Marketing during the holidays is important because the amount of people shopping and browsing during this time is significantly higher than other times of the year. However it isn't only the Christmas holiday that is important. Depending on your business, other holidays might be even more important, for example; Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Halloween, etc. Identify which holidays bring in the most customers for you and target your marketing for that time. Just remember to prepare your strategy 3-4 months before the holiday to ensure the maximum benefit.
As I said, whether you have sales or not, it is very important to have a marketing plan for the holidays because your potential views are much higher. Someone might be browsing for a gift and ultimately decide not to purchase yours, but they might save your shop and make a future purchase. Because of that it is very important to be visible.
For me I receive most of my sales for the year during Christmas so here are some of the things I do around this time to advertise BeBe Babies.
1. Plan Ahead
The number one, most important thing for holiday marketing is planning ahead. Make a list of all the holidays throughout the year and make notes on how you will market during that time, what you plan to make, what discounts you will offer, and important dates/deadlines. I have to admit I'm not the best at this. I usually make a plan for the year and then get so busy I have to improvise and just do what I can. That's ok too, but having a plan will help you maximize your success.
2. Cyber Monday
Black Friday is for shopping in brick and mortar shops, and Cyber Monday is for on-line shopping. Many on-line shops participate in Cyber Monday by offering discounts or free shipping. This year Cyber Monday is tomorrow and I will be offering free shipping in my shop all day. Be sure to add an announcement in your shop and create a coupon code on Etsy. Then spread the word through social media, newsletters and your blog.
My announcement looks like this: ****Cyber Monday is December 1 and BeBe Babies is offering FREE worldwide shipping on everything in the shop!!! Use coupon code CYBERMONDAY2014 to receive free shipping via the regular post office. Ask about the price to upgrade to Fedex in order to receive you order by Christmas. (Discount is not available on custom orders).****
Also add the tag "cyber monday" to your listings so that customers searching for Cyber Monday deals will find your shop.
3. Gift Guides
Many blogs and websites offer holiday gift guides for their shoppers/readers. Most well-known gift guides charge you a fee to participate but it's usually not a very large expense, and well worth it. This year I'm not participating in any but you can search "holiday gift guide" or "handmade holiday gift guide" on Google to find possibilities. However you usually need to do this 3-4 months before the holiday in order to participate.
4. Stock your Shop
Make sure you have a wide array of items in your shop well before the holiday rush. Having a large selection will give you more content to share on social media sites as well as provide a great selection for those browsing for gifts. Remember to stock items of varying prices and sizes. Someone looking for a stocking stuffer will need something small like my Bundle BeBes while someone looking for a larger toy will like my Soft Heart BeBes.
Make sure you are using holiday related tags on your listings. Here are some examples; cyber Monday, Christmas, gift, stocking stuffer, holiday, etc. Tags are very important because they are used to direct people to the item they are looking for. If you are using Etsy make sure to use all 13 tags. If you are having a hard time thinking of 13 tags, look for items similar to yours and see what tags they are using to get ideas. Remember to tag colors as many people actually search for specific colors.
Now I would love to tell you I'm going to have an awesome holiday series this year but unfortunately I'm swamped with wholesale orders and all my plans have flown out the window. So the last thing I would like to remind you is that you can only do as much as you can do. Sometimes you just have to let go of the plans and do what you can.