Getting Set up for the Online Holiday Shopping Season

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The holiday season is officially here, which means millions of consumers will be pulling out their wallets (or purses) to buy those “hot” gifts. As a small business owner, you should capitalize on the holiday shopping trend by creating a sound online marketing strategy. Doing so will allow you to reach more customers and generate more sales.

Mobile-Friendly Website

Don’t make the mistake of focusing your marketing efforts strictly on desktop visitors. Failure to cater to the ever-growing demographic of mobile users may cost you tons of sales. According to a recent Think With Google report, 54% of consumers plan to shop for products this holiday season on their smartphone or mobile device. Mobile devices are now faster and more powerful than ever, allowing consumers to buy products with just a few basic steps.
responsive website

With the holiday season fast approaching, there’s no better time than now to optimize your online store for a higher conversion rate. Take a look at one of my previous posts, How To Optimize Your Ecommerce Store for the Holidays, for some good tips to streamline your store.

If you’re site isn’t mobile friendly yet, depending on the size of your store, you may still have time to convert your website to a responsive mobile friendly design. If you have a large store and most of your orders take place over the holiday season, you may want to wait until the new year before taking on that challenge.

Google Product Ads

Not to be confused with Google AdWords, Product Listing Ads are another self-serving ad type offered by the search engine giant. They differ from PPC ads like keyword search or display ads in several different ways: PLAs are designed specifically for products, making them particularly effective for the holiday season, and they contain more information than standard AdWords keyword ads. Furthermore, PLAs display a picture of the product alongside the listing, drawing more attention to your ads. Assuming you sell a physical product and not a service, consider using PLAs as part of your online marketing strategy this holiday season.

adwords-vs-plas

Use Video

The same Thing With Google report cited above also found that consumers are planning to spend more time watching product videos this holiday season. Whether it’s a live demonstration on how a product works, or a video review by another customers, video has become an integral component in consumers’ shopping decisions. As such, business owners should include video in their marketing strategy, posting relevant videos to YouTube.

Green Beauty has done one of the best jobs I’ve seen providing videos that are not only engaging, but extremely beneficial to their audience. If you’re looking for examples of the kind of content that drives traffic and rocks social media, look no further.

Social Media

Of course, social media should also be a part of your marketing strategy for the holidays. More people use social media during the holidays than any other time of year. This means an even larger audience, which should help to generate sales, will see your posts. Try posting a combination of both informative and promotional material on social media, keeping your content diversified enough so that it doesn’t deter people from following your accounts.

Social Media marketing for the holiday season can be a great strategy for local retailers as well as online retailers. If you want to be a social media rock star in 2015, click here to learn how to create your social media calendar.

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Season 6, Episode 5: Want More Twitter Followers? [Podcast]

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My Top 12 Hacks to Double Your Reach

Welcome to Season 6, Episode 5 of the This Is Your Life podcast. In this episode, Michele Cushatt and I discuss how to expand your reach on Twitter.

Episode 5

Twitter has been one of the most important tools for building my platform. It drives traffic, increases engagement, and allows me to share valuable resources with my readers. With more than a quarter million followers, I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t, and I want to share my top twelve hacks with you.

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