Holiday digital marketing: 6 ways your strategy should change

The holidays are a crazy, hectic time. Not just for consumers, but for your holiday digital marketing strategy as well.

Winter holiday online sales generated about $219 billion in revenue in 2021, with in-store sales reaching a record $668 billion.

So, it’s imperative for your business to thoughtfully examine your current digital marketing strategy and plan how you’ll pivot for the holiday season.

While you’re thinking about your holiday digital marketing strategy, consider these 11 ideas to inspire your holiday content.

Once you set your goals, the following are six ways your holiday digital marketing strategy should change to best connect with your target audience and grow your sales revenue.

Evaluate (and possibly shift) your marketing budget

The holiday season traditionally leads to more digital advertising. Because digital advertising works as online auctions, the higher the demand on a limited supply of ad space, the higher the price of the ad. 

So, if you’re feeling like you’re not getting as much bang for your advertising buck during the holidays, you’re likely right.

These costs typically start increasing in early November. Not only will you want to adjust your ad spending accordingly, but you’ll also want to closely monitor your ROI (return on investment) on your digital ads.

It’s important to evaluate your marketing budget in general as you plan for the holiday season. Where have you gotten the biggest payoffs in the past during the holidays, and what has typically been a challenge? You may want to shift your dollars to what will be the most effective channels during the holiday season specifically.

Determine your holiday discounts

Now more than ever due to technology, consumers are savvy shoppers, always seeking the best discounts and sales.

You’ll want to strategize on this front as early as possible. Brainstorm with your team about how you can appeal to potential customers more than your competition.

In addition to looking at what has worked for you in the past, a competitive analysis can help so that you can best understand what your competition has done and what appeared to be successful for them. Avoid the temptation to blindly copy any tactics, though, and decide how you can make them your own instead.

Also, check out these 16 tools to help make your competitive analysis easier.

Remember that your discount plan doesn’t have to be just one thing. You could offer a one-time, larger discount to draw in the bargain hunters (perhaps around Black Friday and/or after Christmas) and then provide a series of short-term weekly promotions. Digital coupons also could come into play. Again, it just needs to work for your business and what you believe will appeal to your audience. 

Optimize your mobile marketing

Mobile has revolutionized the way we do business, especially during the holidays. More than $88 billion in sales were made on mobile devices during the 2021 holiday season.

As you’re evaluating your holiday digital marketing strategy, think about how you can leverage mobile.

This goes beyond creating mobile-friendly marketing campaigns and using SMS text messages to reach your customers. You also want to optimize your online store for mobile devices. Think through the mobile user experience every step of the way.

Check out our 14 tips to level up your mobile marketing.

Create (or level up) your loyalty rewards program

Every business wants new customers, but your loyal customers are worth more to your bottom line. Repeat customers are responsible for almost two-thirds of your sales.

This could include better discounts, exclusive sales, even special gifts. Loyalty rewards programs can help grow your business year-round, but the holidays offer a special opportunity to make your program even more appealing.

In fact, consumers who engage in high-performing loyalty programs are twice as likely to increase their frequency of purchases. More than 90 percent of companies have some sort of loyalty program.

How your loyalty rewards program is structured is up to you, but consider what else you can do as part of your holiday digital marketing strategy.

While you’re at it, check out our five tips to successfully promote your loyalty rewards program.

Use videos to your advantage

Videos now more than ever can help tell your story and reach new audiences, especially during the holidays.

About 85 percent of all internet users in the U.S. watched online video content monthly on any of their mobile devices, while 54 percent of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support.

As part of your holiday digital marketing strategy, consider how you can show the human face (or faces) behind your brand. This could involve behind-the-scenes videos, employees sharing their favorite holiday members or even highlighting what’s involved in preparing your business for the holidays. Of course, an engaging holiday marketing video that your customers want to share with their friends and family because it’s funny, cute or emotional also works.

Check out 10 types of videos that you can use in your marketing strategy.

Explore niche social media channels

You’re likely already using at least one of the most popular social media channels (such as Facebook or Instagram), but what about other channels?

Such networks as Quora, Reddit and Pinterest have millions of users that could engage with your holiday content.

