The online marketing space is brimming with energy and competition, which at every point provokes web designers and online retailers to employ creative ideas and social media strategies to bring the traffic on board.
This constant need for flexing the creative muscle is no different in holiday season which is the high time for driving sales. A family reunion, in conjunction with the harsh weather outdoors, makes for the ideal opportunity for individuals to shop online and for retailers to capitalize on that.
Below we share some useful creative ideas that will always keep you one step ahead of your competitors when it comes to the race of attracting newcomers and retaining the existing users during the holiday season 2018 and beyond.
Respect the festival
In light of the special occasion of Christmas or general winter holiday season, people need to see how true your website design remains in respecting the cultural traditions. For this it’s favourable to redesign certain Call-to-Actions (CTAs), the homepage of your web and the colour or styles of certain sections of the platform to reflect that of the Christmas theme and colours.
A good example is the promotional banner above on Joules US’s website.
We’re thinking white-and-red mostly; perhaps snowflakes for the borders and Christmas tree lights in the background. Shopify has a great list of brands who’ve attempted such fun promotional ideas.
Utilize the social media channels
No one can deny the imposing presence of social networking giants like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and what they mean to the marketing game.
As of 2018, 3.2 billion users have registered to such sites. Shaking up the formula a little bit, your website can use it not only to hype up incoming new arrivals or discounted deals, but to put up a live stream that gives your fans something to talk about.
Podcasts have seen a lot of success for promotion of products, especially if it’s hosted by a popular personality or on a well-known platform. Midroll reported that 60% of all podcast listeners purchased the advertised product. Reserving up a spot or time-frame during any point of the podcast seems to be a viable strategy to bring in some users during holiday season.
Prioritize discounts, vouchers and trials
We know the main reason for consumers resorting to digital stores for their shopping is due to discounted limited time deals, so that’s what your marketing strategy should focus on: a lot of voucher codes and special deals.
Create urgency by including countdown timers or displaying the amount of stocks left. Maybe even go up a notch by introducing free trials or subscriptions like that which HBO attempted. Free gifts or additional items awarded for a certain value of purchase made is sure to make consumers feel special and keep returning for more purchase in the future.
Another example is of HnM. Their banner creates a sense of urgency by encouraging customers to order before a certain date, otherwise their orders may get late:
Market via emails
Marketing by email channels and newsletters mark a 3800 % in ROI, which is a lot. With regards to holiday season, your brand can send out exclusive vouchers to your email-list members since personalize vouchers feel more special.
Do make sure to include CTAs like ‘Buy now’ or ‘Join now’ to redirect users to the web before they start having second thoughts. Include original, interesting and visually striking images to catch the viewer’s attention. Some brands have brought this idea on board and our friends at Mailer Lite have compiled some interesting examples.
Put heart into your ads
Weeping and laughing together only makes us come even closer, especially in a season where we ARE together. Therefore video or illustrative ads which can portray such feelings work all the time. Have music, have charisma, have clever puns and touch at least one aspect of the human heart in whichever way you choose to tell people about your brand.
A celebrity endorsement will also help when it comes to resonating with the audience better. Independent recently compiled a list of the best Christmas advertisements of 2018, check it out to get a sense and feel of the impact of ads.
Give back to the community
For kids, Santa Claus is the popular fictional character, but for the young-adults and working class, it’s their favourite brands granting their wishes. To increase user-engagement and value the customer’s loyalty to the brand, have giveaways, lucky draws and festive competitions.
Revolving around the Christmas season, maybe even have a trivia about the festival and associate prizes with it accordingly. Again, social media channels here will be your go-to- platform so make use of that. This will prove valuable to many metrics including web traffic and social media conversations about the brand.
Create a relevant hashtag
Yes, yet another utility of the social media channels. As per a survey, inclusion of a single hashtag on an average Instagram post led to a 12.6% increase in engagement rate. Your holiday season marketing campaign needs a relevant hashtag which basically includes your brand’s name followed by the ‘Christmas2018’.
Of course you can make it crispier along the lines of ‘Xmas18’ or include various hashtags as well, but make sure they’re getting the message across without becoming too distracting. ReturnOnNow has some good practices your marketing team can follow.
Blogging for awareness
If you don’t have a blog section on your website, now is as good of time as any to create one. Blog posts keep your users updated about the latest trends and innovations related to the products your brand specializes in and thus promotes a more engaged audience.
According to HubSpot, 53% of marketers claimed that blogging was at the forefront of their marketing plans. Blogs also indirectly favour your SEO score by letting people stay longer on your website and getting redirected to your platform thanks to the keywords you incorporate in the articles.
Mobile channels seem to be one of the rising channels for marketing with 83% of marketers claiming it the channel to be viable for their content marketing.
Since mobile users make up about 5.1 billion in population globally, push notifications are a good way of alerting them of new additions to your catalogue especially if you’re an e-retailer. Being holiday season, most individuals will browse through their handheld devices in their leisure time.
It’s best to keep these notifications short, informative and catchy which calls for urgent action. A personalized touch like the use of ‘you’ and ‘us’ also helps with the click-through rates.
Deliver products with love
Going the extra mile, why not wrap the purchased items with decorative, Christmas-themed wrapping paper and then deliver it to your dear customer? You can also include something witty, like ‘See you next time’ or ‘Happy to serve you’ since it is these little details and touches that add to the strength of the business-customer relationship to ensure long-term customer loyalty.
Christmas season is always a busy one for retailers and business owners that operate primarily from the digital landscape.
To get users to eagerly participate in their holiday season marketing campaign and sales, you’ll occasionally need to get out of your comfort zone, walk the plank and venture into unfamiliar territory to remain alive in the overcrowded and competitive marketing world of today.