Last year was a record-setting year for online holiday sales. Consumers spent a whopping $3.34 billion during Black Friday and another $1.93 billion on Thanksgiving Day. That was 17.7 percent increase from 2015. It was also the first time that mobile shopping sales breached the $1B mark in a single day (Black Friday).
Many analysts thought Black Friday sales might actually dethrone Cyber Monday, but it pulled in an additional $3.45 billion in sales, growing more than 12 percent over the previous year.
With holiday sales starting earlier than ever (seriously, Christmas items starting showing up in stores in early September), 2017 is gearing up to outpace last year’s impressive figures. That’s great news. Now, here’s the bad news. If you haven’t started thinking about your holiday online marketing strategy, you’re running out of time. But, don’t panic! We’re here to guide you with these 10 holiday digital marketing tips that will help drive traffic to your website and generate sales.
Review Last Year’s Data
One of the most common mistakes business owners make is reusing old, holiday digital marketing campaigns to save time. That’s not always a bad thing, but it could be detrimental if you haven’t done your research first. Look at your past holiday marking promotions and crunch some numbers. Did those efforts result in increased sales, website traffic or leads? If not, it’s probably time try something new. Keep those ideas that worked and give them a few tweaks, but toss out any that fell flat.
Optimize Your Website & Landing Pages
With mobile sales over $1 billion on Black Friday last year, it’s obvious that more people are turning to their phones to purchase holiday gifts. If your website is not optimized for mobile, you’re going to lose out on sales. A recent study found that most consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less. Forty percent said they would abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. The slower your web page loads, the more sales you’ll potentially lose. Now is the time to get a website analysis and verify your site is ready to handle the higher holiday traffic.
Over the next few weeks, consumers will be using holiday-related search terms to look for potential gifts and other holiday purchases. If your website or landing page doesn’t include these key terms, you could be missing out on organic leads. Take some time to add in some new keywords to help your website rank organically and create more engagement with your visitors.
Ensure Online Listings are Accurate
Speaking of organic search, have you taken the time to verify your business is listed correctly and consistently across the internet? Make sure your address, contact information and website URL is the same across all digital directories. If your listings are not the same, reach out to a digital agency and ask about Yext. It’s a quick way to clean up all your listings instantly.
Increase Remarketing Efforts
When putting together your holiday marketing plan, don’t forget about your current customers. These loyal consumers are more likely to purchase your products than any other group. An easy way to engage with them, and with those showing an interest in your business, is to launch a site retargeting campaign. It’s not only very affordable, but a great way to offer insider deals to your top customers. Another tool that works very effectively is retargeting emails that are triggered by the consumer’s browsing behavior. This involves sending personalized messages based on the exit page, viewed promotions or items left behind in an online shopping cart. In general, these types of emails see a higher open rate and increased click through rates, which lead to more conversions than a general email campaign.
Encourage Client Reviews
Are you asking your customers to leave reviews? If not, you should. Studies show that more than half of online consumers read reviews before making a purchase, and 39 percent check out online reviews before making in-store purchases. If your company has little to no feedback to share with potential clients, you could be losing out on new business. Always send a follow-up email after a sale, when possible, and ask the consumer to share his/her experience.
Create Social Media Buzz
Did you know that 81 percent of women purchase items seen or shared on social media? Among millennials, 47 percent say social media influences their purchasing decisions. These are not figures you should ignore. A robust social media strategy for the holidays is a must. Make sure your company is regularly posting on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and other social platforms, or hire an agency to maintain a presence for you during this crucial shopping period. Include ‘social-only’ specials and discounts to increase engagement and provide added value to your loyal followers.
Keep Messaging Consistent
It can be easy for companies to get caught up in the holiday excitement and forget about maintaining their brand identity. Don’t sell out to make the sale. Stay true to your company’s values and mission, and be sure to deliver a consistent message across all marketing platforms. If the marketing agency you’re working with wants to take you in a direction you’re not comfortable with, stand your ground or walk. Your company’s long-term reputation if far more important than any monetary gain you might briefly experience.
Offer Holiday Incentives
An easy way to generate additional sales during the holidays is to offer some great incentives. For online shoppers, free shipping, BOGO and one-day flash sales are very attractive. Be sure to generate some pre-sale buzz by posting these limited-time offers on your social media platforms, AdWords and through targeted display banner campaigns.
Prepare for Post-Holiday Advertising
Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday get a lot of attention when it comes to pushing holiday deals and sales, but it’s just as important to think about your post-holiday marketing strategy. There will be plenty of people who are looking to return unwanted gifts or score something for themselves with the holiday cash they received. Make sure you have a robust digital advertising campaign ready to launch on Christmas Day to capitalize on this audience.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so don’t hesitate. Get your team working on a holiday digital marketing strategy ASAP. If you don’t have the manpower to handle it internally, contact a local marketing agency this week to ensure your company isn’t missing out on what is sure to be one of the busiest online shopping seasons ever. It just takes a little planning, and budget, to make an impact on your holiday sales.
3D Digital is a full-service, digital marketing agency located in Jacksonville, FL. We offer website design and development, video production, social media management and an array of digital marketing solutions, such as display banners and AdWords. To learn more about our services, please visit 3ddigital.com.