Blackboard with gold christmas balls and presents wrapped up in gold wrapping paper. The image evoques the concept of a holiday marketing campaign

10 steps for planning your December holiday marketing campaign

Sep 6, 2021 | Marketing best practices, Online advertising & SEO

Are you wondering how to plan a good holiday marketing campaign this year? If that’s the case, this video is for you. Scroll down and watch if you want to learn more about:

  • When should you start planning?
  • What should you consider when planning your next holiday campaign?
  • By when should your assets be ready?

Is September too early to plan your holiday marketing campaign? 

Planning ahead is always a good idea and it helps many brands maximise sales during this crucial period. 

According to the Bank of England, people in the UK spend 29% more in December than they’d do in any other month. 

As consumers, we know we need to be prepared for December’s festivities and fun. It’s now common practice for shoppers to do their online searches far in advance as this allows them to get more value from their shopping experience. Therefore, it’s important to be in the mind (and on the screen) of your potential customers as soon as the holiday season begins. Ensure you plan your holiday marketing campaign in time!

But what should you consider when planning this type of campaign?

1. Check last year’s figures and define your goals. 

  • How did your December campaign go last year?
  • When did conversions start to come through?
  • From which channels?
  • How many conversions did you have? 

Set some time aside to truly analyse your data and understand what worked well, when and why. Revisit your sales figures and write down a goal for this year. 

2. Segment your audience. 

  • Are you ready to reach out to your existing customers?
  • Can you encourage them to spread the word and help you acquire new customers?
  • What kind of people are you trying to attract to your website? 

Forgive me for being a little superficial here, but let’s try to simplify our thinking…Could we breakdown your potential seasonal shoppers into the following 2 categories: 

  1. Deal-seekers: these people would browse the web and all the shopping apps they have access to compare products and find the best deal.
  2. Last-minute shoppers: these are true procrastinators! Most of the time, they struggle to make up their minds and they finally buy the product at the very last second. The sense of urgency here is massive, and this is what your messaging should focus on!

3. Prepare an incredible offer.  

How can you create an offer that’s convenient, saves customers time + adds value at the same time?

Firstly, check what deals your competitors are offering. What value can you add? Come up with a few limited-time deals or limited edition products to add a sense of urgency. You could present them in the form of a time-bound discount, a gift card, a bundle of products or perhaps a special packaging option!

4. Choose a visual style. 

What holiday spirit are you trying to convey? Think about this carefully when planning your holiday marketing campaign. Pick a theme that’s in line with your brand and in line with the holiday season you’re celebrating. Create the visual assets you need and ensure they’re as eye-catching as possible. 

Think about the key visual elements of your website, social media accounts and other marketing channels that need updating. For example your website banners, your social media cover pictures and graphics, your newsletter header image, etc. 

We said this many times before, but we’ll say it once again – if you haven’t done this yet, check out Canva for great graphic design templates! 

5. Plan your December marketing campaign message. 

Consider things such as: 

  • Your audience needs
  • How you add value against your competitors
  • How you want your customers to feel when they see your campaign assets
  • What you want your customers to do

Your messaging must be consistent – so find an overarching narrative that’s inspiring and that encourages people to buy. 

6. Consider your channels and content distribution strategy. 

Now, how do you let people know about your amazing offer? Think about the channels you’ll be using to push your December holiday marketing campaign. Where did your customers come from last year? 

Some examples may include: 

  • Promote your offering across your Social Media pages and groups – this is a great way to create hype and drive awareness. 
  • Get your loyal fans involved and encourage them to spread the word (perhaps by giving them a small reward?). Emails are a great way to do this!
  • Build great and specific landing pages that include the essential info whilst looking vibrant, slick and streamlined. 

7. Create your campaign content. 

Now that you know what channels you’ll be focusing on, map out your campaign touchpoints and list the assets you need to create. 

For example, what social media channels will you be using? How many posts are you planning to create? What sort of assets will you need? How can you ensure that your design reflects the theme you’ve chosen? Will you create videos and blogs too? How many?

Take into account that creating this content will take time and that, ideally, the content should be ready by the end of October. 

8. Make the most of paid advertising to get more people to your website. 

What’s your budget? For how long can you run your ads? What kind of adverts should you create?

If your budget is healthy, you could run adverts on multiple platforms at a time, for example – Facebook ads (we can teach you how to do this! Check out our Facebook ads course agenda), LinkedIn ads, Google and Bing PPC and display ads, LinkedIn ads, etc. You could also feature your products and offer on third-party websites and email newsletters (if targeted to the right audience). 

9. Send personalised emails and texts.

Send out mailers to your existing customers to let them know about your seasonal offering. Remember to personalise your emails and texts – this is a must nowadays! 

10. Launch, analyse, report. 

Try to be ready to launch in November at the very latest! Black Friday could be a good moment to go live.

  • Think about any potential hiccups and how you’ll respond to these. 
  • Identify your key metrics and create a process to measure results. 
  • When the campaign ends, review your stats to see if you’ve achieved your goals. 

Great, that’s our 10 steps for planning your December holiday campaign. We hope you’ve found that useful! 

A few additional tips that might help you further

  • When checking last year’s figures, remember to identify when and how your audience reached your website (time and device). This will help enhance your customer journey. For example, if 80% of shoppers come from mobile, ensure they have a slick and streamlined experience on your website.
  • People generally don’t have much time, so try to make their experience easier by providing all the essential information in one place e.g. a compelling landing page. 
  • Try to be flexible! Can you review and ease your return policies for this period of time? Could you include free shipping? Could you add a free gift wrapping option?
  • When it comes to email marketing, remember to segment your audience based on how many interactions they’ve had with your brand. For example, it wouldn’t seem fair to give a £100 discount to your loyal customers and a first-time buyer! 


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