There’s no doubt that Christmas will be different this year. With government restrictions and lockdowns in place, there’s going to be a larger amount of Christmas shopping done online than ever before.
As every retailer across the country (and abroad) competes for the attention of Irish consumers online, having a smart digital marketing campaign can really make a difference.
Get the Basics of Online Marketing Right First
Before you go pumping money into online ads, success begins with a solid plan or strategy. Your marketing strategy should be based on SMART goals. If this acronym is not stuck to the wall next to your monitor yet, here’s what it means:
Basically, this means that you want to be specific about what you’d like to achieve, and it has to be measurable and achievable.
Yes, more sales are great. But make sure you’re not creating an impossible goal that will only get you frustrated as you aim too high. Ensure your goals are relevant and time-based.
Reel in Holiday Shoppers with Ads and Retargeting
Once your goals are set, it’s time to get advertising. As we’re already well into the holiday season, it’s too late to get any real benefits from search engine optimisation (SEO) you start now.
Paid ads give you measurable, instant results (when they’re set up correctly). One of our Irish retailers started Facebook & Google ads with us 5 months ago and has seen a 600% increase in their online sales – which is a great result for such a new campaign. When implemented and managed correctly, online ads are a game changer.
Wanted to get your strategy just right, and now you’re a bit late in the game? Not to worry. It’s best to focus on your best-selling products and services.
We recommend scheduling ads for your bestsellers two to four weeks before the holidays, but even starting an ad campaign a few days before Black Friday can have a positive impact. Keep in mind that only eye-catching content will get your customers to click on your ad over your competitors’ ads. Here’s how to get it right:
- Use action words
- Create (real) urgency and scarcity
- Minimise risk
- Focus on benefits, not features
- Invite readers inside
- Foster curiosity and anticipation
- Avoid friction words
Make sure you’ve chosen a relevant landing page that has been optimised for selling. If you don’t deliver what your ad copy promises, users will immediately leave. See how your website measures up with our free 91-point website conversion checklist.
Email Marketing for Christmas
If you already have email marketing in place and you want to gain more customers for the long term, offer a Christmas discount for customers who sign up to your mailing list.
Depending on how much time you have left before Christmas, you can send your new audience Christmas shopping tips and entice them to buy again.
But what about the people who don’t make a purchase, or sign up for your newsletter?
92% of the people visiting your site for the first time are going to leave without making a purchase. Around half of your visitors will come to your site two to four times before they buy anything.
You’ll want to use retargeting ads on previous site visitors, so they keep you in mind when they make their buying decision. As these customers have already been on your website, they are much more likely to convert, and retargeting can help to draw them back in.
Boost your Sales with a Social Media and Influencer Campaign
Videos on social media have proven to be the number one marketing tool to grab people’s attention, which is only topped by social media channels like Facebook automatically boosting live content.
Video marketing is wildly effective with results like a 54% increase in brand awareness and 66% more qualified leads per year. Just by going live on social media and spreading the Christmas cheer (as well as showing off your products), you can easily connect with your customers. Instagram stories are hugely popular with Irish retailers this year and have great conversion rates.
Another way to connect with your customers would be to join a few of those Facebook groups that promote shopping locally. They’re popping up for every county – as well as the national groups too. Shop local (and Green Friday) is more important than ever and received plenty of hype, particularly on social media since this lockdown came into effect. Make sure you’re listed on Retail Excellence’s Irish Retailers eCommerce Directory.
On social platforms like Twitter and Instagram, you can join the conversation by using the hashtag #shoplocal. Take this a step further and consider a collaboration with another local business. You’ll get more buzz by doubling your social media presence as your collaborator posts about you and vice versa
If you’re finding it hard to connect with your target market, you might want to consider reaching them via influencers.
Get in contact with the right influencers who have a following that encompasses the right audience for your business. Don’t fall into the trap of just selecting a celebrity with a huge following – they need to have sway with the demographics that buy from you.
If you have shareable content and get your target audience right, an influencer strategy can be a great way to increase brand awareness and boost your sales.
Create a Lasting Impression & Secure Repeat Sales
When you’ve established a connection with your customers, you don’t want to lose it.
Be careful not to get Christmas tunnel vision and just focus on creating revenue for the holiday season. Considering the Covid outlook, the more we can prepare for the future, the better.
Always keep in mind that you want customers to come back after Christmas and work that into your marketing strategy. To achieve a long-term relationship, you have to create a lasting impression in your customers’ minds.
A great way of leaving the right impression is to create an unforgettable unboxing experience. Christmas is all about unwrapping presents, right? Nice packaging can become a feast for the senses and invoke that exclusivity that customers are looking for when choosing presents for their loved ones.
A handwritten note or a printed Thank You card slipped into every order helps foster the ‘shop local’ feeling.
If you haven’t started online marketing yet, don’t worry – you’re a little late to the party, but there’s plenty of sales still up for grabs.
See if your website is ready to convert casual visitors into loyal customers with our free 91-point website conversion checklist.
About the Author
Nick Butler is a digital marketing strategist from Ireland Website Design. Nick and his team help Irish retailers attract and convert new customers with solid online marketing strategies, websites that buyers can’t say ‘no’ to, and digital marketing campaigns that get results. You can get in touch with him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 051-325567.