It’s never too early to start thinking about
your year-end sales push.
Aside from it being a perfect reason to connect with
customers, the holiday season gives you an opportunity
to flex your digital, social and mobile skills.
Shopping habits are changing.
Customers are buying earlier across every screen and channel.
Digital is now a major player.
Online shopping has steadily increased over the past five years.
Competition is growing.
Do you know how to rise above the noise?
We do. And in a minute, so will you.
Social pressure rules!
It’s changing everything, but we have a plan.
Because the truth is:
Source: Google Trends
Here are some helpful tips to get
ahead of your year-end competition
and drive home sales and success.
Before you dive in, review what worked and what didn’t from your 2014
Overall: How did your creative and messaging perform? What calls-to-action worked?
Paid Search: Best keywords, landers, calls-to-actions and bidding strategies.
Also consider if you saw any quality score issues
Email: Review subscribes/unsubscribes, open rates, clicks, clicks-to-conversions.
Which email had the highest engagement?
Display: How did your creative and offers perform?
Social: Top performing content, offers and targeting
First things first.
Talk to your agency partners and
get the ball rolling.
Plan out holiday schedules for offers/promotions,
landing pages, seasonal ad copy and creative
updates. Don’t forget to strategize bidding
budgets for SEM.
Start right now.
Your customer base expects
consistency in your messaging
and appeals; they don’t care
about your internal silos.
So give ‘em what they want:
Align email, paid SEM, SEO, social and
display initiatives — and don’t forget offline
efforts like in-store, catalog, direct mail
Get it together.
Use your end-of-year campaign as a launching pad
for big spring events/campaign rollouts.
When you start building your brand’s awareness during the holiday season,
you can hit the ground running with your spring campaign at the start of the
year and ramp up quickly
Email marketing has become the
primary channel for Black Friday,
driving 27.3% of sales.
Cyber Monday yielded similar results, with email
marketing driving 23.9% of orders, free search
18.8% and paid search 16%.
Think inside the mailbox.
Use Send Time Optimization to send email to individuals
based on engagement patterns.
You can even send emails to recipients when you know they are reading
Timing is everything.
It’s more important than ever.
In 2014 alone, 33% of eCommerce
sales occurred on a mobile device.
On April 21, 2015, mobile SEO became a
Google ranking factor. Make sure your site is
mobile-friendly so you don’t get penalized.
Optimize your site for mobile.
A whopping 92% of customers deeply value word-of-mouth
recommendation above all forms of advertising, and 89%
say testimonials are most effective in influencing purchase
Encourage users to share your content by offering incentives, providing clear
calls-to-action and sharing links within emails and landing pages.
Help customers share the love.
Your social content should appeal
to users at every point on the path
In fact, 87% of social interactions occur
midway. Fine-tune your strategy and offer
relevant content that educates and engages
your fans throughout the buying cycle. Bottom
line: Give your fans a reason to follow you.
All social media content is not equal.
You may run into an unhappy customer.
So be ready to respond to complaints and questions
quickly on social media. Add extra staff so you can be
fast and relevant, with fewer machine-driven answers.
Be nimble. Be quick.
Social media ad spending in the United States will approach
$10 billion in 2015.
In North America, paid social will make up 35% all digital display spending.
Maximize paid social’s granular targeting abilities with personalized, real-time
content to reach and engage all of your audience segments. Tap into
programmatic social advertising for creative personalization at scale.
Pick paid social and display early.
Remarketing should be part of any
robust media plan.
But even if someone abandoned your site on
a particular product page, you shouldn’t stalk
customers across the Internet for weeks at a
time. Think about what else they’d be interested
in, and give them options.
Black Friday isn’t just one calendar day anymore.
In fact, the days around it can now outperform it. Cyber Monday online sales
were a whopping 30.5% higher than Black Friday in 2014.
The key is to get in front of local shoppers.
Work with your agency to create a hyperlocal campaign
with SEO, SEM, display and social media.
Incorporate enhanced site link, callout, call and location
extensions when applicable to make your ads more
attractive and drive holiday sales.
Extensions are now factored into the Quality Score, so they’re crucial to
the overall health of your search campaigns. Pay less. Get more.
Utilize the SERP landscape as much as possible.
Go beyond Amazon and consider
partnerships such as ShopRunner
(free for shoppers with an AmEx card).
And don’t be afraid to promote them to your customers!
Optimize or create your Google Shopping campaign
to promote your individual products and offers online.
Don’t overlook beacons, visual search and local inventory ads.
Show your product feed some love!
Be aware if the season is negatively impacting your
If your SEM campaigns are wasting dollars on non-qualified matches, adjust
your negative matches accordingly. Is your unqualified traffic at an all-time
high? Set display retargeting campaigns to require more than one page view.
Sensitivity and SEM.
Google’s Demographic Bidding allows
you to bid for age and gender demos that
resonate most with your brand’s products
Use Google Demographic Bidding for search.
Integrate email and other mailing lists to make the most
of targeting in paid social and display advertising.
Use your current lists to reach customers on Twitter and Facebook —
and create lookalike audiences to attract new ones.
Mix it up.
These days, it doesn’t take much convincing to keep
shoppers at home, clicking away in their jammies, instead
of battling the lines in-store.
So, remind them – or better yet – give them an incentive to shop online.
Skip the lines! Shop online.
Free shipping (expedited is even better)
Free shipping & returns.
The convenience of reviews and comparison-shopping
Shop our largest selection of [BRAND] products
Stay on the couch, potato.
Sometimes, shoppers don’t know where to start.
In fact, 57% of holiday shoppers don’t have a specific product or brand in mind
when they begin shopping, so provide your own! Try product reviews and Top
10 shopping lists as ways to put your brand front and center.
Use reviews and Top 10 lists.
Everyone likes a little mystery.
So, don’t offer up the goods in a subject line.
Give customers a chance to open and read, then
click through. Something inside other than the
offer might pique her interest.
Don’t give away the milk for free.
Incorporate video on your landing pages
and websites to help sell products via
explanation of features and benefits.
Video is your friend.
Think about using countdown clocks,
and mention of last shipping days
Push urgency messaging to drive sales.
Make your offers unique and timely.
Send relevant content to your email subscribers based on data you have about
them, the time they are reading your email and even their location when they
are checking their email.
Focus on the moment.
You don’t want days to pass before you
discover you’re hitting caps.
Don’t be so busy that you don’t check your budgets
and end up leaving sales on the table.
Establish budgets and check daily.
December 31st is too late to find out if something’s broken!
So, check for broken links, incorrect ad copy, proper tagging, etc. Mark your
calendar for re-audits.
Audit and re-audit holiday campaigns.
Well, there you have it:
The keys to the success of your business. Remember to track performance
across every single channel.
You’ll find out which tactics were a hit, which need work — and which
you can apply beyond Q4 to raise profits year-round (not to mention lay the
foundation for a smash-hit holiday 2016).
So take these tips and talk to your team or agency about how you can use them
to get your audience's attention and drive sales this year.
If you’re ready to put a particular plan in action and get the kind of creative work,
strategy and media expertise that brings the heat all year round,
contact Rina Cook today at email@example.com!
Got a question or need help?
Drop us a line.
Director of Business Development
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