The 2017 holiday shopping season isexpected to be one of the best in recent memory, thanks to overall improvements in the economy, low unemployment, and an increase in consumer spending. With consumers gearing up to potentially spend more this year, retailers need to ramp up their marketing now to finish out the year strong.
If you are still finalizing your plans — or you want to give your efforts a boost — try some of these ideas.
1. Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Undoubtedly, social media is already a part of your business’s marketing strategy. However, during the holidays, you can leverage your social presence even more to drive dales. Not only do you need to announce sales, promotions, and events using social media, but engage your customers and fans as influencers to help spread the word. For example, run a giveaway in which customers and their friends can gain entries by following your social profiles, sharing your posts, and tagging other friends to enter. Or, ask your customers to post photos of themselves on their social pages and tag your business and add a custom hashtag to draw attention to the post and get others to follow suit. Find creative ways to engage your audience and get them to share your content to as a way to maximize your social presence.
2. Offer a Promotion
Consumers have an almost overwhelming number of choices during the holidays. How can you make your business stand out? Offer an irresistible promotion. For example, many businesses offer customers the opportunity to make a difference with their purchases, by making a specific donation for every purchase of a specific item or dollar amount. What better way to capitalize on the spirit of giving? Offering bonuses on gift cards or purchases of a specific dollar amount; add on items at deep discounts when a customer purchases a specific item; and free gifts, or other goodies can spur customers to shop with you rather than the competition.
3. Create Holiday-Specific Content
Get into the holiday spirit by creating content with a holiday theme. Add holiday-specific keywords to your blogs and social posts, blog about why your products are the ultimate holiday gifts, provide tips and tricks that can make the season easier for your customers, share photos and videos that are holiday-related … you get the idea. If you have an online store, “decorate” it with a festive theme to engage customers and get them excited about what you have to offer.
4. Use Video
Video remains a popular and effective trend in content marketing, and your business can attract new customers and engage existing ones when you create engaging holiday videos. Will Vigil, founder of FundSmart points out, “Be creative: Show your customers who you are and what your company stands for in a fun way, and include a call-to-action that drives them to buy from you.” Video is a great way to show how to use your products, and spur the happy, warm, and fuzzy holiday feelings that get customers to act.
5. Email Smartly
Email is still an important and useful tool, so don’t overlook it! To get the most from your emails, though, follow a few best practices:
- Make sure your emails are optimized for mobile. More than half of all emails are opened on mobile devices, so if your message is not set up to be viewed on a smartphone, all of your hard work crafting the perfect holiday message will be wasted.
- Send emails at the right time. To increase the likelihood of your emails being opened, send them between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. on weekdays; on the weekends, messages sent on Sunday nights between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. have the highest open rates. Overall, Tuesday tends to be the day of the week that has the most success in terms of opening rates.
- Remember to follow best practices for emails, and remember that certain words and phrases are triggers for spam filters (like “free,” or messages in all capital letters). Be creative in your messaging to ensure you aren’t landing in the junk file.
6. Create Holiday Landing Pages
When customers land on your site, the first thing they should see is your special holiday offers and promotions. Create holiday-themed landing pages to help funnel customers to those deals, and entice them to shop with you. Consider a variety of landing pages, including those from social media, so you can track your efforts and engage customers from multiple platforms.
Taking your holiday marketing to the next level is really about leveraging the tools that you are already using to better attract customers and get them to want to shop with you. If you do it well, you will finish the year with a healthy dose of holiday cheer.
@steveolenski is a writer who drinks too much coffee and knows a thing or two about marketing.
Written By: Steve Olenski
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