‘This the season to be… thinking about how you’re going to be marketing your holiday promotions this year. It’s exciting, isn’t it?
To make things easier for you, we’ve pulled together a comprehensive list of available channels to use when planning out your marketing strategy. What you say and how you say it are important, but so is where you say it. Choosing the right medium is critical to reaching the desired audiences to eventually convert into paying customers!
- Instagram Ads
This channel is the hot new trend of 2017. The number of advertisers has increased by almost 900% since 2016, and it’s only going to get bigger. Powered by the Facebook Ads system, expect to have the availability to really hone in on the type of consumer you want, based on interests, demographics, etc. And, even better, it’s already mobile-friendly!
Tip: When they say a picture is worth a thousand words, what they really meant was you need to have a striking image for Instagram Ads. Since the image-to-text ratio is likely the largest here compared to other marketing channels, you really have to get your point across through the best image possible.
- Pinterest Ads
If your target market is millenials, you may want to consider Pinterest. Female millennials use Pinterest as much as Instagram (according to Pinterest) so you will really want to consider using their ads network.
The pin-sharing platform recently released new targeting abilities, making it easier for advertisers to focus on even the most obscure phrases, like “desk yoga.”Tip: Take advantage of the large female population that covers a wide age-range. And don’t discount men, they are joining Pinterest faster than ever before.
- Google Adwords
The tried and true advertising medium. There’s just no denying the amount of influence Google has played in changing the way people shop. If you’re not advertising here, you could be missing out on a lot of potentially valuable, hungry shoppers.Tip: Add more than just English to your language settings. A 2013 study found that 61.8 million U.S. residents speak another language besides English at home. Is there a segment of your current audience that speak a different language?
- Direct Mail
Paper advertising. People still get mail these days. And some people still take the time to look through what they’ve received — especially around the holiday times. Residents are receiving special coupons, Christmas cards, presents, and more.
Tip: The cost of direct mail can be surprisingly low, and yet still very effective. You can use agencies and print shops to design a campaign, or even go directly to USPS. Get a great design made and GO – but give yourself plenty of time to prepare. Unlike digitial media, you need to add in time for printing and time in the mail.
- Native advertising
This relatively new form of online marketing is starting to take shape with many smaller businesses. Essentially, you pay to have custom content — articles, primarily — display on major websites, like HuffingtonPost.com, Entrepreneur.com, and more.
Tip: Just like with any sort of display advertising, you need to create content that fits the environment. If you choose to distribute your articles on a lifestyle-themed site, be sure that your article fits that sort of theme. Tools like Nativo offer amazing guidance on this.
- Facebook Ads
This is likely the #1 platform of choice for digital advertisers in the holiday time. Not only is Facebook the top social media platform in the world, but its tools for targeting retargeting are very sophisticated.
Tip: These ads are great for businesses that have products, apps or services that have a quick sales and conversion period. Meaning, if you’re selling cars or travel packages, you might not find this method of advertising as effective as Google AdWords.
- YouTube Ads
Video is hot. And, if you have a product that shines through a demonstration (think Roombas or voice-activated home assistant technology), video ads are a great way to show that off. However, not everyone can afford a commercial on TV, so YouTube advertising is a great choice for many businesses.
Tip: While you can shoot great videos with any current smartphone and video editing app, investing in a video production service would be ideal. You’ll get access to top-quality equipment and editors, and you’ll receive a lot of help in creating videos optimized for different platforms and channels. Talk with us today to see how we can help.
- Influencer/blog marketing
Word of mouth is a powerful tool, and today’s new form of that is through relatable, fun, and creative social media influencers and bloggers. Influencer marketing is a whole beast of strategy all in its own, and the earlier you get into it, the better off you’ll be. The return can be great, but sometimes, unlike AdWords or Facebook Ads, producing a campaign can take awhile.
Tip: You could definitely call Kim Kardashian West a social media influencer. But the Kardashians are expensive, and you don’t need to spend that much money. Micro-influencers are your best bet as a small business, and you’ll still get a good return even if the influencer has only a couple thousand followers.
- Affiliate marketing
An older form of influencer marketing, affiliates links provide businesses another great way to reach publishers and other bigger, online sites. Influencers sometimes embed affiliate links as well. Essentially, you work with an agency, who’s signed on a lot of large publishers and sites, to create specialized, tracked links to your site and product purchases which are then used by those publishers. Then, whenever they send over a referral and the consumer purchases something from your site, the publisher makes a small commission on that purchase.
Tip: Go with an established affiliate network like Commission Junction or FlexOffers who have existing relationships with top online publishers. And start now — getting your account and site set up can take awhile, and you’ll want to capitalize on the need for content this coming holiday season.
- Email marketing
If you don’t have a current email marketing strategy in place, you are missing out on one of the most effective types of digital marketing there is. A 2015 study has shown that for every $1 you spend on an email campaign, you make an average return of $38.
Tip: A great way to increase the size of your email list is by offering some kind of incentive for the sign up, whether it be a coupon or discount for one of your products, or a free download of a white paper. If you need help with generating leads, give us a call.
- Snapchat Geofilters
If you have a brick and mortar location, then you’ll want to consider this part of your marketing mix. Snapchat, the new millennial-driven social network, has a relatively new, cool feature for businesses and its users: the ability to create “custom” geofilters for people to use on the app itself. You can design your own or use one of their templates, fence out the location you want the filter to appear on, decide the timeframe for the filter to go live, pay as little as $5 for the filter, and you’re done!
Tip: There isn’t a ton of design space for geofilters, and users don’t like heavily branded filters, anyway, so be sure to design something that people actually want to use in their pictures. You may not get a lot of monetary transactions because of a geofilter, but you will gain some buzz!
- Coffee cup marketing
When it gets cold, people like to drink warm beverages. Some people just simply want to hold a warm beverage when it’s cold out. Take advantage of the situation by branding coffee cups and sleeves with your advertising. Yep, it’s a thing!
Tip: Some mom-and-pop coffee shops might be open to carrying your branded cups if you give them for free. Even local businesses who provide free coffee to either their staff or walk-in customers would be open to carrying branded cups and sleeves, too – especially if you co-brand with them and add their logo and information to the sleeve!
- Taxi cab/car advertising
Travel is obviously huge during the holidays, and people will be taking cabs or driving their cars around running errands. Some drivers might even want to have their commute paid for by offering up space on their car for advertising. Yes, this is a thing too!
Tip: With mobile outdoor ads pasted on cars, you’re going to want to design something that is quick and easy to read and understand. Last thing you’ll want is to put so much information on there that people will get distracted trying to read it and cause an accident!
- Joint venture marketing and promotions
A great way to cut advertising costs down is to partner up with another, complementary business who have the same needs. Co-op advertising, as it’s also called, is very common for big-budget companies too. Take a look at the next iPhone commercial, and see if you notice a mobile carrier’s logo in the ad as well.
Tip: To find partners, either tap into your current business network, LinkedIn, your local chamber of commerce, or attend a networking event. Or, better yet, talk to a neighboring business who is trying to attract the same people as you, but sell them something that does not compete with your products!
- Cable TV ads
If you have a big budget and need a big return, then TV commercials might be an effective tool for you. And, they’re not as expensive as you might believe if you’re just focusing on a small market. Some 30-second ads in certain cities can cost as low as $200.
Tip: Most cable companies include shooting a video for you with the cost of an ad campaign.
What other places do you recommend your fellow business owners use to get the word out about their holiday promotions? Please share your suggestions in the comments section below.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-764-8528 for a free strategy session to help you plan your holiday promotion, but hurry – the holidays are just around the corner!