December 7, 2016
From Thanksgiving to Christmas there’s a battle that occurs for consumer dollars. The big guy against the little guy, the brick-and-mortar versus the online retailer, everyone is looking for a bigger piece of the pie. It’s time to start thinking about your holiday marketing.
If you want to improve sales, mobile is it. The average person looks at their phone 46 times a day, with people in the 18-24 age bracket checking it 74 times, according to TIME magazine. They research, watch videos, make purchases, and get directions to stores. If your site isn’t mobile ready, you’re missing customers and your organic search listing is being penalized, as Google takes mobile into account.
In addition to having a mobile-friendly website, look for ways to reach your buyers on mobile. Consider deals for people looking you up on their phone. That’s a very warm lead. Do all you can to convert it to a prospect. Also, if you get moving quickly you could get your site optimized for local keywords that would help you score better in local search.
If your social media presence isn’t as strong as you like, start today. This very minute. Select three platforms and dedicate some significant time to developing a personality on them and posting and interacting with people on a regular basis. The holiday time is a great time to do this because you can push contests and there are tons of ideas for content. Aim to post several times a day and interact with people in between those times. Use a scheduler like Hootsuite. I often schedule posts during the evening hours while I’m unwinding.
Reviews are the lifeblood of a lot of businesses. Ask for them, read them, and respond to each of your reviews. Remind customers how much they mean to you and make it easy for them to do so. One local business that served ice cream used table tents to remind people of the importance of reviews to their business. That’s the perfect time because they’re sitting at the table looking at their phones anyway.
If you have a product that is conducive to it, create gift sets. There’s something about things put together in a way that is appealing. Just ask Bath & Body. Their gift sets are wildly popular and an easy go-to gift for someone who doesn’t want to put together something on their own.
Offering gift cards is a great way to sell more at the holidays. If you don’t want to handle the administrative headache of doing so, check with your chamber. They may have a local currency program where they handle the administration and your business is one of the participating merchants.
Contests are wildly popular on Facebook and Instagram, particularly picture-taking contests like “Share Pictures of Your Shopping Treasures.” It not only gets people excited about your business but also gets them talking about it for others to see. Don’t forget to use a hashtag.
A Final Word on Improving Your Holiday Sales
Sales are impulsive so let logic go. Find ways to meet customers where they are and that usually means online. Competition is fierce but if you use social media and reviews to your benefit, you can show them a different side of you and stand out from the crowd.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Associations North (formerly Midwest Society of Association Executives’) Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog.
She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.