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The holidays are fast approaching, and we all know what that means: shopping! And every holiday season, it’s like the floodgates burst open and all of a sudden, there are holiday marketing campaigns everywhere. Every business is trying to cash in on the spending frenzy with emails, social media posts, television advertisements, and other related efforts. But retailers aren’t the only ones who can get in on all the money that gets spent on holiday shopping. Whether you own a store, restaurant, service provider or even a B2B company, a smart and well thought out marketing plan can boost your holiday sales, too.
To help get a leg up on your competition this year, we’ve gathered some of the best marketing advice from experts around the industry. Take a look at the tips below and let us know if you have any additional tips in the comments below!
Create Geo-Precise Marketing
Small businesses can officially stop worrying about how to reach every consumer that could possibly want their goods and services: Geo-precise marketing and precision targeting is now leading the pack in consumer marketing. Businesses can use their analytics and purchasing data to identify zip codes that are extra active when it comes to purchasing — or even use IP targeting to narrow down their focus to individual households.
Sujan Patel, Entrepreneur and Marketer, @sujanpatel
Social Media Holiday Ideas
Social media is a critical component to your holiday marketing campaign. Reach your customers while they’re out shopping and push a mobile strategy during the season. Most of your customers are constantly connected to their social media accounts via their smartphones. Boost the frequency of your social media posts to reach your customers as they’re doing their holiday shopping on the weekend. A time-saving tip for a Facebook marketing strategy is to spend time pre-scheduling your Facebook posts. Take an hour out of your day, and schedule all your holiday Facebook posts.
Susan Lou, Chief Knowledge Officer at Strikingly, @susanloulou
A mobile-friendly website (or a responsively-designed one) will allow shoppers to easily find the information they are looking for on your website (such as a phone number or map with driving directions). Mobile searchers have a high purchase intent (50% visit a business after searching on their device) and a mobile-friendly website provides a seamless customer journey from discovery to purchase.
To incorporate mobile into your 2016 holiday marketing plans, consider running an online mobile-exclusive coupon or discount that requires a customer to redeem in-store. When a shopper receives your mobile coupon and adds it to their phone’s Passbook, you have effectively added your business as a destination for them to shop at during the holiday season.
Catherine Schutten, Content and Brand Strategy at Vivial
Advertise Ahead Of The Holidays
When the holidays arrive, the underprepared invest in ads conservatively because they haven’t yet tested their latest creatives. Before they know it, the celebration is over and they’ve spent a mere fraction of their overall budget.
To get a headstart on the holidays, marketers should promote ads weeks in advance of the shopping season. Doing so gives them ample opportunity to try new copy and images to learn how consumers react. With enough lead time, they can optimize their creatives to guarantee profitable performance when it’s go-time.
Eric Samson, Founder of Group8A, @ericbsamson
Use Texting And Social Media For Customer Service
Many small businesses do customer service the old fashioned way. That’s fine, except while you’re dusting off your landline to call a customer, they’ve moved on to higher technological ground. By using SMS for time-sensitive customer inquiries and making it easy for customers to reach you on social media, you offer customers more convenience and better service. When clients hit pre-holiday madness, good customer service becomes even more essential.
Alexa Lemzy, Customer Support Expert, @Alexa_Lemzy
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising Can Usher In A Holiday Windfall
If customers are not aware of your business they are even more unlikely to buy from you. This is where strategic marketing efforts come into play. One of the best ways to build awareness is through online advertising tactics like PPC. In fact, “PPC campaigns increase brand awareness by 63% when businesses use online advertising.” Best of all you can advertise locally and attract customers with the products that they’re searching for. And only pay when they click to visit your website or call.
Erica Nicole, Founder and Publisher of YFS Magazine, @YFSEricaNicole
Don’t Forget Cyber Monday!
Even if you are a primarily brick-and-mortar business you still need to cater to your online audience. Not everyone will flock to your store the moment the turkey gets cold. Today’s cost conscious consumer knows the best deals can be found the Monday after. Be sure to create an exclusive offer for your online audience.
Gregor Schmidt, Co-Founder & Chief Innovator of Studio 5 Innovation, @gregorspeaks
Improve Your Email Marketing
If you want to improve your sales figures for the holidays, it’s a good idea to boost your email marketing efforts now. Summer and fall are good times to market your services to loyal customers, while reminding those you haven’t seen in awhile to buy from you again. In the months leading up to Christmas, you should study your newsletter conversion rates to determine what types of messages generate the best response. Additionally, you should monitor your social media pages to see what your customers are discussing and determine what the hottest products are going to be for the holiday season.
April Maguire, Freelance Writer and Editor at Multiple