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The Holiday Marketing Guide For Small Businesses – The Latest Marketing Best Practices and Cutting Edge Tactics

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by Elena Velikova
November 14, 2017


Elena Velikova
Elena Velikova has written 8 articles for PromotionWorld.
View all articles by Elena Velikova...

For businesses and startups, the holiday season is the most important time of the year. If you are looking to achieve the highest possible profitability, you will need the latest best practices and cutting edge tactics to stay ahead of your competitors.

Holiday social media

And this guide will help you go through the strongest days of the holiday shopping season and drive the best results!

You know, consumers do a lot of their shopping primarily in November. With the Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, you have a little time to get it all done.

Here are some stats:

80% of Internet users say that they are making their holiday purchase decisions online. (Source: eMarketer)

Retail Ecommerce holiday spending reached $92 billion in 2016, and retail Ecommerce holiday sales are predicted to grow by over 17% in 2017

 

CREATE TIMELY, PERSONALIZED CONTENT

Personalized content

Content is King and it won’t die any time soon.

LITTLE SECRET: personalize your content to keep your customers feeling special. By now you have gotten to know your customers and you are aware of their demographics, interests, buying habits and so on.

Next time, use this data to make sure to offer them a personalized experience.

Content and SEO: Develop on-site content like holiday gift guides and up-to-date location landing pages for your customers to see when they click through. What else? Giveaways, offers for discounts and promo codes, infographics, and so on.

Sense of urgency: asking users to act fast by incorporating a sense of urgency is important. To encourage swift conversions, you need to have clear CTAs (Call-to-Actions).

 

EMAILS AND NEWSLETTERS

Holiday email marketingEmail marketing is still the go-to channel and the key player to any marketing strategy. And on average, for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect a return of $48!

Not bad, right?

When we say personalized email marketing, we don’t mean that you send an individual email to every single subscriber. Personalization means that you use customer data to create a personalized message (you can take it from Google Analytics).

A great example of how to personalize your emails:

You won’t say: “Dear valued customer”, but “Dear Steven”.

You won’t use, “You might like these… (randomly generated)”, but “You might like these (based on buyer history)” product suggestions.

Customized holiday emails based on price range or product types will increase your bottom line for sure and you can’t ignore this advice any more.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media users

When it comes to social media channels, you can put your focus on spreading holiday mood and spirit, helping others and giving away, and not only directly selling your products. You will have to be more creative and awesome in achieving these goals.

As a small business owner it’s easy to feel disheartened; with limited marketing budgets, you cannot compete with the big brands. But you do not have to worry about it anymore. We have prepared a lot of ideas, creative, graphics and contests for you to build your own successful seasonal social media campaigns.

Here is a list of Thanksgiving contest ideas, you can have up and running in minutes. Also do not miss this great collection of ready-to-use, easy to customize design templates for Black Friday and Christmas

 

SPICE UP YOUR CREATIVE

In the past two years, the content marketing landscape has evolved. The way we market our visual content has changed too.

Why visual content convert so well?

According to John Medina, your brain will retain only 10% of the information you heard three days ago. But if the same piece of information is presented as a visual, in three days’ time, your brain will still remember a whopping 65% of it.

the importance of visuals

OK, these are great stats, but how to make your visuals recognizable is the question, you should find the answer to.

The photos and videos need to have an aligned theme. And secondly you can use other techniques. Whether that is in the form of a watermark, brand colors, hashtag, fonts, or even layout – the look and feel of your brand needs to be consistent.

The goal is to make your content memorable. To have it jump out at your audience, so they immediately recognize the content as yours.

Be sure to utilize a mix of creative types, like video, infographics, and single images (both lifestyle and product).

This is where DesignPro comes in handy. You can use any of the 1500+ ready-to-use designs and graphics and customize them with your brand, colors and fonts, or you can start from scratch. Create your own brand template and re-use it each time by only changing the photo, or the text, or whatever you want.

 

Keep your message consistent across channels

Once you prepared your creative and visuals, do not forget that you should keep your strategy consistent across channels. This means that you need to rework your graphics for each channel you will use to promote your offers. That’s easy with DesignPro and will save you tons of time and efforts by using the resize option and make small adjustments according to the new dimensions of the image.

