The holiday season is upon us. To make the most of the season, plan early and decide your goals and objectives. As the holidays are a popular time to advertise, it is therefore imperative to have a sound marketing strategy that converts your interactions into sales. While you will want to immerse yourself in the traditional holiday fanfare, it is essential to stand out and be unique. People spend a lot during the holidays and you want them to spend their money on your products and not your competitors’. So share the love and build up your customer relationship in fun and exciting ways. Here are some promotional ideas to implement a well-grounded marketing strategy during the holiday season to help you strengthen customer relationships and increase sales:
Convert your marketing strategies into sales by dividing your customers into different sections. This will enable you to target different customers in specific ways. Your customers will then receive messages that are most relevant to them. Customers can be divided in the following ways:
Last Year’s Buyers – This section will consist of your brand loyalists. They are ones who bought your merchandise during the previous year’s holiday season.
Best Customers – These are the ones who visit your site all through the year and make purchases. Make sure they choose to spend their holiday savings on your site.
Geography – If you are present worldwide or in countries other than your own, make sure you target people in different locations according to their holiday needs. Working out the specifics of shipping (last dates, additional prices, if any, etc) should also be kept in mind.
Past Purchases – Going by the preferences of your shoppers, present to them a guide based on what they may like this holiday season.
Holiday Contest or Giveaway
The holidays are a perfect time to be generous. Creating a contest during the holiday season is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your website, engage customers and interact with them. Here are some ideas that will ensure traffic and success: Costume Photo Contest – Choose a theme that you want your customers to base their costumes on (holiday decoration, winter wonderland, ugly sweaters). Enjoy the submissions and pick one winner.
12 Days Of – Give away different prize every day for twelve days.
Caption Contest – Post a holiday themed photo on your website and/or social media, and ask your customers or followers to caption it in the comment section.
Story-telling – Ask your customers to share their favourite holiday tradition or what they are thankful for. You can encourage them to share their wish list.
Secret Santa – This is perhaps the most intriguing and loved contest. It is not limited to dorm rooms and corporate offices anymore. Most businesses organise this for the users and though it takes a lot of work and is tedious for the organisers, people enjoy participating in it. There are usually a lot of sign-ups for the same.
Use season appropriate hashtags. Twitter and Instagram are among the best social media websites to use holiday specific hashtags to engage followers. All businesses, large or small, use this particular strategy all around the year. However, they modify their hashtags according to the requirements of the season. Starbucks, for instance, brought out its holiday themed red cups and asked their customers to post photos with the hashtag #redcupcontest to enter the contest.
Beat the Holiday Rush
Encourage your customers to shop (and save) early. Offer them a discount on preorders and early holiday purchases. But don’t forget your last-minute shoppers who leave all their shopping until the very last day. For such customers, prepare a list of last-minute gift ideas and promote them in the days leading upto the holidays.
Make use of mobile marketing to reach out to customers when they are out shopping. Use Facebook’s local awareness advertisements to find new customers easily and quickly. Precise targeting of people who are around your business at a particular time is perhaps the best way for you to find local people on Facebook.
“Gifts” Tab in Main Navigation
Though the season brings in happiness, love and warmth, it also brings with itself mental strain. It is therefore crucial that your customers find it extremely easy to look for presents on your website. People are looking for that one perfect present that will make their loved ones very happy. You should create a “gifts” tab for your customers to find top gift suggestions this year. The tab should contain popular gifts, suggestions and special holiday deals. Add filters of price, gender, brand and type to further assist your customers. Create a digital catalog of gift ideas and recommendations to your customers the ones that suit them the best.
Promotional emails are effective on customers and you must utilise this to its maximum potential. There are several types of email for your customers belonging to different sections.
Gift Guide – This is one of the easiest ways to help your customers and making sales. Create gift guides for them and let them know what your brand has to offer.
Holiday Deals – Let your customers know about the upcoming deals via emails. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are some of the most popular days for bargain shopping. Send reminders via email about the same.
Personalised Product Recommendation – Based on your customers’ shopping history and other interactions, send them recommendations for the products they might be interested in this holiday season. People respond to personalised interaction with the brand.
Abandoned Cart – Send emails to those customers who have products in their cards but have not purchased them yet. This will bring them back to your website and complete their purchase. Don’t forget to recommend other products in the email.
Wish-List – Inform your customers via email if any product in their wish-list has had a price drop. Encourage them to buy it.
Donate to Charity
Don’t just give in to the hype and the commercialisation of the season. Embrace the spirit of the holiday season and encourage your customers to do the same. Support a cause by donating a percentage of your sales. Or partner with a charity where your customers can buy presents for children or the less fortunate. This way not only do you create a positive image of your brand, but you also help those in need and spread the holiday cheer.
Every holiday season brings in new challenges and strategies. It is, however, the biggest opportunity for businesses to connect with their customers. You are therefore advised to schedule your posts in advance using AI enabled social media platforms. They will not only keep your social media active in your absence, they’ll also give your employees a much needed break during the holiday season. SmatSocial, with its AI powered marketing intelligence tool, offers services in this area and caters to all your social media managements needs.