In the blink of an eye, we’re back to the holiday season. That’s right. It’s fourth quarter. Every year brings a host of new challenges for brands, and every year the online world takes a bigger piece of the holiday pie. If you don’t already have a digital marketing strategy in place, you’re certainly cutting it close.
We asked our team members for their most crucial tips to ready retailers online and off this season. Here’s what they had to say. If you're already in the throes of digital holiday madness, see how your brand stacks up.
Laura Flugga, User Experience Designer
Optimize your site search to make sure relevant results show up for popular gift-related search terms, such as "Gifts for Mom” or "Inexpensive Gifts.”
Gift Lists and Categories
Make sure your site includes lists or categories that provide gift ideas, such as “Gifts Under $50,” or “Gifts for Women.” If your site includes a way for users to save items to a wish list, use that data to create a “Most Wished For” category.
Improve customer experience and foster goodwill by offering free gift wrapping during the holiday season. Or, offer paid gift wrapping, and donate the proceeds to a charity to help your customers feel good about their purchases.
Eric Tessau, VP Digital Operations
Stress-Free Monitoring of Your Site
By implementing a full-featured monitoring tool such as Stackify, you can rest assured your site is running without issues. Stackify not only monitors the technical side 24/7, but can also confirm key words that should always be present on your site.
Easily Speed Up and Better Secure Your Site
To prepare for holiday traffic patterns, you should strongly consider a content distribution network (CDN), such as Incapsula or CloudFlare. These services offload images and other files from your web servers and distribute them to your users around the world.
Angi Wesson, PR & Social Media Director
Ramp Up Your Customer Service Resources
According to Multichannel Merchant, retailers received 30% more social media messages related to customer service during the 2016 holiday season than at any other time of the year. So be prepared with additional staff, and give them the information they need to ensure that customers have a positive social experience with your brand.
Increase Budget for Sponsored Content
Do you have a specific product or service you’re pushing this season? Are you planning to provide customers with an amazing sale or discount? Social media is a cost-effective way to provide you the opportunity for advanced targeting. Be sure to assign more of your budget to social media this holiday season, so you can stand out in the sea of competitive offers.
Robin Yontz, VP Creative Director
Holiday Promotion Shouldn’t Outshine Your Brand
Holiday promotions need to enhance your current positioning-- not upstage it. Make sure your promotion fits your brand’s voice and behavior. Don’t abandon your brand’s voice for a clever 45-day hit!
Your E-tail Space is Just Another Retail Door
The online and physical shopping experience must be consistent from services to branding. You must offer the same customer amenities in both locations: gift wrap, web chat or helpline. Your customers will ding you if everything they have come to expect is not at their fingertips.
Sean White, Sr. Digital Marketing Specialist
Product Listing Ads
More specific than generic search ads, Product Listing Ads (PLA’s) allow you to showcase specific products to customers who are searching for them, along with pictures, prices and offers. PLA’s consistently lead to more engagement and better ROI over standard text ads, as your ads get right down to the business of buying.
Google Map Ads
If you have a brick and mortar store, here’s the stat you should keep in mind: 78% of local mobile searches result in offline purchases (Hubspot). Build your presence in local search with Google Map Ads, and you’ll build your foot traffic too.
Contact us for further marketing insights into the holiday season. We’re ready to energize your brand any time of the year.