If you’ve ever walked into a store and wondered, “Why do they have Christmas decor out right now? We haven’t even celebrated Halloween yet!”, this article’s for you.
For most retail businesses, the holiday season doesn’t start after Thanksgiving or even in November. It starts far, far earlier.
Even if you don’t actually make many sales in October or early November, the fact of the matter is, once Fall hits, people starting shopping for the holidays. And, to make the most of the holiday shopping craze, you need to be ready long before Black Friday.
In this article, we’ll talk about what it takes to get your online shopping campaigns working in time to capitalize on the holiday rush. We’ll discuss how to think about your target audience and craft campaigns that will convince them to pick your business over the competition.
Sound like a plan? Let’s dive in!
1. Figure Out Your Audience
The key to any successful holiday shopping campaign is knowing who you’re selling to and what you have to offer. And by this, I don’t just mean the actual products you’re trying to move.
As a business, you have a unique value proposition that sets you apart from the competition. This, more than anything else, is what you need to understand to run effective online marketing campaigns.
Are your products cheaper than the competition? Higher quality? Do you offer more options? Is your business socially conscious? Do you have a killer warranty?
Different value propositions will appeal to different groups of people, so understanding what your value proposition is will be the key to identifying who your target market is.
The fact of the matter is, when it comes to online marketing, the competition is only a few clicks away. If you don’t pitch yourself correctly to the right people, your ads won’t get clicks and your products won’t sell.
But, if you understand who your value proposition appeals to and why, you can easily create compelling ads that will win their business.
For example, here are some ads you might see if you searched for “christmas gifts”:
On the surface, these all seem like fine ads. They all talk about Christmas gifts and have something valuable to offer.
However, if you’re a time-strapped millennial feeling the pressure to come up with fun, novel gift ideas, which of these headlines is likely to catch your eye? “Gift Ideas | 2018 Christmas Gifts – TheGrommet.com”? Or “2018 Uncommon Christmas Gifts | Hate Boring Gifts? Us Too”?
I’d be willing to bet that you’d be a lot more likely to go with the “Hate boring gifts?” ad. It’s personalized to the needs of a specific audience, which means it’s a lot more likely to attract a relevant audience that’s likely to buy.
A grandmother looking for gifts for her kids and their spouses, on the other hand, might be more likely to go with the “Gift Ideas” ad. Neither one of these ads is bad. They are simply targeted to different audiences with different needs based on the unique value proposition of the advertising business.
2. Earn Their Attention
Unfortunately, even if you know what your unique value proposition is and who you need to target, it can still be difficult to stand out from the competition during the holidays.
Whether it’s grumpy in-laws or rabid marketers, most people are inundated with demands for their attention. To be honest, it can be exhausting.
To stand out amongst all of this hubbub, you have to earn people’s attention rather than demanding it.
If you can provide customers with an ad that they actually enjoy, you can break through the holiday ad fatigue and create an experience that people love. Then they won’t feel frustrated with your business for putting yet another demand on them. Rather, they’ll be grateful that you made them laugh or smile.
The end result? People will be eager to buy from you.
Create ads that perfectly fit the needs and wants of your target audience. Then you can give them an experience that makes their lives easier and more pleasant. It often takes more work to create these sorts of ads, but the effort is worth it.
As you try to create ads that earn people’s attention rather than demanding it, remember, it’s okay for an ad to be an ad. People know that you have something to sell—they just want you to create an ad that’s worth reading or watching.
3. Pay Attention to Your Feeds
If you have a brick-and-mortar store, would you fill your stock room with inventory and forget to put it out on the shelf? Absolutely not!
However, many ecommerce retailers do the exact same thing during the holiday season without realizing it by forgetting to double-check their product feeds. Compared with figuring out your audience and coming up with compelling ads, this might not be the most exciting part of holiday advertising. But trust me, it’s worth it.
Let’s be honest, it’s easy to let small mistakes or problems build up in your product feed over time. It takes a lot of time and effort to keep your feed clean, but those little mistakes can result in a lot of missed profit—especially during the holidays.
As you review your product feeds, pay extra close attention to any warnings or product disapprovals. If you don’t stay on top of these, you could potentially risk having your product feed suspended, which could be devastating during the holiday season.
Managing and cleaning your feed might not be the most glamorous job. However, if your product feed isn’t working right, the rest of your holiday advertising won’t work right, either.
With all of this in mind, the next time you walk into a store and see Christmas decorations on the shelves, use it as reminder that it’s high time to get to work on your holiday advertising campaigns. You might not launch them in October. But if you want the results you need, you better start working on them long before the holidays start.