Tis the season to be jolly.
Tis also the season for small business owners and SMEs to step up their sales game and try to get a seasonal sales boost over the holiday period.
Christmas is an essential time for retailers. John Lewis has already seen an upturn in its fortunes thanks to its Christmas promotions, as have other high street names as they cleverly position themselves to attract a shopping public hungry to spend.
However, not everybody can avoid prime-time advertising slots and is able to spend millions on animating dogs on trampolines. Adopting an inbound digital marketing strategy, though, can level the playing field and help smaller brands seriously compete against the big boys.
Gifts that keep on giving
Getting your long-term inbound strategy right, too, can also help give you a search and social media boost throughout the year and build a growing list of customers who want to become brand advocates.
However, there’s been another factor at play this year; one that’s been brewing for a while. This year’s Black Friday was the best part of a week long and followed up recently with Cyber Monday.
It was the perfect time for shoppers to go online and browse all sorts of deals, and at the same time, take a large chunk out of their Christmas budgets as they sought to do their Christmas shopping earlier than before.
In fact, £1.1 billion was thought to have been spent during Cyber Monday as people went online to secure some bargains. So, how does the new business or the brand looking to grow promote themselves during such a busy period against the competition?
Here are five tips that we think are essential in attracting shoppers to your online business, and how you can use them as part of your long-term strategy beyond Christmas to boost your brand:
1: Cleverly target your social budget
Social media marketing is essential for brands during Christmas time and can be used in a number of creative ways to leverage a campaign.
Lidl for instance, is introducing a ‘Social Price Drop’ promotion where the chain will reduce the prices of some of is products depending on the amount of tweets they receive.
Putting some budget into your social marketing channels, such as Facebook, opens up a wealth of targeting options that allow you to get your message in front of people based on their location, gender, income and other factors.
Target the right people with the right creative Christmas sales message and you can appear in front of your target market almost instantly.
2: Use paid search to get a rankings boost
The difference between a social media platform and a search engine is user intent. People use sites like Facebook to socialise. They use search engines to fulfil a curiosity or a desire.
Putting some of your marketing budget into Google AdWords will help you appear in the sponsored results section on search engines like Google, giving you a huge visibility boost, especially if you specifically look to target seasonal keywords and combine them with your products.
PPC is a fine art, though, and a lot of research needs to be done to discover the best keywords to sponsor. AdWords has also released new targeting tools recently, too, allowing people better scope to target and customise their ads in the quest for better results.
3: Have an easy-to-use festive website
Having a festive website is more than having a few snowflakes falling down the page whenever somebody logs on. If you’re spending your budget on targeting people through social media and PPC to get them to land on specific pages, they need to be able to find what you’ve promised them as soon as possible.
By all means, put a festive skin on your website to get people in the mood. But also look to categorise any Christmas bargains that people may be able to pick up, detail exactly what people are getting, have it load fast, let people know delivery charges and if they’ll get their parcel before the big day, and more.
Most importantly, give it an easy-to-use responsive mobile design for shoppers on the go, and make forms easy to fill out so people can enter their information as quickly and as effortlessly as possible to encourage repeat visits.
4: Collect the right data and use your lists
Collecting the right data and building lists of people who fall in line with your target audience is an essential for serious growth as you look to make them long-term brand advocates.
This also falls under the web design principle; make sure your pages where people are being directed through social and search targeting have effective calls to action that encourage them to leave some communications data behind in transparent, ethical ways.
Be creative too, and let people know that you have amazing offers, services, products and deals on a year-long basis, not just during your Christmas campaigns. Look beyond the holidays, and use those lists you’ve collated to reach out to people and entice them to return with creative email and social campaigns.
5: Think beyond Christmas with organic search
The same as the point above; you can target people almost on an immediate basis by putting some budget into your paid search and social media strategies.
Think beyond Christmas, though. While you’re creating effective paid strategies, think long-term and start to put some effort into the content you produce and build some links to effectively boost your long-term search position with natural, organic SEO practices.
Get out there on your social media channels, too, and look to build long-term relationships with existing and potential customers. Search on social for keywords and locations relevant to your business, so that people are visiting and interacting with your brand on a year-long basis, not just for Christmas.
If you’d like to find out more about how a seasonal inbound marketing campaign can help give you an online sales boost and attract customers, speak to a Webpresence representative today.