The summer is ending – the World Cup is over, the US Open is upon us and so are the Fall favourites for marketers: back-to-class, Thanksgiving and even the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Summer traffic for some industries is lower during the sun, sand and surf season (although some brands obviously generate stronger sales during the summer period thanks to the nature of their business – think popsicles and cottaging!) but the retail season of back-to-school and the holiday Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah period is the biggest quarter of most fiscal years for retail spending. Digital marketing strategies for fall and the holiday season are ideally developed 1-2 seasons ahead of time.
While this is ideal, we know it may not be your reality. If you’re behind on your back-to-class and holiday 2014 digital schedule, a few quick tips will help you jump start your holiday campaign:
- Facebook Shopify Application: Facebook is making content-based commerce easier with their Shopify store. It’s easy to set-up and the registration process provides a clean, simple storefront with quick transactions. If you’re not already selling online, this is an essential tool for small business.
- Integration: Ensure your Facebook platform is enabled with Instagram, Pinterest, email newsletter (don’t forget CASL legislation on spam!) and Twitter links.
- Twitter Ads: The Twitter ads function has only been available in Canada for a short period of time and it is visibly getting more usage. The holiday period is an ideal time to test out the Twitter function. (Commerce meets content is a perfect digital collide on Twitter: have you tweeted a coffee to your favourite shoppers yet?)
- Keep it visual: leading market research indicates pictures and image-based digital media drive sales. Develop a bank of seasonal pictures for deployment around specific periods and try to ensure a few Instagram, casual and less staged photos are part of your plan each day.
- Hashtag: #Holiday2014 is a safe choice for holiday tweeting but you can always make it fun by creating buzz through hashtag focused contests and promotions that drive traffic to your own hashtag. Think of it early and begin testing if you can!
- Review your digital media posts from previous years and see what issues happened with customers. You can also study peak traffic, customer service escalation issues, timing of questions and product sell-outs by reviewing your digital archives.
- Hire a responder! During the holiday period, ensure your digital and social media is managed by a member of your social media team. Hire a capable digitally savvy team to answer customer inquiries and publicly post the dates an automatic, live response will be available. Extend your respond hours to ensure your customers have support with payment systems after regular store hours. Online sales are as big a part of the holidays as the Sears Wish Book was for many. (My personal new ‘Wish Book’ moment? The arrival of the Crate and Barrel ornament newsletter. Bliss!).
- CASL legislation has been launched: reach our interview with lawyer, Mandy Woodland, of Mandy Woodland law here! Email just isn’t email anymore: you must ensure you are properly communicating with customers through legislated rules.
- Check out the competition and big brands: are they announcing holiday products on a given day? Assess the digital market in your industry to ensure your plan is 100% competitive.
- Get aspirational! Even the smallest of ventures can be competitive in the back-to-fall and Holiday market thanks to the pricing flexibility of most digital media tools. If you’re just starting, design hidden Pinterest boards for inspiration as you build your brand.
We’re waiting for the first red cup from our beloved great big brand. When that drops, you may just want to begin the first few tweets!
More from The Digital Collide…
- Year in Review: Part II
- Fa La La La… Farewell with the Digital Trends, News and Searched Terms of 2014
- Social Media, Sales and Black Friday: Who Played Well?
- A Conversation on Social Authenticity and E-Commerce with Canada Goose Chief Marketing Officer, Kevin Spreekmeester
- Top 5 with Entertainment Journalist, Mary Kitchen
- Pop Up Power
- Top 5: Twitter Canada’s Kirstine Stewart Talks Tweeting, TV and What’s New for Canadian Tweeters
- The Latest from Facebook: The Top 5 with Alfredo Tan
- Instagram Integration: Why, How and Who to Watch
- The Social Stories from The World Cup