Believe it or not, the holidays are upon us once again! For your business, this season means much more than turkey and stuffing at the dinner table or where best to string up your lights. The holiday season, which officially starts the day after Thanksgiving on Black Friday, is the busiest shopping time of the year. With greater numbers of consumers comes greater competition between businesses, and the best way to ensure your share of the profits is to be prepared.
There are many opportunities around the holidays for seasonal marketing ideas, Christmas sales strategies, or even just basic holiday selling tips. Either way, follow along with the marketing ideas below to improve your bottom dollar this holiday season.
Keep It Social
1. Get Creative on Your Current Social Media Platforms
Whether you have a brick-and-mortar store or an exclusively online business. Many people think an online E-commerce site doesn’t have the same marketing potential but there are plenty of high-quality impactful marketing ideas for e-commerce businesses.
Consistent social media promotion can make a world of difference in your holiday sales, as more and more consumers are making purchases directly through their apps. While you may already regularly use Facebook or Instagram, a more targeted approach is necessary for a successful holiday marketing campaign.
The holidays are some of the best times to really specialize your sales and products. If you have a product that can “boom or bust” the holidays are the times to make sure they “boom”. Some great social media tips are:
- Hashtagging for your best-selling products
Holidays can help your most popular products become even more popular. Make sure your best is getting the most attention online.
- Holiday giveaways
Everyone loves and appreciates free stuff. The holidays can be stressful for families but there’s a chance you can create impressions and help ease that stress with giveaways. It’s also a great way to build an email list.
- Holiday-themed contest with prizes
This is an opportunity to show the customers some insight into your business’s personality. Customers like to buy from brands they trust and align with. Holiday-themed contests are your business chance to get creative and flex your personality.
Whatever your campaign, make sure you maximize the clicks you receive through tagging, shares, and referrals. Try incentivizing clicks, shares, and referrals with the tips above. However, make sure you are efficient and productive with the information you receive. An email list is great, but you have to use it effectively.
2. Branch Out to New Channels
Once you’ve got your campaigns rolling on your main platforms, look into whether exploring a less commonplace social media outlet, such as Pinterest or Reddit, might generate new interest in your business. The right platform and the right strategy for entry will largely depend on your product, so it’s vital to find the best fit for you by doing your research.
Social media is a fantastic tool for you to use, but it can be complex and expensive. Make sure you do your research before launching any campaigns to effectively understand and efficiently market your business.
3. Consider Hiring a Social Media Specialist
If strategies 1 and 2 seem like adding a full-time job to your already busy holiday rush, you might benefit greatly from an employee dedicated solely to your social media. While hiring someone, even short-term, is another item on your to-do list, the pay-off will be worth it for a targeted and aggressive social media strategy into the new year.
Whether engaging with your customers through comments or using metrics to gain insight into your online marketing effectiveness in real-time, a social media expert can elevate your online presence and convert those likes into a greater holiday business.
Choose Your Words Wisely
4. Make Sure Your Advertising Copy Is Up To Date
If you do advertise online, make sure you’re optimizing for the holidays by including targeted seasonal keywords in your copy that will stand out when customers are searching for specific holiday purchases. This lets them know that rather than business as usual, the discounts and deals you’re promoting are current rather than perennial. While general keywords focusing on gift guides and holiday shopping will always do well, make sure to also play up the originality of your brand.
This is another chance for you to show your brand’s personality. Try thinking about what makes your brand special around the holidays and show your customers why you’re different than another brand.
5. Keep It Simple
There are innumerable avenues through which to market your business, whether more traditional approaches such as print or word of mouth, or more targeted tactics like video or SEO. Regardless of your chosen medium, the importance of a simple message cannot be overstated. If you’re launching a new campaign, make sure your customers know exactly what it is, how it works, and why they should choose it for their holiday shopping.
6. Find the Right Angle
We all know the pressure that accompanies shoppers during the holidays – trying to find the perfect gift in a crowded store or online marketplace that’s selling out quickly can be stressful for anyone. A smart marketing campaign can leverage people’s desire to avoid this scenario.
Some suggested incentives might include:
- Discounting purchases before a certain date
This can cause customers to “jump” at a purchase. On the fence, purchasers will be much more likely to purchase because of the discount.
- Bundling gifts
During the holidays people are looking for the best possible deals. If they can get multiple products for a discounted price, it’s more attractive than a single product at a regular price. It sounds basic and simple but putting it into practice is much more difficult.
- Ordering online to store for pick up
Sometimes the difference between a customer completing a purchase and having items just sit in their cart is the ability to get it sooner, or even cheaper. A purchase might look more attractive to a customer without shipping costs and the ability to pick up ASAP.
- Countdowns to final sales
7. Aim for New Customers but Don’t Forget the Ones You Have
While looking for new and improved ways to generate business this season, it should be noted that marketing for new and existing customers is very different, so it’s important to emphasize both and choose your terminology wisely. Make sure to target the people who made purchases from you last year before hunting for new leads.
Stay On Your Toes
8. Look Back for the Way Forward
If you’ve been in business for a long time, you probably know what works best for you. Look back at past years for clues to even more successful campaigns in the future. Set up systems to streamline this data for easy access in the future, and let the numbers lead the way before you start experimenting with a new untested strategy.
9. Prepare for the Worst
With any time-sensitive mission, there are risks involved. This is especially true for retailers during the holiday season. With greater traffic – whether online or by foot – the pressure is put on your current system. Make sure that there is a structure in place when something goes wrong, and that the right people are on call in order to react as quickly as possible. It doesn’t take much for a customer to move on if they encounter obstacles to an easy purchasing process, so avoid those obstacles at all costs.
The counter can also be true, if you’re quick to help a customer and have a plan set ready to be implemented they will remember that. Customers tend to return to businesses they trust. Chances are if you’re stressed the customer is too and if you can ease that stress they’ll remember and trust your business.
10. Use the Competition to Your Advantage
Other businesses will certainly be using some of these tips and tools, which means that you need to differentiate yourself from them in a meaningful way. Competitive pricing is always important, but during the holidays there is an even greater opportunity for differentiating savings – through the various types of discounts and deals you choose to offer.
Try brainstorming and coming up with a list of ideas and plans to set yourself apart from your competition. From there you can implement these tips into your holiday marketing strategy and watch your business grow!