The holidays are the most critical time of the year for retailers. For some retailers, the sales during holidays show as much as 30 percent of yearly revenue, as per the National Retail Federation. Do not let your first holiday period pass without placing your best foot forward. With an aim on marketing, you can push sales and create a loyal following that will purchase from you all year long.
Use the following tips to create your first-holiday marketing strategy. Consider goals, your brand story, and favorite marketing techniques for a successful season of selling.
- Set goals
Before you can make any strategy, you should have goals. These tell what you will need to do and organize the stage for your whole marketing strategy. Kick off with the resources like this guide to social media marketing to find several categories of goals you might want to fix. Use them as a structure, ensuring there is one goal in each area of your focus. As you prepare goals to push your marketing strategy, keep the following tips in your mind.
Make your goals quantifiable: You should be able to efficiently track the success of any object you set, which implies they need to be measured. This can get as nitty-gritty as making five sales via customer service requests on Instagram. You can then count how many deals came through this funnel by tagging them as such in your e-commerce platform or POS.
Stay focused on your business goals: Remember that your holiday marketing aims have to be attached to your overarching business goals, enabling you to have more than just online proximity. For instance, if one of your marketing goals is to accelerate brand awareness, reasonably you set an aim to raise your total follower count by some numbers during the holiday period. You may even add a metric for the conversions from new followers to keep a distinct focus on the outcome.
Be platform-specific: Tie each goal undeviatingly to each platform and marketing format your plan to use. For instance, instead of saying, “Drive 50 sales from social media” say it like, “Drive ten sales from Pinterest.” This proffers you more focus and direction.
- Focus on your brand story
Your business brand story secludes you from your rival(s) — it is uniquely your own and could be what entices someone to your brand. Not only does this make an emotional connection with your business, but a 2017 survey discovered that loyal clients who are involved with your brand spend two times more than those who aren’t. The question is how do you transport your story to life? BigCommerce shares five steps to do that.
- Get closely familiar with your potential customer. “Pretend you are having a conversation with your potential customer. What do you know about their daily lives? What are their hobbies? How do they consume media? What situations will they relate to?”
- Make your position description, or demonstrate the value of your output or brand to that supreme customer.
- Find your brand model. This could be in the form of a few excellent testimonials that can be shared during the holiday season.
- Be genuine. If you are not sure whether you’re genuine; take a look at the words you employ, their tone and voice. Are they significatory about your brand? Could you set yourself ahead even more?
- Create your story to be shared. Everybody loves sharing a feel-good story or learning about something that makes them happy, rebuilds their faith in humankind, or makes them feel empowered.
As you make your marketing strategy, you will create your unique brand and story into everything you do.
- Consider brand ambassadors
One of the most persuasive forms of marketing right now is user-generated content (UGC), or any video clip, text, and images that have been shared to online platforms by the users. A 2017 survey by Social Media Today discovered that 75 percent of customers believe UGC content is more authentic. Mostly, these users are brand ambassadors.
To add brand ambassadors into your marketing plan; kick off with your existing customers. As this guide for promoting your product, from Selz, explains, “Do you have a product or service that your customers love to gush about? Do you notice that some of your customers rave about you on social media without any prompting from you? They might be a natural brand ambassador that can carry your new product into spaces you couldn’t reach on your own.”
If you do not already have a group of avid customers, your first step is to reach out to the influencers who may be drawn for becoming one. To make it appealing, Selz advises paying the ambassadors or giving them some of your products for free to help them get started.
- Say “Action!”
Not only are 81 percent of the businesses utilizing video in their marketing plans right now — which indicates your rivals are too — but 76 percent of marketers tell video helps them increase sales. Meanwhile, 81 percent of customers have been persuaded to buy a product after watching an advertisement video.
All of this indicates one thing: Your holiday marketing plans need to have video. Fortunately, there are numerous ways you can step into this marketing method, even with a limited budget. Here are a few ideas to use:
- Ask the brand ambassadors to do product reviews or unboxing videos. When they share the video with their circle, you can re-share the video on your own page, providing for organic reach, authenticity, and the re-purposing of relevant content.
- Post your brand story on Instagram or Facebook.
- Ask customers for video testimonials. Again, even if they post a testimony to their page or in their story; you can repost it.
- Post-behind-the-scenes videos of your team (even if it’s just you!) prepping products, handling orders, etc.
- Think offline too
We spend much of our lives online, but brick-and-mortar and e-commerce stores should not ignore offline marketing. This is particularly valuable for local storefronts that can utilize direct mailers to drive the foot traffic.
While this may look like an old technique; it is actually holding steady. According to the data from the DMA’s 2018 Statistical Fact Book; the number of direct mail decreased to 149.4 billion in 2016, but the percentage of direct mail in the overall letter boosted. Not to mention, the consumer packaged goods industry is the second most heavy user of direct mail.
If you are ready to supplement direct mail to your holiday marketing strategy, give these ideas a try.
- Send a direct mail drive to local customers if you have a brick-and-mortar store. Add a discount to get them in your shop.
- Mail holiday cards to current clients to say thanks, driving loyalty and encouraging another purchase.
- Offer a first-time buyer discount. This works for both online and offline stores.
- Send some free shipping postcards to areas where shipping is cheapest for you, allowing you to spend less while giving your customers what they care about most.
Before writing and sending your mailers, always remember FiveStar’s 40/40/20 rule. “Forty percent of your success will come from how effective your mailing list is, another 40 percent will depend on how compelling your offer is, and the remaining 20 percent will come from everything else (design, the copy/text of the mailing, the images you’ve chosen, delivery date and method, etc.).”