Are you scrambling to pull off something perfect online for the holidays? Maybe you started planning your online holiday marketing since June and are about rounding off! Whatever the case – you may still be doing some ‘last minutes’. Here are a few tips to help boost your business 24 hours to Christmas and during one of the most memorable times of the year
One thing to note is that most of your consumers are likely to be using their more of their phones and hand-held devices during this season. You need to ask yourself these questions before you get started:
- Who are you targets?
- How do you reach them?
- How do you want them to respond to whatever message you put out there?
Propose/Advice/Recommend – Who are your consumers? What are they normally up to during this holiday? The trend this season among many people include new resolutions, traveling and vacationing, family time, shopping etc. How can your brand fit in and give solutions to ‘problems’ associated with this season. What can you propose, recommend and advice on these holiday ‘problems’ and issues? Give travel tips, recommend a family movie, give a great recipe etc. Many people will be attending events and so for those in the fashion and beauty industry a do-it-yourself guide or get-that-look may help. It can be an off topic but it will surely solidify the humanness of your business. In Figure 1, the brand shows an image of some products recommended for clients to buy for the holiday. It is a good one, however I think that they could have gone further to show the ‘look’ if you applied these products and also the name of the various items they show plus the price. An interested prospect may need the names in order to make a purchase.
Figure 2– Though not very relevant to its trade, a business recommends a movie on its page for its fans. You can do a list of the top 5 Ghanaian movies to watch this Christmas etc. You should be careful what you recommend though. Whatever subject area you want to venture into be sure you know what you are talking about!
Shipping and deliveries – Can you offer doorstep delivery at a little extra cost? Can your service be delivered hustle-free via the internet? Traffic is especially heavy around this time and offering delivery solutions can be a home run for your business. Talk to the many local courier services around for delivery solutions.
Online Guides and catalogues – The Christmas Season is a hectic and stressful time for any shopper! If you are a gift shop for example, you can make life a little easier with gift guides as shown in the example below. (Figure 3)
In the same vein, you can create a picture album on your Facebook page for example. This should highlight the products you have in stock and any special offers you have for Christmas. Adding deliveries at an extra cost will also give you an added advantage.
Entice your FANS – to tweet a wish list of some specific products you have in your online album up to a certain amount with a particular hashtag. Select the highest number of entries or a few winners randomly and reward them. You can grant one wish per hour. This will keep your fans hooked and they will keep posted for more.
Contests – people like the sound of a challenge and will be ready to roll up their sleeves and dig-in. You can give out airtime. Do this in a creative way. You can create a one-time status update with airtime interspersed within your message. You can also direct people to your less popular social media accounts to sign-up and win airtime on those pages. Give things which may not relate to your brand but which will appeal to people from all walks of life. There is still something you can give even if you are not a ‘product’ related business. Give a little of your service for free or pay for your fans to get a free service elsewhere. A salon can give a free pedicure or massage for a number of winners or one winner every hour. You can get as creative as you want with your contests!
On Pinterest for example, you can ask your followers to re-pin some of your pinned products on a board they create titled wish list. You can reward them with any of the products they pin. This is bound to generate excitement amongst your Pinterest followers.
Customized CALENDARS & CARDS – let people who are interested to receive something special from send photos of themselves with your product (that is if this is practicable). It can also be just photos of themselves doing something. They could send their best selfies of 2013. Get your graphic designer to create a card/calendar with for example the first 24 images you receive. Make sure this creative incorporates your brand (location, logo, phone number, tagline, web address social media accounts etc. – it should be practicable). Send this calendar or cards back to these fans. They will be proud to display them, especially desktop calendars. Very creative formats are available online if you wish to design it yourself.
Christmas MESSAGES – research and create inspirational, interesting and funny messages. This will go viral in no time especially if you use avenues like WhatsApp and Viber to deliver these messages to your consumers. I suggest you create an image which incorporates a little of your brand be it your logo, contact address, website, location, telephone number etc.
“Share the LAUGHS” – Encourage your fans to share the fun in their lives. If you are a business dealing with kids’ stuff, you can ask parents of toddlers to film their kids singing a Christmas carol and upload to your page. Or anything funny you can think up which relates well with your brand or business.
It is not too late to ADVERTISE – Yes you will pay but it is way cheaper than advertising in traditional media. Advertising online is one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing communications and still remains one of the best ways to turn browsers into buyers. Online advertisements can be made to look like part of a stream so mostly they appear not to be intrusive. It rather offers information about your product or service right where shoppers are apt to see it. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and recently Instagram and Pinterest all have features for advertising. Advertising can also be done on some specific local and international websites like Google and Yahoo. If you need any help in this area, I will be more than happy to help you.
GIVE back! – Promote a cause you really believe in by simply sharing their message on your page. As in Figure 4 below, you can share about donating a percentage of your sales or profits to a cause/foundation etc. People love to buy with a purpose so donating to a cause is something they can really get behind. Christmas is a time to give so give, give, give!
Email MARKETING – Have you tried any email marketing at all? Try it this Christmas Season! You may have email addresses of your clients depending on your type of business. Use this to send customized Christmas Cards or customized offers with a link back to your website (your IT and creative professionals can help in these matters). You can send an online catalogue with pictures of products available and their prices.
Ring in some of these ideas for your ‘last minute’ marketing so that you can sit back, relax and look forward to a prosperous 2014! Merry Christmas!