Use your holiday digital marketing strategy as an opportunity to include a new social media channel to the mix and evaluate how it performs.

Check out these eight most common social media mistakes that you should avoid.

In conclusion

Remember that user behavior changes drastically during the holiday season, with an emphasis on discount-seeking activity beginning in November. And this has shifted largely to online, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. And of course, your consumers will also be focused on way more than just shopping, such as celebrations, family gatherings and gift giving. You want to cut through the noise with a message that gets their attention and makes you stand out in a meaningful way. And that all comes down to how you pivot your holiday digital marketing strategy.

While you’re evaluating how your brand will be successful this holiday season, think about your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation, email marketing, text message marketing and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

11 ideas to inspire your holiday marketing strategy

The holiday season is a great opportunity to get creative so that your brand can stand out among the countless images of seasonal fun.

But since the holidays come back around every year, you might be struggling to break out of a holiday marketing rut. 

Do you find yourself running the same sales in the same way? Then, it’s definitely time to try something new.

And the effort is worth it. Holiday spending in 2021 surpassed $1 trillion in the U.S. for the first time ever.

Boost your brand’s visibility during this hectic time with the following 11 ideas to inspire your holiday marketing strategy.

Host a social media contest or giveaway

Organizing a contest or giveaway on social media is a great way to get people talking and involved with your brand.

There is a difference between contests and giveaways. In a giveaway, participants are simply entering to potentially win a prize of some kind based on the entry rules you set. In a contest, participants are doing more than just entering, but what that action is depends on your contest. For example, you could have a holiday photo contest that incorporates your brand’s products in some way, so participants would be taking and submitting a photo according to your entry rules in hopes of winning a prize.

Contests and giveaways can also help grow your social media following as well. It often can come down to the appeal of the prize and ease of entry. Just make sure you’re keeping everything on the legal up-and-up.

Leverage paid ads to promote a product or event

The days of relying solely on organic social media posts are long gone, so you’re likely already at least dabbling in paid advertising on one or more social media channels.

During the holiday season, consider getting specific with your paid ads that directs consumers to your upcoming holiday event, discounts or seasonal products. Paid ads are particularly helpful at reaching people outside of your social media following who are the demographics of the target audience you’re looking to reach.

Aim for memorable, shareable content

Easier said than done, right? When it comes to creating and publishing memorable content that’s easy for followers to want to share, start by thinking of your target audience. 

What are their interests? What are their hopes, fears, challenges when it comes to the holiday season. By using your content to address topics that matter to them, you’ll better resonate with them. And that’s where you’re content becomes more shareable because users will want to share that with their own networks. 

You’ll also want to keep your visuals in mind. Are they eye-catching and memorable?

Check out our 10 tips to create engaging content.

Create product bundles

Consumers like saving money, especially during the holidays. If you can offer multiple products or services together into a bundled discount, you’ll likely see an overall increase in sales during the holiday season.

If you’re not sure what to bundle, think about what items are often purchased together anyway.

Once you’ve created at least one bundle, you can include its promotion as part of your holiday marketing strategy.

Offer gift suggestions

The holidays can be stressful, especially when consumers are trying to think of the perfect gift for everyone on their list.

You can help with this stress by sharing gift suggestions featuring your products or services and the type of person it would be perfect for, such as:

  • Mother
  • Father
  • Wife
  • Husband
  • Sister
  • Brother
  • Son
  • Daughter

Just think about what you can match with some of those recipients and then promote accordingly. Just make sure you include a call to action, like “Buy Now.”

Partner with a local nonprofit

Cause-related promotions are particularly effective during the holidays. Consumers are becoming increasingly thoughtful about the businesses they support and what they’re doing beyond striving to make a profit.

By showing your support for the community, you can grow your brand awareness and potentially attract new customers.

Of course, these partnerships can work in any number of ways. For example, you could announce that a percentage of every product or service sold will be donated to a particular nonprofit.

Remember (and reward) your loyal customers

In the push to acquire new customers during the holidays, don’t forget about your existing (and loyal) ones. You can easily offer unique discounts or bonus gifts (with purchase) targeted to your established customers.

