As a marketer, if you haven’t started working on your holiday marketing campaigns yet then might we suggest you chug down a few more espressos before you start with a plan of any sorts (you will be pulling in all nighters, be assured). But while the clouds of gloom may seem imminent, it’s never too late to pull out the rabbit from the hat, no matter how late make your entry into the show — as long as do turn up!
Holiday season is the biggest marketing opportunity for any and every category of brand. It does not just benefit the retail industry, but offers a brass ring to every business to turn up in their creative best and take a slice of the holiday money pie.
As for the customer who is looking to buy into any of this retail-promoted holiday cheer, it is safe to say that they will be doing so digitally. And why wouldn’t they. This is one occasion a customer wants to (and should be able to) enjoy the ease and convenience that modern technology offers. Thanks to the magic of targeted advertising and SEO, the internet easily gives the impression that the entire (mobile) web universe is enthusiastically conspiring to get your attention in the most creative way possible, with just the most perfect, targeted and well-timed deals that are sure to make your life easier. And then there’s also the added benefit of skipping long hours at the checkout counter, finding a parking space within a 2 mile radius of the shopping district and suffering a hemicrania thereafter.
So, here’s a quick checklist for all you e-commerce marketers out there who are about to chase a ginormous retail ambition during the 2015 holiday season:
This is the bit that can make or break everything for your brand. Too often brands are so preoccupied with trying to get the promotional campaigns right that the product takes a hit of such neglecting. As an e-commerce company, make sure everything screams holiday cheer this season — your products, your brand’s web interface, all communication collateral and packaging — go the whole nine yards. Let all your outgoing communications include some holiday markers — how your brand is getting into the spirit of the yuletide or how your gift buying guide can make the holiday season more enjoyable for the customer in question. At the end of the day you want to be “relevant” to the occasion. Think of all the (suitable) ways your brand can lend itself to the spirit of the season before starting with any campaign whatsoever.
Display advertising is on the out. Because much like that last few years, paid campaigns on social media will pretty much umpire the promotions game this year too. After all, social media remains ‘a key discovery tool’ for consumers worldwide. Globally, marketers tend to invest 70 to 30 in paid and organic promotions, but given how social algorithms have come to favor friends-only content, trying to get a brand featured on the home feed will not be easy with the just organic posts anymore.
One of the ways to enhance the experience of a paid post is by driving web traffic to a dedicated season-specific landing page, one which allows you to customize a message more suitably to the audience pool you just tapped into and present them with specific purchase incentives. Also, specific landing pages can help you drive precise kinds of actions — have visitors download a brochure, your new gift buying guide, holiday checklists, have them sign up for your newsletter or brand blog, give customers access to a specific promotion and more. And let’s face it, unlike the homepage, landing pages grant you far more opportunities to push out specific sales objectives and shorter click-to-purchase sessions.
Social marketing is your best opportunity for creative showcase.
No prizes for guessing that the biggest sales opportunity this holiday season, too, comes via the world of mobile marketing. One of the reasons why mobile marketing is right there on the top holiday trends list is because this is the season when just about everyone is out looking for great deals via mobile coupons, app-only sales. Local and hyper local targeting for attracting bargain seekers is always a good idea for broad-scope businesses. Avoid channel myopia this festive season and target your best customers in a personal, and yet again, relevant way through mobile targeting.
Content marketing, much like always, will provide the competitive edge this season and that’s what you should be planning for by now, ideally. And one of most important conduits for driving traffic to a brand website will be your mailing list. In a 2014 holiday marketing survey conducted by search engine journal, it was revealed that close to 91 per cent of brands hoped to leverage email marketing as their go-to medium for talking to customers, telling them all about what’s coming up, promoting season special offers and new products. And that’s precisely what they should continue to do this year as well. Email marketing is in the prime of its renaissance since the days of the dot com. It’s one of the most effective channels for promoting unique brand content, in a way that’s uber personal, detailed, allows you to be elaborate and creative. It’s permission marketing at its best.
Converse to convert.
If yours is a brand that’s focused on catering to a broad, elastic and inclusive class of audience — like Amazon, for instance — then make sure you have some great deals to offer soon after the holiday season has come to an end. Holiday season often extends all the way into the New Year and a few more weeks after that, which means that a chunk of your audiences would be actively waiting to see end of season deals shortly after the Christmas week is over. Most retailers choose to continue their holiday sales well into January, but that’s precisely the reason why you shouldn’t. Choose to creative. Dedicate resources to come up with a specific end of season shopping experience for a truly standout position.
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