Preparing for the Summer Holidays
Despite the weather outside, summer is nearly here, and you may be looking forward to a break abroad, or even taking your chances here in the UK (with umbrellas and cagoules at the ready). But who is looking after your digital marketing while you’re away?
If you have an agency helping you out, you might not be too worried. However, if you’re looking after it on your own, or with a small team – some of whom are also on holiday – there are a few things you can do to make sure all the hard work of the past few months isn’t compromised by a week or two away…
If you have Google AdWords campaigns running, download the Google AdWords app (not AdWords Express). This handy app gives you top-line campaign information including:
- Bids and budgets
- Real-time alerts and notifications
- Call a Google expert
- Act on suggestions to improve your campaigns
Schedule Your Content
Not all of your potential customers will be on holiday, so don’t let your content go stale while you are away. You can schedule content for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms.
There are loads of tools you can use, including HootSuite, Sprout Social and TweetDeck.
Also, make sure you’re promoting an appropriate CTA—don’t offer a free trial sign up if there aren’t enough staff around to actually set up the free trials!
With Facebook Pages Manager you can view and respond to comments and private messages from your phone (as well as see Page Insights), and Facebook Adverts Manager allows you to edit your ads and budgets, get notifications of when ads are finishing and keep an eye on your spending.
(I’ve yet to find a good app for managing LinkedIn advertising, please get in touch if you find one!)
Still Send Emails
Most email platforms will allow you to send emails scheduled for a specific time. Marketing automation platforms also allow you set up automatic email sends based on user behaviour. So you don’t need to stop your lead nurturing over the holiday period whilst you’re at that barbecue or lying on the beach…
Think About Your Website
As with email, most content management systems (CMS) have an option to schedule content. Nothing screams ‘I’ve gone on holiday and don’t care about you right now’ like outdated seasonal content on your site.
If your website CMS doesn’t have a schedule function, consider putting your best performing content on the homepage whilst you’re away, or at least don’t leave up information about an out-of-date event during your break.
Use the budgeting functionality on your paid media platforms to ensure you don’t overspend while you’re away. If your business is seasonal, have a quick look at last year’s performance; and if it’s not, a quick look at last month’s, to determine your maximum exposure.
The main platforms all have daily budgets as part of standard set up, but AdWords and Bing also offer decent monthly budgeting functionality for those longer holidays.
Google also offers a Google Analytics app which is reasonably good for basic monitoring and will allow you to at least get a high-level view of your activity, especially useful for answering ‘quick’ questions from your MD whilst you’re away.
Again, keep in mind seasonality and remember many sensible people like you will also be on holiday so volume (though hopefully not performance) may dip.
Finally… Check with Your Sales Team
Make sure there is a plan in place to deal with inbound leads. If you have a small sales team who are also on holiday, make sure someone will be monitoring the group email address and the phone won’t be going unanswered.
If unfortunate scheduling means there will be days when no one can manage calls from prospects, or customers for that matter, consider enlisting the help of a call handling agency to get you through the holiday season.