Americans are expected to spend more than $720.89 billion during the 2018 winter holiday season. This should be on point as spending has increased 3.9 percent annually over the last five years. If you run a small business or an e-commerce business, then you may wonder how to get more of that spending coming your way. Here are 10 holiday marketing strategies that you will want to consider.

Facebook Advertising

There are many ways to use Facebook in your holiday marketing strategies. You may want to start by changing your normal avatar out for a special Christmas one.

Identify the different audiences that you want to target with your Facebook posts. Since it is the holidays, your marketing may be aimed at different demographics than the rest of the year. For example, you may want to target grandparents looking for gifts for grandchildren.

You may also want to create a special event and use Facebook to promote it. There are many special days that you may want to keep in mind depending on your business including:

  • Black Friday- November 23, 2018
  • Small Business Saturday- November 24, 2018
  • Cyber Monday- November 26, 2018
  • First Day of Hanukkah- December 3, 2018
  • St. Nicholas Day- December 6, 2018
  • Last Friday Before Christmas- December 21, 2018
  • Christmas- December 25, 2018
  • Kwanzaa Starts- December 26, 2018

PPC Advertising

While you may need to be running pay-per-click(PPC) advertising throughout the year, it may be an essential part of your holiday marketing strategy. Holiday marketing statistics show that up to 92 percent of shoppers buy or research online during the busy Christmas shopping season. Therefore, ad impressions often rise by 150 percent during December as more people are shopping online. Likewise, conversion rates have been shown to increase by up to 60 percent.

While all PPC advertising should focus on showing potential customers how your product or service can help solve problems, there are special problems that you may want to emphasize during the holiday shopping period. Holiday marketing trends show that customers are often looking for deals and special bargains during the holidays, looking to get products on time and getting everything done before opening Christmas presents.

Using holiday keywords in your ad that real users would use is essential. Some of your current PPC ads can easily be redone to add holiday keywords to them including:

  • Present
  • Gift
  • Gift set
  • Present
  • Holiday
  • Holiday sale
  • Christmas
  • Christmas gift
  • Last minute
  • Priority shipping
  • Guaranteed shipping

Each of your PPC ads should have a special landing page. Since your ads have probably sent people to your landing page in a gift-buying mood, use holiday colors to enhance their moods and remind them why they are there. After you have collected the information that you need, then make it easy for hurried customers to keep shopping on your site by including a link to your company’s homepage off a thank you page.

Use imagery that will connect with your target audience. Unless you specifically sell religious items as a large part of your inventory, then avoid religious symbols.

Offer a special promotion while making sure to keep your prices competitive. As always, use A/B testing and determine which keywords are converting.

Optimize for Voice

An often overlooked holiday marketing strategy is optimizing your site for voice. If you are not currently doing this, then you may be leaving one in three holiday shoppers for your competitors to grab up. Start by making sure your business name, address and phone number are consistent across the internet. After all, you do not want a busy holiday shopper trying to reach you by phone or driving to your location only to discover that you are no longer located there.

Website load speed is essential to succeed in voice search. While it may be tempting to add cute options to your website, avoid the temptation if it will slow down the loading of your site. Additionally, take a look at your web hosting to make sure that you have made the fastest choice possible for your organization.

You can expect the holiday searcher to enter more questions when using voice. Make sure that you have optimized your content for long-tail keywords during the holiday season. These entries are often in the form of a question, so consider creating a special question and answer page for your website.

Short Message Marketing

Especially as the holiday season draws to a close, short messages sent via text can help increase foot traffic. Segment your customer list based on customers that have already purchased something from those who are leads that need to be cultivated. If your business offers several different types of products, then consider sending out a survey asking them to identify what item they are most likely to buy this holiday season. Consider targeting your messages to specific demographics of your audience by offering them a special holiday present for texting back.

There are many special mobile messaging holiday ideas small business that you may want to consider using:

  • Geotargeting- This holiday retail marketing technique allows you to target customers based on the location of their mobile device that might be interested in your product You can even segment this based on what the customer is most likely to buy. For example, you might want to send a mom a text about the hottest Christmas toy that you have in stock.
  • Geofencing- This technique allows you to connect with users in a specific area. You can use this technique to target all mobile devices within a specific zip code or a particular neighborhood.
  • Beacons- These little Bluetooth-enabled devices are designed to start a program that usually sends a message whenever a mobile device comes near it. Since these devices are usually less than two inches in diameter, you may want to place one near your competitor’s location or to ping customers coming out of nearby businesses.

Google’s Search Engine Result Page

In the past, companies had to win the organic listing war to find their websites listed on Google’s first page, but that is no longer the case as there are numerous ways that a company can get found on Google’s search engine result page (SERP). Put this one at the top of your ecommerce holiday marketing list as a gift that Google can bless you with, but there are plenty of ways that you can help yourself be found there.

