It’s official, we’re now in that time of year again. It’s time for you to start thinking about the next couple months and planning your holiday marketing strategy. You’ve seen holiday specials, holiday-themed social media posts, and many other ways businesses are celebrating the season. Businesses that use holiday marketing actually see more purchases or engaging customers. In fact, during the holidays, 8 in 10 customers are influenced by the internet before they purchase something.
That’s a huge benefit for businesses during the holidays. Without taking advantage of the increased customer interest – you’re doing your business more harm than good. Although most businesses start planning for their holiday season early, it’s still not too late to start getting things in order.
This week we’ll walk you through some important parts of your holiday marketing plan. If you’re interested in getting the most out of your marketing strategy, hiring an agency can help you thrive this holiday season.
The Basics Of Your Holiday Marketing Strategy
There are several basics that you can get setup to make sure your holiday marketing is most effective. For example, having a business website and social media profile(s) are the easiest ways to market your business without spending a ton of money. These are also two things you will need to run an effective holiday marketing campaign.
We’ve talked about this a couple times on this blog and you’ve seen the statistics across the Internet – websites are now a necessity for your business. If you don’t have one, you’re missing out on a ton of amazing benefits (and incredible ways to market to your ideal customer).
If you need help getting a website up in time for your holiday marketing strategies to take effect – give us a call today so we can get started. Your website is key in marketing your holiday products, specials, and unique selling propositions.
You can offer holiday-specific products, create online specials that your customers can use, or even show how your business is celebrating the holidays.
Most of the businesses we work with almost always have at least one social media profile. But choosing a platform at random is ineffective for your marketing strategy. Sprout Social actualst released their Social Media Demographics for 2019 report which can help you determine the best platforms to setup on.
For example, if you serve a lot of kids and their parents, you might want to aim for platforms that have a higher percentage of middle aged adults and young teens. Check out the link above to scroll through their report and find the best platforms for your business.
Once you’ve found your ideal social media platform, or you’ve already setup your own profiles – start planning out your posts! Depending on your business (and your schedule) you can post many times a week or once. We recommend at least posting once a week to engage with your audience (and find new customers). Especially during this time of year, your holiday marketing strategy should be geared towards reaching people as often as possible.
Posting for the holiday season though doesn’t mean taking a picture with your iPhone and hoping people like it. You should keep in mind upcoming specials, ALL holidays (even the small ones), and interesting posts that will engage your followers.
For example, if you’re decorating your store for the holidays or just created a new holiday dish for your restaurant – you should be posting about it! Take pictures and write a small description with it.
Use Video & Photography To Grab Your Audience’s Attention!
In today’s digitally-driven world, using photos and videos to market your business is crucial ANYTIME of the year. But during the holiday season, it can even help influence more customers to buy and engage with your business more. 2 years ago, a study showed 64% of consumers said watching a marketing video on Facebook has influenced a buying decision in the last month.
Using video marketing and photography in your holiday marketing strategy can help you increase sales and customers. So what kind of videos and photos can you use for your holiday marketing plan?
Now by video marketing, I don’t mean taking out your iPhone or android and just taking a shaky video of yourself. You wouldn’t put out a product or complete a service like a college student, so don’t do that to your business.
But you can use your phone if you have a tripod or even a nice camera. For the holidays you can create videos of what it is like behind the scenes of your business, wishing your customers a happy holidays, or even announcing a contest or special offer you’re hosting.
You can also get “video reviews” from your customers after working with you. Have them record their own video and post it (make sure they tag you in the post)! Another great way to use video to market your business during the holiday season is a video of you or your employees explaining what makes your business different. Why should a potential customer choose you during the holidays? Answering that one question can help sway many people towards working with you – instead of your competitors.
But your best option would be to hire a professional videographer to do your video for you. Professional videographers can produce high-quality videos that tell your story in an engaging way. Adding transitions, voice overs, background music, and even graphics to your video are all a part of what videographers include in their services.
Marketing With Photos & Graphics
Have you seen those high-end graphics with bright colors and cool fonts across social media? Although those are very popular to show you are a professional business to your audience, a good picture is still valuable.
But, just like with video, you don’t want to post random pictures. Every picture or graphic you post is your one shot to influence a specific customer. That’s why it’s important to know why your posting it and how it helps your customer.
Take photos of new holiday products, showcase a new gift card or special gift product, or snap a picture of your new holiday decor at your location. These are great for advertising your business, but what about just getting your customers to engage with your photos?
People are more likely to share, like, or comment on a photo that brings joy or an emotion to their life. By mixing things up, you can stand out and be the first business your customers think of when they do need a product or service. For more ideas on how to capture that unique moment, read this article.
Offer Gift Cards or Customer Loyalty Programs
We referenced showing off your business gift cards or customer loyalty program earlier, but have you invested in one? If you haven’t or your thinking about improving your programs, these can be some of the most effective ideas for your holiday marketing strategy.
One of the most searched for products during the holiday season are gift cards. By creating fun gift cards, you can easily boost sales, returning customers, and even online sales.
If you don’t already have gift cards for your business, this article explains the benefits of having one and how to setup a gift card for your business.
Customer loyalty programs are easy to setup and can bring in tons of returning (and new) customers to your business. With most programs, you won’t have any setup costs and you can continue using a loyalty program in the future.
A few great ideas include punch cards, points system, and co-branding with a local business. If you would like to learn more about this, Hubspot offers an Ultimate Guide to Customer Loyalty Programs. They talk about the benefits of having a program, how to set one up, and many ideas for a range of different business sizes.
