Holidays are known to be the most lucrative shopping season. With more consumers shopping online due to COVID-19 restrictions, the U.S. holiday eCommerce sales alone are predicted to reach over $200 billion by the end of 2021.
Now that the holidays are just right around the corner, many businesses compete to get consumers’ attention and gain the most profits. With that in mind, it’s time to step up your digital marketing campaigns and stand out from the competition.
Here are ten effective last-minute steps to improving your holiday marketing campaign and bringing in the traffic.
1. Plan Your Budget
To have a solid digital marketing strategy, the first step you need to take is to create a budget plan. A marketing budget will help you stay on track and ensure your funds go to the right places. Once a budget is set, you can start setting expectations and counting estimated revenue.
Start by examining your annual budget and determine how much you can allocate to the holiday marketing campaign. Be sure also to list your operational costs, including taxes and staff fees. Then, review your previous marketing strategies to see what has worked and what needed improvement.
A good rule of thumb is to optimize your budget for your most profitable days during the holiday season. This will let you find more opportunities and save your marketing money. Google Ads smart bidding can help maximize conversions on your biggest days.
2. Create the Campaign Content
Content is the most critical part of any digital marketing strategy. It is the main thing that affects the conversion rates and returning traffic.
Different types of content are used by businesses to drive sales, such as blog posts, videos, and podcasts. With that in mind, determine which type of content would be most profitable for your holiday campaign.
If your business is in the technology industry, the podcasts or blog posts you create can be about artificial intelligence, cloud solutions, and other technological advancements.
Start analyzing the most recent trends. For example, people tend to look for discounts over the holiday season. Thus, offering discount coupons might be a good idea.
However, if you have an established audience, sending out a survey will provide you with more accurate information about what people want and expect.
Researching competitors’ strategies can also help with your campaign content. It lets you see what other professionals in this field are doing and can give you some fresh ideas for your marketing campaigns.
Finally, be sure to create your own logo and stay true to your branding personality to stand out from the crowd. The goal for your brand is to be remembered even when the marketing campaign is over.
3. Use Social Media
With more than three billion people on social media, it has undoubtedly become the most effective strategy for marketing.
Social media marketing provides a way to easily connect with your audience and increase brand awareness. It also offers a budget-friendly solution for small businesses, as the paid advertising costs as low as $5 per day.
Platforms like Instagram and Facebook also enable businesses to measure their engagement rates and provide insights into their posts. This makes it easier to identify what type of content the audience enjoys the most.
For this reason, try promoting your holiday marketing campaigns on social media and take advantage of the various features. For example, post product giveaways on Instagram stories to interact with your customers or use Facebook Live Shopping to present your special deals.
4. Create Urgency
As we know, holidays only last for a certain period of time – this is why creating a sense of urgency can be an excellent strategy to drive sales. In addition, setting a limited time for special offers and deals helps to convince customers to purchase your products.
One of the most popular promotions to have in a limited time is flash sales. Having flash sales allows you to boost revenue by selling in-season items for a very limited amount of time. Adding free shipping or same-day delivery offers alongside your flash sales is also a great way to create a sense of urgency.
During that specific period, set a countdown timer on your website or social platforms – this helps urge people to take action. In addition, a limited product tends to appeal more exclusive and valuable to customers. Thus, try incorporating the scarcity principle in your marketing copy too.
5. Write Compelling Emails
Nowadays, email plays an essential part in online communication. Billions of emails are sent per day across the globe. Hence, it is no surprise that email marketing has become one of the most effective strategies to increase revenue.
Businesses regularly send emails to promote products or services. Especially during the holiday seasons, many brands will send out various offers via emails. That’s why it is important to write compelling email campaigns that engage and generate conversions.
Carefully craft your email content and use a personalized subject line. Customers are more likely to open emails or newsletters that are relevant to their interests.
Email Personalization can be based on many factors, such as customers’ names, shopping carts, and purchase history. To spice everything up, include festive greetings and attach a call-to-action button. Be sure to use action-oriented words for your CTAs to help increase your email’s click-through rate.
6. Run Your Ads
More and more businesses are running ads on different channels during the festive seasons, ranging from websites to social media. This is why getting ahead of the competition is crucial to have a successful holiday ad campaign.
Generally, an ideal time for running the ad campaigns is two to four weeks before the holidays. This is because most people start their holiday shopping earlier. A report states that last year Cyber Monday alone generated more than ten billion U.S. dollars in sales.
Running your ads as early as possible helps you to get more exposure and receive more awareness. In addition, the more familiar people are with your business, the more likely they will come to purchase your products.
However, if you’re starting late, don’t shy away from running ads on the holidays or even creating post-holiday promotions. For example, offer rewards on Christmas days, discounts on Boxing Day, then best deals on New Year’s eve.
7. Engage with Your Audience
Audience engagement in marketing refers to the relationship between a business and its customers. Having an engaged audience is critical to every brand on the market as it determines the marketing success.
Some great benefits from good audience engagement are trust and word of mouth. Trust creates brand loyalty, affecting how customers feel about your business and how they see your products. When people trust your brand, they are more likely to recommend it to other people.
Producing creative content is essential for a successful audience engagement. Instead of attacking your audience with constant ads, try to interact with them through content like interactive polls or surveys.
Take advantage of social media to get your customers involved and engaged. This can be done by creating branded holiday hashtags or uploading content with holiday tips and recipes. Most importantly, always keep track and regularly measure your audience engagement.
8. Run an Online Contest
Organizing online contests is a great way to get your customers excited about the holidays, giving your brand more exposure and opportunities.
With the right preparation and surveys, online contests can also give insight into your customer preferences. You can use them to identify the best marketing strategies for your upcoming campaigns.
There are several types of online contests, including quizzes, trivia, and photo/video competitions. Regardless of your choice, make sure to create simple rules and minimal requirements to attract more participants.
Additionally, make sure to give exciting prizes. Explore and write down some gift ideas, then choose which ones best suit your target audience and marketing goals. For example, if you want to increase sales, then gift cards are great prizes to offer.
9. Add Social Proof
Whenever people want to purchase products or services, it is only natural for them to look for reviews and recommendations. People trust unbiased reviews more than the product descriptions themselves – this is why social proof comes in handy.
Social proof convinces people that a brand is trustworthy. Hence, the more social proof you can provide, the more likely people will choose your brand.
There are different ways to add social proof into your marketing. One of them is to provide a review page to showcase testimonials from your satisfied customers. Another way is to attach certifications from credible sources, such as “FDA approved” or “AWS partner network.”
Sharing your business’ milestones is also a great way to boost your social proof. Do so by including the numbers of orders you’ve received or subscribers you’ve gained over the years. This will add positive impressions to your business.
10. Partner Up with Influencers
Influencers are known to affect how people perceive a brand and their actions toward it. This is because they have established communities that they constantly engage and interact with. Because of this, people in the community tend to trust brands promoted by the influencers more.
As a result, many businesses partner up with influencers to boost their brand awareness. Although influencers are essentially famous people, they don’t necessarily have to be celebrities. A study shows that non-celebrity influencers are ten times more likely to drive in-store purchases.
Before partnering up with influencers, choose the platform you want to focus on. There are many types of influencers based on their platforms, such as bloggers, podcasters, and YouTubers. Finally, ensure their content and audience fit your business niche.
The holiday seasons are one of the best times to generate revenue. However, competition also grows alongside the increasing demand for holiday shopping. Thus, having a carefully planned marketing campaign is essential for your success.
Despite starting last-minute, implementing the steps above can help you create an effective holiday marketing campaign. Be sure to continuously monitor your progress and improve your marketing strategies as needed.