Christmas and New Year are just around the corner. For some, that means a well-deserved rest but for others, it can be a last minute opportunity to earn valuable revenue and cash-in on the holiday spirit.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be behind us but Christmas shopping is far from over. There are still tons of people that may need your service or product this holiday season.
Even if the profit isn’t the only thing you care about, the fact is that holidays became extremely commercialized in the last decade. This may not be the most honorable of races but the rewards for winners are very lucrative and you can’t allow yourself to fall too far behind, especially if you are a small business owner.
Here are some marketing tips and ideas on how to use the holiday theme to your advantage that should let you keep up with your competitors.
Optimize your page
This basically comes as a holiday SEO optimization. If you have done any On-site SEO optimization then you know where I’m going with this. If you didn’t, don’t run away just yet.
The only “skill” you will need to implement the tips mentioned in this section is creativity. Okay, a little bit of SEO knowledge will help. And a tiny bit of graphic design experience won’t hurt. Maybe a degree in web development but that’s it 🙂
Add holiday-themed graphical details to your website
Have you been to some of your local stores lately? If you did, you couldn’t have missed all of the Christmas decorations hanging around. It is there for a reason.
Did you ever think of bringing that décor online? Well, you should. Use this time to update the look and feel of your website. Let the website reflect the festive period we are in. There are quite a few ways you can do this:
- make your logo more stylish by adding some Christmas/New Year’s detail
- make a Christmas inspired banner
- write a message to your visitors and add some catchy graphical details
- make a holiday-themed menu buttons
- shape your special offers as coupon cards
- use shades of red, green, and gold in your designs
Feel free to follow the same tips to freshen up your landing pages too. The effectiveness of a landing page is considerably dependent on its visual appeal so don’t forget to give it a “holidaylift”.
Take a look at some logo, banner and website rework examples that featured holiday-inspired themes.
Make sure your payment process is smooth and simple
E-commerce sites that ship their products to different countries and continents are aware of the importance of paying option diversity.
Even if you feature diverse credit card options and PayPal, this may be the perfect opportunity to incorporate some new payment options that are on the rise like Apple Pay and Bitcoin. This may be just the thing that will separate you from your competition.
Also, don’t be that site that asks you 3 times to confirm your purchase or the ones that force you to click 3 times on the product before you can place it in the shopping cart. People have more important things to do in the holiday season and a lousy experience they had now may result in a customer that won’t be returning to you in the future. Polish up your payment process before it is too late.
Don’t forget on your site’s speed
Fluidity and loading speed of your site are especially important at this time of the year. Customers are usually under a lot of stress in the last few days leading up to the big holidays. They are juggling work deadlines and home preparations. Time is precious and it won’t take them long to switch to another site if yours loads at turtle speed.
This point is also important if you decided to dress-up your web pages like I mentioned earlier. A lot of hi-rez content and an increased number of visitors don’t play well together. Do some appropriate testing to be sure you don’t have any bottlenecks.
Deliver mobile-friendly design and optimization
Responsive design has never been more important. A number of internet consumers using portable devices is at an all-time high. The question isn’t are you going to lose customers with the non-responsive design but rather how many are you going to lose.
If you don’t have a mobile version of your site, the chances are you aren’t going to pull it out of the hat now. As with any tips listed in this post, you can always try to use them next year.
Google recently announced he is moving to mobile-first indexing for SEO. That is a reason enough to shift your focus to responsive design.
Use the potential behind social media
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and any other social media network you are active on can be a good place to share your content. You should probably limit yourself to the ones where your audience is, though.
Regardless of the networks of your choice, the first step is creating the content worth sharing.
Create shareable content
You can go in many different directions when it comes to holiday-inspired content creation. Engagement on social media always peaks during the holidays. Use it to your advantage.
Here are some ideas you can use to engage your followers:
- create and share an interesting holiday inspired infographic
- make a holiday contest where customers are providing you with a content for a chance to win some product/coupon
- deliver an interactive campaign in which users share their fun/interesting experiences they had with your product
- create and share a blog post or a guide that concentrates on your current customer pain points (buying guides, payment options, payment safety, product comparison etc.)
- present your sales through video content
- use live stream to present new products/answer questions
These ideas are just scratching the surface. Any valuable content in an appropriate form could end up attracting new leads.
As a side note, this can also be a great time to do some market research. You can create a short questionnaire to find some valuable insight into your target audience preferences. And you can always give them some incentive to attract a decent sample size.
Target the right groups
There is a common misconception that quality content drives traffic by simply being there. While that may be true for big sites with large audiences and followers that like to share, it won’t work for small sites with low traffic.
As a small site content manager, you need to get your quality content in front of the right eyes. Having a post just published on your blog isn’t going to generate a lot of traffic by itself. Sharing it on your social media profiles is a good start but don’t stop there.
Search for relevant groups and sections on social networks you are active on. Holiday-related content for a holiday-related group. Everybody wins.
If you want more specific social campaign ideas that are tailored to the specific network check out this article on how to leverage holidays for social campaigns.
Include a holiday theme in your off-page efforts
Your site optimization is superb and your social media engagement is something to write home about. Great, is there any other way to leverage holiday season to market your brand?
Yes, there is. And by that, I do not mean writing Santa that you need more customers. Santa can’t help you with that but you can help yourself.
The main goal of your off-page efforts should be to reach as many potential customers as possible. You want to inform them about your products, services, sales, gift bundles etc.
There are a few different ways you can go about leveraging holidays to market your brand via off page activities:
- use holiday-related titles for guest post pitches
- try to get your holiday-themed infographics (re)published on high authority sites
- try to get featured in different gift guide placements while avoiding these pitching mistakes
- make your own gift guide and try to find blogs interested in sharing it
- offer your products to bloggers interested in reviewing it
- make a local event for the influencers in your niche
- send a holiday card to your customers
If you really want to maximize your efforts, try to place a holiday spin on other marketing and SEO game plans too.
Before you rush off to implement these invaluable tips, I have to bother you with the last couple of suggestions. Things that I will mention here aren’t strictly related to brand promotion but are really important and can have an indirect effect on your brand reputation.
First, customer service. It is included in every other post that features holiday marketing tips. The reason is pretty simple. The holiday season means a rise in the volume of customers with questions and problems that are time sensitive. To be on top of things, consider redirecting more manpower to customer service department and extending customer service hours.
Last but not least, take care of your employees. They are under a lot of stress too and you want them at their best. You can never go wrong by organizing a Christmas party and/or giving them a gift. Holiday spirit and free stuff will never go out of style.
If you are seeing this, you have been visited by the Christmas doge. He will bring you much profits and a wow holiday spirit even if you don’t share this post.