The holiday season is in full swing and if you’re just now starting to figure out ways to fortify your online marketing efforts to help drive sales, you need to act fast. The sooner you can get your information in front of your customers, the more successful your efforts will be.
For some companies, they already have an established system of what will work and they can just modify it from previous years, making the process easier. Unfortunately, if your previous efforts didn’t yield the kind of results you had been looking for, you need to start over from the ground up. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started.
The best way to prepare for what is going on during the holiday season is to start early. People start shopping for the holidays as soon as August, so if you’re just now starting to generate ideas, you’re way behind. The best thing to do now, and in the future, is to create a 3 to 6-month calendar and start working backwards. Put the dates that you want specific information released. Then start setting deadlines for when each phase needs to be completed. This keeps you from falling behind, and lets you give each phase ample time to produce quality results.
At this point, your focus should be on your email and online marketing, as well as posting recent customer reviews and addressing any SEO concerns you have with your business’s website. This will increase general traffic to your site, thus pushing sales. This also includes making sure the bandwidth of your website can handle major seasonal traffic spikes. The last thing you want at this point in the game is to lose customers because your website timed-out or is too slow and annoys your potential customers.
Pay-per-click advertising is a great addition to any online marketing plan, especially during the holidays. While you will face a lot of competition, it greatly increases the odds of attracting new customers to your website.
While we touched on SEO, we failed to mention the importance of making modifications to your site itself. Not only should you add some festive flair to your site, you should also be promoting your top selling products, as well as suggestions of other products that typically go with those products. For example, if someone is buying an electronic device of some sort from your site, you should also show them popular accessories that go with that product. This helps to increase the average sale of each order processed.
Just because it is the holiday season, doesn’t mean that you only need a customer once. The holiday season is the perfect time to put your best foot forward and turn customers into loyal customers. This can be done by offering a new loyalty program for customers. Customer service and selection are also key factors in turning one-time shoppers into loyal customers. Take time to examine the type of experience your customers will get from visiting your site or store and find ways to improve on it.
If you go into the holiday season without a clear goal, you’re going to ultimately fail. Know what it is you want, and be specific. Do you want more new customers, larger sales totals, higher cost per order average or number of items sold? Cherry pick what your goals are going to be and evaluate the promotions you are running or hope to run. Adjust them as needed to help you obtain the desired effect. Businesses that just shoot from the hip and try to clear their inventory levels tend to do the worst.
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