buyers a clear path to checkout.
5 Top Tips For Your eCommerce Website Ahead Of Christmas
The festive season is prime time for eCommerce retailers as the period from Black Friday through to Christmas brings in 50-100% more revenue per day than other shopping days throughout the rest of the year. Is your site ready for the surge of festive shoppers?
With this in mind, we have shared our top five ways to optimise your eCommerce website for the festive season.
- Offer festive promotions or coupons
When it comes to Christmas shopping and Black Friday people love to save money. Budgets are pretty tight and everyone is on the hunt for the very best deals they can find, so as a brand you need ways to entice these shoppers.
You will often see companies offering online discount codes which can play an important role in drawing customers in. To make the most of your brand’s festive promotions, you should have a landing page that showcases the applicable promotions and items. Make a slide on your homepage hero banner to draw attention to these deals and add a message to the checkout page further encouraging the user to claim their coupon.
- Optimise your homepage for festive shoppers
Update your homepage to include a ‘promoted gifts’ section to encourage sales, featured on a hero image or slider to catch the customers’ eye. Choose a selection of popular products: if you know that lots of users will be visiting your site for a certain product, it only makes sense to make it as easily accessible as possible.
- Clear Christmas delivery times
Ensuring timely delivery at Christmas is critical, even when people leave their shopping until the last minute. If you can ensure on-time delivery at Christmas time, customers are also more likely to buy from you throughout the rest of the year.
Offering a short lead time on delivery is a great way to keep customers buying until the very end of the festivities. Still, you need to ensure you are communicating your delivery times clearly across your site.
- Multi-buy deals on generic gifts
Multi-buy deals such as ‘3 for 2’ offers work extremely well on generic gifts such as cosmetics and lifestyle gift sets. These kinds of deals encourage the user to spend more than they had originally planned in order to qualify for the deal. Customers are likely to opt for these deals as they are quick and easy, therefore it’s certainly worthwhile offering this option on your website.
- Analytics tagging for different channel attribution
The majority of companies tend to use Google’s free analytics platform, but there are other custom tracking platforms out there like Hotjar and Crazy Egg. To get the most out of your analytics platforms, it is wise to check with your marketing and development teams to see if it is set up properly for tracking.
Tracking your website will help give you a better understanding of how customers interact with your website, allowing you to customise the experience to make sure every platform performs optimally.
We share more top tips for your eCommerce website during the festivities over on our blog.
Get Your Christmas Content Written
It’s important to get your winter-themed content planned and prepared well in advance, as we know users start their festive searches as early as October. Writing content around your brand with the right keywords and structure can help you strive to be at the top of the SERPs. Even just a few simple optimisations of your existing copy can make a huge difference to the way your content is interpreted by search engines.
Don’t lose your brand’s personality amongst a sea of keywords, though. Updating your website copy for Christmas is a great opportunity to let your creativity flourish to entertain customers, just as much as you’re educating them.
Taking an extract from our blog, Agency Land Through the Summer Season, we show you how we can help take your Christmas content to the top.
Terry’s Chocolate Orange – A Christmas Stocking Staple
Currently sat on Carambarco’s Terry’s Chocolate Orange homepage is an opening introduction that makes you want a chocolate orange all year round (because let’s be honest, it’s not just for Christmas!)
‘Terry’s Chocolate Orange is a subtle combination of delicious chocolate and natural extracts of orange. But, it is far more than a chocolate. Terry’s Chocolate Orange is a full experience. Tap it, unwrap it and enjoy it: that ritual has been tempting the United Kingdom for nearly nine decades. There is nothing else like it! With its original round shape and its fun and magical personality, it has become the Must Have of Christmas and the perfect token gift all year round.’
Does Google know that Terry’s is talking about their much-loved chocolate orange? Well actually it does, not only is Terry enjoying mammoth sales every Christmas, they are also achieving great things with their content.
With Google, 80% sure the content is discussing candy & sweets and picking up keywords such as, ‘chocolate’ and ‘orange’, can the brand really do any better? With a few small changes, the team at Flaunt have managed to create an intro which Google keeps in the candy and sweets topic and now has higher rankings for keywords such as, ‘Terry Chocolate Orange’, and ‘chocolate’. Could this be Carambarco’s Terry’s Chocolate Orange’s new home page introduction?
‘Terry’s Chocolate Orange is a subtle combination of delicious chocolate and natural extracts of orange. Far more than just chocolate, Terry’s Chocolate Orange gives you the full chocolate experience. Tap it, unwrap it and enjoy it: that ritual has been tempting the United Kingdom for nearly nine decades. There is nothing else like it! With its original round shape and its fun and magic personality, the famous Terry’s Chocolate Orange has become the ‘Must Have’ of Christmas and the perfect token gift all year round.’
The Flaunt Way: Hatton Jewellers Multi-Channel Case Study
Flaunt was tasked with boosting Hatton Jeweller’s online revenue over the Black Friday and Christmas Period, through the implementation of a multi-channel marketing strategy. The strategy put the focus on organic search, paid media, Google shopping, display advertising and social advertising.
