Last-Minute Digital Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season

Last-Minute Digital Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season

It is not too late to fine tune your holiday marketing efforts, with the second busiest holiday shopping day (according to ShopperTrak) – December 23 – still ahead of us. ReachLocal’s Shayla Jenkins explains some last minute holiday marketing tips for local businesses.

Shopping for products and services online continues to grow leaps and bounds. Surprisingly, however, studies suggest that modern-day consumers are seamlessly blending online and offline experiences. In other words, the path to purchasing a product or service is no longer a linear line.

That means that online and offline marketing efforts need to be as interconnected as ever. This is especially critical to a successful holiday season; and not only for retail, but also for services companies, restaurants or any type of business with a local presence. Beyond buying gifts for family and friends, consumers are also looking for businesses like home services companies, medical practices, and animal boarding to help them prepare their homes and families for the holiday season, or prepare for travel during the holiday season.

While holiday marketing plans have been set in stone for months now, there are still some last-minute tactics that can help boost holiday sales, and at the same time get a jump start on 2018 planning.

Confirm your listings. Double check to make sure your local store information is up to date – including directory listings, social media pages and your website. Having the correct digital information is even more critical for last-minute holiday shoppers under time constraints. If applicable, don’t forget to include holiday hours. While this seems rudimentary, you would be surprised how many local stores don’t have holiday hours readily visible.

Make social media shareable. No doubt social media will be part of your holiday marketing strategy, but don’t forget to make social media efforts as shareable as possible. Make sure Facebook, Twitter and all the usual suspects have the share button activated for the public. Use hashtags so people can follow your event or promo, and set up an in-store photo-op backdrop to encourage shareable photo moments.

Use geofencing. Consider hyperlocal targeting tactics like geofencing, or “virtual barriers,” which can be set up in minutes. These targeted techniques trigger promotional text messages, email alerts, or app notifications when a mobile device enters (or exits) a specified area.

Leverage your Local Community. In a ReachLocal survey of over 250 consumers, 63.2% said supporting a local store/community was an important reason to shop at a physical store. Be sure to tout your local business status in your holiday marketing messages to help snag more sales.

Follow-up in a timely fashion. Research shows that 50 percent of customers will choose to do business with the company that calls them back first. As such, local businesses, such as auto dealers, home services, spas, and restaurants that typically require follow-up, can get that business simply by being the first to respond. The ideal way to do this is with automation technology.

Watch your competitors. Sign up to receive promos from your top competitors. Understanding the holiday digital marketing strategy of your competitors can help you refine your approach for the next season.

Start planning for the long term. While the holidays tend to push digital marketing efforts into full gear, focusing on the big picture is critical to long-term success. A one-time customer is good, but the value of a lifetime customer is much better. As such, a nurturing system for newly acquired holiday consumers is a great New Year initiative.