Are you ready to make the most out of this holiday season?
The fourth quarter of every year is the best time for anyone who sells a gift product.
But like everything else in running a business, you can't skip telling people about your products!
That's what marketing is all about.
It doesn't have to be sleazy, salesy or uncomfortable.
Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend is just around the corner. Make use of this in your marketing!
You can promote your products this holiday season and tie in with this major sale weekend to end the year with a bang.
Don't fret about figuring this stuff out on your own.
These little things you can do in your business can mean making an extra two (or two hundred) sales, so make sure you do the work!
Here are ten exact steps you can take to boost holiday sales and make the most out of Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday.
1. Make your promotion irresistible
There are millions of shops out there. What can you do to ensure your products and promotion around the holidays stand out?
To encourage social media fans to buy from you, consider creating a promotion around a unique offering that you've never done before.
You should still sell a product that fits within your niche, but you can repackage ideas to excite your audience.
Some people have no qualms spending more on a Christmas gift and others are looking for an affordable alternative.
Consider making different price points available to meet your potential customer where they're at.
If you're offering discounts off, make it attractive. 5-10% is no longer incentive enough these days because everyone is doing it.
If you're against discounting your products, you can give your customers free shipping or include a free gift with every order.
Whatever your deal or promotion is, you absolutely need to inject a sense of urgency or no one will buy.
You can create urgency by:
- Making a limited quantity available
- Setting the expiry date to 24, 48 or 72 hours, depending on the price of your product
- Rewarding the first few people in line with an extra special deal for early birds
2. Build up buzz early on
Once you've decided on your product plan this holiday season, it's time to tell everyone about it!
Create social media posts from a mix of photos you can take:
- Lifestyle photos of your products
- Stock photos of your products
- Close up shots of your products, showing detail
- Behind-the-scenes photos
- Works in progress photos
Use text overlays on photos to grab people's attention.
You can never expect people to just show up during your event.
Tell your social media fans and followers about your promotion that's coming up.
Then remind them over the next few days or weeks leading up to your event.
You can schedule posts in advance to save on time and to ensure those posts get published.
3. Gear up your website for the holidays
As a general rule, it's a good idea to update your website regularly to reflect any ongoing promotions, new products and events.
A simple edit on your website can be all it takes to drive that extra sale.
Create graphics for your promotion, event or products that you want to draw holiday shoppers to.
Use some of these great tools to place your promotion in highly visible areas on your website:
- HelloBar – sticky headers with a text call-to-action
- SumoMe – slide-in boxes that appear after the user has scrolled down your website
- JustUno (for Shopify) – smart, easy and beautiful pop-up boxes (and more) that can be shown using specific rules (i.e. after visiting 3 pages, after 30 seconds, etc.)
- Or manually add a large, image or slideshow to your homepage
4. Boost promotional posts on Facebook
If you've never spent money on advertising before, now's the time!
Facebook ads can be super easy to do.
Once your promo has been posted on Facebook, you can boost the post or turn it into an engagement ad.
Target only your existing fans or at least friends of fans to lower your advertising cost and make the most out of your advertising campaign.
Get even laser targeted by only showing your ad to specific demographics that fit your ideal customer!
If you have a really small Facebook following, you can create lookalike audiences on Facebook to serve your ads to people who are like your current audience.
These people are more likely to buy than the random dude walking down the street!
Your ad doesn't have to be super expensive. $5-10 per day works just fine.
Make sure your ad includes specific details on your offer and a link back to your website.
5. Advertise on Instagram
Instagram ads launched not too longer ago. It's still so new and few people are doing it!
Here's your chance to really stand out and get in front of your audience on Instagram.
If you haven't yet, sign up for Facebook Business Manager to connect your Instagram account with your Facebook ads manager.
Once you've connected your Instagram account, you can create ads that get shown on Instagram.
This is especially useful for you if your following is mostly on Instagram.
You definitely want to spread the word about your promotion there!
If you're already creating an ad for Facebook, you can set it up to show on Instagram as well without having to create a new ad.
6. Use Promoted Pins
Pinterest can drive tons of holiday sales if you set up your ad correctly.
You'll need to convert your Pinterest account to a business one, if you haven't done so yet.
There's nothing to lose (in fact, you gain tons of new cool features) and it's really easy to do!
