Social Media And E-Commerce Strategies For The Holiday Season
It’s the most wonderful time of the year — for finding the best deals, eating too much food and supercharging your marketing.
The holiday season is generally considered to run from late November through the New Year. Unlike birthdays and anniversaries, this gift-buying frenzy is spread across the whole of society at the same time. That means a lot of consumer spending.
• This year’s holiday retail sales are expected to top $720 billion, an increase of about 4% over the 2017 total.
• Black Friday sales for e-commerce alone are predicted to hit around $5.8 billion, approximately a 15% boost over last year. Mobile spending should account for about $2.4 billion of that.
• U.S. consumer confidence is at its highest level since 2000.
As you might expect, all of this Black Friday buzz and holiday cheer requires its own set of strategies when it comes to marketing. It calls for more than just a “Happy Holidays” banner on your website or storefront. In this article, I’ll discuss some tips for making the most of this annual e-commerce bonanza.
Many of us like to decorate our home or office to get in the holiday spirit. It’s a good idea to give your online presence a similar type of makeover by applying holiday themes to your website and social profiles.
Adding small touches to your website with holiday-themed graphics and colors helps signal to your customers that the season of giving is upon us. Bright, engaging colors and animated GIFs tend to work well.
Don’t delay; start spreading those good holiday vibes now. According to a study by Facebook, 20% of shoppers begin their annual buying spree in October or even earlier. So, start planning now (if you haven’t already) and put your product or service top of mind as soon as possible.
Keep in mind that this season encompasses not just major holidays like Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas. We also have Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday, each of which occurs during the post-Thanksgiving rush. These all provide valuable opportunities to market to your customers.
Social Media Advertising
Why is marketing during the holidays different than marketing during other times of the year? It’s all about getting people to buy stuff, isn’t it? This is a misconception, however. While people spend most of the year buying for themselves, the holiday season is all about giving. It’s easy to overlook this simple fact.
And where do gift-givers go for inspiration? Social media, of course. A recent Marketing Land survey found small to midsize business (SMB) owners intend to devote most of their holiday marketing funds to social media, especially Facebook and Instagram. When done strategically, social media advertising can hit the sweet spot between affordability and effectiveness.
When setting up your Facebook ads, be sure to consult the Audience Insights feature to see in-depth targeting data drawn from the site’s huge storehouse of user-generated information. It’s a valuable tool that is specially geared toward marketers and can be your greatest gift during the holidays.
Carousel ads are a great option that we’ve used for our clients. They let you share multiple images, each with its own message for different products. For example, you could start with a festive image of a hand holding a red sack with a message that reads: “What’s in your bag of gifts this year?” Then, each consecutive swipe could reveal a product (e.g., sneakers for your sports star) with a hand removing this item from the gift bag. Creating an ad like this lets you promote your product line for the holidays and keeps in the spirit of the holiday giving season.
Instagram And Social Media Shopping
It’s no big secret that mobile shopping is becoming more commonplace, so you need to ensure that your marketing campaigns are mobile-friendly. One way to attract holiday customers through mobile is with Instagram Stories.
This feature allows users to post content that disappears after 24 hours. It’s intended to capture spontaneous, short-lived moments that can be shared with others, which makes it an ideal fit for the fleeting nature of holiday marketing.
Many marketers are already using Instagram Stories to promote, but what a lot of them don’t realize is that Stories allows users (with over 10,000 Instagram followers) to add clickable links. This provides an excellent opportunity to drive additional traffic to your website.
Going Local On Social
Local businesses can compete with industry giants like Amazon by implementing a “buy online, pick up in store” (BOPIS) option. A 2017 survey found that half of shoppers use BOPIS to complete transactions. In addition, same-day shipping is another option that local businesses should seriously consider. Amazon Prime has raised the bar regarding consumer expectations for speed of delivery, so you need to be able to get people’s holiday gifts to them as soon as possible.
Google’s Showcase Shopping Ads
The recently released Showcase Shopping ads feature from Google provides marketers with another opportunity to grab consumers during the holiday season. Rather than highlighting individual products, Google Showcase Shopping ads show multi-image collections of items from a retailer, giving several options to the customer who doesn’t know precisely what to buy.
Showcase Shopping ads appear when users search for a general term (e.g., “luxury coats”), and they’re based on cost-per-engagement (CPE) bidding. Marketers and holiday shoppers alike can benefit from this.
When it comes to Showcase Shopping, let’s talk images and text. Holiday elements such as a red bow on the corner of your product image can help catch the eye of someone searching. Google also allows up to 150 characters for your product description, so adding something like “20% off until Dec. 15” after your main product description can help set your shopping ad apart.
The Countdown Has Begun
The holiday season is hugely important for marketers, and you can’t expect to rely on your usual bag of tricks to attract customers. Leveraging the power of social media marketing is vital for increased sales, satisfied customers and a whole lot of holiday joy.
Article written by: Bernard May0