The holidays are almost here, and you should get ready. Christmas and New Year’s bonuses, savings, gifts, presents, New Year’s resolutions… All of these good lovely stuff means people are going to spend money. The competition, of course, knows this as well as you do, and they are probably bringing out the big guns as far as their marketing efforts are concerned. You should do the same. If you want to stand out and be ahead of the curb, covering your marketing bases is the way to go. This is where we come in.
You probably noticed that eCommerce websites have this habit of only marketing their products and services online. While this is, of course, a very good and viable option, they forget just how important offline marketing can be. For eCommerce businesses, the offline marketing market is, paradoxically, an untapped source of potential. Being over focused and overzealous in trying to breakthrough online leaves a lot of improvement IRL. Our advice – redouble your online marketing efforts for the holidays, and invest time and energy going offline as well. Below are some quick tweaks and tips you can implement.
Online eCommerce Changes
Social media has for some time now been a staple of online marketing. A good Twitter account, a Facebook page, Instagram account… All of these are necessary if you want to promote your business properly. However, many forget that you need to update your content for the holidays.
Mixing up your content on social media is a way you can attract new customers, and keep the old ones from getting bored. Mak Grills is a site we are using Social Media for an eCommerce company. For example, if you have a habit of only posting posts and images, why not try some video content here and there? Have these new content be related to the holidays. Perhaps some interesting posts on the holidays themselves, or maybe how to use certain products during the cold months ahead. You should also use social media to promote any new deals and discounts that your business may offer.
Having a fast and efficient website is pretty much a must if you want to get any real results. However, this isn’t the only optimization we are talking about. The first thing you want to focus on is SEO. Search engine optimization should not be a fixed and static endeavor, but rather, you want to mix it up from time to time. Set up keywords that reflect the holidays and what people would search for at this time of the year. Check your backlinks, and see if they lead to dedicated pages that showcase your new offers and deals.
Have a special page on your business’ website dedicated solely to your holiday offers and products. Maybe even set up a winter collection section so people will find and access it more easily. Spruce up your website a little too. Add some holiday flare, change up the color scheme and design. Present very clear and large (but not obtrusive) banners on your website that lead to your holiday offer page.
Off-Line eCommerce Changes
Guerrilla marketing is one of the most unique and cost-effective methods you can implement. The entirety of this marketing strategy rests on your imagination and creativity. It’s all about you having a limited budget, and trying to be fun and unique. And if you have never implemented this before, then the holidays are the perfect time to begin.
For example, you can set up a winter scavenger hunt. There are many people who actually enjoy walking around their city during the wintertime. Leave clues around various forums, comment sections, and even in the local paper. Plant small (and durable) products all around the city, and whoever finds them all gets an extra special discount for the services your business offers.
Another option is promoting your business with a performance. For example, having a couple of your employees or friends (or just hire people) to walk around in elf or Santa costumes, holding banners that showcase your business name, website, and other information. You could organize a Santa Claus giveaway in a public place as well. Just be sure to check with the local authorities in case you need to have a permit or a license.
Another tried and true guerrilla marketing tactic are stickers. Print out stickers with your company name, logo, and contact information. Make it a bit “Christmassy”, like have a red and green design, or perhaps Santa Clause or Rudolph the red nosed reindeer on it. Then, visit areas where you believe people who would be interested in your product hang out at. For example, if your eCommerce business focuses on video game gear, visit game shops and internet cafes. An even better option is if there is a holiday gaming conference near you. Then, post these stickers everywhere. It may just net you a couple of curious consumers.
It seems people have forgotten about old-school marketing venues. Things like banners, billboards, signs – marketing mediums that really stay inside the subconscious of people, but that eCommerce businesses tend to ignore. For example, you can go out and set up a construction fence banner in an area of your town that sees lots of traffic. Or set up an interesting billboard.
Another option is getting an add on TV. However, these are not really that effective when compare to their cost and time commitment.
You, of course, want your eCommerce business to thrive. In order to have this happen, you need to get customers both online and offline. Online, the rules are pretty clear. Set up your social media pages properly, remind people of your special deals, and post some fun content. Remember to optimize and adapt everything to the happiest time of the year, and that’s about it. Offline, however, is almost an untapped market for eCommerce marketing efforts. Try out guerrilla marketing, and be as creative as you can. And of course, don’t forget about the old school banners and billboards. If you can afford them, they may just be your best bet.
Our Guest Blogger
Nick is a blogger and a marketing expert currently engaged on projects for Media Gurus, an Australian business, and marketing resource. He is an aspiring street artist and does Audio/Video editing as a hobby.