When using Promoted Pins, you ultimately need to target keywords that are specific to your product and the audience you serve.
“gift for mom”, “gift for best friend” are examples of potential keywords you can use.
Brainstorm some keyword ideas and start typing them out yourself in Pinterest's search bar. See what pops up as the suggested keywords.
You'll also want to be sure to design your graphic so it pops and grabs attention.
Include a well thought out description and specific call to action for higher converting ads on Pinterest!
As with all advertising, don't be afraid to make the investment.
It can feel scary, but once you find a system that works for you, you can easily scale up by increasing your daily budget. Ads that work will keep working to make more sales for you!
7. Partner with Instagram influencers
Take a few hours to find accounts with large and engaged followings on Instagram.
You can start by searching via specific hashtags related to your product and/or customer.
Use “Top Posts” that appear in the search to identify influencers. It's likely some are appearing in “Top Posts” because they're getting tons of hearts and comments!
The size of an influencer following you want to reach out to can vary from business to business.
I prefer collaborating with influencers who have 50,000 followers or more, but consider that I have 21,000 followers of my own (as of this writing).
Ultimately, I check that the influencer gets more than 1,000 hearts per post on average.
I've worked with accounts with less hearts per post than that and my results from those collaborations tend to fall flat.
This is not to say that I don't work with people with fewer followers. This is a subjective, case-by-case basis process.
Setting rules for yourself helps streamline the process and saves you time, but be flexible.
Once you've identified your influencers, send them a direct message!
Keep it short to just a few lines and include a clear and direct call-to-action at the end of your message.
Offer to send them free product in exchange for a feature. Some may ask for a small fee which is normal.
It's up to you if you only want to work with people for free or if you'd be okay with paying for a feature!
8. Partner with Youtube influencers
Just like with Instagram, you can find Youtube celebrities to send product to in exchange for a shoutout to your shop!
I worked with a video gamer influencer on YouTube the last holiday season on a product video line-up of great Christmas gifts.
The video got over 50,000 views in less than 24 hours and she helped generate several thousands of dollars for me in a few weeks.
Most YouTube profiles will include an email address under the “About” tab.
Send them your pitch email. Don't forget to clearly describe what's in it for them, should they choose to work with you!
To make the deal sweeter for them, offer for them to be a part of your referral program.
They can include unique referral links to your shop in the video's text description.
Use a program like Referral Candy to easily set up your referral program! It's super easy and the tech support staff are very helpful if you run into any troubles.
9. Email your newsletter subscribers
You won't be done telling everyone about your holiday promotion until you've emailed your newsletter subscribers!
Regardless of whether you have 10 or 10,000 subscribers, these people signed up to hear from you.
It's always a good idea to notify them of any cool events happening in your business.
Here's a great strategy you can implement for all your newsletters:
Depending on your email service, you should check if you can create a segment of email subscribers or tag them based on unopens.
About a week after you send your email newsletter, send the exact same email but with a different subject line to this segment of subscribers who didn't open your first email.
This increases the traffic and possible sales you would get with this email!
10. Remarket to everyone else who didn't buy
Did you know that it takes at least seven impressions of your product before someone buys from you?
Remarketing is the concept of showing ads or doing promotions to people who have recently visited your product pages.
Once you've done all the above steps, you'll have an influx of traffic to your website.
If you can make a few sales from the get go, that's awesome!
But what about the people who don't buy right away?
What if you could reach out to them again?
You can create ads on Facebook, Instagram and many major websites to show ads to the people who checked out your products but didn't buy.
Remarketing is awesome because the people you're showing your ads to are already familiar with who you are.
This means, your advertising costs are lower, because you're not trying to reach a new audience.
Lower advertising costs means higher profits for you :-)
I've personally used RetargetApp and Shoelace with great results:
- RetargetApp: $18 spend for $508 in sales
- Shoelace: $65 spend for $458 in sales
If you're not on Shopify, you can create remarketing ads manually.
I teach a Creative Live course that walks you through how to do that.
You can get this course here- Keep Them Coming Back: The Secret To Repeat Sales.
These are great strategies for marketing your business throughout the year.
Start implementing these strategies now for a fantastic holiday season and kick off the new year with a bang!