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3 killer marketing strategies for the approaching holiday season

It's always important, 12 months a year, to maintain close relationships with your customers, but that becomes an especially pressing need toward the end of the year as the holiday season approaches. Beginning with Thanksgiving and approaching a fever pitch toward Christmas, business competition heats up as every consumer in America is looking to spend their disposable income.

The array of brand choices can be overwhelming for consumers, who often have no idea where to turn for their shopping needs. That's why many companies in the late fall step up their efforts, often focusing on direct marketing in order to target specific consumers who may be interested in patronizing them during the holiday frenzy.

According to Search Engine Land, a more proactive approach to marketing is necessary for the holidays. Customer activity is about to get frantic - and Chris Silver Smith, president of Argent Media, says it's imperative that businesses step up their game.

"Is your local business ready for Black Friday and the Cyber Mondays after?" Smith asks. "The biggest shopping days of the year are coming up fast. Everyone is aware of Black Friday — the day after Thanksgiving when tons of consumers go straight to their local stores to start shopping for the holiday season. The Monday after Thanksgiving has become one of the biggest online shopping days of the year — now known as Cyber Monday."

Below are three strategies that may help your business keep up with the crowd:

A better approach to SEO
Many people find their favorite businesses today just by searching Google. It's important to have a marketing strategy that caters to this - adding a few simple keywords like "Christmas gifts for Mom and Dad" might work wonders for your site. Changes like this are easy and effective.

Emphasis on customer testimonials
People want to shop with businesses they can trust, and there's no better way to earn the trust of real people than to show off glowing reviews from other real people. Customer testimonials can be really effective for bringing in extra December business.

A few thematic tweaks
Even the most minor adjustment to your business can send the message that you're embracing the holiday season. Putting a wreath icon at the top of your website, for example, can make a real difference. If you reinforce that you're open for business and ready for the holiday season, the sky's the limit for your results.

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