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This week saw the first day of Fall. Although the holiday season remains a number of weeks away, the autumnal equinox serves as a reminder for businesses to begin thinking ahead to one of the busiest seasons of the year.
While it may seem like eons away, now is the time to kickstart your organization’s holiday marketing campaign.
Leveraging marketing tactics with your business goals and priorities in mind is an important factor when determining the marketing avenue(s) to pursue. If there are marketing dollars spent to attract customers and clients, there needs to be positive ROI, or return on investment, associated with that spend.
Below, we’ve outlined a few ways in which to increase your company’s exposure now, in order to remain top-of-mind throughout the holiday shopping season.
Social media is a fantastic opportunity to not only promote your organization’s products or services, but also to foster community engagement through conversations, reviews or comments. Oftentimes, the most engaging content on social media is the least sales-focused. That being said, to keep things simple, social media marketing can be broken down into the following three buckets:
1. Paid Ads
Promote your brand through a paid media strategy to a targeted audience and custom objectives. For example, Facebook ads allow you to target specific demographics and users who have shown interest in a particular good or service.
2. Organic Community Management
Create a community for those who have engaged with your brand or business, be a resource, control your message and solidify your legitimacy. Value adds for organic social media include animation creation, video editing of stock footage, and video production. Fresh, new assets are strongly recommended to continue to remain relevant to your audience.
3. Events, Live Streams, Filters
Are you throwing a holiday event this year? Attract attendees to your events through Facebook Live or through special lenses and filters on Snapchat! Lenses are branded augmented reality experiences that appear within the Snapchat camera and allow you to connect with your audience by creating memorable experiences that Snapchatters can send to friends. Filters are branded graphic overlays that Snapchatters can apply after taking a Snap, whether it’s an image or video.
For retailers looking to target a younger audience, Snapchat is a fantastic platform to reach such consumers. Grabbing the attention of an audience online within a “new-age” platform will position your organization to earn tough-to-gain market share. Using valuable data from sources like Experian and Nielsen, Snapchat can reach key audiences not easily found on other platforms. Snapchat targeting capabilities include first-party data based on what users watch and where they go while on Snapchat as well as third-party audiences targeted by shopping habits, TV and movie viewership and places visited.
When building out an omni-channel marketing campaign, one of the most crucial pieces of the puzzle to keep customer communication streamlined and to maintain an organized workflow is to maintain a website that is responsive, visually appealing and SEO friendly.
As we approach the holiday shopping season, we would be remiss not to mention the fact that last year, consumers spent $791.70B online with U.S. merchants. This figure was an increase of 32.4% year-over-year, according to U.S. Department of Commerce figures. Recently, eMarketer released a report that projected that e-commerce sales will account for 18.9% of total holiday sales this year – totaling $206.88 billion.
As 79% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last 6 months, ensuring that your website is responsive is crucial. By definition, a responsive website describes a web design that allows websites and pages to display on all devices and screen sizes by automatically adapting to the screen. Your website should be user friendly and easy to navigate on any desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
Studies show that mobile users are five times more likely to leave your site if it is not optimized for their device. Furthermore, 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience. You want your company to be found online, but you also want consumers returning to your site. Make it an easy decision for them with a responsive site.
According to Integral Ad Science, 89% of consumers reported that they find online advertising important in discovering new products and promotions, while 31% said they believe that they are more receptive to ads during the holiday season.
In addition to a targeted approach to generate leads, businesses looking to increase brand exposure can work to do so by creating an emotional connection with a target market. According to the results of Iterable’s Holiday Quick Poll, 83% of respondents indicated that they were more likely to purchase from a brand that they have an emotional connection with. While it largely relies on the creation of high-quality content, native advertising is an effective way to reach consumers via paid content that blends in with its surroundings.
Content can be shared with readers within a targeted geographic location or within a specific vertical. Someone who views a native ad is 18% more likely to purchase your product or service than someone who views a display ad. Native advertising expands your content distribution and captures the attention of your target audience better than traditional advertising, leading to creator conversations, engagement, and conversions.
A successful campaign is built off of content that is valuable and relevant. Creating an advertorial that resonates with a company’s target audience is key. Within the Times Union’s upcoming Shop Local initiative, our native Brand Spotlight package affords businesses more control over the message and the story they can tell through multiple channels. Through a print advertorial, a digital advertorial on TimesUnion.com, social media promotion of the story and native ad positions on TimesUnion.com, a company’s custom content will reach different subsets of people, expanding overall reach. Brand Spotlights include metrics that paint a full picture of how a campaign performed. We track not only total impressions, but clicks, click-through rate, and the total time on page.
Learn more today about the ways in which the Times Union’s Shop Local initiative helps to provide unique insights into local establishments that in turn highlight the immense value such organizations have on our community.