7 Best Online Marketing Strategies for the 2019 Holiday Season

Once again, the holiday season is upon us.

Time to ready your arsenal of online marketing strategies to make the most of this emotionally-charged time of year. In this article, we’ll talk about the best plans you can include in your marketing tool kit that you can take advantage of during the holiday season of 2019!

7 Best Online Marketing Strategies for 2019

#1 Start with Conversational Marketing

The conversational commerce revolution has begun. Shoppers no longer need to dig through pages of your website to find the right product when the right product is now just a simple conversation away with a smart speaker in your living room.

Social messaging chatbots, live chat tools, text messaging apps are leading conversational commerce. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that customers will still prefer an in-person interaction, according to PwC.

Highlight the availability of live agents and be transparent about hand-offs from AI-driven conversation agents to humans.

Holiday shoppers usually have a specific product in their minds for half of their shopping list. Still, for the other half, they are generally looking for guidance and suggestions from retailers.

The key is to build in suggestions and recommendations into your e-commerce website. Or use push notifications or a text messaging service to suggest the right products at the right time proactively.

Now once a suggestion is chosen, automation can help address stock availability, leaving human intervention for situations requiring more in-depth insight.

#2 Build Your Holiday Marketing Video

Videos are one of the best tools for engagement with your customers. A short, crisp and to the point video can say a lot when heaps of marketing collateral cannot. No wonder 50% of marketers worldwide say videos give the most ROI.

Thus, it is essential to look at video development from a customer’s perspective – ensuring you spend considerable time defining a story for your video. Next, outline a budget (make sure to add a 10% buffer for overruns), create a project plan, and try to use many of the myriads of video creation tools available online.

Don’t forget to capture the spirit of the holiday season in your video, and use a punchy catchphrase to bring it home. Your product should be a value creator rather than an accessory in the video.

Often, videos turn out to be too salesy.

When this occurs, customers quickly lose interest. Avoid that pitfall by keeping the content focused on your audience (and how they will benefit from watching your video or doing business with your brand), not on yourself.

#3 Understand Your Keywords

Your website is the customers’ gateway to your product. This part of your strategy must be on point.

Start optimizing for promotional keywords on your website – do your research to figure out what is relevant to your customers and start optimizing your website for your base keywords. Long-tail keywords such as “sale,” “offer,” “deal” usually see a spike during the holiday season.

We highly recommend using a keyword tool like ubersuggest that will help you build a winning list of most in-trend keywords.

Also, create an evergreen holiday URL – don’t make the mistake of killing off your old holiday landing page. Keeping those URLs live is essential to SEO success. Using them year after year builds authority and ranking for that page.

Optimize influencer campaigns – influencer campaigns through social media are a great way to get into the heart of your audience and drive conversions. But make sure you tie your efforts back to your main holiday landing page.

#4 Leverage Email Marketing

Email marketing can support all of your marketing campaigns and can act as a pillar of your holiday marketing strategy. Moreover, automation and personalization can make your email marketing strategy even more effective.

  1. Use power words: Words that clearly communicate your deal are vital. Sales focused words such as hot-deals, discount, and holiday words such as seasons greetings, 12 deals of Christmas are an excellent way to get that open rate higher.
  2. Use emojis: Brands that use emojis in their emails have seen a 45% increase in their open rate. A holiday snowman, snowflake, or a tree and stars can go a long way in adding some eye-catching holiday flair to your email.
  3. Send out a gift guide: A holiday gift guide is a sure-shot way to influence your customers’ buying process. You can send multiple gift guides during the holiday season and can theme them according to price, age group, or product type.

#5 Share the Stories on Social Media

Social media stories recorded by an individual or a company have become a regular feature in everyone’s lives. They work because it creates a very intimate experience with the customer and opens a direct line of communication.

  1. Platform and message: pick a platform (Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook) and customize your message depending on your target audience on those platforms.
  2. Collaborate: Micro-influencers can be a great addition to your online marketing strategy for the holiday season. For example, you can do an Instagram story takeover or Twitter takeover to develop content for a shared audience. Doing a takeover is a fun way to bring in the holiday cheer or even do a giveaway.
  3. Start early: Use stories as a way to show teasers about a new product launch or reminding them of order deadlines or deals. While using stories can be a great way to build followers during the holiday season, the platform offers more than just that. Using the right hashtags in your posts and Stories is also a good way to tie back these activities to your core marketing campaign and expand reach.

#6 Personalize Your Advertising

If you’re not personalizing your advertisements, you are quite possibly losing potential customers to your competitors.

Here are a few effective, personalized advertising methods –

  1. Social media retargeting: Say a customer visited your website and saw a product a bunch of times, but left without taking action. Using this type of personalized advertising, you can showcase the same products on their social media feeds. Combine this with a discount to really seal the deal. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, are a few platforms that currently support retargeting.
  2. Up-sell or Cross-sell: You most likely have products that go well together. Make sure to let your customers know about this! Is someone looking for hiking clothes? Suggest them the great hikers’ backpack to complete their hiking gear.
  3. Geo-targeting: Segmenting your customer’s basis their geographical location can be a great way to tap into local tastes and mores. Holidays are celebrated differently across regions, and geo-targeting is a great way to make your messaging more relevant. Take for example, the Chinese new year. More than 20% of the population celebrates this, and more brands are tapping into this customer segment to boost sales during the holiday season. Moreover, while northerners think about sweaters and cashmere during the holiday season, southerners are actually preparing for the summertime. Promote a warm-weather deal for locations such as New Zealand or Australia. Doing this can genuinely differentiate your marketing strategy and help drive sales.

#7 Go Mobile!

In 2018, retailers saw a 50% increase in their mobile orders.

Mobile is undoubtedly here to say and the most convenient way for customers to shop. Your advertising strategy should support conversion across devices.

  1. Don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach: The way your customers interact with mobile devices is different from desktops. Make sure to customize your ads and your website for a smooth experience on mobile. Optimize the checkout process and videos, simplify your navigation, and incorporate auto-sizing without auto-play.
  2. Push notifications: This is a great mobile-native way to influence customer behavior — time push notifications during break times or time-offs during the day. A timed discount can be a great way to drive an immediate purchase. If nothing else, it is a great way to drive traffic to your website or app!
  3. Text messages: Don’t use this channel to spam! Use this to send timely and essential information. This will help you stay in the good books of your customers and they won’t opt-out. Sweeten it with a coupon code or a personalized deal.

Source:  Prateek Keshari via the San Francisco Chronicle  

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