Holiday advertising has already begun and, like many business owners, you might be trying to plan the season but don’t know where to start. With the biggest holiday shopping days occurring later this year, and major holidays like Hanukkah starting earlier, brands aren’t wasting any time this holiday season. Don’t wait for December to start promoting your holiday offers!
Here are 5 things to consider when planning your business’s holiday strategy:
Special Events and Promotions
Are you having an open house or other promotion during the holidays? How are you advertising these events to consumers? What time will you open on Black Friday? Make sure you update extended or out-of-the-ordinary hours on Facebook. The same goes with holiday closings. You don’t want customers to drive across town on Christmas Eve only to find once arriving that you are closed.
What holiday sales promotions are you running? What will get customers in the door? Are you participating in Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday? Consumers spent an estimated $5.5 billion at locally-owned stores and restaurants on Small Business Saturday 2012 (Forbes). If you’re an online retailer, consider offering free shipping on Cyber Monday orders. Earlier this year, a UPS and comScore survey found that 81 percent of online shoppers thought a free shipping offer was important.
Optimized Website & Mobile Site
Now is the time to make sure your website is accurate and works properly before the holiday rush. 65 percent of consumers plan to browse online and then go into a store to buy (Accenture).
And most of this browsing occurs on a phone or other mobile device. In fact, mobile is expected to have an impact on 87 percent of all holiday purchases (Mobile Marketing Association). More people are using mobile devices to inform their purchase decisions. If a potential customer can’t easily find the information they’re looking for on their mobile device, or your email isn’t formatted correctly for a smartphone or tablet, it could cost you business.
Social Media: Pinterest & Twitter
Many businesses are on Facebook, but few are using Pinterest and Twitter as valuable holiday strategy tools.
64 percent of respondents to a Twitter survey said they have bought a product because of something they saw on Twitter. In the same survey, 57 percent of respondents use Twitter to determine which stores to visit. And your brand’s influence continues– 62 percent of shoppers Tweet about purchases they’ve made (Twitter). Now is the time to learn how to properly utilize Twitter as a conversation tool. Monitor you “@mentions” and answer consumer questions in a timely manner. Promote the brands you carry by “@mentioning” them.
47.7 percent of shoppers say that Pinterest content has inspired holiday gift purchases.(Crowdtap). Online shoppers using Pinterest spend more money, and more often, than any other top 5 social media sites. It’s a great way to products from your online store in front of the most folks. They can even add the items to their virtual Christmas list board! For all the details on how to utilize Pinterest for your business this holiday season, check out this post by our Director of Content Marketing, Katie.
In 2012, one-fourth of consumers purchased gifts from a retailer they had never even shopped with before (Google). What are you going to do to make sure that wasn’t their last purchase? Consider following up with new customers and offering them a special New Year’s discount.
But don’t forget about your “regulars.” Your existing customers, the ones who support your business throughout the year, are the ones who will recommend you to friends and family. They might also have your products on their Christmas list. In addition, make sure you have a system to make holiday returns and exchanges as easy as possible.
Everyone knows that folks are more philanthropic during the holidays, so your business should be too. In fact, 50% of global consumers said they would be willing to reward companies that give back to society by paying more for their goods and services.
Perhaps the Christmas tree at your entrance has ornaments that represent families in need for customers to sponsor. Or you offer a special discount for customers that bring in cans for the local food pantry. Get creative! Maybe you invite the kiddos to come decorate cards or stockings for children who will spend the holidays in the hospital. If you’re looking for Birmingham charities to support, check out The Foundry, Pathways Women’s Shelter, Oak Mountain Mission, Crisis Center, or the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. When you form a partnership with another organization, they will advertise you to their supporters, who are more likely to support you and the cause they care about.
So, breathe a sign of relief. The holidays are coming, but you are prepared.
Let’s get your business holiday-ready now!
As a Digital Marketing Consultant for The Modern Connection, Nicole Williams connects businesses with the digital world. From social media marketing to web design, she helps tailor solutions to fit each client’s goals and objectives.