This month on the blog I am sharing with you how I have been preparing for my own holiday marketing. Last time we looked at how I get my initial ideas together for my holiday marketing plan and today I’m going to take that a step further, so you can create your own plan with ease and clarity. This will help you feel less overwhelmed and more confident in how to effectively execute your content to get the best results in brand awareness and sales.
5 Steps to the Perfect Holiday Marketing Plan
I want to make this as easy as possible for you to implement, so I’m going to show you exactly what I do to create my holiday marketing plan and how I am using it this year for my own business.
Step 1: Decide on your exact marketing goal
Last time we talked about how I get my initial ideas together by using research and my pinboard brainstorming method. In this first step of cementing my holiday marketing plan I write down my exact marketing goals.
I will also create a target for the number of sales, or new followers/subscribers I want from this campaign. The reason being is that I can later analyse what worked and what didn’t with ease, based on facts, rather than gut instinct.
I think as sole traders, we tend to forget about how important using data can be in our business decisions and for our mental wellbeing. I have found through coaching craft business owners that confidence can be knocked, and motivation can easily be stalled by allowing emotion to intervene when we contemplate the outcomes of our efforts (sometimes leading to comparisonitis). By using cold hard data and taking the time to go through what did work (even if we didn’t get the results we desired) we can correct that debilitating mindset from taking root and we are much more inclined to move forward with a clearer idea for what to improve next time around (and a better positive mindset)… and that’s what working for yourself is… a constant experiment geared towards improving your opportunities.
Step 2: Create a holiday marketing plan word doc
I have two separate goals for my holiday marketing plan, one for my books and magazine, and the second for the Craft Biz Incubator. In this case I will make two separate documents, because my content and strategy for each will be different.
For the purposes of this blog post and because you are product businesses, I’ll use my books and magazine marketing planner to guide you through my process.
I start by simply laying out my goals;
The campaign I’m working on
The specific goal I hope to reach
The incentive I plan to offer (special note: there doesn’t always need to be an incentive – read why I believe this here)
The channels I am planning to utilise
Under this section I’ll create a content planner. This helps me get ideas down on paper for each channel I wish to use… in this case that’s social media, newsletters, a blog post and external marketing (press).
I prefer at this stage to have outlines, rather than fully finished ideas, because this helps me create a story flow with my content and how it is delivered over time.
Have you ever wondered why story flow is important, or how you can use this to get more sales? I’ll tell you all in the Craft Biz Incubator!
Only when I have all my initial plans down, can I go back in and create fully finished content for each channel, feeling like I have created emotional connection and story flow to give me the most leverage with my audience.
Top Tip – before you create all your content think about your images and videos… your products may need props!
Props don’t have to be expensive, but they do need to evoke the lifestyle, or emotions your photo, or video is going for in look and feel.
I tend to keep a box of props in my office, that I can use as and when a marketing plan requires them. This gives me plenty of experiments to try when getting my marketing photo shot.
Step 3: Schedule your social media and newsletters, using automation services
As some of you may know I’m a big fan of getting my social media and newsletters prepared before I go into a marketing campaign or launch period. This is because it allows me to spend the launch time focusing on engagement and stats, so that I can; be there for my customers and secondly tweak the content I think could be improved for better traction.
Here on the blog I have reviewed three social media schedulers, which you can start by using for free;
I take the same approach for my newsletters, for which I currently use Mailchimp, which you can use for free up to 2,000 subscribers.
Step 4: Set up diary dates to check stats and update your holiday marketing plan document
During the holiday season and your campaign, the one thing you are hoping to be is busy with sales and if you are it’s likely that you’ll take your eye off the ball when it comes to tracking your campaign stats.
In order to make sure I don’t forget; I add notes in my diary for certain days during the campaign to check stats and make any necessary amendments to my upcoming content off the back of my findings.
Step 5: Check your website is optimised to convert
On the final week leading up to my campaign I always like to check my website is up to date and working properly. I recommend you do the same, so that you can maximise on sales leads from the traffic you are generating with your marketing campaign.
To do this I recommend looking at several things;
Is your home page set up to entice people to clickthrough to secondary pages and is it set up to capture newsletter subscribers effectively?
Can you reduce your home page loading speed?
Is your home page clear on what you sell?
Are your product photographs enticing?
Are your product titles optimised for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
Do your product descriptions help sell your products? Do they answer any immediate questions your customer may have?
Does your FAQ page need updating?
Do your policy pages need updating?
Does your shopping cart work quickly and easily?
Are you offering upsells at the cart?
Do you capture emails for your newsletter at the cart?
The first time you do this it might feel like a lot to manage, but honestly, if you create a system of approach, then the next time you create a campaign you’ll find the process much easier and efficient.
Before you go, watch my latest podcast, where I have 5 ideas that will help you with your holiday marketing plan content…
5 Holiday Marketing Ideas That Will Get You Seen!
If you are still stuck for marketing ideas, check out my latest podcast episode below…
Watch the video here;
Or listen to the podcast here;
Settling down and creating a holiday marketing plan is the best way to approach the upcoming festive season. It allows you to really maximise your potential to sell to the audience you have spent all year building around your brand, by spreading a more calculated message and product offer.
Tell me; Does that help you get started with your marketing plan?
I’d love to hear from you – comment below 👇 or email me!