And again, your creative (images) should be the same across all channels (with slight changes of course) – as you know for example when you prepare Facebook ad, you will have to remove some of the text from the image. To make sure that it’s ok and you won’t spend a lot of your budget paying more for your ads, you can go to https://www.facebook.com/ads/tools/text_overlay and check if the proportion of text to image is good.

 

USE INFLUENCERS & UGC TO BUILD LOYALTY

influencer marketing statsYou have most probably noticed that one of the most utilized and extremely powerful techniques in building brand loyalty is reaching out to influencers and taking advantage of UGC (user-generated content).

79% of mom internet users say personal stories or testimonials influence their holiday gift purchase decisions.

As you can see, you can’t miss this trend.

You may focus on the micro-influencers that your audiences are likely to relate to (e.g. mommy blogs for mom shoppers). Also, make use of the content social media users create for your company by featuring user photos on your own social feeds.

But how to figure who the influencers in your business niche are?

This tool knows the answer. Go to http://www.rightrelevance.com/ and type in your most important keyword – like fitness if you are a fitness instructor. While you are typing your keyword, the tool will also suggest some relevant keywords and searches you can choose from. Once you are led to the results page for this keyword, you should click on the Influencers tab, and then click on Person. Here it is going to show you who the influencers in your field are.

Easy, right?

What’s next?

Set up relationships with some of them. Influencers are quickly booked for the holidays and should be reserved ASAP so they can begin posting about your brand.

 

USE VIDEOS

Why to use videosVideo marketing is powerful for promoting your company’s product or service. You can think of creating promotional videos, customer testimonials, instructional videos, and any other video content you can come up with to enhance the image and reputation of your brand.

What can video do for your marketing strategy?

– Facebook’s algorithms heavily favor videos so take advantage of them.

– Video holiday gift guides can encourage customers to make purchases and keep your brand top of mind

– Boost conversion rates. 71% of marketers report that video consistently outperforms other forms of content.

So, what’s the secret formula for great video content?

– Use video to create moods, to connect with customers on an emotional level

– Identify the objective and target. Know what action the video should cause the viewers to take after they watch and then make this action easy to take.

– To encourage conversions, leverage the use of video end screens to place links to other videos or to your website. End screens can also be used to offer promo codes.

– After uploading to each social media network directly and placing on the website, look at the numbers and determine the effectiveness of the video campaign.

 

LOYALTY PROGRAMS

Loyalty programs stats

Have you ever thought of how to differentiate your brand? How to give your business its own special and unique advantage over competitors? How to make it the better option to buy from?

Here is a great example of how to take all the necessary steps to encourage customers to shop multiple times during this holiday season!

A real example of an e-commerce email to their subscribers: from week-to-week, the shop will select different products and sell them with 10-30% discounts. As an extra, by purchasing the chosen item, you can earn more than the usual 1% cash back in loyalty points.

The successful formula: the more points customers earn, the more discounts they can get, which drives them closer to their next purchases. Smart thinking.

And the best part of it is that they’re able to keep their shoppers’ attention throughout the whole holiday season by changing the list of discounted items on every week.

How can a holiday loyalty program make a difference?

Let’s take a look at the main characteristics of a customer loyalty marketing strategy during the holiday rush:

Loyalty members-only offers: you should send those emails to people who previously enrolled in your store’s loyalty program. You make your old customers feel privileged and to expect exclusive offers, something that isn’t available for just any shopper.  That’s what made them open your email.

Bonus points events: Ordinary shoppers only get the usual 10%-30% discounts, but loyalty members are getting an extra 10% in the form of points during the festive period. (Usually loyalty members only get around a 1% discount in points.) And why is this good? Because you’re encouraging members even more to use their point discounts on their next purchases.

Time-sensitive offers: Of course, you should make sure that your offers appear as enticing as possible. You should set up an end day (for example a 1-week limit) for the feature products, encouraging customers to act quickly. On top of that, you can change the list of discounted items every week.

 

UPDATE YOUR STORE HOURS

Lastly, don’t forget to update your holiday availability on Google My Business so that any customer searching for your brand or your keywords, regardless of platform, knows exactly when you’ll be open.

         


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