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Fall is upon us.

And with it the holiday rush.

The next few months are absolutely critical as shoppers are out in full force. Holiday spending online has continued to see strong growth and this year is no exception. A recent survey has found that the average consumer will conduct almost half (46 percent) of their holiday shopping online.

Retailers know that the holidays are a critical period. Which is why so many companies invest heavily to promote their sales and lure in shoppers. The holidays are quickly approaching so your business absolutely needs to be ready for this massive revenue opportunity.

We put together five online marketing ideas that will help your holiday marketing strategy drive more sales.

1. Analyze Data From Last Year
A multitude of marketing channels exist to reach target audiences. But how do you know which ones produced the best results?

By looking at the data from last year.

Something so simple yet many businesses often overlook. Chances are your business has a limited marketing budget. So doesn’t it make sense to build a campaign around the most profitable channels?

Being able to see what worked and what didn’t is incredibly valuable. If data from Google Analytics reveals that paid search and email marketing were responsible for a majority of sales, it would be smart to ramp up those campaigns this year.

Another reason to examine your site data is to see how visitors are finding you.

First, login to your Google Analytics account. Then under Acquisitions, click on All Traffic, then Channels.
Google Analytics Review
The next screen shows you a brief overview of where your traffic is coming from and other key information such as number of visitors, average session duration, bounce rate, etc. You can even drill down even further and see which social networks or paid keywords are performing the best.

Use this information to better inform your marketing strategy.

2. Create Your Holiday Offer
The next step is to create your offer.

Shoppers are naturally attracted to good deals. After all, who doesn’t like saving money? Put some thought into what popular items or services you can promote. Another alternative is to offer a store-wide discount as you could bring in even more shoppers.

Here are some other great ways to add value to your visitors:

  • Offer a coupon: If you have an email list, why not create a coupon that your subscribers can redeem? Alternatively, you could create a coupon with a limited offer and share it across your social media profiles.
  • Host an event: Run a holiday contest for your business and offer a small prize to the winner. Spread the word by promoting the event on Facebook to boost engagement and attract followers to your brand.
  • Offer your expertise: If your business is primarily service-based, there are other ways you can offer value. Create comprehensive guides and engaging content for your customers. Doing so establishes your brand as an authority and drives search engine traffic.

The key is to find ways you can deliver value to your audience.

Because you stand a much better chance of attracting new customers and sales. Taking these extra steps will go a long way towards building customer loyalty and brand recognition.

3. Build Focused Landing Pages
Many consumers will undoubtedly be searching with holiday specific keywords.

Take advantage of this by fact by building out holiday-specific landing pages. Optimizing them for target keywords increases their visibility in the search results, giving you the opportunity to reach even more of your market.

Here are some examples from major online retailers:

How can you leverage landing pages in your own holiday marketing campaign?

  • Paid search: Start a PPC campaign and bid on holiday specific keywords. Rather than sending visitors to the homepage, send them to your newly created landing page. The offer will be much more relevant.
  • Social media: Leverage Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks to promote your landing pages. Doing so helps to increase their visibility and attract attention, especially around the holidays.
  • Email: Email is a powerful marketing channel. Send out an offer to your list with a link to your landing page.

Creating holiday-specific landing pages is no doubt a lot of work but the advantages are clear. You can more easily track their performance and identify the best performing pages. Get started as soon as possible rather than wait until the last possible minute.

4. Explore Paid Advertising
Your offer is ready.

Your landing pages are built.

Now you need traffic.

The only problem is you have no idea where to start. Competition is no doubt extremely competitive during the holidays. But there are plenty of paid advertising options that are budget friendly and cost effective.

Here are ways to promote your offers even on a limited budget:

  • Bing Ads: Google AdWords is by far the most popular PPC platform. But you can easily run through your budget. Bing Ads is a great paid search alternative and is 33.5% cheaper on average than AdWords. Even a small budget can lead to steady targeted traffic.
  • Facebook Advertising: Advertising on Facebook is much more affordable than you think as it offers the lowest cost per 1,000 impressions compared to other channels. Sophisticated targeting options are available to better reach your audience.
  • Retargeting: Retargeting lets you convert visitors to your site who have bounced out. Your ads show up on other sites they visit which helps to further increase brand awareness. One of the largest retargeting platforms is AdRoll. You can easily get started for less than a dollar a day and gradually ramp up your spending.

Most business owners are already aware of SEO and social media. But when you stop to consider the amount of traffic that the holiday rush brings, you want to leverage as many channels as possible. Otherwise you could be losing out on potential sales.

5. Optimize Your Site For Mobile Devices
The importance of a mobile friendly site can’t be emphasized enough.

There is nothing more frustrating than landing on a site only for it to be poorly optimized. As more consumers adopt mobile devices, they expect retailers to adapt accordingly. And most won’t hesitate to leave a site if it isn’t optimized for their device.

Data from IBM shows that 50 percent of all traffic to retail sites occurs on mobile:
Percentage of Mobile Sales Traffic
The figures are expected to grow which only demonstrates the importance of making mobile a priority. If your site is not yet mobile friendly, responsive design is Google’s recommended configuration. This design relies on a grid format that automatically adjusts to fit all screen sizes from smartphones to tablets.

The holidays are right around the corner.

It’s not too late to start planning your marketing campaigns. Look at data from previous years to determine which channels to focus your efforts. Then create an irresistible offer to attract visitors to your landing pages. Consider paid advertising options to further increase your reach online.

Implementing these ideas will help better position your business for greater success this holiday season.

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