The festive period is almost upon us.

And with that, a series of important decisions for many business owners.

How long do you close for?

Do you even close?

How many staff will you need?

And most importantly, do you continue to run your digital marketing campaigns?

The default for a lot of business owners is to wind down and pause their marketing as they look to cut costs during this time.

While this can be an understandable approach as sales can dip during this time, we strongly recommend to budget for the festive period and continue your marketing campaigns through the whole break.

Here’s why.

What Happens When You Pause Your Marketing?

Google Ads / Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Google Ads is one big auction, where you’re bidding for the top positions in Google.

When you leave bidding-based auction, you lose your position and let your competitors take your place.

With less competitors in the auction, they don’t need to pay as much for their efforts. This is the simple economic principle of supply and demand.

When you start again, you don’t get your old place in the auction, you start in a new auction. Your campaign will take longer to get back to the previous performance you experienced for this reason.

And don’t forget, Google is about the long game. They want advertisers to stay on their platform and spend money. Reducing your bids or total ad spend is a much better strategy than stopping everything.

Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Social Media has become quite sophisticated in the way it uses data and targets users. When running a social media campaign, you’re using machine learning based on desired user actions to optimise campaign performance.

When users complete the desired actions, this data is recorded and used to better deliver ads to a more relevant audience.

With campaigns turned off, there is no machine learning or data retention. This also means that if the campaign is turned back on and we’re using old data, audience targeting may not be as accurate as consumer behaviour changes depending on the time of year.

This often means we need to start the machine learning process again. Whether we’re running a 30, 60, or 90 day retention set, it may take some time for your campaign to be back to its optimal performance self.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Organic traffic is hard work to build up which is why SEO is often referred to as a long game. Now, let’s just have a quick overview of the many potential components of an SEO campaign:

  • Content Development (Blogs or Service pages)
  • Backlink Acquisition
  • Internal Linking
  • Technical Performance
  • Google My Business (GMB) Optimisation & Posts
  • Onpage Optimisation
  • Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)
  • User Experience (UX) Optimisation

Without SEO performance being managed, we often see drops in client rankings which tends to correlate with reduced traffic and overall conversions.

Like Google Ads, it can take longer to regain your rankings if they’ve dropped off while your competitors kept going.

Reasons to Continue your Marketing through the Holidays

If you’re a business owner, you’re probably looking forward to a break to zone out and spend time with the family.

We suggest putting a small amount of time towards planning your digital marketing strategy over the break before you stop.

People have more free time, they’re less stressed, more receptive to advertising and marketing, and attend more social events which means more opportunity for word of mouth.

You should take advantage of the festive break, and here’s why.

High volume of users on social media

As of January 2021, there were 20.5 million social media users in Australia which is approximately 80% of the population.

And on average, Australians spend 1 hour and 46 minutes on social media a day.

With more free time during the Festive season, user’s social media usage tends to increase which means your advertising reach has the potential to grow significantly. Why not take advantage of this with themed campaigns and offers!

Competitors Pause – Cheaper Ad Spend

As mentioned above about Google Ads, there tends to be less competition during the festive season as your competitors pause their campaigns. But not you.

Creating promotional offers for your audience, maybe special pricing, or free delivery during this time, has the chance to be even more effective over the break.

You’d be competing against fewer advertisers and would have to pay less for the same conversions. Wouldn’t that be nice?

H3: It will take longer to build up sales in the New Year

You’ve paused your marketing, you come back to work on the first Monday in January (maybe Tuesday to stretch out your holiday), where are your customers?

Truth time: They’re probably buying from your competitors who didn’t stop their marketing. They didn’t know when you re-opened or any promotions that you were offering over the break or even into the New Year.

Now you have the arduous task of re-engaging your marketing to bring customers back. This may take some time to get your campaigns to the performance you previously had.

Now instead of a quiet December, you’ve had a quiet December and January. This can be a big financial hit for many businesses.

Food for thought.

Keep It Going – Maintain Your Performance

Reduce not pause.

If you’ve considered pausing your digital marketing over the festive period, we urge you to reconsider.

Dial it down and maintain your existing performance if you’re concerned about costs. In some industries, dial it right up and reap the benefits.

If you’re unsure how to approach digital marketing during the festive season, contact our friendly team at Distl today.

Jack Headford

Account Manager & Operations Lead