Tis the Season: Get Proactive About Your Holiday Marketing

The kiddos are back in school and soon these sultry dog days will be all about  sweater-wearing. Now is the perfect time to get proactive about setting your shop up for success in preparation for the holiday season! We’ll tackle each item individually, but your ‘Holiday Preparedness Toolkit’ should consist of optimizing your website for easy shopping, implementing a holiday marketing strategy, and staying on top of your inventory. You ready? We’re doing this!

Optimize your website for easy desktop and mobile shopping

As desktop and mobile shopping increase over brick and mortar shopping year-over-year, the holiday-ready merchant should make sure their website is fully optimized for the influx of shoppers headed their way.

Integrate the use of digital wallets as payment options in your checkout (Venmo, Paypal, Apple Pay, etc) to make mobile shopping a cinch. Before sending customers to your shop your site with your digital marketing campaigns, ensure that all payment methods are working properly. 

As voice command search gains popularity, you’ll want to look beyond general keywords when it comes to your SEO and make sure that your product pages are optimized for long tail questions. Along the same vein, finetune your website’s search capabilities so that it’s easy for customers to search for products. Consider including commonly misspelled words in your search dictionary if it makes sense for your business. 

Begin using holiday-specific copy on your website by creating content geared towards holiday shopping. Blog posts touting themed gift guides and product collections pre-categorized as holiday gifts, stocking stuffers, gift ideas and the like will create an easy pathway to add holiday metadata on your site. 

Do you have a specific delivery schedule your business will operate on this holiday season? Create a landing page on your website letting customers know what to expect to make sure all things shipping is clearly articulated. 

If you plan to tie a cause like Giving Tuesday in to your holiday marketing or simply would like to add an option to donate to a cause in your checkout, consider integrating a plug-in like this one

Overall, clean house! Look for broken pages, missing images, random lorem ipsum text in places where website copy should be, etc. If you need some help in the website world, don’t hesitate to contact our team.

Map out your holiday digital marketing strategy

We talk a lot about best practices for digital marketing around here, so when it comes to holiday readiness, know that a solid marketing strategy is going to get you pretty far.

Kick off your holiday campaign planning by putting together a marketing calendar that will aid in planning and tracking content creation efforts. Incorporating a project management tool (we love Asana!) will help you loop in different departments and team members to ensure successful campaigns.

Approach your digital marketing from a holistic view and plan to stretch your efforts across your company’s social media, content (blog posts, videos, podcasts, etc.), and email marketing.  

And speaking of email marketing, let’s dive in for a sec – if you aren’t already using audience segments to tailor your marketing messaging, make an honest effort to do so when it comes to your holiday marketing. You can entice your most loyal customer base to shop your site by offering a ‘gift’ in the form of a discount, or you can target specific audiences for certain holidays. Think about it – is there an audience segment that would be more receptive to messaging about Small Business Saturday versus Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

Use your social media accounts to tout your gift guides, themed gift ideas, and showcase how your products work (including features and benefits), and be sure to analyze post engagement to get an idea of what to promote across your email and social media marketing. If a particular product receives a good amount of engagement on social media, for example, you should send an email campaign promoting it as well. 

Keep in mind that when emojis are used in email subject lines, it drives open rates. If it makes sense for your brand, mix some good wordsmithing with a light-hearted emoji!

There’s nothing wrong with infusing a little FOMO (fear of missing out) in your marketing. Don’t be afraid to use phrases like “available online only,” “limited quantities,” “ends tonight,” etc. to create a sense of urgency. 

Last but not least on the marketing tip, if you sell items that are frequently bought together, consider creating ‘holiday bundles’ and promote them in your holiday marketing. 

Manage inventory accordingly

Begin beefing up your inventory ASAP and consider incorporating fulfillment and shipping rules to ensure that you don’t run out of stock. We recommend setting minimum in-stock number thresholds. Once this threshold is reached, remove the item from your website. This way, you’ll have a few items left in stock plus some time to re-up! 

If you’ve got a brick-and-mortar in addition to your e-commerce site, make sure that your POS is in sync for in-store and online purchases. This will help you avoid mistakes that could arise in regard to product inventory.

We’ve covered the bigger themes mentioned in our Holiday Preparedness Toolkit, but scroll on for a few more “best practice” tidbits: 

  • • Offer a variety of shipping options. I.E. If you’ve got a brick-and-mortar, include in-store pick-up as a shipping option. 
  • • Use your digital marketing efforts to encourage the use of holiday gift certificates.
  • • Returns happen. Make the process easy and hassle-free.
  • • Experiment with tiered promotions such as, “free shipping on orders over $50!”
  • • Offer a gift with purchase to get other products in front of customers.

And a bit of parting advice before we send you off to get ready for the holiday season – think about what worked last year. Is there a particular piece of content that did really well? Consider sharing it in a new way this year.

Now, go ‘Holiday’!

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