The holiday season provides all businesses with a large space to land more sales and increase their profit margin. Customer spending increases during this period and in 2012 sales was seen rising 4.1%. While most online businesses rely on SEO strategies to stand out from competition and grab the attention of their target audience, you can also conduct seasonal events to build brand visibility, expand sales and boost online traffic.
As these seasonal events require a lot of preparation to produce optimum results, you will have to start working on them well in advance. Avoid run-of-the-mill events (both online and offline), by incorporating new ideas, making use of the latest opportunities, staying abreast of technology, starting your promotions early and gearing up for new challenges.
Here are 5 important steps to create a concrete plan of action for your seasonal events.
Before you conduct any event, you need a concrete plan to facilitate easy and smooth implementation and execution. Prepare a holiday season calendar that contains the list of holiday dates. This will help you in deciding when the events will have to be conducted and what promotional strategies will be used for different campaigns.
Get the help of experts who can provide you with online marketing assistance. As the demand for certain products/services are seasonal, make use of tools like Google Analytics to find out which products and categories are preferred more. You can also refer to sales reports, inventory details and returns figures.
Run Contests And Offer Gifts
Conducting interesting contests based on skill and exciting sweepstakes is a great way to attract customers, both existing and new. Plan for online and email sweepstakes, text message sweepstakes, mail-in and call-in sweepstakes, blog contests, radio contests and ask customers to put their entries into drop boxes.
You can plan contests which are based on frequency of entry, the prize, eligibility or what you need to do to enter them. Group these contests according to the products/services that you deal with, preferences of customers etc. Conducting events during Black Friday and Cyber Monday is likely to attract enthusiastic participation. You can also use your social media profile to conduct contests and increase the count of your followers. Offer product giveaways or attractive discounts on service packages to the winners.
Percentage Offer And Free Shipping
You can offer free shipping to customers who make a purchase beyond a certain fixed amount. Offering free shipping is a way to stimulate your online growth easily as many consumers view it as a factor that influences a purchase. As customers add items to their shopping cart, give them reminders on how much more they need to purchase to avail free shipping.
Customers who make bulk orders can also be given percentage offers. You can even fix the discount rates based on particular periods of purchase (till Thanksgiving, from Christmas eve to New year etc.,) to motivate customers to make the most of the offers and discounts while they last.
Create Landing Pages For Best Products
Showcase the products, offers and discounts which cannot be missed on a landing page that has been exclusively designed for the season. Ensure that the products on the landing page are those which customers are most likely to purchase at that time of the year. Remember that the title, text, images, colors and designs on the landing page should match the season, to provide them with a personalized shopping experience.
Many visitors who come to your site may not be aware of what gifts they can buy for their loved ones, during holiday seasons. Provide gift ideas and suggestions, based on criteria like age, price, hot deals etc. Creating categories like Top 10 gifts for your mom or Awesome gifts your friends will love, are sure to make customers want to know what you have to offer. Words like 20% Discount on selected brands, Offer valid till stocks last and Register now and get a free trial, create strong call-to-action and enhance the conversion rate.
Use Seasonal Logos On Your Site & Social Profile
Using seasonal logos is a small yet effective way to increase traffic to your site. As visitors are quite likely to come to your site to see what you have to offer for the season, a seasonal logo can be a simple way to grab their interest. For instance, if it is Christmas time, you can add candles, snowflakes, candy, Santa, stars or bells to your logo to reflect the spirit of the season. You can also use a seasonal logo on your social profile, to give your business a festive touch.
Promote Your Offers Through Social Media And Emails
Make it a point to greet your customers during the holiday seasons through emails, newsletters and social media like Facebook and Twitter. When you plan for a new deal or offer, it is important to communicate those details to existing customers first and then to your target audience. Include seasonal event pages on your site too to keep customers informed of the latest from your end. (Remember to create an archive which has the details of all previous events.)
Make phone calls to regular customers so that they are aware of the offers, freebies and discounts you are offering. Start promoting the offers by sending mails and newsletters and tagging people in social media, to make sure your events get ample publicity.
With these guidelines, you can easily surpass your previous sales records. Seasonal events can drive more traffic to your business, motivate existing customers to renew and strengthen their ties with you and open up a new range of business opportunities as well.
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Brian Taylor is the VP, Business Development at Forix SEO in Portland, Oregon. Forix specializes in helping small businesses with their internet marketing needs and offers custom SEO services at affordable prices.