Thanksgiving has become one of the greatest secular holidays celebrated in the US, a tradition that dates back to George Washington who declared Thursday, November 26, 1789 as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer. Thanksgiving Day has been formalized as an annual holiday in the United States in 1863 starting the tradition of the fourth Thursday in November and anchored with a weekend. While rooted as a harvest festival, today Thanksgiving has expanded in scope to include football games, parades, massive amounts of delicious high-calorie food, shopping and gathering of family and friends. And did we mention the marketing?
Once in a blue moon—actually, once every six years or so—we get an extended period of time for holiday shopping between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year, thankfully, is one of those years giving us a whole 33 days to shop and fulfill our retailing duties.
What makes this year even better is an optimistic consumer. The economy is strong, fueled by low unemployment and GDP growth rate that is expected to average 3.1% by year end.
It is estimated that holiday sales will increase between 4.3 and 4.8 percent this year, with a total of $720 billion dollars spent. Although numbers are extremely promising, there's also a lot of competition. So how can you get your share and make sure your business doesn’t get left behind?
According to Netelixer we can expect three peak online shopping periods: Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday (11/22-11/26); Green Monday period (12/9-12/12); and a mobile shopping spike during the week before Christmas (12/18-12/21).
Given this opportunity and competitive environment we asked ourselves if there were 5 most important pieces of advice we would give our users, what would they be. This is our list and feel free to share with us your thoughts:
1 - A strong landing page
Think of your landing page as the entrance of your store—it's the customer's first impression of your business, and that really matters. The basic rule is that your landing page should present the exact information shoppers are expecting to find, but also use it as an opportunity to showcase your brand.
Create or update landing pages specifically to market your holiday products, services and, most importantly, special sales and events. Make your webpage easy to navigate and informative, so visitors are confident enough to buy or visit your shop.
2 - Gather your keywords
Keywords are going to be a huge part of your holiday marketing strategy. Both your landing page and your ad copy must include some of the keywords you want to rank with and make sure they mirror each other.
Start by creating a list of holiday-related keywords that are relevant to your business, products or services. You can use Google's free keyword tool to compare search volumes and average cost-per-clicks. Then, sprinkle your keywords throughout your landing pages, use them for your Google Ads campaigns and ad copy. Many keywords are seasonal, so if you’re ranking well for your main keywords, you’ll pick up on a lot of extra free traffic too.
3 - Mind your ads
Keywords are not the only significant components of a great ad. Your ad copy, creative assets and targeting (which we'll cover next) are extremely important too.
Your ad copy should be enticing and relevant to your customers. For Google, remember to use some of your targeted keywords within the ad copy. On Facebook, take the opportunity to get creative and spread some holiday cheer, so be sure to create unique images for your holiday sales and special events.
If you're not sure how to advertise your business this holiday, you can draw some ideas from what competitors are doing. Get some inspiration and test different ads to see which ones resonate better with your audience.
For more on effective tips for your online ad campaigns, check out Spatially's 8 effective tips for online holiday marketing ad campaigns.
4 - Target the right people
A great ad won't perform well if it's served to the wrong audience. To avoid wasting money and clicks that won't convert into sales you need to be strategic about your ad targeting.
Think about who you want to reach and there are two ways to go about it. One way is to create different customer personas and personalize the shopping experience for your most valuable potential clients. You can find out more about this audience in our Custom Audience Targeting in Spatially Ads. Another way is to target the audience that is within your location’s footprint, meaning the potential customers that come in and around your area. You can find out more about this particular audience in our Behavior Targeting. Learn a little about your audience and create campaigns that speak to them. Craft your message with your customers in mind—you now know something about them and don’t need to guess.
5 - Engage with your customers
Your marketing efforts don't end with a single conversion. Create relationships with your customers, offer incentives for future purchases and answer any questions they might have. Market often and consistently so your audience will keep you mind when they need you. Also, don’t forget to pick up the phone when it rings.
Last but not least, we would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a thankful, thoughtful and peaceful holiday season. The best thing about Thanksgiving is that when we stop for just a little bit we can see that we have more in common than not and we can simply say thanks for what we have. And that cannot be purchased or marketed.