5 Marketing Strategies to Help Boost Holiday Sales

November 14 / Andrew Kopp / filed under Internet Marketing

holiday marketing strategies

The 2017 holiday season was huge for e-commerce. Businesses hauled in a staggering $108.2 billion in revenue—$1 billion more than experts predicted and nearly 15% more than the previous year. The verdict? People are buying online in record amounts, and internet-based businesses (and brick-and-mortar brands with an online presence) stand to benefit in a big, big way.

As we gear up for the 2018 sales season, here are 5 marketing strategies your brand can use to stand out from the crowd and encourage consumers to fill their virtual cart to the brim.

1. Harness the Power of Nostalgia

Throwback ads have power. Psychologists tell us that customers who feel nostalgic are more likely to spend money, and top marketers have taken note. Nintendo snagged the attention of 90s games with a new console that looks an awful lot like the original one and Pepsi put their crystal drink back on store shelves 24 years after it was initially introduced. Other brands wove nostalgia into their marketing collateral, using era-specific music and dated fashion to remind viewers of the good old days. People are especially emotional around the holidays, so campaigns steeped in nostalgia could be particularly effective now.

2. Update Your SEO

There are certain aspects of search engine optimization you should leave alone, and small holiday-specific terms won’t send your ranking soaring by tomorrow morning. That said, you can make some SEO changes that will help you get attract more shoppers.

  • Local terms: Last-minute holiday shoppers need immediacy, not long shipping times. Instead of searching for “kids’ gifts,” people start searching for “kids’ gifts in Albuquerque.”
  • Long tail keywords: Long tail keywords deliver specificity, helping you compete and improving the relevancy of search results. Rather than hoping people will sift through 80 pages of “robes” to find your bespoke offering, try using the long tail phrase “handmade silk robes for women”.
  • Holiday-specific terms: Add fresh pages to your website or post blogs with holiday-specific keywords like “Christmas gifts for dogs” or “Hanukkah hostess gifts” to target buyers who have a narrow focus.

3. Get Creative with Value

From Black Friday to last-minute Christmas sales that allow shoppers to get everything from electronics to board games and rock-bottom places, holiday marketing is all about value. Most businesses take this to mean they have to slash prices and hope to make up for tiny profit margins with huge boosts in volume, but that’s not always practical. Take a different route and work with perceived value. Use the holidays to launch a loyalty program, offer product personalization or bundle top sellers and you give consumers value (and something to talk about) without damaging your bottom line.

4. Run Ads

Whether you’re already running PPC campaigns as part of your overarching marketing strategy (and you are, right?) or are ready to take the plunge in hopes of capturing the holiday crowd, pay-per-click ads are a smart and effective way to get your products or services in front of potential customers—especially if the ads are created and run by experts. Yes, there’s a financial outlay involved, but let a pro take the lead and you’re more likely to make that money back many times over.

5. Reach Out to Your Existing Customer Base

Don’t forget the people that made you. The holidays are the perfect time to send out a “thanks for your business card” or happy holiday email to let past patrons know that you remember them and appreciate their business; it’s kind, and it keeps your company top of mind. That’s how you balance being a good person and a savvy business owner.