In fact, you can even send them a “thank you” message or card before the holiday season even begins so that they feel appreciated and have your brand top of mind as the season begins.

Be sure to seize the opportunity to leverage your customer loyalty program over the holidays as well.

Check out our five tips to successfully promote your customer rewards loyalty program.

Embrace nostalgia

The holidays are all about memories of childhood and magic. You can tap into this with your holiday marketing strategy.

To do this, consider using black-and-white images and old-style fonts. Then, use these to convey a sense of nostalgia that complements your brand and connects with your target audience.

Offer free shipping to convert abandoned carts

Free shipping can be a great way to not only convert leads into purchases up front. But if you hesitate to offer free shipping up front, consider offering it as a follow-up to any abandoned shopping carts on your website.

You can frame it as a holiday gift as you encouraged fallen-off customers to come back and complete their purchases.

No limit on holiday spirit

Beyond the posts that will reflect holiday imagery in some way, what else can you do to convey that your brand is all about the holidays?

Think about embedding warm holiday scenes and sparkle in your physical store locations (if applicable), across the home page of your website, the cover photos of your social media accounts and any relevant landing pages.

You also can go beyond the imagery by sharing any charity work your company is doing during the holiday season and any special services or products you might be offering (free or not) during the holidays only.

There’s truly no limit to the holiday spirit you can convey to consumers through your brand.

Take advantage of Small Business Saturday

In addition to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, don’t forget about Small Business Saturday, which happens the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

If your brand is a small business, it’s an opportunity to connect with your audience in a different way. What’s the story behind your business? What drives you? Who are your employees? What are their stories?

About a third of U.S. adults who do holiday shopping say they plan to shop locally or buy from small businesses to support local communities.

Embrace that for your own brand and promote around that.

In conclusion

Of course, when it comes to your holiday marketing strategy, it’s never too early to start planning and publishing. It takes potential customers to see your messaging several times before taking action. And the sky’s the limit on creativity. Evaluate what your competition is doing or has done in the past.

Dive deeper with our seven holiday marketing tips to optimize sales.

As you begin to plan and prepare your holiday marketing, consider optimizing your digital marketing process. This includes such features as automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

7 holiday marketing strategy tips to optimize sales

Digital marketing has become the primary way to spread the word about your holiday offers and savings. 

And since the holidays are a hectic time for consumers, it’s critical to develop a holiday marketing strategy sooner than later that will help you stand out from your competition.

Two key days during the holiday shopping season are Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which combined have been projected to generate more than $10 billion in sales. Of course, these days “Cyber Monday” has expanded into “Cyber Week,” which generates about 17 percent of total holiday spending. About 58 percent of Cyber Week purchases are made by totally new visitors.

The following are seven tips to help your digital marketing shine this holiday season and not miss any opportunities to stand out and succeed.

Start early

If you wait until the holiday season is about to begin, then you’re already too late. Aim to start working on your holiday marketing strategy and materials in August or September.

This will enable you to prepare what will be the most effective for your business since you’ll have appropriate time to think through everything and create what is needed. That way, you can focus on the actual execution during the holiday season itself.

Set your holiday marketing goals

The success of your holiday marketing starts with the setting of specific goals that you set in advance. 

Ask yourself: What do you want to achieve? 

Think through how to make your goals S.M.A.R.T.:

  • Specific
  • Measureable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

For example, you may want to beat last year’s holiday sales by a particular percentage. Or, you want to increase your email subscribers by a desired amount. Just make sure that the goal(s) are something that serves your business.

Check out our seven expert tips to achievable marketing goals for more.

Make your holiday marketing memorable

In order to stand out from your competition, you may need to do a little bit more than post about a big sale around Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

You want to connect with your audience. And in order to connect, reflect on how you can touch upon the values that your brand shares with your customers and potential customers.

After all, engagement is based on meaningful human connections. And if you’re not compelling your target audience to engage with your holiday marketing content, then it’s going to be that much harder to convert them into purchases. 

Beyond the discounts, limited-time offers and promotions, think about the broader message you want to convey in your holiday marketing that both represents your brand and brings your customers along for the ride.

