The holiday season is still a month away for general consumers, but for marketers, the season is very much upon us. For online marketers, we all know this can be a very lucrative time for many eCommerce companies and we plan on capitalizing on this heightened gift giving period as best we know how. As we approach the coming holiday season here are five things (of many) to consider that will hopefully help you handle the stress and make some serious cash.
1. Set Some Rules
Do whatever it takes early in the holiday season to prevent unnecessary stress. You can do this by starting early and getting yourself organized. Set up email notifications, update your folder rules, or create a few scripts to help automate some of the more mundane tasks and really focus on the small stuff that unknowingly eats up a lot of your time. It’s very likely this small stuff has caused you stress and lost you some sleep. We always joke about our reoccurring “work nightmares” here in the office, and by setting up these simple notifications and rules you’re going to save yourself time, probably a bit of your sanity, and prevent an error or mistake from going unnoticed.
2. What Worked Last Year?
In most cases, you should be able to get your hands on data from last year. If for whatever reason you can’t, there’s probably someone that is willing to give you insight into last year’s holiday performance and overall strategy. If you do have the data, make sure you take the time to analyze it. What promotion or types of promotions worked well? What kind of messaging resonated best with your customers? Use this data to your advantage and do it again! Not to say you shouldn’t try out a few new tricks, but you need to make sure you include what has worked in the past, and expand from there.
3. Clean Up Your Campaigns
Going into the holiday season, make sure you’re putting your best foot forward. Tighten up your ad groups, look for keyword expansion opportunities, and do a solid negative keyword sweep. This is sort of a given, but from past experience the holiday season creeps up quickly, and even the most basic tasks can be overlooked. To prevent this, schedule yourself a block of time and just get it done. If you’re finding yourself overwhelmed mid-week, take a few hours on a Sunday (between football games of course). Getting a task like this out of the way early will help your performance when it matters most.
4. Optimize your Feed
If you’re new to marketing take note – Product Listing Ads are going to be HUGE for online marketers this holiday season. I expect the next few months to become increasingly competitive in this space. In the past, a lot of advertisers thought putting together a feed wasn’t worth the effort, but as of late, the pros certainly outweigh the cons. In order for you to be a player in this space during the holidays, make sure your feed is optimized as best it can be. Use your best images, clean up your product titles and descriptions, and take advantage of the grouping and label attributes to target your most valuable products and brands. Maybe even give mobile a try where it makes sense, because a lot of consumers start their gift research on their phone.
Nothing like having a huge project thrown at you last minute, or lack of communication between team members to really add additional stress. Don’t let this be you! Start early, assign tasks to the appropriate team members, and make sure everyone is clear about their responsibilities. Create a road map, set timelines, and more importantly – stick to them. This will prevent you from a holiday headache and potentially missing out on additional revenue.
Don’t be late to the game this holiday season, because chances are your competition is already ahead of you. Make sure you put your best stuff out there and remember during the craziness a few basic rules, insight into last year’s data, account optimizations, and an organized makes a big difference. Make sure you’re prepared, communicate the game plan and you should be able to handle the holiday season like a boss.
Good luck, my fellow marketers!