Christmas is coming – what’s your plan for 2016?
Every year the big departmental stores and supermarkets – John Lewis, Debenhams, Asda and even Aldi, spend a small fortune on their Christmas adverts. Once they start to be shown, you know Christmas is not far away and it’s the most lucrative time of year for retailers.
However, when it comes to our clients, who are mainly business to business, working in industries such as manufacturing and construction, Christmas is not a particular boom time. In fact, Christmas can be one of the quietest times of year. So here’s our advice for how business to business companies can make the most of the period leading up to Christmas.
- Firstly, now is a great time to be planning ahead for 2016. For our construction andmanufacturing clients we put together PR schedules for the year ahead, which means we can plan editorials with all the key magazines throughout the year. We agree which ones to target with our clients, decide on the themes, then our journalism expertise comes into play as we write topical and informative articles to suit the editorial style of the trade media. Our full programme of activity ensures high quality in-depth media coverage throughout the year.
- Plan your video content Adding video content regularly to a website helps to improve your search engine ranking. It’s a good idea to plan your video content now, as this is often an area that gets left behind in busy times. Many of our construction clients plan a video every quarter; ‘how to’ videos aimed at contractors and installers work really well – where step by step advice and tips is given on carrying out a task. We can story board, film, direct and edit videos – with great results!
- Review and plan your charity, community and environmental initiatives for the year ahead. Never underestimate the importance of keeping good relationships with the local community. If you are a manufacturing business, for example, the last thing you want is complaints from local people about noise, emissions, pollution etc. It’s a good idea to build a community engagement plan that addresses issues that may concern the community. It should involve local charities, community groups and environmental initiatives. We have great success with this kind of community engagement campaign – if you would like help with this, please let us know!
- Plan your social media campaign. With social media, it is important to plan for the year ahead. Although Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and Instagram work well when they’re quick and reactive – to get the best out of these important media channels it is best if the whole campaign is underpinned with an effective social media campaign. This should link to your blog and SEO strategy, so you have clearly identified themes throughout the year. These could be community campaigns, Facebook competitions, anniversaries, seasonal dates, awareness days etc. If you have these clearly identified on a social media strategy, it means that everyone is aware of upcoming content and can start planning ways to share and engage with it.
- Healthcheck your SEO At this time of year, we are reviewing many clients’ Google Analytics for the whole of 2015, to identify trends and analyse which campaigns were the most successful. It is also a good idea to review keywords and identify any new ones to be targeted for the year ahead. For new and existing clients, this is the time of year when we health check their SEO and put together a plan for 2016, including new product launches and seasonality. The key to this is that the SEO campaignsbecomes an integrated part of our social media and PR programme too, so all the content we generate can be monitored and evaluated in terms of increased traffic to the website.
- Review and evaluate the year’s successes This time of year is ideal for reviewing and evaluating the years’ integrated PR campaign. It is worth taking the time out to sit back and review what has worked best and where the outputs can be improved. For us, we feedback by the end of the year with an evaluation of our clients’ press cuttings, their social media engagements, increases in followers and a complete review of traffic to their websites. We then meet with clients to discuss how an integrated plan can help them meet their growth objectives for the year ahead. An important part of this is to brainstorm ideas – and for this we involve members of our account team, such as web designers and SEO experts. They can however add that essential external input and creativity to really drive forward with campaigns in 2016.
For more details, or if you would like to benefit from a free PR audit, social media or SEO review, contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01709 300130.