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All Posts  /  DIGITAL MARKETING TRENDS  /  November 05, 2014 

Four Steps to Improve Your Digital Marketing Strategy Just in Time for the Holidays

You might not want to think about it, but the holidays are just around the corner. While you are planning your holiday shopping list and browsing potential gift ideas on the internet, you should also be thinking about your digital marketing strategy. This is the time of year where companies have to up-the-ante in order to stay on the first pages of Google search top of mind for online shoppers.

How do companies achieve this web success? Well, below are four steps that you should consider practicing to help increase your conversions through-out the rest of the year.
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1. Create PPC campaigns
While many retailers may have pay-per-click campaigns running all year long, the holiday season is typically the most profitable and therefore the most competitive time of year for online retailers. This leads to a rise in per click cost and a battle to obtain Google’s top rankings. Therefore, during this time of year, many companies are looking for ways to maximize the efficiency of their holiday ad spending.

Some of the ways to stay noticed and obtain the clicks your business desires, is to establish your most successful time slot for your non-holiday ads. Having an understanding of when you have received the highest volume of conversions and when your potential customers are most likely to view your site, this will help you determine when and where to allocate your holiday ad budget.

Another way to get the most out of your PPC is to take advantage of the Google ad extensions. Google explains that ad extensions are, “a feature that shows extra business information with your ad, like an address, phone number, store rating, or more webpage links.” Using ad extensions is an excellent tool to ensure that customers have all information needed to click onto your site. For example, around the holidays companies may use the ad extension to promote a special discount or free shipping. These ad extensions are a helpful way to drive revenue and credibility to your site.

A general rule to keep in mind is to alternate your customer targeted ads with ads for other demographics. The holidays are a time of year where many people are shopping online for others, therefore they may not be as easily attracted as your typical customer personas. It is also important that before starting your PPC campaign, you have increased your budget to match the click trends bound to happen through the holiday season.

2. Utilize social media
What better way to promote a coupon code or your limited edition holiday products, than using the most efficient method to reach your top fans? Your social media pages are where many of your top customers go to keep up to date with your brand and hear what other brand loyalists are saying about your products.

During retail’s busiest time of year, social media can be the quickest way to engage with your customers. Beyond answering customer service questions via social accounts, posting photos of your products on sites such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram with a link to purchase them in the caption is a great call to action opportunity. For example, highlighting the most desired seasonal products will help to remind customers to check out your website.

Many of the top retail stores also look to Twitter as a way to reward their followers during the holidays. For example, a tweet offering a coupon code for free shipping at checkout will definitely draw in your typical customers, but also holiday shoppers who might be buying a gift for someone else.

Another helpful tip is to set a date range for the Twitter coupon code, this way shoppers will be more inclined to purchase sooner.

3. Set up e-commerce campaigns
Two additional campaigns to consider setting up are shopping campaigns and dynamic search ads. Shopping campaigns are one of the most helpful optimization tools on Google for any company doing e-commerce and looking to promote a specific product or seasonal item. Search Engine Watch explains,

“Use the product group layering to gather similar products together so you can bid based on performance. Make the most of the campaign priorities to push your most important inventory. If your search queries are very brand-heavy, there is also now the potential to create a brand term campaign as well as a generic term campaign so you can optimize on these searches separately.”

Whereas, dynamic search ads can be useful for inventory with higher turnover rates. Dynamic search ads cover all the inventory on your site and target Google searches by scanning your current website’s text and pushes ads onto Google when a query matches your site. They offer a connection for consumers by matching web pages to relevant search queries, and then creating a targeted ad.

As mentioned above for products with a short life cycle, dynamic search ads are much more efficient in terms of advertising in comparison to compiling a product specific keyword list. For example, if your company is selling a limited edition holiday product, you are able to use the two description lines to advertise its holiday exclusivity and your typical promotional messaging.

4. Send an email blast with coupon code
After a customer purchases a product from your online site, their information gets stored into a database. Use this contact list of customers to your advantage. Similar to the social media suggestion, send out an email blast with a special promotion to entice shoppers back to your site. You must keep in mind that emails do increase during the holiday season, so be sure to make the subject line and offer intriguing enough that your audience is more likely to click your email over your competitors’.

Additionally, in a time where mobile shopping is becoming increasingly popular, it is important that your email is optimized for all size screens from a phone to a laptop. This way email viewers will have a positive user experience and will be more inclined to click the link to your site. If the email is not optimized and the potential customer has a difficult time viewing it, it is very unlikely that they will make it to your site to shop.
 
So next time you head into a store in September and see the holiday decorations are already up, remember that it is happening online too! Contact iMedia today before it’s too far into the holiday shopping season. Beat out the competition early with our customizable digital marketing plan
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