The holiday season is just a few weeks away! So far, I’ve told you what you need for your holiday campaign, how to target your audience, and where you should focus your budget, among other tips from my years as a marketer. Now I want to address the schedule.
Your holiday marketing campaign isn’t a high school project: you can’t expect to reach your goals if put everything off until the last minute. You need deadlines! I’ve found that there are three pillars for a good deadline. Good deadlines must be . . .
1. Good for Your Budget: The deadline must fit within the confines of your budget. Will you have enough money to run ads for a given amount of time? Will you have enough in the budget to cover your personnel needs until a specified date? These are the questions you’ll need to consider.
2. Good for Your Bandwidth: Speaking of personnel, you must give your team deadlines that are reasonable. Don’t assume that your staff will be able to pull off a Christmas miracle! Factor in human error and human nature by giving yourself and your staff a buffer. Never set deadlines at the last possible minute!
3. Good for Your Campaign’s Effectiveness: Will this deadline further your goals? In other words, are you spinning your wheels? Determine which actions are priorities, and which actions can be postponed.
Let’s start with a list of everything you need to accomplish or complete for your campaign. You’ll notice that some of these lead into the next item (i.e., you cannot complete Y until X is done). Generally, holiday campaigns include:
- Final Strategy: When will you have your final plan? This is the blueprint that you’ll be sticking to for the entire campaign; so while you can (and should) be flexible, your campaign plan should be complete.
- Budget: When will you have your budget ready? Do you need to hire any contractors or agencies to take on extra work of the campaign? It might sound silly to include deadlines for strategy and budget, but it will help you keep an analytical perspective toward your campaign.
- Creative/Visuals: When do you need your final designs? This aspect includes layouts for ads and any new website or landing page visuals. Do you use a contractor for design work? Remember that contractors might book up quickly for the holiday rush!
- Copy: When do you need all of your campaign’s written content? This should include landing page copy along with advertisements, posts, and blogs. You’ll need to account for editing content in addition to the approval process for ads.
- Advertising: There are a few aspects to keep in mind here. The first is practical: what is the deadline for submitting ads for a given publication, website, or platform? The second aspect to consider is when will your ads have the greatest impact? For example, you can’t expect a lot of engagement from a Cyber Monday sale ad if won’t be approved until Tuesday morning.
- Website Landing Page: You could generalize this to your entire website, but focus on the landing page for your holiday promotion or campaign. When will you need to have it up and running? If you use a contractor or another third party entity for your web design, what is their turn-around time? Will the holidays affect their schedule and availability?
Finally, you should consider the timing of your overall campaign. The timeline for a campaign that peaks on Black Friday is drastically different from a timeline for a campaign that peaks during the week of Christmas.
Armed with my advice, creating your campaign timeline should be a breeze! I mentioned this already, but it’s important enough to repeat: keep your plans firm, but allow for some wiggle room! Life happens. You realize that your copywriter will be out of town for Hanukkah. Your social media manager is hosting a horde of relatives and cannot work any overtime. Your IT guru will be on PTO all of Thanksgiving weekend–and you approved her request back in March.
This guide should help you create the optimal timeline for your holiday marketing campaign! Now let’s go!
The holidays are coming in fast–is your marketing strategy ready? The Go! Agency can help you get results! For a free consultation, contact us today!