It might seem strange to be thinking about the holidays while summer is in full bloom, but today we will share our thoughts on why you need to plan for the holidays in July. With so much business now taking place online, forecasting and long-term planning has become a more important aspect for success. As one of the top web development companies in the game, we wanted to go over some of the areas a business needs to look at right now to ensure they end the year strong.
While the holiday season official kicks off in November with Black Friday, preparation to make the most out of the last quarter needs to start now. Even if holiday sales typically aren’t a large portion of your overall revenue, there are many things you can and should be doing to set the table for the end of this year and the beginning of the next.
Planning for the Holidays
Generally speaking about 40% of all internet retail operations are not ready for the holiday season even by August; make sure you don’t fall into that boat.
- Create Marketing Calendars – You should have your Q3 and Q4 marketing calendars written out so that you can prepare accordingly. Too many people wait until the last minute which leaves them scrambling and sometimes forgetting important things.
- Brainstorm Marketing Ideas – As an addition to starting the calendars, you can also get a jump on brainstorming. Even if you aren’t going to make selections on specific concepts for marketing until August or later, you can get some ideas in the hopper and let them percolate.
- Craft a Social Media Plan – The holiday period is one in which normal rules for the use of Social Media goes right off the tracks. People are on at different times and what they do while there is often different. Therefore you should craft a plan that works around that such as posting helpful ideas, holiday warm wishes, etc that adapts to the situation.
- Perform Keyword Research – Mid-year is always a good time to perform more keyword research along with analyzing how successful your existing keywords are. For those that are underperforming, you can make changes now, which leaves plenty of time for the internet to assimilate them.
- Review Subscriber Lists – Your email, newsletter and any other types of subscriber lists should be reviewed with a fine tooth comb. Those engaged customers should be moved to your A list while non-responsive subscribers should be down-graded to the B list and then targeted with re-activation campaigns in the next month or two.
- Website Analysis – You should take the time to review and analyze your website for problems and issues much like when you take your car in for regular maintenance. It is important to look for broken links, errors in the code such in the headers, remove underperforming content and review your sales funnel. Now is the time to perform some A/B testing if you are considering making adjustments to your site for Q3 and Q4 or even to prepare for the following year’s Q1.
- Pre-Holiday Campaigns – One way to help narrow your focus for the actual holiday is to perform pre-holiday campaigns with the goals of gaining information and creating interest. For example, you need to understand which offers will get the best results on products, discounts, etc. At the same time you want people to gain interest in your brand now so they are more receptive when the holiday offers start coming in.
- Create a Holiday Party – This is a fun idea that can be done in-person or online. The online party is a great way to engage with customers, entice, and excite.
The bottom line is that if you aren’t preparing for the end of the year now then you can count on a much more hectic year end. By taking the time to plan for the holidays in July you not only can craft more informative, effective marketing campaigns, but you can also expect less stress as all that is left is execution of your plans. That is a win-win for both your business’s bottom line and also your sanity.
Source: Lounge Lizard