The holidays are here, and in the marketing world, that equals significant opportunity. For most retail businesses, the holidays represent the most lucrative time of year. In fact, according to the National Retail Federation, the holiday season can represent as much as 30 percent of annual sales. However, just because shoppers are seemingly served up to you on a silver platter during the holidays does not mean you should be passive about your digital marketing strategy. If you are looking to ramp up your digital marketing during the holiday season, consider these ways to do so.
- Set a measurable goal. First, think about what you want from the holiday season. Is your goal to reach a certain sales number? To obtain a certain number of website visitors? To increase your social media following? Each of these is a measurable goal, and identifying the goals you have for your business during the holidays can help you decide how to best approach your digital marketing during the holiday season.
- Optimize your site for mobile. Mobile has taken over in terms of how people search for things online. According to eMarketer, mobile commerce sales are expected to rise 38 percent in 2017, and smart phone sales specifically are expected to increase by more than 57 percent. Now is a good time to check your website on your mobile device to make sure it appears user-friendly and is functioning properly. Think about things like load time, how clear your call-to-action is and whether your mobile site is easily navigable. If not, take the time to fix these issues.
- Create a content calendar. A content calendar is a good strategy for digital marketing during the holiday season just because there are so many key dates to take into consideration. Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Small Business Saturday have already passed this year, but those would be dates to include, in addition to Cyber Monday (today), Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Plan your digital messaging around these key points in the holiday season to take advantage of the fact that most consumers’ attention will be focused on those same events.
- Employ email marketing. Email marketing is a key component of advertising during the holidays. Use email to let your customer base know about special promotions, in-store events, holiday hours, exclusive deals, newsletters and any other relevant activities. Use the services of a professional graphic designer, as the opportunity for eye-catching email blasts is abundant with the holidays as your theme. With its high return on investment, email marketing is a cost-effective way to help you reach your marketing goals. According to Constant Contact, for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $38.
- Include holiday search terms in your keywords. During the holiday season, it can be a good idea to adjust your SEO keywords within your digital assets to include holiday search terms. This can include adding key phrases like “holiday sale,” “holiday discounts,” “holiday gifts,” to your blogs and website copy. You can also look at which keywords are already driving the most traffic to your website and adjust them accordingly to apply to the holidays.
- Have fun on social media. Social media is an essential aspect of your digital marketing strategy throughout the year, but around the holidays you have ample opportunity to get creative with it. The idea behind this strategy comes as a result of the holidays being a very visual time of year—with bright lights, colors, retail displays, food, holiday characters and more. Specifically, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest play a major role in driving peoples’ shopping decisions during the holidays, as each of these is a visually-driven social platform. Change out your profile picture and cover photos for something holiday-themed and plan for festive graphics that will help people get in the holiday spirit.
- Show your customers appreciation. Last week, we discussed the idea of thanking your customers, but it’s an idea that should continue throughout the holiday season beyond just Thanksgiving. Spread some joy to your customers by offering them a special deal or discount, by sending out holiday cards or simply by telling them in person how grateful you are for their business. It never hurts to spread some cheer around the holidays!
It can be overwhelming to think about digital marketing during the holiday season when you are dealing with your own holiday stresses. However, this time of year can help push your business to a new level of consumer interaction and retention. Need help with your digital marketing this holiday season? Let the McNutt & Partners team help! Call us at 334-521-1010 or visit our contact page.
Happy holidays from McNutt & Partners!