It’s November which means people all over the country are gearing up for Thanksgiving, preparing for friends, families and feasts. For business owners, it’s a time to start preparing for the biggest retail event of the year: Black Friday. We all have images in our heads of people lined up before sunrise at stores waiting for blow out sales. While this still happens all over the country, in the past decade, there has emerged a new day in business that gains traction more and more each year: Cyber Monday.
For business owners without a store front who operate entirely out of their home, Cyber Monday is more important than Black Friday. After all, with 49% of Americans shopping on Cyber Monday, you want to make sure that your business is prepared! If you are a business owner and conduct the majority of your commerce online, now would be a great time to sit down and create a plan not only for Cyber Monday but for the entire holiday season.
Here are some things to consider in your marketing plan for the upcoming weeks:
Around this time of year, we bundle up before we go outside with scarves, hats and coats. You should do the same with your products! Richard Stevenson of ePages.com recommends cross-selling and bundling because consumers tend to spend more money around the holiday season. Bundles could be marketed as unique gift packages. Think about which of your products could be paired together to make a visually appealing and functionally cohesive combination. For instance, if you make and sell bath products, perhaps you could package a bar of soap, shower gel and lotion together as a Holiday Spa kit.
It can be a challenge to acquire new business and the holidays are a time when consumers are flooded with options. It can be hard to cut through the noise. This is why you should market to existing customers this holiday season. While you don’t want to make them the sole focus of marketing, think of ways that you could entice the customers you already have . Consider things like loyalty rewards. For example, you could reward existing customers with ten percent off a certain item or a free gift with every purchase.
Keep in touch with your existing customers via email where you can inform them about these loyalty rewards. Make your emails fun and specific! One could be exclusively about special cyber Monday deals while another could be a “12 Days of Discounts” deal later in the holiday season.
On Cyber Monday, people will be on their phones, laptops, iPads etc. and as a virtue of this, will probably be checking social media on their devices. This is why you have to be social on Cyber Monday! Be sure to post about deals with links to your website or online store. Know your audience! On Facebook, you can target posts for specific demographics like age or location. If it’s right for you, consider advertising on Facebook or boosting your posts.
Don’t be afraid to get personal! Sujan Patel, co-founder of Content Marketer.io wrote in Entrepreneur, “People tend to think their decision-making is purely rational, but the truth is all people make decisions emotionally before justifying them rationally. As a result, a successful holiday marketing campaign should be an emotional one.” Patel goes on to say that one should focus on feelings in their marketing campaign. Maybe market specific products for specific types of relationships. If you make crafts maybe think of products that would be perfect as a “Tell mom you’re grateful” post.
Lastly, encourage interactions on social media through your posts. For example, you could make a post on Facebook saying, “Comment with your favorite holiday movie and we will contact you with an exclusive deal!”
Around this time of year, people are in the giving mood and would like to pay it forward. In the spirit of the season maybe consider partnering with a charity. For example, you could give 10% of every purchase to a charity and advertise this to your customers. People may be more inclined to buy your products knowing that some of the profits will be going to those in need and they may remember you in the future as a company with charity and integrity.
The holiday season is a crazy time for everyone but hopefully following this guide will help you create a targeted and effective marketing campaign for this time of year.
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