Get Your Marketing Ready for the Holidays!
Believe it or not, the holidays are soon coming upon us.
Scary… Isn’t it?
Now I’m not the sort of person that starts playing holiday music in August (In fact I try to avoid it until maybe December 23rd), but for small business owners, you can never start planning early enough for the holiday season.
For most small businesses, the holiday season means revenue, and lots of it. Having a plan going into the holiday season will help your business get as much revenue as possible out of these few weeks. Here are a few ways your small business can start to get your marketing ready and in place for the coming holidays.
Know The Current Trends: Your customers know what they are looking for when it comes to the latest trends and fads. You need to know what these trends are in your industry and make sure that your business will be capable of meeting those needs.
Not only do you need to know the trends, you need to know how to elevate your business above your competition in regards to these trends. For example, if your business sells specialty gifts and you are seeing a positive trend in candles, you need to find out what about YOUR candles make you stand out above your competitors. What about your candles can you get with your business and not the others?
Get Your Website SEO Ready: In today’s marketplace, more and more customers are searching for their holiday gifts online before making a purchase. Therefore, you need to make sure that your website is being found when customers search for products in your business category. Here are a few tips for getting you SEO ready:
- If you have keyword data available from last year (I.E. via Google Analytics), you can use this data to take the guess work out of what keywords to use in new content. Find out what keywords worked best and create content (Blogs, newsletters, product landing pages, videos, etc.) that are loaded with these keywords. Start doing this ASAP so that these pages have time to be crawled and indexed by search engines in time for the holidays.
- One neat SEO trick for the holidays is to create special landing pages for your products specifically designed for what your potential customers might be searching. Shoppers are constantly looking for last minute deals and discounts, so a good idea might be to create a page titled, “Gifts Ideas Under $100″ or “Great Christmas Ideas.” Once you get these pages up, customers searching for similar keywords will be driven to your site.
Start Planning Your Promotions: How great would it be if you have all of your promotions planned ahead of time, and scheduled to go out automatically at a certain time? You could worry about the day-to-day operations of the holiday season and not have scramble during the busiest time of the year to put together a promotion campaign. My advice to you is to start coming up with the promotions you will offer, start creating the email campaigns, social media campaigns and create the appropriate landing pages, NOW. You can then schedule the campaigns to go out at the right time and not have to worry about it as you start to get busy down the road! Make sure that with all of your campaigns you are driving traffic to your website, where these customers can view more of your products.
Make Sure Your Products are Updated on Your Site: There are few things more frustrating as an online shopper as going to a website with big expectations, and finding that the products listed are out-dated with improper feature descriptions. Before the holiday season comes around, makes sure that you take some time to go through the products listed on your website and make corrections and updates. Make sure that you are accurately describing the products features, their pricing is correct (and consistant with your brick-and-mortar store), and that their landing pages are the same as what you are offering with your social media and email promotions.
Give Back: A great way to build your web presence and generate some quick sales is to host a charity event or donate revenue to a charity (Donate 5% of revenue to a charity for instance). Donations to charities and nonprofits are a great way to build an audience and spread the word about your business. By promoting your donation or event on social media, you website and even email marketing, you can start to build a buzz and positive vibe about your business going into the holiday season.
Build Your Email Lists: There is better time to start building your email lists than during the holiday season. With the increased traffic to your website and more sales coming in, the holidays are a great opportunity to grab more emails. For instance, with every sale online, you could provide an option to sign up for an email newsletter. You also need to make sure that your email sign up form/button on your website is clearly visible and that there is a strong call to action to drive sign-ups. You could even get creative with your sign ups by asking for them at the cash register, provide incentives for signing up (10% off next purchase, etc.), and drive sign-ups though social media.
In short, there is no better time than the holiday season to drive email gathering. With these emails, you have a larger audience for your email marketing campaigns down the road, which means even more sales!