Diwali is upon us.
No longer is Diwali just India’s most widely celebrated festival – over the past few years, it has turned into our biggest online shopping festival too!
Welcome to this special festive season article for marketers.
While businesses rub their hands in glee at the prospect of oncoming sales, marketers know that with every passing year, the battle to win customers online goes higher and higher uphill. Especially in India, where shoppers are loyal to only one thing: price.
In order to beat the competition in such a scenario, deep pockets are simply not enough. You need data – accurate, timely and actionable data – if you harbor any hopes of cracking it during the ultra-competitive Diwali sale period.
Digital marketing tool suite SEMrush has come up with a just-in-time guide that helps marketers do perfect their holiday campaigns in the run up to Diwali with the help of big data analytics on search and social that the tool pulls from a variety of sources.
Here’s the long and short of SEMrush’s approach to high stakes online marketing:
- Look at seasonal factors
When your revenue depends on the success of a short campaign or burst of advertising, the timing and relevance of your messaging become all the more important.
For example, during seasonal events festivals like Diwali, you might start out with the assumption that people would be looking for greeting messages, images, wallpapers, shopping deals and so on. You can combine this with season-specific items like lights, crackers or gifts to get more context into the general purchase intent of users. For this, you need to
- know exactly what customers are actively searching for and the search volume for those terms
- conduct accurate keyword research in order to determine factors like keyword difficulty and prioritize primary and secondary keywords to target
- dig into historical data to find out what is likely to sell during that time of the year
Finally, you get down to the details and identify the metrics that you need to pursue in order to maximize sales.
- Analyze your niche
Since the New Year follows Diwali in some parts of India, traditionally, people have bought new apparel and gifts for each other during this season (in addition to lights and firecrackers, of course). However, making any assumptions with regard to possible bestselling products without attempting to assimilate and analyze market data is the biggest mistake you can make.
With the rise of e-commerce in India, the Electronics niche has replaced Apparel as the biggest selling product category during Diwali.
And why is that?
Not just because people strangely feel the urge to replace their phones and TVs during this time, but possibly because this is when online retailers offer their biggest discounts on electronics (forcing physical retailers to follow suit).
Thus, the trends in your niche may not just depend on traditional factors, but also owe their shifts to competitive tactics and changing consumer preferences. Which brings us to…
- Understand audience behavior
The key to targeting your customers better is to understand what makes them buy what they want and how they go about the purchase.
In emerging markets like India, a large chunk of the market has skipped the desktop devices on their way to becoming e-commerce consumers and directly made the mobile phone their sole instrument of online shopping. Four out of five people use their mobile devices to access the internet (with most of the country now having access to 3G/4G connections).
COD (Cash On Delivery) as is a surprisingly common, elemental and necessary payment option that Indian retailers offer, in order to gain the trust of consumers who’ve not been online for much time.
Once you have an idea of the devices, software, and apps your customers like to use while shopping, you can zero in on their actual preferences and interests. You have options like remarketing, platform-specific analytics (like Facebook Insights or Google Analytics), and good old email marketing to help you do that better.
- Know your competition
At critical times like Diwali, your competition is always snapping at your heels like hungry crocodiles. Again, with the widespread availability of big data as well as analytics tools that deliver actionable information that helps decision makers formulate and regulate their strategy, no singly company can boast of an exclusivity advantage based on resources or market intelligence.
Your best bet, therefore, is to get access to more real-time, updated, relevant and processed data than your competitors can lay their hands on, and act quickly by developing or changing tactics based on this data.
For your SEO and PPC campaigns, SEMrush is an invaluable tool that gives you access to invaluable competitive data, including
- the backlinks their site has got, along with the value of each
- their best performing content
- the keywords their webpages rank for, and how that compares to those that yours rank (or don’t rank) for
- their ad copies
- their web traffic broken down by digital channels
- Create a foolproof plan
Given the limited time, huge budgets and intense competition, seasonal marketing campaigns give you no room for failure. One small mistake in planning or execution, and you stand to lose out an entire year’s worth of efforts.
To avoid this scenario, you need to start by knowing your market inside out. Changes in browsing and buying behavior, competitors’ budgets and strategies, new market entrants, breakthroughs or shifts in the industry, the influence of technology, government regulation… nothing should pass you by while planning and running your campaign.
Follow that up by monitoring your progress every single day (or more frequently) through the duration of the campaign. Dissect every spike or dip and try to iron out inconsistencies and uncertainties.
Light it up!
With careful planning and meticulous evaluation of business intelligence, you have a good shot at coming out on top this Diwali. Once more, here’s the link to SEMrush’s Diwali Marketing Guide, which contains first-hand insights from industry experts as well as charts and stats that will help you take informed decisions on how to structure and implement your 2018 Diwali campaign.
Do let us know in the comments how it works out for you. Good luck!
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