Create or use a content calendar

Once you have an overall plan, a content calendar is a fantastic way to get (and stay) organized for your holiday marketing. This is where you can get more specific in the “what,” “when,” “where” and possibly even “who” behind planned assets.

A content calendar can help you plan and maintain your content marketing strategy across platforms. Specifically, a content calendar is a written schedule of when and where you plan to publish your upcoming content. It can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be, with the option to include:

  • Upcoming content pieces
  • Status updates
  • Planned promotions
  • Partnerships
  • Updates to your existing content

Check out our eight tips to create an effective content calendar.

Schedule emails and social media posts in advance

When business might be slower in the months before the holiday season begins, use that time as an opportunity to create and schedule all your holiday marketing assets in advance.

Of course, the obvious assets are emails and social media posts. But maybe you’re thinking about publish a holiday-specific landing page or pop-up ad (both of which DailyStory can help with). Whatever you plan to create, do so early and get everything as ready to go as possible.

The act of scheduling itself so that everything publishes automatically at the best possible time can save you a lot of time (and prevent missed opportunities that can happen if you’re publishing assets manually).

See these five ways you can approach automation in your marketing strategy.

Leverage cross-channel marketing

The beauty of digital marketing is that it includes multiple channels that can be used to boost each other within a specific holiday marketing campaign in order to get your message out to more of your target audience.

The idea here is that you want to cover all your bases. How can your emails complement your social media? How can your SMS text messages connect with warm leads from your emails or social media posts? 

In your holiday marketing strategy, think through the customer journey and where you can better connect with them along the way to better convert for a sale. Then, measure every element of your campaign so that you can build off of how everything performed going into the next holiday season.

Use personalization and segmentation

Personalization involves using the data you have about your audience to understand how your content best fits their needs or interest. (Personalization in the simplest sense can also be the use of a customer’s first name in a marketing message.)

Segmentation, then, is the targeted delivery of messages to only those you’re looking to share a specific custom message with. 

For example, a customer who hasn’t purchased from you in the past three months could be sent a “we miss you” email with a discount offer to entice him or her back.

Personalization and segmentation can be used to level up your holiday marketing as well. 

Within your holiday marketing plan, consider where you can personalize and segment your messaging. The more specific you can get, the more effective you’ll likely be.

Learn more about personalization and segmentation

In conclusion

The holiday season is a critical time to get noticed by your target audience and convert leads into sales. Don’t be afraid to experiment and even try new platforms. Just make sure it’s all detailed in your holiday marketing plan.

Dive deeper with our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners.

As you begin to plan and prepare your holiday marketing, consider optimizing your digital marketing process. This includes such features as automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

8 tips to maximize your SMS marketing strategy

Every business should have an SMS marketing strategy as part of its larger digital marketing efforts.

SMS marketing is the use of text messages to convey your message to potential (and current) customers. It’s also the way many consumers prefer to communicate. About 75 percent want to receive texts with special offers.

Check out our 10 best practices for SMS text message marketing, while the following are eight tips to consider to maximize your SMS marketing strategy specifically.

Send drip campaigns via text

Drip campaigns are a type of time-release marketing tactic. Think drip irrigation systems. Drip messages (whether through text message, email or something else) are intended to land with purposeful timing and targeting, with minimal waste (and technically minimal effort once set up to run automatically).

Think about it like a conversation that you’re building upon along the way.

In that sense, a planned, automated drip campaign should have a place in your SMS marketing strategy.

Text drip campaigns can keep subscribers engaged as you regularly send relevant, valuable content. Here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Welcoming and onboarding new customers
  • Educating customers about how to get the most out of your products or services
  • Sharing relevant education and tips about related topics
  • Including special offers along the way as you build up to them (and/or increasing the offer over time if it hasn’t been claimed yet)

Check out our 14 best practices for drip campaigns as they relate to email marketing.

Create exclusive text-only deals and offers

Consumers want to feel special. And why should they opt-in to your marketing texts if they don’t think they’ll get something they wouldn’t get otherwise?

From a special day-of discount to advanced notification of an upcoming sale, the sky’s the limit when it comes to getting creative with what you can offer your text subscribers.

