6 Ways to Prepare Your Marketing for the Holidays

As a digital marketer, you know that planning for the holidays means more than setting up decorations and getting gifts for family and friends. For you, it means developing a robust digital marketing strategy that capitalizes on the high demand and high traffic of the season. It means generating unique, valuable content that stands out from the fierce competition.

The holidays are the most important time of the year to capitalize on reaching your target market and having your digital strategy organized to ensure that every interaction with your consumer is consistent, easy and straight-forward during this busy time where they are also being reached by many other advertisers.

Did you know that 8 in 10 holiday shoppers are influenced by the internet before making a purchase? The holiday season provides incredible opportunity for e-commerce retailers to take advantage of warm audiences that are searching for gifts across multiple platforms. We broke down some basic tactics to ensure that your holiday season is both successful and profitable!

Set Benchmarks and Do Your Research

Did you know that 24% of people say newsletters influence their gift choices, 29% of people find ideas for their family on Facebook, 17% of people use retailer apps for inspiration and 17% flock to Pinterest for advice? The options for reaching your audience during the holidays are endless, but what is the best channel for your industry?

The competition at this time of year means that your typical reach and influence are invaded by companies who are eager to get in on the holiday rush. It is very important that you begin your strategy with detailed research on industry benchmarks and trends, so you have realistic expectations.

It is also valuable to look back at what you did in previous years to see what times of day/week, type of content and channels were most effective for your business. With bids and views becoming more expensive and harder to get you have to be strategic in where you invest your dollars and content.

Focus on a few key platforms and products that you know are successful for your business and start promoting. Now is not the time to do testing. This early research and strategizing will allow you to properly budget your time and resources over the entire season.

Start Early

Did you know that 32% of shoppers begin their holiday shopping in October? Starting your strategy before the bulk of the competition begins means you can capture the early bird shoppers.

Start marketing to your target audience with non-holiday materials before the season begins to develop a brand awareness, so that when they are ready to purchase, your company is top of mind. Starting early will help spread your dollar further and help develop a longer-term relationship with your audience that can last beyond the holiday rush.

PPC Campaigns

Bid prices for ads increase 140% above the yearly average during the holidays. A vast number of shoppers conduct their research via search engines, so it is important to use ads to get your company and product in front of them. However, due to increased bid prices, you must be thoughtful about your strategy, so you can afford to last the season.

Do your research early and focus on promoting products and keywords that you have seen success with in the past. Consider altering your typical PPC copy to be more holiday focused, extenuating any features of your product or offers that will appeal to the seasonal shoppers.

Utilize ad extensions to add phone numbers, addresses and specific landing pages to direct your customer to all the information they may need to make a purchase, online or in store.

Email Marketing

When you include a personalized subject line in a holiday email, you will receive an average of +17% engagement rate, and +30% click rate to a regular email. Utilizing email during the holidays is a great tactic, because they offer a more personalized access point to your customer.

As with all channels at this time there is significant competition, so make sure your emails are pointed, personalized and have clear Calls to Action. Don’t be afraid to tell the recipient exactly what you want them to do. Email is a great opportunity to re-engage users who have visited your site, too.

Abandoned cart emails are proven to have an open rate 2x higher than normal emails and sending two abandoned cart emails is 35% more effective than sending one (and sending three is 44% more effective!) Emails can be easily automated and offer a great opportunity to include details on offers, promotions or specific holiday products.

Offers, Urgency and CTAs

Did you know that a well-placed, relevant CTA can increase e-commerce conversion rate by 22%? CTAs are important in every season, but a well-placed call to action can be the final push a consumer needs to convert when they already have buying on the brain. Don’t be afraid to create a sense of urgency with your consumers! Consider a countdown or a limited time offer to help convince them to buy. Social Media Today conducted a study that found unique offers like free shipping, limited time, or ability to pick up in person convince people to purchase over a simple discount. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

Optimized Website

Conversions fall by up to 20% for every second delay of mobile page load time. Before the season begins, make any changes you can to make sure it’s easy and smooth for people to navigate your site. You wouldn’t want to lose a conversion because your web page is unresponsive. Ensure your site is mobile friendly, has clear functioning landing pages and keyword optimized copy. In a period where everyone is searching, it is important to have a website that is responding to their inquiries.

Conclusion

The holidays are the most important time of year to have your digital marketing strategy operate like a well-oiled machine. You want every interaction with your brand to be smooth, clear and consistent, so that the process to converting is easy. If you start early and focus on the channels that work, you will see success.

What is your best performing channel for holiday promotions and marketing? Do you have a tactic that gets conversations? Do you want to fine tune your strategy before the season begins? We can help. Our a la carte system mean you only have to purchase the services you need. Book a call with a marketer today.