Christmas 09 is only 4 months away.Â No doubt you’llÂ already have your products organised and maybe some ideas on offline marketing butÂ what about online marketing.
Because online marketing can take 4-6 months to “kick in”Â thereâ€™s no time like the present to activate your Christmas strategy.Â Â So belowÂ areÂ 12Â timely remindersÂ on what needs to be in place to ensure that your site delivers this Christmas in a way that would make Santa Claus proud.
1. Blogging â€“ sounds similar to â€˜tobogganingâ€™ and is just as much fun
- Simply, unless you are willing to put the time into adding useful and interesting content on your site then there really is little chance that the search engines will bother ranking you for anything more than your domain name.Â You have to deserve to be number one.
2. Social Media â€“ itâ€™s time to get social (both online and off line) â€“ and we donâ€™t mean just churping along with the robins
- Marketing is no longer a one way monologue.Â It’s all about dialogue now and if you’re not up for a chat then users won’t listen.Â Â If youÂ say somethingÂ interesting then others will refer to it and pass it onto their friend – if it isn’t then they will talk about your competitors products instead.
3. Link Bait â€“ lay the foundations now and reap the rewards by Christmas
- How would you like say 500,000 more visitors to your site. Content will go viral ifÂ written properly – but before it goes viral make sure that your website can take the strain of the increase in visitor traffic.
4. Mouse tracking â€“ discover how your customers behave online and throw them a lump of cheese…
- Find outÂ where people are clicking on your site and where they are getting confused. You’ll be surprised by how quickly and easily people get lostÂ and moveÂ on elsewhere.Â Make sure buttons like “Add to Basket” are big and easy to find (and look like buttons)Â
5. Cross-selling â€“ if your customers have a basket, fill it!
- Seems pretty obvious thing to do but many companies still miss this easy opportunity to up the customers’ spend by 10% or so.Â Ask your web programmers to implemenet basket based offers.
6. Communications â€“ ensure your data management system is working for you and send glad tidings to all your customers
- I’m presuming you already have an email database.Â If not, why not?Â But continue to refine your database so that you can target relevant offers at different people.
7. Seven swans a-swimming â€“ (well we had to give some reference to the twelve days of Christmas) Will your customers be able to swim through your site without any hold ups?
- Should you really be making your customers register before purchase?Â Are you hiding your delivery charges? (Hidden delivery charges are the 2nd most cited reason for people abandoning a shopping cart). Is it obvious how to make the order?Â All these issues will effect conversion rates.Â Get friends to perform specific tasks on your site and see how they perform. You’ll be surprised.
8. Content management system â€“ check that your system will enable you to do everything you require. Weâ€™re still working on a turkey cooking programme but we are happy to cover off everything else.
- Got a great idea for a Christmas offer? Have you checked that your e-commerce software is capable of handling this type of offer.Â Find out now and don’t leave to last moment.
9. Reputation management â€“ discover if you are featuring on your customersâ€™ Christmas wish lists this year
- Find out what people are saying about you with Datadial’s reputation management software and then respond to these commentsÂ and start a dialogue.Â See how Love Film responded to a post I wrote about them – this was a classic bit of Reputation Management whereby they quashed my negative comment about them.
10. PPC â€“ Pretty Perfect Christmas?Â We believe Pay Per Click is the icing on the cake of an online marketing strategy (never the key ingredient)
- Multi channel marketing includes PPC as well as snail mail.Â PPC is expensive if implemented incorrectly.Â Get this sorted before the Christmas rush starts.Â Â Do all your experimenting with what works and what doesn’tÂ or else you’ll find all the money coming in one end is going out the other end.
11. Online PR â€“ You donâ€™t need to bring frankincense and myrrh but if you’re doing anything quirky orÂ different then let the blogosphere know about it
- Do not presume that your PR company can do online PR.Â Online PR is an entirely different science to Offline PR and most PR companies do not have a clue about how to create buzz on line.
12. Online optimisation â€“ creeping round every corner making sure everything is as â€˜friendlyâ€™ as possible
- This is the most important thing to get right – If your website is not optimised for search engines then it has no chance of being ranked for its keywords.Â Ask us to provide a website analysis for you.Â If you ask nicely we might even do it for free, seeing as it’s nearly Christmas!
If you’ve got it all covered then you can join our happy Santa on the beach