Yes. It is coming close to that time of the year. we, as business owners start to wonder whether our website is ready for Christmas. With more and more of our customers doing half of their Christmas shopping online, if you are running an online business then it’s time to knock it up a gear for your Christmas marketing.
Excessive crowds are one of the main factors turning shoppers to their laptops and mobile phones, rather than braving a trip to their local shopping centres. It would appear shoppers are using their smartphones and tablets more than ever, meaning e-commerce websites need to be prepared for the change in shoppers’ attitude.
What can small businesses do to compete and fight off the competition? Using these 5 simple online marketing strategies, you can put your brand and products in a position to appeal to a larger audience during one of the most demanding sales seasons.
1. Use social media and hashtags to engage your customers
Even without the big budgets, small businesses can start creating a social media storm when done right. While you may not have managed to get a Christmas hashtag trending, using ones already trending on your Tweets can drive extra traffic to your page. Be wary of just jumping on any popular hashtag, though. Pick ones that work for your market and make sure you know exactly what the hashtag trend is about.
Use social media to highlight offers and giveaways at Christmas. Secret Escapes is a company that always promotes its special offers through Twitter to ensure followers have a reason to stay engaged and spread the word. Engaging your customers on social media is essential — especially at Christmas when many are desperately looking not just for gift ideas, but also for a deal or two to keep costs down.
2. Reach out to bloggers for extra exposure
Get in touch with relevant, reputable bloggers to run a Christmas giveaway on their blog or to get your products featured in a Christmas gift guide. Bloggers have a ready-made audience that you can tap into to massively increase social media exposure and generate click-throughs to your website during the holiday season.
Christmas shopping giveaways — Provide a product to a blogger to give away to their readers.
Christmas gift guides — From October-December, many bloggers will compile a list of products which are ideal Christmas gifts in the run-up to December 25th. The blogger will write a short review of a product to promote it. It’s a great way for products to get exposure, as people will be turning to their favorite blogs to find gifts for friends and family. Look out for these opportunities on the #PRrequest Twitter hashtag.
Christmas reviews — Got a service but not a product? No problem. You can still work with bloggers during the Christmas season. If you own a small bakery, for example, you could invite a local food blogger to try your special Christmas doughnuts. Agree with them beforehand to write a review of their experience and share it on social media.
3. Target niche keywords on a blog
Use Google Trends to find those keywords that are seasonal favorites, as well as those which are on the up this year. If you know something is going to be popular around Christmas time, write some blog posts targeting related long tail searches. Use these as social media fodder, get some targeted links coming in, and you’ll have a shot at getting your blog posts ranking for these seasonal keywords.
You can make blog posts light-hearted as well, even if your product or service is serious. A warehouse safety inspector may not see an increased demand for their service at Christmas, but by writing an entertaining blog post with niche keywords and a Christmas topic they can create something which people will be much more likely to share than a blog purely written about their business.
4. Use remarketing adverts
Remarketing is a tried-and-tested way to bring back those customers who didn’t complete their purchase on your website. Adverts reminding customers where they have been browsing will show up as they browse online, or in the form of an email from the website itself.
Remarketing emails are a powerful tool used by the very best. WHSmith found a 200 percent conversion rate on remarketing emails when they followed up customers with a personalised email offering a 5 percent discount on products within the next 48 hours. With those kinds of results, it’s crazy not to follow up with remarketing emails, especially at Christmas.
Remarketing emails have a 50 percent chance of being opened in December, as opposed to 44 percent in November.
Consumers tend to panic nearer Christmas and are more likely to open emails to make sure all their gifts arrive in time for the big day. They’re also more eager than ever to look out for ideas and deals to aid their festive shopping.
5. Use videos to engage your customers
Videos are more prominent than ever on the internet and engaging consumers like never before. After watching a video on an eCommerce website, 64% of consumers are more likely to buy a product.
Creating a video to demonstrate how a product is used is perfect — particularly if it’s new and buyers have to be introduced to it. Having a simple video to show how easy it is to use something that appears to be seen as complicated can ease customers who are uncertain about buying it.
Even online, Christmas shopping can be stressful for people trying to find the right gift so using a video is a sure way to grab customers attention and have them follow through with a sale.
If you start planning now for your business, you will have plenty of time to do your own Christmas shopping!
Chat to us if you need help with some new ideas.