Did you make any Black Friday purchases this year?
While many opted for an online approach over an in-store experience, Adobe still predicts Black Friday sales in 2020 will be at their highest yet. But as we wait for those final numbers to come in, it’s time to start looking ahead.
Whether you hit your Black Friday sales goals or not, there is still time to capitalize on end-of-year sales. A recent article by Hubspot estimates that “Small businesses can experience a +107% revenue boost over [the 2020] holiday season”
During a year like 2020, most businesses can’t afford to miss out on potential holiday sales. But how do you stand out from the sea of ads this holiday season, especially when large retailers are flooding the paid advertising space?
That same Hubspot article estimated that “38% of consumers will make a deliberate effort to shop at smaller retailers throughout the holiday season,” which is good news for small businesses.
Knowing that you have at least 38% of the market share searching for small businesses to shop with this holiday season—potentially, businesses like yours—how will you reach potential customers, and how will you set yourself apart?
Holiday Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
Holiday Sales Preparations
There are a multitude of sales strategies and marketing techniques to consider when building your holiday marketing sales strategy. All of them require a strong foundation across your digital assets, as well as internally, with your team and tools.
Whether you’re a team of one or 20, using only spreadsheets or full-on marketing automation, these foundation checks are essential for your holiday marketing success and beyond.
Optimize Your Website Performance
It is critical that you test your website and online store with the user experience in mind. How is the flow from product to product? Is the checkout process clunky? Your online store is the face of your business, it needs to provide a simple and delightful experience.
You must also ensure that your site is following up-to-date search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. Implementing SEO standards across your site increases the likelihood of Google listing one of your pages on a search engine result page (SERO). This means that you’ll be front and center when a potential customer is searching for your brand or products that you offer.
A comprehensive digital audit will diagnose and resolve any issues that may be harming your search-engine ranking. Auditing tools such as Google’s Lighthouse will test your page speed, accessibility, and provide SEO insights.
After completing the suggested changes, you can use SEO-optimized keywords throughout your website and product descriptions to significantly increase your Google ranking. However, these tools aren’t always the most user friendly, and finding relevant and highly searched keywords can be difficult without prior experience and the right software.
Short on Time? Let the Experts Help
If you’d like assistance optimizing your website’s performance, consider registering for our comprehensive digital audit.
Our expert team will analyze the full scope of your digital assets, giving you a clear picture of your online footprint. Through the audit, we’ll also supply actionable measures that you can take to improve your presence among your target audience.
Create a Content Calendar
Once your website is optimized, the next important step is building a content calendar. This will help your team stay organized, track your digital assets, and analyze the ROI for each of your marketing efforts.
Ideally, you want to build your content strategy out weeks or even months in advance, but there is still time to make a coordinated effort that has a large impact on your holiday sales.
Using resources like Hubspot’s Content Calendar Template, you can easily start planning and implementing your content-marketing strategy. If you’re wondering what you’re going to fill up your calendar with, we’ve got solutions there, too. Below we’ll cover some of the most successful strategies to boost your holiday sales.
End of Year Sales Strategies
Focus On Previous Customers
When developing your holiday sales strategy, it’s smart to focus on previous customers. After all, a customer who has already bought from your company is more likely to buy from you again — they know what they can expect during a shopping experience with your business.
By targeting previous customers, you will remind them of your services and offerings. If they believe in your products and appreciate the deals you are offering, their word-of-mouth advertising to consumers in their circle will create a much higher ROI than paid advertising on Google or Facebook.
Plus, you already have previous-customer emails so you can reach them directly, engaging them around their past purchases with you.
Offer a Unique Experience
Get creative with this one. Perhaps, you take a note from Barnes and Noble who offered autographed copies of best-selling books, or maybe you donate a percentage of your proceeds to a charity or cause that is important to your customers. You could offer a free gift with every purchase, or maybe only offer those gifts to VIP customers who spend more with you annually.
By offering a unique experience or gift to customers, you’ll be able to set yourself apart from other online retailers — adding consumer value to your loyal customers.
Team Up With Other Businesses
For local businesses who have been especially harmed by COVID-19, you may have found a community of like-minded local businesses owners that are going through similar struggles. Of course, it can be helpful to talk to other people who can relate to you, but what if there was a way you could band together to help one another?
Through coordinated efforts to sell bundle packages, you have the opportunity to expand your own sales while helping fellow business owners in your community. Additionally, by coming together, you can split the costs of advertising — talk about a win win.
Holiday Marketing Ideas
Give the Gift of a Gift Guide
Whether you’ve partnered up with other local businesses or if you’re aiming for solo sales, a curated gift guide can go a long way towards showing a customer that you have a special gift for almost everyone on their list. Use this guide to highlight your special deals and best-selling products.
How you go about building your gift guide is completely up to you — you’ve got options:
- Collage these gift guides to feature on social media
- Build a collection-specific landing page using your Shopify account
- Publish a blog to your website
- Send out traditional mailers
No matter which route you choose, these guides should specifically target your audience. While some businesses still opt for mailers, a paid online approach can be faster, more targeted, and more affordable for certain audiences.
Email Marketing Magic + Landing Pages
If you have an email list, now is the perfect time to put it to use. With 39 billion daily email users, a Hubspot 2020 study found that email marketing is one of the best channels for generating an astoundingly high return on investment — coming in at 3,800% ROI. The same study found that 59% of respondents say marketing emails influence their purchase decisions.
By creating highly optimized landing pages with curated products and deals, you can quickly target new or previous purchasers and advertise your top-sellers, or even your gift guide mentioned above. Just ensure that your products are clickable and lead to the individual product pages — this will increase sales.
And implementing subject-line best practices will ensure that your messages aren’t ending up in the spam folder and that you aren’t losing email subscribers.
Of course you’ve heard and interacted with influencer marketing, but how do you get into it? And how do you find an influencer that best represents your brand?
Start by finding social media users who often interact with your product and have a large following. Then, ask them to post an Instagram story or Instagram live where viewers will watch the influencer unboxing or reviewing one of your products. There are some challenges you may encounter if you are new to influencer marketing — know the going rate, and effectively track the ROI on this type of marketing.
That’s where a specialized influencer agency can help. We partner with our good friends at Twillo Brand Influencers to create individual campaign plans, making influencer marketing more accessible to your business.
Last but certainly not least, you should utilize video. Whether you air it on a local station or just promote a video on social media, this powerful tool will grab users’ attention much more than a text or image will alone. In fact, a Hubspot-cited study suggested that 93% of brands got a new customer because of a social media video.
Video can be as simple as something you shoot on your phone, or as complex as a digital animation. By showcasing your products, your specials, and potentially even a use-case for individual products, you will convey product value and instill consumer confidence. In fact, the same study suggested that 95% of marketers feel they’ve increased understanding of their product or service by using video.
Of course, creating impactful, beautiful, and inspiring videos can be difficult — especially if you lack art direction, equipment, and video software. That’s where an experienced marketing agency like Brand Mark Digital can help.
Brand Mark Digital Provides Holiday Marketing Ideas to Boost End of Year Sales and Beyond
Whether you need help assessing your digital footprint and optimizing your website, or you need help developing a content strategy across your digital marketing platform, our expert team can help you invest in smart marketing decisions.
At Brand Mark Digital, we draw on decades of marketing experience to provide unrivaled marketing support with authentic messaging to ensure you reach your goals — even in a year like 2020. If you’re interested in working with us, contact us today. We’d love to learn more about your business.