There are 9 Mondays left til Christmas, you all! Can you believe that? I have just started wearing my fall boots, but yesterday it was 85 here, and I ended up grabbing one of those delicious iced coconut macchiatos from Starbucks riding with the windows down enjoying the warmth, but soon the holidays and holiday marketing will be over! And for the folks who start celebrating Christmas like in August, this video is for you.

Yes, I may be rolling my eyes and laughing at this Carlton video, but  the time to market is now if you have not started doing so already. In the Pinterest Holiday webinar with Jess Bahr this week (there’s one last chance to catch us live next week), Jess showed us a graph that in Pinterest—a great shopping platform—the search starts 2-4 months before. In doing keyword research for our webinars, I found that starting this month, and in the next two months, there is going to be a HUGE surge of website traffic as everyone is running around at the last minute trying to find gifts for loved ones, trying to decorate their homes and trying to find a yummy meal to cook. This is the perfect time to grab some Google juice and expose your business to a bigger audience so you can make more sales. Oh jolly, that sounds great, doesn’t it? Okay, enough Christmas humor. But in all honestly look at some holiday stats that Adept shared in their 2016 list for E-commerce stats shared.

holiday stats that convert and show how important it is to get your website ready for the holiday traffic

Do not miss out on the power being a resource for your customer and helping them find exactly what they need for the holidays. Plus free workbook checklist!

Here are my top tips for last-minute business owner who want to market for the holidays

 

First and foremost, do you may fall under one of these scenarios?

  • You offer a holiday-related product that falls in the gifts category, and something that can have a holiday theme or that can be given as a holiday gift.  Like clothing, jewelry, craftsters etc.
  • You offer a holiday-related service. For example, during the holidays you have a holiday-related service such as Christmas portraits.
  • You offer nothing related to the holidays, but you do sales on your services, products or infoproducts during the holidays, and on Black Friday. You can offer upgrades to your current offerings, so pitch product upgrades. For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, you can offer a discount on albums with a purchase by a certain day, and pitch your photos as gifts for loved ones.

Last minute 2016 Holiday Marketing ideas for small businesses
Regardless of the description you find yourself in above, you must absolutely create a landing page on your website that talks about your holiday special product or sale. Even if you are not ready to show it to the world, you can create a page on your site which will have a holiday keyword in the permalink, page title and page description ( catch my Periscope replay today to learn more what those terms mean)

If you are not ready to show your deal/sale/product just yet, you can create an opt-in form where people can be emailed once your deal, sale or product goes live. So, your page can have some text talking about your service or sale, a photo of you, and an opt-in to get folks’ email to tell them once it goes live.  And if you are ready to feature your sale or product, now that is totally fine too, but mostly it is important just to have a dedicated page on your site so you can optimize for holiday search.

Secondly, I want you to create a few graphics in relation to your sale/service to use on social media, so think Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. I love making small videos that announce special news, some features, and you can even do a really easy video with your phone or your computer camera.  You will use these videos and graphics for the next steps, too.

Get people excited! Start showing sneak peeks, behind-the-scenes, and hints of what is to come holiday-wise with your business and let them know. Email your list with previews and launch dates plus add a countdown on social media as well.

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-5-19-21-pm

Blog posts. You will want to do a blog post series that features your product or service as a solution to a problem your ideal audience has. So, if you are a photographer offering holiday photos, then your clients need help with what to wear and where to buy it. Make a collage of last year’s best outfit ideas from the clients you photographed, and show your clients ideas on what to wear. From this blog post, you add a call to action at the end, pointing to the page that has your holiday deal or new product.

Use the graphics already created to share this blog post on social media. Use appropriate tags on Instagram in relation to gifts and holidays. For a list of ideas, download the checklist, which has a great bonus hashtag section for the holidays.

Promoted Pins and/or Facebook Ads. I am falling in love with Promoted Pins after watching Jess walk us through how to do a campaign on Pinterest. As Jess explained, a pin’s lifetime is about 3.5 months, so even if you promote a pin for a week, that pin still keeps on giving. If you have never done a promoted pin before, join our next upcoming free webinar.  Jess also explained that promoted pins’ prices do not go up during the holidays like Facebook Ads do, so it will cost less. Promoted pins are great for e-commerce and online entrepreneurs.

If you have a service-based business, you can do promoted pins for blog traffic, and try Facebook Ads for website conversion types of ads. Remember that when I say “Facebook Ads” that does not mean just go and promote a post. Many creatives feel that Facebook Ads does not work because they typically just promote a post and don’t see results from it, then they throw in the towel. If you are a local business and have a brick-and-mortar shop, you can try some different types of ads on Facebook. You can do a special offer or event and boost those, or you can do a Website Conversion Ad: Go to ads manager, go to create new ad, choose website conversion ad. I recommend you start with your own list first and also folks who visit your website. For that, you will need to upload your list as a new audience. This way the ad appears to people who are familiar with your brand. The best ads are ones that offer a freebie, such as tips, a checklist or webinar. So you can use that holiday page I suggested you create and have tips on there, or a freebie too so they get on your email list.

use Facebook ads to create holiday ads for your business

Your newsletter. Now that you have your page, some blog posts, and some graphics, you can let your audience know exactly what you will be offering for the holidays by emailing them. You can set up an email sequence funnel where you are sending out between 3-5 emails for them ’til the end of December. Be helpful in those emails, share personal stories and explain how your product or service solves a problem.

Conclusion:

Ask for the sale! Yes, we are so afraid to ask for the sale at times, but we need to remind people of what we offer. Add your promos and info in Facebook groups on promo days, tell your audience on social media, tell your audience in your newsletter, plus also ask past and current clients to share your info. You can even set up a referral bonus for those that do.

Learn how to market your business for the holidays with these tips for last minute business owners

It may feel like Father Time is running way too fast, and that it is too late to market for the holidays, but it’s not! Website search is still picking up, and people will be scrounging in November and December, so if you start now, you can totally catch that wave of traffic. And even if you are reading this post in November or December, take action. I would love to know of any tips you may have for holiday marketing.

Feuza Reis