For many companies the holidays are an essential time for marketing. In fact, it’s often the time of the year where you can make up any shortcomings from earlier in the year and get ready for the upcoming year.
To be truly effective your holiday marketing should have started last month. 🙂 That is the time to really examine your audience, segment them for email and advertising purposes, and prepare your list to mail to.
There are a lot of things to consider with your holiday marketing and, while it’s best to start this long ahead of time, we know that’s not always possible. There’s still time to plan and get ready for the holidays!
You’ll need to commit the time to do a great job here, and ideally set aside time for you and/or your team in your calendars. The holiday season offers huge revenue opportunities for all kinds of business, but you have to be ready.
- Plan your holiday campaign. Figure out exactly what you want to do during the holidays. Be creative. Remember, everyone has a holiday promotion. Regardless of industry, every business out there is offering some sort of sale or incentive or bonus for buying during the holidays. You want to make sure your offer stands out. How creative can you get? What can you offer your audience that they want, more than anything else?
- Create both an email and online marketing strategy. Both of these channels drive traffic to your store, and are essential to increasing sales and hitting your revenue goals over the holiday season. Run ads on social media and/or search engines, and have a complete strategy for reaching your customers. Retailers can acquire up to 59% more customers during the holiday season, and ads are critical for making that happen.
- If you haven’t already, get your retargeting campaigns in order. These tend to be cash cows during the holidays, and being ready is key. Get ready to retarget people who visit your cart and leave items in it. Remind them of what they were already interested in so they don’t miss out on the holiday deals!
- Make sure your technology is up to date and ready to handle the traffic spikes. Confirm your hosting plan can handle additional traffic. Let your merchant account know you are running some holiday promotions and may have spikes in sales. Get your automation systems in order, making sure you can fulfill on what you sell. Get your customer service people ready to take care of fulfillment, delivery and questions. Taking a bit of time to get this all in order will make your holiday season smooth sailing!
- Give your site a festive, holiday feel. Just like our homes and offices, the more festive our website feels, the more festive our visitors will feel. Making your visitors feel welcome will boost conversions. So put the virtual apple pie in the oven and let them smell the cinnamon baking!
- Be clear on your shipping deadlines. There is nothing worse than buying something and not knowing when it’s going to show up. Well, maybe one thing worse…buying something and having it not show up.
- If you are selling online, get your landing pages set up and tested ahead of time. The more you have prepared, the less you have to do when you’re busy trying to fulfill on all of the sales you’ll be making.
- Remember, not all sales have to be for gifts. If I’m being honest, I’ve been known to buy a thing or two for myself during the holiday season. Offering a great deal on things people normally buy themselves can be very lucrative. People are spending a lot of money on other people this time of year. Give them an excuse to spend money on themselves.
- Amp up your content marketing plan during the holidays. After all, the holidays are about giving. Give your audience lots of great content that they can use. Let them know you are their go to resource for all things in your industry, and help them feel connected to you.
- Meet them in the places they hang out. Whether you’re an online brand or brick and mortar, you can find out where your audience congregates and network with them there. Once you’ve connected, and offered tons of value with no strings attached, you can offer them a deal and they will be thankful.
- Personalize, personalize, personalize! During the holidays your audience is being bombarded with ads in every channel possible. Email, online, snail mail, text messaging, billboards, tv, radio…the list is endless. However, very few of those channels are able to personalize the ads they see. And even fewer advertisers take the time to do it. Make sure your emails are personalized and you will stand out above the crowd.
- Pay attention to what your competition is ignoring. If you see your competition all over Google, you might try Facebook. If they are saturating Facebook, maybe you want to try YouTube or Pinterest. Be creative, not only in your offer and messaging, but in your channel preference as well.
- Track your results. Closely. In detail. Make notes and pull data to find out what worked and what didn’t. Make sure you understand why you got the results you did so you can make plans for next year. Repeat what worked, toss what didn’t.
- Set up a conversion campaign. After putting in all this work to create a kick ass holiday marketing campaign, the worst thing you can possibly do is not turn those buyers into regular buyers. Now that you have grown your customer base with your strong holiday campaign, reach out to them on a regular, and automated, schedule to make additional offers and switch them from a one time customer to a repeat buyer.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is a great start at the things to look at and prepare for when building your holiday campaign. By being prepared and thinking ahead you can make sure this holiday season is your best yet!
One of the biggest pitfalls for businesses during the holiday season is in customer service. If you approach your entire holiday season with a client centric attitude you will forever shift your customer experience and your results.
From sales to fulfillment to service, remember, your customers are being hit from all directions during the holidays. Make sure your message stands out, is focused on them, and delivers on its promises. If you do this, you will win this holiday season.