The holidays are almost upon us.
Thanksgiving. Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Christmas.
In 2015, online shoppers spent a staggering $4.45 billion on Black Friday and Thanksgiving alone!
Needless to say, competition during the next few months is going to be intense, and without a game plan, or tricks up your virtual sleeve, you won’t be able to fully capitalize on the next consumer gold rush.
In this article, I’ll discuss five sales tips for the holidays that you should be using to increase sales and lower your advertising costs.
1. Spend More Money in Q4
“Wait, I thought you said you were going to show us how to increase sales and lower advertising costs?”
Okay, let me explain.
For most B2C industries, Q4 is when you’ll generate the bulk of your sales. During 2013 and 2014, Q4 had the largest consumer consumption rate.
This is solely due to the holiday season.
Q4 is the only time of year when consumers are actively looking to buy gifts for friends, family or themselves. They are more susceptible to seeing an advert from a business they’ve never heard of and buying their product over the next few months.
For this reason alone, you need to up your spending to generate more sales.
For example, if your entire marketing budget for the year is $50 000, then instead of spending an equal amount per quarter ($12 500), allocate a greater amount in Q4 and less for Q1-Q3. Look at your sales history for the last few years and adjust accordingly.
Your online ads and content will have a much greater conversion rate over the holidays. By allocating more money, you can scale them and see a bigger ROI while reducing your customer acquisition cost.
2. Facebook Offers
Not many businesses know that Facebook recently updated their Offers ad objective, and the changes are huge.
Their biggest update is alerting users with pop-up notifications.
For example, if a user redeems your offer from the Facebook app, then the next time they log in to Facebook on a desktop computer they will be shown a little, red alert in their notification box to remind them of your offer.
All offers must have a start and end date. On the final day, everyone who has interacted with your Facebook Offer is reminded again, through an alert, that the voucher is about to expire.
Facebook has also added the Offer tab on the left-hand side.
I like using Offers because Facebook reminds the user of the voucher a minimum of two times if they have not yet redeemed the offer. This makes your business look less ‘spammy’ than emailing them the same offer three times in five days.
You can learn more about Facebook Offers here.
3. Gift Audiences
During the frantic holiday season, many internal marketing departments have tunnel vision, when targeting their market, and forget about gift audiences.
What is a gift audience?
A gift audience is someone who will not use your product or service, but has a family member, friend, or work colleague who would.
For example, if you sell children’s toys, seniors won’t want to play with LEGOs, but their grandchildren will.
Grandparents are known for spoiling their grandchildren with gifts and love, making them one of the best price-incentive groups to target. Platforms like Facebook allow you to target users based on a number of behaviors, such as parents with children in different age groups or anyone who is a grandparent.
A Dovetail report found that November, December and January were the most profitable months for gift subscriptions.
This is combined with the fact that the gift market was said to be worth $129.7 billion in 2015.
Gift audiences open up a whole new audience to increase your sales revenue.
Targeting gift audiences is best suited for businesses who are working with larger budgets, as you may need to spend a little in testing to find the right gift audience for your budget.
4. Two-Step Content Funnel
If you follow my first tip and increase your Q4 ad spend, then you’ll need to expand your audience to reach more potential buyers, else you might end up bombarding the same audience with too many ads.
A two-step content funnel is one of the most effective ways to generate awareness and sales when targeting fresh prospects (someone who hasn’t interacted with your business before).
It works like this:
Step 1: Show them a piece of content. The content can be a video, blog post, infographic, image, podcast, or any other medium. The objective is to raise the awareness of your product or brand and establish credibility.
This objective is easy to achieve if your content is valuable to the prospect.
Step 2: Through the use of re-marketing, create an audience and segment anybody who has viewed your content. Then pitch them with an offer to your product, or a lead magnet, to obtain their email address to nurture them further.
Less than 2% of people will convert on your website on their first visit, so instead of pitching right off the bat, provide value and leave a lasting impression. This will warm them up for your next interaction where you can show them an offer.
5. Make Your Content Seasonal
Today, you can’t view a webpage or tap your scroll button twice on Facebook before being hit with an advert. Experts believe we see between 300 and 700 marketing messages per day.
Over the years, consumers have developed banner blindness, which is the ability to subconsciously ignore banner ads and adverts. In the next few months, ad content will be at an all-time high and you’ll need to stand out to be noticed. Luckily, that’s very easy to do during holiday season.
Simply theme your ad content around the holiday season, or make a reference to an upcoming holiday like IBM did.
Personalizing your ads for the relevant holiday season makes them more relevant and applicable to today, ensuring a higher click-through rate.
With the right strategy going into the final quarter, it’s not unreasonable to have your best sales period if you plan correctly. Consumers are looking for any reason to hand their money over for presents and gifts, and it will be your job to craft the correct copy, use the best mediums and target the right audiences to achieve your goal.
What will you do in Q4 to stand out from everyone else?