SAVE TIME AND MONEY BY PLANNING HOLIDAY STRATEGY DURING THE LOW SEASON
🎵It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
Is your small business ready to take on this year’s holiday season? If your answer is no, you’re not alone. However, with $707.5 billion spent during the 2018 holiday season in the U.S., making sure your small business gets a piece of that pie means using the slow season to get ahead of the competition during the holidays.
Before you start worrying about not having the time or the budget to rock the digital world this holiday season, we have some inexpensive digital marketing ideas to help your small business moonwalk into this year’s holiday season and make it the most 🎵hap-happiest season of all!
If your holiday season starts in October or in May, you can still use these off-season strategies. Just adjust your timeline a bit. But don’t forget you can also take advantage of the traditional holiday season, as well. Double happy holidays to you!
Do Your Homework
The months leading up to the holidays can be a slow time for many small businesses, making it a perfect opportunity to catch up on some research you’ve been putting off and to start planning for the busy season ahead.
1. Set Your Goals for the Holidays.
Do you want to increase the number of bookings between Thanksgiving and Christmas for your bed and breakfast? Are you hoping to grow your client list by 20% through the sale of wellness gift certificates to your chiropractic office?
Whether this is your first holiday season or your 15th, setting measurable goals for the holidays can help you focus your digital marketing efforts to meet your goals for the holidays.
2. Update Your Keyword Research.
The quiet low season months are a good time to get some keyword research in and see what people are thinking when it comes to your industry or your products. Keyword research is a major part of search engine optimization [SEO]. It’s also a cost-effective digital marketing strategy to grow your presence online when you get it right!
Use your research to come up with a list of relevant blog topics for the holiday season [double check on Google Trends to see when people are searching online] then start writing those blogs. You don’t want to be writing during your busiest season.
Not sure how to get started on updating your keyword research or maybe you’re not sure what keywords are relevant to your business?
Read up on what makes keyword research an important step for your digital marketing strategy and check out free tools like Ubersuggest.
3. Review Your Social Media Marketing Strategy.
As your business slows down for the low season, it’s even more important to keep up your social media presence. It’s a great time to review what’s been working, as well as trying out new ideas to grow your social engagement.
Use this time to explore using influencers to build and promote your brand, something that tends to get put on the back burner when we get busy. You can reach a new audience with influencer marketing, but it does take time so use the quiet low season to start.
Make sure to take a peek at the hashtags you’re using. The holidays are a great time to work in some fun, festive hashtags that are relevant to your product and your local community. Using the right hashtags are a budget-friendly digital marketing tactic to connect with new customers on social.
If you haven’t noticed, doing all of this homework during the low season takes time, especially if you’re starting from scratch each new season. Find out how launchSITE and our Crash Courses can help get you ready this upcoming season and the seasons that follow.
BE METHODICAL WITH YOUR DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY: PLAN, PLAN, PLAN.
1. Come up with your holiday offer or promotional sale.
After you’ve done the research and set measurable goals, come up with an offer [or offers] to reach those goals this season. Dress up your offers with online contests, daily deals, etc! Go online and see what your competitors are doing to get some ideas.
2. Schedule time to take catalog photos.
Whether you’re updating your website for the holiday season, sending out email newsletters, or creating a holiday catalog of your products, having photos that visually represent your brand and your products are a must!
Great photos take time, so make sure to schedule a time to talk with a professional photographer early in the process so they capture your vision.
You can also use these photos to update your Google My Business [GMB] profile and take advantage of the recent updates from Google.
3. Update your website’s content.
After doing your research and developing a plan for the holidays, then it’s time to get started on updating your website to get it ready for the holiday festivities. Updating and publishing new blog content is one thing, but what about updating your homepage for the holidays?
In addition to content updates, set aside some time to make sure your website is updated both on desktop and mobile, especially since 82% of smartphone users research online first.
PLAN OUT YOUR MESSAGING WITH A MARKETING CALENDAR
Now that you’ve set your goals and created exciting holiday deals for your customers, it’s time to start breaking down your plans into specific messaging and turn a casual browser into your next loyal customer.
Prep your marketing calendar and add topics.
Download our marketing calendar template by joining launchSITE or search online for a sample to use.
In your marketing calendar, start plugging in the critical dates for your business, relevant holidays, and what type of content you’ll be publishing during this time, including blog posts, social media, email marketing campaigns, oh my!
Keep in mind that your customers are not all the same and will not have the same purchasing behavior. For example, if you’re more interested in the older market, who prefer to get their shopping done before Thanksgiving, put out targeted content in the fall.
Only 18% of shoppers do their shopping during the Black-Friday to Cyber-Monday period, so do your research and schedule your content appropriately to target each desired group of consumers.
% of shoppers who do their shopping during the Black-Friday to Cyber-Monday period.
% of Last-Minute Shoppers who spend their shopping time online.
% of shoppers who wish retailers would do a better job of sharing inventory information.
% of Deal-Seekers who make their purchases online.
SHIFT INTO HYPERDRIVE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
The low season is no time to float around or to take a pit stop back on earth, especially if you’re looking to reach a distant galaxy this holiday season. There’s a lot of work to get done to ensure that your digital footprint is ready to go the distance.
But if all of this work for one holiday season has got you thinking about how you can work smarter and create a cohesive strategy all year-round instead of just for the next two months? Or the thought of doing research has got you looking for one place to access and review your entire digital presence, including how you’re doing on social?
We’d love to talk to you about launchSITE. Let’s set up some time to see what it can do for you and your small business. You’re already doing a ton of work to get your digital presence in tip-top shape for the holidays, so you might as well make it last way past eggnog season.