For many, September means the kids go back to school, the morning drive takes slightly more time, but for those who work in a business, especially an e-commerce business, it is even closer to the busy time of year known as Christmas. Perhaps it is too soon to start hanging decorations in store (although some do!), but it is definitely not too soon to plan campaigns and promotions.
In this, September edition of our Marketing Monthly blog post, we look at topical areas to consider, and discuss ways for you to plan your Christmas user experience.
- Should you be using Instagram advertising? In recent news, Instagram opened its advertising up to businesses in over 30 countries around the world – including the United Kingdom. Previously, Instagram ads could only be purchased by a small amount of selected companies in the United States.Instagram adverts are placed in user feeds and can be targeted very specifically using Facebook data (Facebook own Instagram following a $1 billion purchase) so these could potentially become more and more expensive as demand rises. It could be worth spending a test budget on Instagram advertising as part of one of your campaigns, but remember this is a very visual channel, so the visual quality of your ads needs to be very high to make an impact.
- Check your analytics: Around this time of year, parents and children change their behaviour. Suddenly time becomes more structured and those who would have been able to look at websites in the middle of the day are no longer able to.Using Google Analytics, you can see whether your users are accessing your website at different times of the day to the times they accessed the site during school holidays, by going to Audience -> Overview, then clicking the ‘hourly’ tab.In Audience -> Demographics -> Overview, you can see the age and gender of your website users to see if this differs over time. The reason for collecting this information is for future planning. Next year, around this time of year, you can plan to target your marketing messages at the best possible time.
- Christmas designs: Much like festive decorations in a physical shop, you can get people in the festive mood with Christmas-themed designs on your website. We’re not suggesting that you change your website to look Christmassy right now, but it is worth pre-planning so that you have the designs ready to put live. If you would like us to create these designs for you, please contact us: email@example.com.
- Optimise your Christmas Products: Product SEO is generally an ongoing thing, as new products are added and search trends, but if you are clear which of your products are likely to be important for Christmas, prioritise them around now, so you can be sure that they are ranking in time for the rush.
- Could you add to your social media strategy? This year, we have seen the growth of some new social media channels. It is worth looking at these, although many may not be beneficial.
- Periscope: Acquired by Twitter, this is a live streaming platform, which allows you to take video with your smartphone and broadcast it (live) to your followers. This is a great way to show your audience anything that could be spectacular, interesting or entertaining, and will add more impact if watched live. You can essentially turn your smartphone into an online TV station. If you don’t have enough live events, however, it isn’t worth looking at, as it can take a lot of preparation.
- Snapchat: This has seen continued growth this year and a number of businesses are using it to offer exclusive photos and behind the scenes shots. Again, if you don’t have enough material for this, then it can be a waste of time and effort.
- Vine: This is not necessarily new, but it has got around 200 million monthly active users. Vine is a platform for 6 second videos, so if you think your business could create engaging and entertaining 6 second videos, you could benefit from reaching Vine’s user base.
If you would like to discuss anything covered in this month’s Marketing Monthly, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org.