In order to boost Hatton Jeweller’s visibility across Google’s SERPs, the team at Flaunt created highly-targeted search ads with relevant keywords and messaging that highlight some of the seasonal offers they have. We focused on consistent messaging and branding across both display and social media ads, with cost-per-click bids increased gradually for top-performing keywords, dedicating more budget to the campaigns that delivered the highest conversion rates.
Flaunt Digital’s SEO team also optimised functional content across key high-volume pillar pages to increase organic visibility ahead of the festive period. This in turn brought down the combined Cost of Sale across the multi-channel strategy, giving Flaunt’s paid media team more leeway to increase budgets and truly drive revenue.
To learn more about our work with Hatton Jewellers, visit the case study on our website.
Christmas PR Campaigns Are Here To Spread Festive Joy
While the famous ‘Holidays are Coming’ jingle from the Coca-Cola advert will no doubt be stuck in our heads soon and everyone snuggling up to watch I’m a Celebrity, there is still the need to ensure you are delivering quality PR coverage over this busy festive period.
With more demand than ever to ensure your brand’s Christmas campaigns are bigger than last year, it’s time to look at who is already taking centre stage and spreading festive cheer to all.
Buddy the Elf stars in Asda’s 2022 Christmas TV campaign
The TV ads are flying in – with people patiently waiting in anticipation for the famous John Lewis ad and Kevin the Carrot hitting the screens for Aldi – but Asda certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Viewers get to enjoy Buddy the Elf embracing his first day as a member of the Asda in-store Christmas team. Using footage and iconic lines from the UK’s favourite Christmas film (yep, we said it), the beloved Elf is right at the heart of the bustling Asda store. The ad is filled with little moments of joy and more importantly the popular Asda products. With a little help from Buddy, Asda’s joy-filled Christmas offering is there to create some festive magic and give families a Christmas to remember.
Barbour’s ‘Re-Loved’ Christmas campaign
Who doesn’t love a heartwarming campaign at Christmas? Barbour has recently launched its 2022 Christmas campaign which focuses on sustainability and thoughtfulness. This much-loved lifestyle brand has collaborated with the classic British children’s character, Paddington Bear, to create a nostalgic, fun illustration-style animation.
With a strong focus on sustainability and to support their campaign are launching a limited-edition Barbour x Paddington Re-Loved jacket with a unique lining taken from an image in this year’s Christmas film – each upcycled and one of a kind. This is sure to be a firm favourite on everyone’s Christmas lists this year!
Not a dry eye in the room when watching the DocMorris festive campaign
We always see some wholesome comfort over the Christmas period, but people are particularly taken with this grandad who lifts weights so he’s strong enough to carry his granddaughter. When the ad reaches Christmas day his granddaughter opens a gift and finds a star tree topper, where he shows how he used his workouts to be able to be strong enough to lift her to the top of the tree.
The ad finishes with the slogan written in German which translates as: ‘So that you can take care of what really matters in life.’ A heartwarming Christmas advert but the Dutch pharmaceuticals company, DocMorris.
How To ‘Sleigh’ Your Digital PR Campaigns At Christmas
Here are some quick-win digital PR tips to help you spread festive cheer this Christmas through your digital PR.
Make the most of your existing content
Evergreen content is key in any marketing strategy which also applies to your Christmas ideas from previous years. If ALDI can bring back Kevin the Carrot year after year, you can bring back your Christmas campaigns.
A great PR strategy will have content ready that can be easily updated to focus on the current year’s Christmas trends. Whether this is data, visuals or product PR, with a few simple tweaks you can gain additional coverage from what you received the last time it was outreached.
Timing is everything this Christmas
It’s time to get your ideas and press releases in early as journalists will no doubt be taking a break over Christmas just like anyone else. Whether you’re pitching a story or a product, content is sure to be flooding into journalists’ inboxes from all angles. You will want to make sure you don’t end up missing out on any coverage as they will often start looking for relevant festive-related content in November or sometimes even sooner.
Stand out from the crowd of Christmas content
Christmas is an easy focus for most brands at this time of year but it might be time for a change from the ‘normal’ festive content to help you stand out within a journalist’s inbox. Stand out with short, catching email subjects. Feature a shocking stat, question or even a pin, there is still a need to pitch these kinds of stories at any time of year and even more so if you work in a niche PR sector.
Not Quite In The Festive Spirit & Need A Hand To Get Ready For Christmas And Black Friday?
Give us a bell today and we can help you out! Christmas is a busy time for everyone and can be difficult to juggle so many different aspects of your brand. Working with a digital agency can help you deal with the busiest time of year and strive to the top of the SERPs just in time for Christmas.
Give us a call or check out the Flaunt Digital blog for more digital marketing advice. Alternatively, head to our Facebook and LinkedIn channels to fill your Christmas stockings with more Flaunt content.