Happy Halloween 🎃 I’m only half joking! Now is the time to start planning your holiday promotions, if you haven’t started already! Think it’s too early? Nope! I’ve been drinking pumpkin spice creamer in my coffee for weeks now. And the big brands have already started planting seeds around holiday promotions.
We all know it takes time to create marketing campaigns. Between figuring out what to sell, what to promote, getting enough inventory, and crafting social media campaigns, it takes months to really solidify a holiday marketing strategy.
So first things first, what do you want to sell over the next 3+ months of the year? If you’re not sure, set aside 60 minutes over the next 48 hours and figure it out.
Next, grab a fresh notebook, or open up a new doc, and label it “2020 Holiday Marketing”. Use these tips for get your business ready for the holiday season. We have pre-work to do!
5 Ways To Prep Your Business For The Holiday Shopping Season
1. Make a list of bloggers who created holiday gift guides for your niche last year, and get on their list now.
Do some research! If you have a product or service that would be a great holiday gift idea, promote it as such! Even if you don’t think it’s holiday related, spin the functionality to see if you can make it a relevant purchase during the holiday season.
Then, RESEARCH. Hit up our friend Google and search for those bloggers who published holiday gift guides last year. Check out their social posts, blogs, their niche, and most important, their AUDIENCE. If you want to reach their audience, this is a great place to start!
Follow them everywhere AND sign up for their lists NOW. If they’re publishing a 2020 guide they’ll likely tell their subscribers first. Be ready when it’s time to sign up for the guide.
Some guide submissions will be free, others will be paid. If you do your research AHEAD OF TIME, you can assess your desired ROI to see if it’s worth it.
This tip can be used for service businesses too! For example, gift certificates, subscriptions, and download bundles are all good to include in a gift guide. Just depends on your niche and your creativity.
Wanna know why some people make holiday money and some don’t? They have an actual plan. They start working the plan early. The plan ain’t throwing bags of money at ads and praying for a viral miracle. If you wanna make money this holiday season, start planning now.
2. Publish a Resources page on your website, and list your recommendations with affiliate links here.
Do you have a Resources Page on your website, with the products/services you use for your business? If you don’t, you need to make one right now. This tip is for both service-based and product-based businesses.
Get your affiliate marketing on with this tip. When creating the page, be sure to add images, banners, affiliate links, etc. You don’t want to use stock photos here. You want tp use images from the products or service directly. Typically, if you sign up as an affiliate for a product, you will get a handful of promotional materials to use. Use them!
In addition, categorize your recommendations to make it easy for visitors to skim. You don’t want to have a long running page of recommendations that has no flow. This page can get pretty cluttered and heavy in no time. Create categories, and share your favorite picks when applicable.
Do you need ideas? Of course I have this EXACT page on my website listed as Small Business Marketing Tools and Resources. I update it at least once a year, and it brings me traffic, click throughs, and opportunities from brands to try out new products and services all year long. All. Year. Long.
This is a great page to keep updated on your website, and it’s especially great for regular affiliate marketing. Just make sure all your links open in a new window.
If you don’t have this page already built out on your site, build it now so it’ll be indexed before the holidays.
Since this is a recommendations page, use it as such. If you post blog reviews of products/services you use, be sure to link to your blog reviews from your page as well, instead of a direct link to the recommended resource. This will allow you to keep people on your site longer, while you explain why you’re recommending a particular product or service.
3. Make list blog posts, aka listicles, that link to sales pages.
When you make listicles with links, you are essentially curating information and making it easy for your audience to find what they need.
How can you monetize this? Make sure the links are your affiliate links, that open in a new window, so the reader doesn’t lose their place on your listicle post.
And make the list post a meaty post! A list of 5 isn’t what we’re going for here. A list of 20-50 resources/products is how you make this tip work! And use screenshots from the products mentioned, plenty of images, etc.
One more thing: after you publish your listicle, email every single person you linked to and let them know they have been included in your post. Ask them to share it with their social media fans and email subscribers.
I ain’t gonna lie, these posts are W-O-R-K. They take time to create. But they are worth it! So decide on at least 1 meaty listicle you’ll publish this holiday season, and start working on it now.
4. Start saving for holiday ads today, so you’ll have an ad budget ready.
This tip is so simple that many people forget to actually do this tip. A few dollars a week can add up if saved in advance. Of course you want to get in on the holiday shopping season and run some ads. Who doesn’t right?
However, waiting can cause wasteful spending. Please, do not wait until November to scrape together $20 dollars to try to run ads. A $20 ad budget ain’t doin ish in November or December.
Take the next 8 weeks and do what you need to do so you can have at least $300 to spend on ads, Yeah, that’s if you’re using ads for the holidays. You will likely want to run ads with a minimum budget of $10/day. A $300 ad spend can get you results, if you know what you’re doing.
Which brings me to my next point.
Please do not wait until November to learn how to use ads. By then, you need to understand custom audiences, types of ads, your highest traffic days/times, etc. So I highly recommend you start learning about ads today, so that you can be prepared.
5. Publish reviews for products now, so they’ll be indexed in the search engines for the season.
Finally, let’s think in terms of SEO. If you do product reviews (hopefully with affiliate links) on your blog, get them published before the holidays. This way, they can be indexed and ranked in the search results (SERPs). Remember, blog posts and videos need time to be ranked on the search engines. You want to give the search engines time to crawl your site.
When you’re creating a review, make it a meaty review. Just as I mentioned in an earlier post about listicles, take time to make your review count. Make it so good that you outrank the product’s own site. Yes, this is possible!
One more thing: after you hit publish, send your review to the product’s owner so they can see the review. Email it, tag ’em on social, just make sure you get their eyes on it! Chances are they will share your review, because it ultimately benefits them. Don’t be shy, ask them to share it!
These are just 5 of the numerous ways you can plan to get more eyeballs on your offers for the holiday season. You will also want on look on the operational side of your business to ensure everything is ready to go! For example:
- Update your FAQs to ensure you have the basic questions answered. About your products, services, shipping terms, contact info, terms of service, refund policies, etc.
- Freshen up your Google My Business profile for local clients and customers. From hours of operation, to images and offers, you can use Google My Business to generate leads and traffic.
- Ensure all of your customer service systems are accurate and working properly. Automated messages, follow ups, tech issues, reviews and feedback, phone numbers, emails, etc… all of this matters.
- Check your email autoresponders for accuracy. Are all the links up to date, are the drip campaigns running properly, does the frequency of make sense?
- Ensure your social media profiles are up to date with descriptions, links and images.
It’s the little things we don’t often think about, that can actually help or hinder business growth. Make sure your business is equipped and ready to experience a surge in sales this holiday season!