As a business owner, you may think it's a bit too early to start crafting your holiday marketing plan, but as Walmart and Target stores are filling their aisles with Christmas decorations even before Halloween comes, it is also smart for small businesses to get into the holiday spirit.
Coming up with a holiday marketing plan deals with a lot of, well, planning. And the earlier you start, the more chances you have to test and learn from your ad campaigns to make them work.
You might not have a multi-million budget that allows your company to create professional spots to broadcast on national television, but there's plenty you can do with an outlined marketing strategy, targeted online advertising, and a few good ideas.
Here are some tips for creating a successful small business holiday marketing campaign:
1. Create seasonal campaigns
Think of the holidays as a marketing opportunity, as seasonal campaigns are great to capture new customers and increase brand awareness. In fact, retailers usually acquire between 29% to 59% more customers during the holiday season, and that percentage is even greater for holiday-sensitive retail categories.
Also, roughly 80% of shoppers research online before making a purchase, so use this favorable time of the year to market special products or services that will entice new customers. Start by thinking of what your potential customers may be searching for and research competitive keyword terms to be used for your Google Ad campaigns. Create compelling seasonal ad copy, highlight special products and offers, and test different ads and ad copy.
2. Spread the word on Facebook and Instagram
According to Facebook in 2013, 60% of its users claimed that the platform influenced their holiday shopping and 60% of users discover products on Instagram. And since Facebook owns Instagram, you are able to create your campaigns on both channels with ease.
Both platforms are perfect places to get creative and even a bit quirky, so don't be afraid to try something new for your social media ad campaigns. You can promote anything from products, special sales, a gift guide, events or contests.
Make sure to create unique images for your holiday sales and events. Don't have an in-house graphic designer? No problem. There are many easy-to-use sites and platforms that require little to no previous design experience to create compelling imagery. One great example is Canva, which is an online free-to-use drag-and-drop platform—just make sure to try to keep any copy in your images to less than 20% of the image to ensure optimal performance.
3. Target the right audience
As holidays become a competitive time for advertisers to get noticed, targeting the right people for your ads is key. It is crucial to concentrate on marketing your niche products to a highly targeted audience.
Think about who your customers are and who they could be. This is a great exercise to create a different set of personas to advertise directly to. Once you define your personas, create campaigns that speak to them and target them directly.
Start with customizing your message with your customers in mind and narrow your audience by age, gender and socioeconomic demographics. This will ensure your ads are delivered to your most likely potential customers, and it will save you ad dollars too.
4. Take advantage of coupons, contests and giveaways
Any kind of incentive you can offer your customers will help increase conversion. Promoting valuable deals or services that require a quick or immediate action can make a big impact on sales. It is estimated that promotions drive about one-third of purchases during the holidays, so don't miss the chance to offer your best deals.
5. Decorate your website and landing pages for the holidays
Landing pages make a huge impact on the success of an ad campaign. These are the pages that are linked to your ad when someone clicks it.
Landing pages should always be relevant to the ad and should present the exact information shoppers are looking to find. And while you're at it, how about adding some holiday cheer to your page? Or even better—you can create a special landing page for your campaigns. If you're not particularly savvy on web design, you can easily create a landing page using one of the many drag-and-drop platforms available online.
6. Create a fun video
It's no news that videos are extremely popular on social media, and with online ads it's no different. Over 70% of Facebook users agree that they find Facebook video ads relevant or highly relevant.
Thanks to the advent of smartphones, not a lot is needed to create a great video these days—a good idea and some basic editing skills can easily do the job. So maybe you want to gather your team to sing holiday songs or parade your office's best-spirited outfits. Go crazy, have fun and be merry! Here's a great example to inspire you:
7. Don't be afraid to make adjustments.
Keep an eye on your campaign performance. Are you spending your daily budget? Are you are getting clicks from the right type of audience? Are your keywords generating impressions and clicks?
You can always update your campaigns, but be sure you give them enough time to settle in. A good time to take a deep look is after seven days, which gives the ad networks some time to learn to better optimize your ad delivery.
Are your keywords are too expensive and therefore not getting clicks? Think up some alternative, cheaper keywords.
Not getting many impressions? Think about adjusting your location targeting. Increasing the area where your ads can be served will expand your audience. Another reason could be ad relevance. Analyze the landing page that your ads lead to. Is your ad copy relevant to the page? Are the keywords on the page? Both should be true.
Keep an eye on your website analytics. If traffic coming from your ads isn't engaging with your site, maybe your ad copy doesn’t match your services—or your keywords aren’t relevant enough for your services. Try some exact matches or phrase matches or update your daily spend.
Keep testing your campaigns and don't be afraid to change or adjust your message when needed. Test different ads and images, and keep a close eye on your ad metrics and see how many people are engaging with your ad.
8. Market often
Repetition sells, so market often. Keep posting and testing until you find the right recipe for your holiday marketing strategy. Engage with your customers and social followers as much as you can so they'll remember your business when it's time to buy.
Ready to get started with your holiday ad campaigns? With Spatially Ads you can easily create Facebook, Instagram and Google ads, all in one place. And you don't have to worry about ad copy and character counts anymore—our certified Facebook and Google marketing experts have prepared ready-to-use ad copy unique to your business type. So, what are you waiting for?
Need some inspiration? Check out these very creative holiday ads: