The all-important holiday season is about to start for retailers and consumer service businesses. If you are a regular Marketor Newsletter subscriber, you started working on your holiday marketing strategy since July:
- Gathered the notes that you made last holiday season on what needed to be improved.
- Reviewed last year business.
- Set your goals for 4th quarter.
- Know when you need to start hiring and training your staff.
- Decided when you will roll out the season.
Now it’s time to solidify your holiday marketing strategy. The marketing that will maximize holiday sales is the marketing you do now, not during the holiday season. Plan early!
Tips To Help You Plan Your Holiday Marketing Strategy:
Holiday Marketing Calendar
The best way to get started is with your marketing calendar for the last 3 months of the year. Fill out your calendar with your business events and holiday promotions. Work backwards and give yourself enough time to deliver quality work.
Review Your Customer Database
Re-engage your less active customers such as:
- Those who haven’t visited your store in a while.
- Clients who did not book a party this year.
- Or email subscribers who haven’t clicked or purchased.
Consider sending them a special note or offer inviting them to reconnect with your business.
Online Gift Guide
Have your online gift guide ready to help your customers find the perfect gift.
- Gift guides can be categorized by price point, gender, or hobbies.
- Use video to highlight your products and services.
- Promote your gift guide and product video on your website, email, and social media platforms by mid-October.
Prepare your editorial calendar for the whole season now with holiday tips, trends, and promotions to ensure that the busy season does not derail your online marketing momentum.
Plan, write and schedule your blog posts ahead of time. What keywords will you be using for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
Email marketing is still a simple and inexpensive way to promote your business during the holiday season. Plan your emails in advance. Most email marketing services will let you schedule your email campaigns ahead of time. But, be careful not to overdo it. An email every hour will defeat the purpose. Email marketing is like red wine; good for you as long as you don’t abuse it.
Be social during the holidays
According to Union Metrics, the best time to start your holiday social media marketing is about three weeks before Thanksgiving.
- Plan and launch your online advertising early. Paid social ads showcasing discounts and exclusive offers will help you attract new customers.
- Leverage the power of hashtags – especially on Twitter and Instagram – to help you get found by a larger audience. Plan your hashtag strategy.
- Plan to cross promote your messages on all platforms
- Start your “Holiday” pin board on Pinterest now to give your followers a sneak peek of your Holiday collection or your new products.Pinners are planners
Research Customer Trends
Did you notice any trends with your customers this year?
- Do they prefer to order or make appointment online?
- Are you getting more engagement on social media? Which platform?
- Are they getting younger or older?
If you are in the food and beverage industry:
- Are you getting special requests because dietary concerns, including gluten?
- Do you need to tweak some of your recipes to stay on top of flavor trends?
- Or are customers asking you about organic foods?
Mobile shopping is huge for retail. Make sure you are optimizing for local search and that your website is mobile friendly. Use PPC (Pay per Click) to attract new customers.
Tacking customers trends will help you establish the holiday promotional mix that’s best for your business.
Being prepared and organized is the key to keeping the busy season manageable so you can focus on helping your customers and have a profitable holiday season.
Do you need help your holiday marketing strategy? CONTACT US today to learn more about how we can help you create your small business holiday marketing strategy.