The Importance Of Holiday Marketing For Your Business
As we edge closer to the holidays, there’s a lot of last minute things to do. As a business owner, you will have to be looking after end of year meetings, last minute sales and offers to manage, and of course – the Christmas parties (yours and everyone else’s you get invited to). In the midst of all of this, it is easy to put marketing on the back burner. After all, if you’re not selling during the holidays and have no staff coming in to manage any incoming orders, why not take a break from the marketing, right? On the contrary, this is the time to ramp up your marketing. Especially for small businesses, the holiday period is a vital time during which a good marketing campaign can help inject a significant boost in sales.
So, why do holiday campaigns matter? Mainly because people are primed to spend because they are either doing last-minute gift shopping, or are preparing for the year to come and researching who to go with for a certain service or product. This helps them lock in what businesses they want to engage with in the New Year. Being top of mind and/or having your product/service easily accessible gives you a definite edge over your competitors.
If there is a unique spike in your traffic during the holidays, it only stands to reason that marketing to this audience with an increased budget through targeted messaging and channels will serve to benefit your bottom line. To ensure you make the most of the holidays and are not losing out on a great profit margin, here’s a list of 5 facets of holiday marketing you should keep an eye on as we head into the holiday season.
Keeping your search ad campaigns active
Making sure your Google Ads campaigns are kept running during the holidays can help you keep your AdRank score up. The recency of your activity has a direct impact on your AdRank score, as can the maintaining of your consistent spending. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to keep your budgets as high as they usually are – you can reduce it to the amount per day it takes you to get just 1-3 clicks. This just signals to Google that there is consistency in your activity.
You can also redirect your budgets towards a brand campaign that focuses on letting customers know when you will reopen for business again. Use this time to maintain your brand image and keep your customers aware of when you will be ready to service them again, perhaps driving clicks to a standalone landing page that details what they can look forward to in the New Year. For the right products and services, your customers will be willing to wait until you reopen.
Additionally, having a pre-holiday offer-based campaign where urgent text ads are used can greatly boost your sales performance. Text, as well as display ads, should be specifically targeted towards the people who will benefit from them. If someone visited your website and clicked on certain items, those items or similar ones should pop up on ads the next time he or she visits. This is especially effective if a product that was viewed has gone on sale since the last visit.
Your competitors may actually turn off their campaigns during the holidays, and you could be wondering why you shouldn’t follow suit. Whatever you do, this is the one time you shouldn’t mimic their strategy, because they have given you the gift of more ROI on your advertising, as there is less competition for the keywords being targeted. When the holiday period is over and they decide to turn their campaigns on again,you would be able to have an edge over them – and they will feel the repercussions of turning off their campaigns for a long time coming.
As a side note, remember to keep on top of the SEO trends on the horizon for next year, and ensure you have a good, clear SEO strategy in place to have dominance over both paid and organic search results.
Strategising on social media effectively
As a small business, your social strategy should be one of your top holiday marketing priorities. Holiday-centric posts (and seasonal content in general) tend to elicit stronger engagement levels than evergreen posts during seasonal events. The more people that like and share your holiday content, the greater your brand’s visibility online.
On Facebook, post a special cover photo for the holidays. In your statuses, ask questions like “What’s your favourite holiday tradition?” or “Name your top five New Year’s resolutions.” Consider running a holiday contest where the winners receive free gifts for themselves, friends, and family. After all, this season is all about giving.
Reveal images of your products that are available only for the holidays. Ask followers and fans to generate their own content and post photos of themselves using your products. Upload photos with holiday filters and borders. Get creative and have fun with it. Your audience will appreciate it.
It is also important to remember to get your social media ad campaigns approved before you close your doors. If you want to run social media ads to increase sales by both targeting cold traffic and running retargeting campaigns, you can create them today, and submit them for approval. You can schedule start and end dates for each ad campaign you create on most platforms. Your campaigns won’t go live until the designated dates as long as you set them, so there’s no risk of accidentally launching early.
Developing nurturing processes and automations
While you and your business take a break, it is important to remember that there are more people online than ever during the holiday period. It’s important that you have all technical aspects of your campaign ready. This means making sure you have the right tools to deliver and measure your campaign, and if you don’t have them yet, get them.
Check your tracking pixels, analytics, and other tools across all your channels. Also remember to not push away potential customers – set up automated messaging and a support line to ensure quick responses. Quicker responses alleviate doubt, and less doubt means more consideration to buy.
Additionally, too many brands neglect retargeting during the holidays and instead try to maximise sales by focusing on cold traffic. While targeting cold traffic with your ad campaigns can help you grow your client base when advertising big sales, you shouldn’t neglect your established customers. It’s particularly important to run Facebook Ad campaigns targeting users who have recently visited your website.
Send out important emails
Email marketing is a highly effective method to reach people this holiday season. With 57% of email subscribers spending 10-60 minutes browsing marketing emails during the week, you’re likely to reach people no matter where they are.
The end of the year is an important time for many – whether people are celebrating the end of the year or Christmas with their family, it does turn into a time of reflection. Reaching out to loyal clients and customers isn’t required by any means, but even a quick personalised note thanking them for their business can help build that always-important relationship. Sending thanks takes just a few minutes, but for someone who has spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars, it’s a gesture that will mean a lot.
Plan for the New Year
With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s common for many small business owners to unplug for a few days or a whole month after New Years. Don’t fall into this trap!
Strong customer relationships are forged through repeat purchases and interactions. If you’ve had a sleigh-load of new first-time customers come to your store in December, don’t wait until the next holiday season to interact with them! Get them back to your store in January to turn them into repeat buyers.
Make sure you have a strategy in place for January and you sort out your messaging and offers for the New Year before you set off on your break. This will put you ahead of your competition because most of the other businesses will just be trying to sort out what they are wanting January’s messaging to be.
Holiday marketing prep needs to be a priority before you’re stuck in the middle of the holiday season with no posts, no campaigns planned and ads that aren’t getting approved. Take a few hours to make sure that you’re ready for the holiday season because it’s here. Feeling too overwhelmed with all you have to do for the holidays before your business closes? Get in touch with the Yes Digital team and we’ll be able to help you sort out your holiday marketing strategies.