Get Your Customer’s Emails & Start Using Email Marketing To Boost Conversions
An oldie, but a goody – email marketing is still ranked in the top 3 ways of marketing your business. Email marketing doesn’t mean spamming emails to your potential customers however.
When you collect customer emails, they are going to expect something of value from your business. Whether that’s a monthly newsletter with interesting updates or even discounts they can use – it needs to be sent with your customer in mind.
You can easily collect customer emails on your website, on your social media, or even in store. By creating a newsletter, sending updates, or including special offers, you can create a list of qualified leads.
What do we mean by this? If a customer signs up for email updates, they’re conscious of the fact that they will buy from you in the future depending on what they receive. By educating your customers and providing value, they will move down the purchasing path with you.
Email marketing in your holiday marketing strategy is crucial because you can reach your ideal customers. For example, if you have a holiday product, special, or even an event coming up – you’re more likely to get engagement during the holidays.
Provide something of value and your customers will reward you!
Get Your Business On Google & Amazon Early For The Best Results
The majority of consumers starting to hunt for holiday gifts before Thanksgiving. Not only are they looking to shop early, but most shoppers are now starting their searches on Google and Amazon. These ideas can also be effective throughout the year, but it’s crucial to add it to your holiday marketing strategy too.
Start Advertising On Google With Sponsored Ads, Google Business Listings, & Google Shopping Actions
Azuma Media prioritizes Google for our client’s marketing strategies for a lot of reasons. Most of all, 97% of online experiences start with a Google search. Most people will Google something anytime they have a question or a need – so it’s an invaluable tool for local businesses.
Although you can get on the first page of Google by having an in-depth search engine optimization strategy – it can take time and a lot of effort. So if you’re looking for a quick way to start seeing results from Google, start thinking about Google Ads and Google Shopping.
Google Ads are most often recognized as the “sponsored results” at the top of every Google search results page. You’ve probably accidentally clicked on a couple during your past searches, but they are incredible at driving your ideal customers to your business.
Google Ads can be complicated though, especially if you’re new to setting up your own Google Adwords campaign. Getting help from a marketing agency can be a big relief during the holiday season. But there are a couple guides out there that can help walk you through the process of setting up a single Adwords Ad.
A less complicated way of getting listed on Google is setting up your Google My Business listing. If you haven’t made this a priority yet, you definitely need to add it to your holiday marketing strategy. Just click the link, sign into a company Google or G-Suite email, and fill out the questions about your business.
When your business is listed, customers will see your business listing in the business directory. You can also post new offers, discounts, or even business updates to your Google Business listing. When we setup websites for our clients, we always include a Google My Business listing because it also improves your SEO rankings.
Lastly, if you’re selling products and want to be featured on Google, you can now use Google Shopping. If you’ve ever searched for a product (boots in San Angelo, popcorn in San Angelo, etc), you probably have seen a slider full of images and product descriptions at the top of the page. These are Google Shopping products that local businesses use to sell their products online.
There are many different ways Google can sell your products online, they help you make the decisions that make sense for your business. Whether you want to just buy shopping ads for your products or post them organically, they have choices for both and more. They even offer an easy to use guide on listing your products with Google.
Sell Your Products (or Services) Through Amazon
This might seem like a relatively out-of-reach concept, but you would be surprised at how many businesses are on Amazon. Using their platform to gain customers can be effective for your holiday marketing strategy (and even throughout the year). They offer a wide variety of different options depending on your business type and what your goals are. You will have to apply to get onto their platform, but most applications receive an answer within 3 business days.
If you sell products, Fulfillment By Amazon AND Amazon Seller can offer you a simple way to sell on the nation’s most used eCommerce website. You can ship your products to one of their fulfillment centers, so you don’t have to handle any of the extra shipping or inventory. Amazon handles everything that comes after a customer purchases from your store.
Another effective way of selling on Amazon includes Amazon Services. If you are a licensed service business (Contractor, Plumber, Electrician, etc), Amazon can sell your services online BY ZIP CODE. This means you’re getting clients directly from Amazon that have already purchased your services. You will have to show your certifications if required, but Amazon can be an effective selling tool for your holiday season.
Finally, if you don’t want to sell on Amazon, but would like to still be featured on the world’s most visited eCommerce website – you can do that too. Advertise with Amazon lets businesses post product advertisements in a variety of ways. For example, you can use sponsored products, sponsored brand posts, and even sponsored stores.
Key Takeaways For Your Holiday Marketing Strategy
So now you can start focusing on the solutions you can use to market your business during the holidays. We’ve looked at how having a multi-channel strategy can help you reach the most customers (and increase revenue).
Remember these important takeaways for the future when you’re setting up your holiday marketing strategy:
- Use your website to showcase new specials, update your site visitors, and promote your holiday strategy
- Social media isn’t just for posting advertisements about your business. Use it to offer valuable content to your followers and bring the holiday spirit to your pages!
- Having professional photos and videos can increase your customer engagements and purchases
- Establish a gift card program or a customer loyalty program to get more customers and build credibility
- Collect your customer’s emails so you can build a relationship with them and offer value that keeps them coming back.
- Establish an advertising strategy on either Google, Social Media, Amazon, or any of the various channels we listed above. You don’t have to use all of them – just what makes sense for your business outreach.
- Have fun with your holiday marketing plan! The holiday season brings about smiles, emotions, and a sense of giving, so make sure you’re not always thinking about sell, sell, sell. If you’re authentic with your customers and work on providing value, they will reward you for it!
When you’re preparing for the holidays, it can be a lot to manage all of this and focus on your daily business operations. Azuma Media makes it easy to get the holiday marketing strategy you need without all the constant stress and excessive invoices! Give us a call today and let’s get you setup for success this holiday season.