As more retailers switch their operations to online post COVID, we look at some quick marketing fixes you can implement to get the most out of this year’s holiday season.
COVID-19 pandemic pushed many brick-and-mortar retailers to invest in their online operations. This means there are now more players in the market, many of whom have almost infinite resources. But small ecommerce businesses shouldn’t be discouraged. Last year, consumers spent a record $143.7 billion during the holiday season.
With stores such as Walmart, Target and Best Buy closing doors on Thanksgiving, people that previously found themselves in isles on Christmas and New Years will now order online.
There’s enough to go around and to get your piece of the pie, you need to rank on some competitive keywords and attract some organic traffic.
Along with this, you also need to entice the customer to purchase by promoting relevant content. Get this right and you will be in the position to break your previous holiday sales record.
Since we are in November, most marketers would have already mapped out their strategies. But it’s never a bad time to make some improvements.
Here are some quick last-minute fixes you can implement ahead of the season:
1. Make sure to optimize all your holiday images
Images are often underutilized tools in SEO. This is unfortunate because they provide your website with some valuable optimization opportunities, especially in the shopping season. Optimizing images is a matter of a few steps.
First, you need to select an appropriate quality-to-size ratio, ensuring the image is good but also compact enough so that your loading time is not impacted. An Aberdeen Group study demonstrates that a single second delay in load time can cause a 7% drop in conversions. So this isn’t something you would want to risk.
Next, you should fill in alt tags of images with relevant keywords. This way, your images will appear in Google’s image search. Finally, tailor the filename to add holiday keywords that you’re targeting to bring in the relevant audience.
It wouldn’t take much time and effort to implement these steps but they can make a big difference for search engines.
2. Don’t forget social media
Unless you’re sitting at the top of the industry, it will take some time for your season-specific content to rank on search engines. You need to craft a strong social media strategy.
To start, you should develop a cross-functional team to carry out promotion on social networking sites. It’s important for everyone involved to know which products are being prioritized and how customer queries will be answered.
Meanwhile, task your social media team with keyword and hashtag research so that the content reaches a maximum amount of people. Social media editorial calendars are extremely useful for timing the posts as well as allowing different departments to contribute.
Don’t hesitate to invest in the paid promotion of the company’s best offers on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Integrate strategic coupon marketing with your social media promotion so every base is covered.
3. Personalize buying experience through automated tools
“Customer experience and personalization are the cornerstones of effective digital marketing,” says Alex Reynolds of EMUCoupon.
Chatbots can play a significant role in personalizing and optimizing your customer support process. In the age where AI-based recommendations drive sales —ecommerce enterprises shouldn’t shy away from utilizing automated tools.
Christi Olson, Head of Evangelism at Bing and a chatbot advocate believe this technology has come a long way. “The chatbots of the future don’t just respond to questions. They talk. They think. They draw insights from knowledge graphs. They forge emotional relationships with customers” she explains.
But personalization shouldn’t end at customer support. Online retailers should also integrate payment solutions that retain customer data with their consent and provide them with recommendations based on their purchasing history. Every step of the buying process should be individualized.
4. Give links to your new content from your old content
Anything you will post on this year’s holiday will not have the same authority as your old content. After all, you have invested time and resources in building up traffic, links and keyword ranking on these pages.
Analyze holiday-related content from previous years to see which one has the most number of visitors and backlinks from high-authority websites. Once that’s done, look for ways to naturally add links of your new content in these pieces.
Unlike getting backlinks from other websites, this whole process is seamless. It’s also one of the quickest ways to boost your new blog posts.
Bonus: Make sure the CTAs are basic and simple
New customers, who are unfamiliar to your brand, will find it difficult to understand complex marketing slogans. CTAs such as “Start Your Journey Towards a Stylish Lifestyle” might be on-brand for your fashion store but it will be confusing buying for the first time.
In the end, customers just want to purchase oversized hoodies, not go on a life-changing journey. The regular customers won’t mind such a CTA as they’re aware of your larger brand vision.
Make sure you stick to the usual “Buy Now” or other common slogans so that more first-time visitors end up becoming your customers.
All said and done, there’s no substitute to a well-thought-out marketing plan that’s organized on a long-term basis. These quick fixes can pave the way for a better shopping season for your company but when the Christmas lights go off, you need to start working on a plan for the next year.
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