The key is that you communicate this value upfront as you’re asking for their opt-in and then deliver it on a regular basis.

Learn more about how to promote a loyalty rewards program (which is often text-based but doesn’t have to be).

Use keywords for SMS opt-ins

A great way to grow your SMS subscriber list is to use SMS keywords for opt-ins.

An example of an SMS keyword opt-in is if a spa asks you to text the word “SPA” to a phone number, which then opts you into that company’s text message subscriber list.

These SMS keywords are an easy way for interested consumers to subscribe to your texts. The easier you can make that opt-in, the better.

Just make sure that when you are growing your SMS subscribers, you’re offering an incentive for joining, providing a link to your Terms and Conditions and setting the expectations for the frequency your audience will receive text messages.

Prioritize responsiveness

Regardless of the type of campaign you’re running, the ability for text recipients to respond and engage in conversation with you must be a priority in your SMS marketing strategy.

It’s one thing to send out an SMS blast or pull your subscribers along in a drip campaign, but you have to make sure to not only have the ability to chat back and forth with anyone who responds to a text but also to be able to reply back in a timely manner. 

DailyStory has the capability to alert you to text responses as they happen so that you can be as responsive as possible.

Check out these eight ways to improve your overall customer responsiveness.

Focus on education before the ‘sell’

You are an expert in your industry, so leverage that in your SMS marketing strategy before you go in for the sale.

Consider the problems your target audience (i.e. ideal customers) have. Then, develop various pieces of content that can help your audience overcome those problems. You can then take 160-character snippets of this content to engage and serve your text subscribers.

This not only shows the industry expertise that you have. It also engages subscribers, delivers promised value and builds a trusting relationship that can ultimately lead to that sale (and more sales after that) over time.

Be functional with reminders and confirmations

Your SMS marketing strategy does not have to be restricted to the balance of educational and promotional content. In fact, it can fill a very needed function: scheduling confirmations and reminders.

About 67 percent of consumers would rather text with a business about appointments and scheduling than by email or phone.

This means that appointment reminders, booking confirmations, billing reminders and more can all be incorporated into your SMS marketing strategy.

Your business more efficient, and your potential customers and customers will appreciate the method of communication.

Consider running a contest

Contests are a popular tactic in various digital marketing mediums because they do typically work.

They can be especially helpful in growing your SMS subscriber list. For example, you can set up an SMS keyword that (when texted to a particular phone number, whether it’s a short code or long code) not only enters the consumer into your giveaway but opts them into your subscriber list.

Key reminders when it comes to contests:

  • Use them sparingly (so you don’t lose impact by running an ongoing contest that loses interest and steam)
  • Create urgency
  • Make it easy as possible to enter
  • Offer a compelling prize
  • Cross-promote across platforms
  • Keep it legal

Gather feedback and monitor performance

Data will always make your SMS marketing strategy more effective. You want to optimize the data you gather about your subscribers so that you can better engage with them. You also want to monitor how each text campaign is performing to make informed decisions on that and future campaigns.

To get more data about your subscribers, try ending a welcome text message (or including in a drip sequence) a survey or poll. This can help you learn more about who your audience is and what you can offer them. This information will benefit your strategy and even how you craft the language of your text messages.

Then, in the backend, you want to track what’s working and what’s not in your SMS marketing strategy. Text messages don’t have as many metrics to follow as emails, but understanding your delivery rate, click-through rate and replies will help you make the best decisions about your strategy. If something didn’t work, you can take that and pivot for the next campaign to do better.

In conclusion

With nearly 100 percent of people reading all their text messages, SMS marketing can be powerful if done right. Take the time you need to invest in the planning stage of your SMS marketing strategy so that your texts are engaging with your audience and deliver the results you’re looking for.

As you’re exploring your SMS marketing strategy, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory and our 21-day free trial. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation, powerful SMS text message marketing and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

8 signs that your marketing strategy isn’t working

Even with the best planning, your marketing strategy could fail.

Digital marketing comprises various online strategies that identify, build and target an audience with the ultimate goal of turning them into paying customers. It includes the following and more:

About 81 percent of shoppers research online before purchasing, so it’s important to know as soon as possible if your marketing strategy isn’t working.

