The holiday season is officially here, and with it comes an often frantic search for the perfect gift for everyone on your consumer's list. From Pinterest to Instagram, inspiration for holiday shopping is more prominent on social than ever before, and the path to purchase is becoming more and more accessible through in-app experiences and shopping features, creating the perfect opportunity for your brand to capitalize on one of the most profitable times of the year.
If you’ve waited until now to get your holiday marketing plan together, or you haven't had the resources or time to strengthen your strategy, it's not too late to implement several last minute marketing tactics. We've come up with some quick wins to help you get the most out of the busy 2016 holiday season, and how to better prepare for the 2017 shopping season.
Everyone loves a good sale
1. Launch an online flash sale
For last-minute shoppers, purchasing a gift can be influenced a great deal by price. It may sound counter-intuitive, but you can give your holiday revenue a boost by slashing prices on your most popular items, or a total price discount, for a small window of time.
Alerting customers of a flash sale solely on social provides customers with a sense of exclusivity, creates urgency, and ultimately brings customers to your online store with a strong intent of purchasing. Once in your online store with the promise of big savings, customers are less likely to leave empty handed, and will often shop for other items on their list.
Be honest. Include clear, concise messaging so that your customers understand when the sale begins and ends or what is included and excluded.
Leak the news about a flash sale the day, or a few days prior by telling customers to watch out for can't-miss deals
Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer! What can you do to make the deal so good it's hard to resist?
Make the deal easy to redeem. An example would be a mobile friendly coupon that can be used in store, or claiming a code that can be used for online discounts.
2. Feature a different sale each day leading up to the holidays
A multi-day sale not only builds excitement and anticipation, but it gives customers a reason to visit your online store every day. And once they’re there, the more likely they are to purchase what they came for, as well as other gifts in order to cut down on the number of sites they order from.
Over the 2014-2015 holiday season, Red Door helped execute the "Better your BESTivus" campaign for our client, ASICS America, in which we promoted 12 days of apparel sales on Instagram in an effort to drive ecommerce sales. Red Door used influencers to promote "gift yourself" messaging, and utilized paid social advertising to test and target a specific athletic-centric audience. Ultimately, the "Better your BESTivus" campaign garnered over 6.6 million Instagram impressions, and generated a 101% increase in ecommerce efforts over the previous year.
Our tip for a multi-day sale would be to set the audience expectation early - state that you will be announcing a special discount or offer on the social platform of your choice each day, at a specific time, for a defined duration. Don't forget that sharing is caring! Be sure to ask followers to share with their friends and family.
Target specific audiences to drive more conversions
3. Offer categorized gift ideas to customers
Holiday gift guides are a great way to engage customers when they are brainstorming for last minute purchases. As a marketer, you understand the importance of ensuring the decision making process is as quick and easy as possible to help guide your customer from awareness to consideration, and ultimately conversion. Here are a few of our tips for a successful gift guide campaign:
Break down your ideas into specific categories:
Include a clear call-to-action with enticing keywords emphasizing the "last minute" mindset
Create a hashtag that goes along with the overall theme of your guide(s). For example, Gap used #GiveThemGap in their 2014 holiday campaign, which promoted users to take action by sharing the hashtag when they are in store or find an item they love.
Use eye-catching visuals.
Host the guide on your website or Pinterest and promote it on social. A central location for your guide will provide the freedom to cater your posts to each channel.
Promote your guide for maximum exposure.
Create an easy path to purchase. A great gift guide is like window shopping but from the comfort of your home, so the process should be simple.
What makes a gift guide unique is that it frames the campaign in the form of giving, rather than selling to the consumer. Rather than providing reasons why “you should buy this,” it informs the consumer that you will help them find the perfect gift. Gift guides can be used alone or combined with a sale, and promoted through other social platforms for a higher reach. For example, consider creating a Pinterest board featuring products included in your last-minute gift guide, then send a tweet to your customers to check out your Pinterest board. Or create a visually appealing gift display for Facebook or Instagram with a link to your website or Pinterest board. This is a great way to drive traffic to your website or other social channels.
4. Utilize Mobile Targeting
While considering these strategies, keep in mind that choosing the right platform for your online advertising is essential.
Facebook reports that mobile buyers are an average of 1.83x more likely to use Facebook and Instagram for gift inspiration, compared to the average surveyed population, and 61% of mobile buyers admit to putting off holiday shopping until December. With nearly 80% of social media time now being spent on mobile, targeting your holiday marketing ads will give your strategy the right boost for further reach during this prime time of the holiday season. Here are a few pointers for optimizing your mobile targeting strategy:
Use geo-targeting to reach your audience. Leverage geo-fencing targeting based off of latitude/longitude coordinates. This allows you to capture your audience while they are within walking distance of your product. For example, if your product is sold in a retail store, you are able to geo-target each store and display the mobile ads while the consumer is on the property.
Use contextual targeting. Contextual targeting gives you the ability to serve ads on sites and/or apps that are most relevant to your audience. This allows you to hand pick categories that would make the most sense for your brand.
If your goal is sales, make targeting broad. The more audience you reach, the better! Remember though, to always make sure you serve qualified and viewable impressions. This way, you are able to ensure that your ad is being seen by your audience, and not pointlessly delivered by your provider.
Prepare for next year
Even though time is running out, there is still time to get your strategy on track in order to maximize your sales as much as possible this holiday season. If you weren't on top of your game this time around, there's no need to worry. The best way to prepare for next year's holiday rush is to start prepping this holiday season. Be sure to set up a planning calendar for the following year, and implement a data-driven approach to your customer journey between holidays to get a better feel for what to be aware of when it comes to the behaviors of your consumers. When the time comes to start your planning, be sure to consider these 6 Ways to Get Ahead of the Holiday Season Marketing Game.
Have comments or questions? Feel free to reach out to us in the comments section below.