Start by claiming your Google My Business account. Then, post articles highlighting Christmas specials directly to Google Posts. Make sure to update these regularly as they will appear each time a customer enters your company name into Google.

Create unique imagery of hot holiday gifts in hopes that Google will choose them for their shopping carousel. These images need to be high quality, and the best ones will play to the viewer’s emotions in some way.

Among the best holiday marketing ideas small business is trying to get listed in the local pack. While Google often lists three businesses that have the most reviews, are optimized for those keywords and are located in the right area, they have started sometimes using one paid listing in these packs. Regardless, small business owners should concentrate on choosing the right keywords and gaining reviews.

There are other ways to appear on Google’s SERP including:

  • Answer Boxes
  • Featured Snippets
  • Best of Lists
  • How-to or Numbered Lists
  • Tables
  • Video carousels
  • Rich snippets
  • Knowledge Graphs
  • Knowledge Panels
  • Image Packs
  • Twitter Results
  • News Boxes

Amazon Advertising

Amazon expects to ship more than 1 billion items during the 2018 holidays. Therefore, advertising on Amazon can make great sense. While it is unlikely that each product that your company sells needs its own product ad, you should consider using them on your top holiday selling products. Amazon offers two different types of ads, so choose the one fitting your needs the best.

Amazon sponsored ads are shown on pages as customers research and narrow down their product choices. In many ways, they are like pay-per-click advertising, in that you bid on keywords. Once a customer clicks on the ad, then they are taken to a product page about your company and the product that act as a dedicated landing page.
Amazon DSP ads are like gentle nudges appearing on the platform and on its marketing partners asking users if they are still interested in a product. Therefore, they can be very useful in bringing customers back to the task of buying your holiday merchandise.

Instagram Advertising

Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform in the world. Therefore, it is a great place to increase your holiday revenue. Brands can now label their posts with individual items. Then when a user clicks on the photo while on the Instagram app, they are taken directly to the page for those items.

Influencers will have a large impact on what people buy during the holiday season. While 41 percent of shoppers say they pay attention to what their favorite influencers are wearing when making a purchase decision, that number shoots up to 55 percent for Generation Z, which is the main users of Instagram.

Website Strategies

While it is vital to keep your website up-to-date all year long, it is especially important to update it during the holidays. There are several ways that you may want to consider doing this to enhance your holiday retail marketing.

You may want to create a special section of your website dedicated to special holiday gifts. Instead of normal product descriptions, list out the reasons why an item would make a great gift for a certain demographic. For example, if you sell diamond engagement rings, then your product description may be targeted to future grooms who are looking to buy a diamond engagement ring to give as a holiday present.

Enhance your product listings with blogs listing out the top gift ideas on your site. You may even want to partner with another company to share content allowing you both to introduce your products to a new audience. As with other holiday marketing strategies, choose holiday-based keywords to use in this content. Since many shoppers know how much they want to spend on a particular person, you may want to consider creating blogs or sections of your website devoted to gifts in a certain price range.

Now is the perfect time to take a look at your product catalog as more customers will be shopping on mobile. A large study conducted by Baymard Institute found that products like clothes and furniture do best on pages where 30 pages load initially, another 50 load lazily and there is a load-more button if necessary. For items that require the buyer to know some technical details, then cut those numbers down by 33 percent.

Email marketing

According to a survey done by Mailchart, email marketing accounts for about 20 percent of all holiday sales. Therefore, you will want to make the most of this trend when considering which holiday marketing trends you intend to concentrate on this year.

You will want to send out your best email offers of the season between Black Friday and Cyber Monday as the majority of people will have shopping on their minds. They are also more likely to open shopping emails during that time than during any other time of year. You should segment your list allowing you to specific groups with your subject line.

Since many people may still be looking for holiday gift giving ideas offering a free gift-giving guide is a great way to generate leads. It is also a great time to launch special holiday sales through your email marketing.

Remarketing

Setting up remarketing campaigns through Google Ad Networks is a great way to remind those who have come to your website that they need to make a purchase. Be careful not to segment too much because people are often looking to purchase a present and not something for themselves. Make sure that they have a holiday-theme and increase the length of your cookies when possible so that they will not expire during the holiday marketing period.

One very effective remarketing technique is to offer different specials throughout the holiday season to connect with shoppers changing priorities. For example, you may want to:

  • Offer deep discounts from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday
  • Offer typical discounts from Cyber Monday through December 11, 2018
  • Offer free shipping from December 12, 2018, to December 18, 2018
  • Offer a special on electronic gift cards from December 19, 2018, to December 24, 2018
  • Offer an after-holiday specials beginning on December 26, 2018

Early holiday marketing statistics show that 2018 should be a very good year for retails. There are many holiday marketing trends that you will want to consider. Use these ideas to create your own holiday marketing ideas small business this year.

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