Beyond the obvious drop in revenue or even stagnant revenue, the following eight signs can tell you that a change is needed in your marketing strategy.

Low social media engagement

If your posts on any social media platform are received with crickets, something needs to change. A healthy social media presence is typically indicative of a healthy business. 

Of course, you’ll want to consider not just the content you post but your posting frequency as well.

A social media management tool can help you get organized across platforms, and check out our list of 11 free (or almost free) social media management tools you can try.

Plus, see our 11 expert tips for growing your social media following.

Not reaching your target audience

Your various marketing channels (social media, email and more) could be seeing decent or even great engagement rates, but are you actually reaching your target audience?

It’s important to understand who your ideal customer is so that you can then ensure that your marketing strategy supports reaching and engaging with them. Engagement is great, but are they the type of consumer who will ultimately purchase from you.

Regularly perform an audit of your online targeting. You can gather this information on different platforms through their analytics interfaces or even Google Analytics for your website.

Not sure who your target audience should be? See our seven tips to help determine your target audience.

Feeling overwhelmed or without direction

Digital marketing involves a lot of planning, strategizing, execution and follow-up, so it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. And even if you’re going through the motions and doing everything that you’re “supposed to do,” do you have a purposeful direction?

While you want to be open-minded to new strategies and tactics, you also want to define exactly what you want to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it. 

Refer to your data thus far for inspiration, and check out our seven expert tips to set achievable marketing goals for your small business.

Hesitation to share your website

Whether you like it or not, your website is the online calling card for your business. Are you proud of it? 

If the answer is no, then you definitely want to focus your energy here. Perhaps your website simply needs updated information or a total website redesign.

Audit your website to understand what needs improvement.

And because a majority of website traffic is mobile, check out our 16 tips for a mobile-friendly website that you can explore.

Low website traffic

Of course, every business wants to see a lot of traffic on its website. But if you’re noticing a drop in website traffic or a plateau of low traffic, you’ll want to assess your marketing strategy as it relates to driving consumers to your site.

You’ll want to start with an audit of your SEO practices, as well as how you’re faring with content marketing. Do you have a blog? If so, is it attracting your target audience?

Check out our 19 tips for driving traffic to your new blog.

Low brand penetration

Are you known in your market? Do you stand out from your competition? Do customers understand your brand?

If the answer is “no” to any of these questions, you might have an issue with your branding.

A brand consists of:

  • Visuals, such as colors, logo, images, font, etc.
  • Tone of voice
  • Content
  • Online presence, such as website, social accounts, etc.
  • Influencer and other types of partnerships

The consistency and connection an effective brand can offer builds trust among consumers. About 81 percent of consumers say they need to be able to trust a brand before buying from it.

If you need to reassess your branding or even start from scratch, check out our nine expert tips about branding.

Competition envy

What do you think when you see your competition’s website, ads and social media? If it’s overwhelming jealousy, then you want to take a second look at your own marketing strategy.

Remember to focus on your mission, your target audience and your own goals when your sharing the story of your business. You can leverage inspiration from your competition into your own strategy, but you’ll always be more successful putting that energy into your marketing.

Learn more about what a competitive analysis is and how you can start yours.

Over-budget campaigns

On average, businesses spend about 10 percent to 13 percent of their annual revenue on overall marketing. 

So, there’s something to be said about having a set marketing budget and that at least a portion of that is intended for brand awareness (which is difficult to measure an ROI on).

However, if you find that a specific campaign cost $1,000 (for example), but it only resulted in $200 in sales, you need to ask yourself whether the $800 was worth the potential brand awareness. If the answer is no, then you’re over budget.

You’ll want to assess how you budget for each campaign and monitor your campaign’s performance as it’s happening (not just after it ends) so that you can change anything if needed.

Check out our six tips to maximize your social media advertising budget.

In conclusion

Regardless of whether you think your marketing strategy is failing or not, you can always pivot and change directions.

The key is to be tuned in to what is happening and whether it’s working (or not).

As you’re evaluating your marketing strategy, consider leveling up with DailyStory. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.