It's that time of year again. If you are not already planning your holiday sales campaign, you are behind your competition. The fourth quarter of the year is typically the strongest largely due to holiday sales. This remains true not just for brick-and-mortar sales but also online sales. Internet Retailer reports that last year, fourth quarter online sales increased by more than 10 percent. If you are just now thinking of holiday marketing, you may be a bit late to the game, but there is still time to get a marketing plan in order. If there is one thing you should know about holiday marketing this year, it is the need to be everywhere. Far too often, many companies make the mistake of targeting all of their marketing ammunition at a single marketing channel. With this type of strategy, you can miss a significant portion of potential customers. Instead, focus on an omni-channel marketing campaign.
Social media should simply be a part of your holiday marketing campaign because it works and not because everyone else is doing it. Among the most important benefits offered by social media is the fact that it provides the opportunity to build your ideal customer audience. Along with helping you to hone in on your target customer base, social media enables you to become a respected resource and establish trust. If there is one reason to make social media part of your marketing campaign this holiday season, it is this: a survey conducted by MarketLive found that half of holiday shoppers will be affected by social media this year. The survey went on to report that customers participate in a variety of social activities while shopping online: searching for gift ideas, reviewing products, and obtaining referrals from friends. In planning a social media campaign for this year, first take the time to review what you did last year, if you had a holiday social media campaign, to determine what worked and what did not. Among the best ways to reach out to holiday shoppers this year is to integrate a holiday theme in your social media, as well as incorporating holiday hashtags. Creating a holiday-themed contest is also a great way to draw attention to your brand.
Mobile App Deals
It is a best kept secret that Groupon is wildly popular with consumers on the lookout for deals. What if you could become your own Groupon? Taking advantage of mobile app deals and coupons via push notifications allows you to do just that. A survey conducted by Burst Media and Rhythm NewMedia found that retailers will see an impact from purchases made this year via mobile devices. Nearly 60 percent of respondents who said that they will research purchases on their mobile devices will do so in order to help finalize their online purchase decisions. The survey went on to report that push notifications received in physical locations will actually drive retail purchases this year, with more than 76 percent of respondents reporting that they read mobile push notifications for in-store promotions as they come through, and that more than 67 percent typically redeem these offers.
Email Subject Lines
Email may seem as though it has fallen behind the more glamorous social media and mobile marketing strategies, but it still has a lot to offer. The key is to make sure that you target according to what consumers want when creating email marketing campaigns for the holidays. Keep in mind that today's consumers are more pressed for time than at any point in history. They also have far more distractions, and are increasingly wary of junk mail. This remains true even if they signed up to receive emails from your brand. You have a very limited window for encouraging them to open an email. The best way to do this is to tell them what they are going to get at the very beginning in the subject line.
Education-Based Marketing Videos
In planning your holiday marketing campaign this year, keep in mind that education-based marketing sells. When combined with the convenience of video marketing, education-based marketing presents the opportunity for you to build rapport with your customers while also providing them with value for free. In designing an education-based marketing video this holiday season, keep in mind that it is no longer enough to have a video in order to differentiate your brand from the competition. Video is no longer something new. It is now an essential. Unless you handle correctly, video could actually harm your brand. Interruption-based marketing, otherwise known as commercials, is no longer effective. The brands with a competitive edge are now shifting toward education-based video marketing. The most important thing to keep in mind is that your video should offer ease of navigation to allow consumers to gather the information they need, whether it is looking for answers, conducting product research, or going through reviews. Consumers today will not invest their limited time in viewing videos if they are not instantly convinced that it's worth their time, so place important benefits upfront. Keep your videos to short, manageable lengths. Above all, make sure that your video contains elements of actual value to the consumer.
Sell the Outcome
Finally, keep in mind that the most important thing you can do is sell the outcome when marketing this holiday season. Focus on the reasons that consumers are buying rather than what they are buying. Remember that ultimately consumers are largely driven by emotional triggers when making purchases. Zig Zigler once said, "People don't buy things for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons." This is even truer during the holidays. By focusing on the omni-channel marketing strategies described above, and offering true value to your customers, your brand can have the best holiday sales ever!