With the holidays right around the corner it is the start to the most wonderful time of the year but it is also a tricky time for any business, retail or service, to keep engagement up and try to reach out to customers. The fourth quarter of the year can be make or break for retailers with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the rush of the December Holidays. After all consumers can hardly resist the attractive displays, the tempting discounts and the urge to shop when everyone around is doing the same. This is why you need strong, timely and effective digital marketing tactics to make your brand stand out during the holiday rush and get a piece of the holiday shopping season pie. According to the benchmarking report from Cuebiq, there was a significant uplift in physical store visits due to digital campaigns in the last quarter of 2016.
- Begin Your Holiday Marketing Campaign Early To Stay Top of Mind
Even though consumers don’t begin purchasing until November and December, they do start browsing and thinking about what to buy much earlier. According to AYTM Market Research, 47% of shoppers in the U.S. admitted that holiday promotions before Nov. 4 were effective in pushing them to make purchases. When it comes to making marketing strategies for this time of the year, the sooner you start the better as it is quite difficult for businesses to make themselves heard through all the holiday noise.
Running non-holiday related messaging a few months before November helps people recognize your brand and creates immediate recall when you do make the switch to holiday messages and promotions. And if your holiday advertising isn’t running by November, then it should be made a priority so that consumers know what you have to offer them. Planning and starting your digital marketing efforts early will help your business will be top of mind when consumers are starting their holiday shopping.
- Spread Season’s Greetings On Social Media
If you want to be noticed by the feel-good audience on social then you need to blast promotions on social media. But there is a fine line between successful social content to create a buzz around your brand and pushing cheesy and annoying messages, especially during the holidays. Social media can be a great channel for promoting your brand to consumers active on different social media networks, without being too heavy on the “sell”, and getting the word out about exclusive holiday deals and sales to your target audience.
If you establish yourself as a recognizable brand early on in the buying cycle then consumers will be more comfortable seeing your post or ad in their news feed later on in the purchasing process. For instance, Most major social media platform’s have great targeting capabilities and with the number of engaged users rising paid social ads can help your brand reach an audience in your area and be found online. For instance, with Facebook ads you can promote your ads to targeted audiences of a certain age or demographic based on who your business want to focus on. Nearly a third of consumers go on to make purchases based on a Facebook ad they see.
- Generate Holly-Jolly Sales Through A Pay-Per-Click Campaign
Pay-per-click can help bring in targeted holiday traffic to your website. A vast majority of people use search engines as their primary product/services research tool for holiday shopping by typing keywords or search terms. When users perform searches using the target keywords on your PPC campaign, your ads appear on top, below, or alongside organic search results, depending on your bid and quality score. Obviously search and pay-per-click campaign is the best place to start so that people looking for your products can find your business.
Planning for a strong PPC strategy has to start long before the holiday season so that you have a bid schedule for the entire season and enough in your budget to cover the cost of bids through this hectic time. It is necessary to have a clear idea on which offerings, promotions, messages and ad copy you’ll be sending out this holiday season and days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday so that your message can reach a wider audience. Leverage extensions such as sitelink extensions, location extensions, review extensions, product listings and landing pages with holiday-specific terminology to attract credible customers.
- Send Personalized Emails To Promote Holiday Sales
It is true that email inboxes become crowded with holiday marketing messages around this time of the year and users become particularly picky about the ones they open. But email remains a great channel to share your marketing message and keep your business top of mind when customers shop. In fact studies show that many people actually prefer email promotions over any other platform and are more likely to visit a local establishment after receiving a holiday themed email message from them. To maximize your holiday revenue, consider promoting holiday sales in email messages and include specifics about products or services on sale or special offers. It is important to schedule your email messages carefully and send reminders closer to the key dates. Based on a study by email vendor Yesmail, Thanksgiving-themed messages are received better early in November, whereas Black Friday-themed offers get better responses when sent last minute. For Christmas, emails should preferably be sent in the 10 days leading up to the holiday, with a countdown to the 25th.
To get online shoppers trying to find the best holiday deals on your website, put in place some of these digital marketing practices and see your business grow. To gain more insights about your holiday marketing get in touch with DirectiveGroup. Let us help you prepare your marketing plan for this season.
This is a guest blog written by Michelle Keyser, Director of Social Media and Content Marketing, at DirectiveGroup, a digital marketing agency, where she is a strategist and blog contributor. Contact them today for more information by calling 1.866.925.9524.