As the holiday season quickly approaches, putting the finishing touches on your holiday marketing plan is more important than ever! With a strategic marketing plan, you’ll be able to find success this holiday season, boosting revenue and introducing customers to your brand. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite holiday marketing campaigns to help you build your end-of-year strategy!
1. Create an Interactive Gift Guide
The holiday season can be overwhelming as shoppers try to find the perfect gift for their family, friends, and significant others. Make the shopping experience easier for your audience with an interactive gift guide! Depending on your service or product, you can create general categories – ‘For Her’, ‘For Him’, and ‘For a Coworker’.
If you want to make your gift guide even more helpful, personalize their shopping experience to your brand. Categories of ‘Dog Lover’ or ‘Coffee Enthusiast’ can help your audience find the product they’re looking for sooner while maintaining a solid relationship with your brand, helping to shorten the journey from browsing the website to adding to their cart to checking out!
2. Go Behind the Scenes for the Holidays
You can show off some “exclusive” content for your target audience this holiday season! Give a sneak peek of the process of decorating your shop, venue, or local hotel for the holidays. You can showcase a time-lapse of packing holiday orders or let your team’s personality shine with holiday interviews and stories. This holiday-themed content will help build authenticity and relationships with your customers!
3. Shoppable Live Streaming
Audiences can interact with the host in real-time with shoppable live streaming. As the host showcases your products or details your business’s service, they’ll be able to answer any questions and review comments your customers may have. During these shoppable live streams, the host can also offer exclusive promos or giveaways to lucky viewers as part of the live event. The event’s urgency will increase the fear of missing out, helping boost sales and attention to your brand.
4. Allow VIP/Subscribed Customers Early Access
Reward the most loyal of your customers with early access to holiday sales and promotions, or better yet, offer them their own promo code or deal! Offer their discount early to keep your team ahead of the game and kick your holiday shopping season off on a great foot! Make sure to let the rest of your audience know about the exclusive event for those VIP guests and how they can partake in those deals next holiday season.
5. Keep Your Digital Storefront Updated
Consumers prefer in-person and online shopping options. Both of your storefronts need to stay up-to-date with each other. For example, if you are running different store hours this holiday season, ensure that you keep that updated in-store and online. Keep your messaging consistent across platforms so that there isn’t confusion as your customers shop for your products and services. Your customers will love that they can have a hybrid shopping experience with your brand and that they can find what they want when and where they need it!
6. Be Transparent About Supply Chain Issues
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses brought supply chain issues to the forefront of the consumer shopping experience. By being transparent about the supply chain shortages your business will experience, your customers will better understand what they can expect as they shop this year, reducing stress on you and your customers.
Communicate out-of-stock items, and keep the information up to date on your Google product feed, social media, mobile app, website, or any other location where your customers can shop. You can notify your customers of a back-in-stock item through email or on your social channels.
7. Post Engaging Instagram Stories
Instagram Stories are a great way to engage with your audience and stay top of mind. Some ways to engage your audience on Instagram Stories include:
- Polls – The polls could be about anything, but the goal is to engage your audience and learn more about them. Some examples could be general feedback, product favorites, or trends.
- Q & A – Host a Q & A to connect with your audience in a low-effort way. You could create additional content later through social or blog posts based on the questions you receive.
- Quizzes – Quiz your followers on their knowledge of your products as a fun way to answer some frequently asked questions and offer your expert knowledge.
8. Create Video for Social
The focus on short-form videos this year is more significant than ever. Instagram is switching up its algorithm to favor Reels to compete with TikTok. TikTok continues to grow, with over half of Gen Z consumers preferring the platform over Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube. Some ideas for short-form content could include packaging products to send out to customers, behind-the-scenes videos, gift ideas, and day-in-the-life style videos. Don’t forget to put a holiday twist on each video!
9. Focus on Local SEO
As the holiday season approaches, local businesses are preparing for an influx of customers. While many shoppers will take advantage of online deals, there is also expected to be a significant uptick in foot traffic as people return to in-store shopping post-pandemic. This presents a unique opportunity for local businesses to capitalize on local SEO and drive even more foot traffic. By optimizing their website for local search terms and promoting their location on online directories and mapping services, businesses can ensure they are visible to potential customers in their area. With the right local SEO strategy, companies can attract new customers and make the most of the holiday shopping season.
10. Schema Usage is Growing
This year, schema is more aligned with commerce than ever. Brands, retailers, and publishers are increasingly using multiple schema types to represent their information related to shopping experiences. Implementing schema types like Product, ImageObject, and ItemList is crucial because it allows search engines to comprehend your content better and offer more detailed and informative results to searchers. Schema can help you capture a featured snippet if you’re already on page one of the SERP and it can also help improve the click-through rate of your result on the page during the holiday season.
11. Research Holiday-Specific Keywords
Are your customers searching for your products to give as gifts? Conduct keyword research to determine if adding holiday-specific keywords to your paid search campaigns would be valuable. Even keywords for sale terms could be beneficial around Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
12. Consider using Broad-Match Keywords
Regarding keywords, Google continues refining its machine learning algorithms and has been encouraging advertisers to add broad-match versions of its keywords. Previously, broad match keywords have gotten a bad reputation for bringing in high volumes of irrelevant traffic – something nobody wants. But with recent advancements, keywords are becoming more like signals to the Google Ads system, and broad match keywords are making a comeback. Now, broad match keywords can signal what general type of searches you want to target and let Google find users and searches that align with your goals. So go ahead, add the holiday-specific keywords mentioned above, but also consider using broad match to find holiday-specific keywords that you maybe haven’t thought of, found in your keyword research, or are just one-off (but still relevant) keywords. If this makes you nervous, start putting broad-match keywords in their campaign with a limited budget and see how it does. You can always incorporate high-performing keywords into your regular strategy later.
13. Use First-Party Data
As platforms move away from third-party data cookies, businesses need to look at the customer data they own. How can you segment your customer data to reach different consumers with tailored messages? Do some users buy from you more frequently than others? Only when there’s a sale? When do you release new products? Leverage this information to show the right ad to your loyal customers at the right time.
14. Social Influencers Will Have a Big Impact on Holiday Sales
Throughout the holiday season, social influencers will significantly impact your sales! As shoppers seek gifts, they hope to gather inspiration by looking to others for ideas. With someone with a large following backing up your brand and explaining how your products and services benefit them, their audience will be interested in how those same products and services can help them. According to a study from McKinsey & Company, 58% of consumers say that social media influences their holiday buying decisions. Look through your following list, and decide who you want to represent your brand throughout the 2022 holiday shopping season!
15. Start Holiday Advertisements Early
If you think that Black Friday promos start earlier and earlier every year, you aren’t alone. Consumers are thinking ahead to holiday shopping months in advance, so you must ensure you are top-of-mind when they are ready to buy. Preparing for the holiday season includes increasing your budgets in late quarter three and early quarter four and ensuring you run brand awareness ads before the start of the shopping season.