Capitalizing on the current marketing trends will help you as you make your final preparations for your holiday marketing strategy.
You likely already have your holiday marketing plan in place, but you will need some last minute tweaking and adjustments. A good marketer should be flexible and go with the flow, especially during the busiest time of the year. Here are 10 tips to include in your holiday digital marketing plan.
- Website speed check: As consumers become more tech-savvy, they expect more from companies. Last year, Radware published a report showing how important website speed is—57% of consumers will abandon a site that fails to load after 3 seconds. This means that more than half of your visitors won’t even see any of your other e-commerce or marketing efforts and you won’t have any chance of converting them because you’ve lost them completely.
- Evaluate online shipping pricing and options: Let’s face it, Amazon has changed online shoppers’ delivery expectations. Smaller-sized companies can have a hard time competing with the delivery times and prices. You have to be savvy and efficient with your packaging. Be clear with your message about the shipping options you offer and what the policies are. List cut off dates and send shipping confirmation emails with the tracking numbers so that your customers know their package is on the way and when it will arrive.
- Evaluate your segmentation: Show your customers that you know them better than your competition does. When you segment your marketing efforts, the experience becomes much more interactive, engaging and personalized for your audience. The results not only mean higher conversions but increases in customer satisfaction. Be sure to evaluate your segments ahead of time to make sure that you are sending the right messaging to the right people.
- Bump up your content efforts now: You should begin producing content for your holiday campaigns as early as summer. Now is the time to bump up the content and even write as much as you can ahead of time and schedule publishing for when you are too busy to write. This way, if any holiday emergencies spring up that need your attention in other departments, your content marketing won’t suffer because it will be done.
- Highlight customer and product reviews: A large part of your holiday marketing should be showcasing all of the positive customer reviews and product reviews you have worked so hard to acquire and compile. They are an excellent selling point since consumers love to see what other shoppers say about your company and your products.
- Add podcasts to your advertising mix: Whether or not your company has a podcast, you should take advantage of this medium by advertising on a podcast relevant to your brand or industry. Podcast audiences are approaching 50 million monthly listeners. This is a potential goldmine of captive audiences to target.
- Streamline your ordering process: Anything you can do to make shopping easier for your customers will not only help improve upon conversion rates but will bring customers back for more. The easier and more convenient it is to shop with you, the more your customers will return to buy more, leave better reviews, and recommend you to their friends and social networks.
- Don’t forget Single’s Day 11/11: If you haven’t heard about Single’s Day 11/11, you soon will. Act on it before it is too late. It is a day that has become popular in China over the last several decades as an anti-Valentine’s Day for people who are single. Alibaba has turned it into the biggest shopping day of the year. In 2015, revenue from Singles Day in China was a whopping $14.3 billion (source). Piggyback on this idea to boost sales early in the season. If you don’t have anything planned yet, you can put together an email campaign and add a few social media campaigns quickly before it is too late this year. Be sure to put this in your notes for next year and plan ahead.
- Learn from the past: The best way to plan and predict what to do for this holiday season is to remember what you did last year. Look at your records and hopefully, you did a review after the season and wrote down what worked, what didn’t, and ideas for next year. Review that document and keep it handy to help you through the season. Make notes as you go so that you can continue this tradition year after year.
- Try something new: Plan to try at least one new thing each year. Think of it as testing. Look at marketing trends in your industry and see which channel or area you are lacking and add a small campaign. Make sure your new venture is a small test; you can build on it if it is successful.
Predictions for the 2016 Holiday Season
You can fine-tune your strategy by comparing your plans with Adobe’s predictions for the 2016 season. Adobe is predicting online sales for the 2016 holiday season to top $91 billion in sales. Since they have been very accurate with their past predictions over the last four holiday seasons, marketers should heed their predictions and adjust strategy accordingly. Mobile will play an important role in holiday sales although mobile sales won’t take over the desktop, mobile’s share of visits is predicted to be 53%. Cyber Monday 2016 will be the biggest online shopping day in history with estimated totals at $3.36 billion in sales and Black Friday online sales will pass $3 billion for the first time.