40% of consumers began their holiday shopping by Halloween and you’ve likely watched holiday advertising start earlier and earlier each year. Most retail business owners see a spike in traffic during the holidays — Black Friday, in particular — and it’s advantageous for one to plan their marketing accordingly, meaning that your campaigns are one hundred percent ready to go months before it would even be considered “early” to start advertising for the season.
But, what if you’re behind and still have some gaps in your Black Friday retail marketing strategy? With just a few weeks until the holiday shopping season’s official start, we want to provide you with some small business holiday marketing tips to ensure that you’re getting in front of your audience while they’re carefully planning their holiday shopping sprees. Here we’ve created a checklist of sorts — targeting different areas — you can use to prepare and fine-tune your marketing strategy year after year.
Holiday Specials and Savings
Shoppers are looking for the best deal during this time of year, but retail business owners need to be conscious of offering the right deals that make sense for the business and do not damage the brand. Below we’ll take a look at some different types of promotions and some best practices for utilizing each of these deal structures.
Whether they’re digital or physical, coupons can be a valuable driver of traffic for retail businesses. But if you’re not careful, coupons can severely hurt your business. Any coupon strategy should be carefully planned. Meaning, you’ve thought about how many coupons you’re going to allow to be redeemed and you’ve outlined some restrictions of use clearly for consumers. When does the coupon expire? Is it only valuable on a certain dollar amount? Or for specific products? These are the items you need to present in your “fine print” to prevent confused or angry customers.
Digital coupons and the third parties that help promote your offers can be particularly valuable during the holiday shopping season. For your mid-Missouri retail business, consider ShopMidMo. ShopMidMo.com is a way for shoppers to save money on retail items or services they purchase frequently. Discounted gift certificates to local businesses are the focus and certificates are typically 15-40% off.
Calling attention to your brick-and-mortar location for a special event is a great way to generate buzz and a lot of business around a specific day or timeframe. How creative you get is up to you. You could send your shoppers on a scavenger hunt to find items around your business, redeemable for discounts and promotions, or you could create a simple storewide one-day-only holiday sale. For your location, you definitely don’t want to be understaffed on these days. If you do a great job marketing your event, you’ll hopefully see a lot of new customers walking through your door. Not having enough people to handle the influx of traffic on these special events is an easy way to create a negative shopping experience for the consumer.
Your Website and Social Media Channels
Your website and social media outlets are especially valuable assets during the holiday shopping season. Your creative and branding should reflect the holidays, calls-to-action should be displayed prominently, and promotions, upcoming sales, and contact information should be clearly visible to visitors. Optimizing your website and site pages for specific holiday search terms can also help to drive more traffic to your digital channels and then to your store.
Also, consider digital and/or social media advertising. While you’re optimizing your site for specific search terms, it would be a good time to update your paid search campaigns or increase the bid behind them. The same goes for your social media advertising. Utilize Facebook to create simple promotions and engagement around your in-store events. Try promoting an offer or a post specific to your Black Friday promotions to increase visibility.
Your email database is an invaluable tool during Black Friday and throughout the holidays. Use it to distribute coupons to your best customers, or use it to reengage cold contacts that haven’t shopped with you in a while. Be sure to promote the fact that people can register for your newsletter on your website and via social channels. And don’t be afraid to entice shoppers with a special offer. For example, anyone who registers during a specific timeframe gets 20% off their first purchase. By discovering how to easily manage your email database, you’ll be able to take your holiday email marketing to the next level.
Your Radio Advertising
You’ll likely want to review the current ads you’re running and introduce some more relevant holiday marketing as well. Think about how you can update your current creative to be more holiday specific and consider taking a look at your current frequency. Competition is high for brands during this time of year and you want to stay top-of-mind for your audience.
Just like your radio advertising, you’ll want to introduce holiday-specific content that reaches consumers at a number of different points. This includes your in-store branding, like having flyers and banners in your location that communicate upcoming promotions, alongside your paid advertising.
Or Get Help!
Properly advertising your business during Black Friday and the holiday shopping season can be difficult. There are multiple channels to manage and optimize and the competition is high when it comes to other retail businesses vying for ad space. Zimmer Radio & Marketing Group specializes in helping Missouri businesses with branding and managing their marketing strategy across traditional and digital platforms — including your holiday retail marketing. Learn more about the types of services we offer and how we can help you.