This fall and winter will be the first relatively normal holiday shopping season since 2019. Small businesses need to step up their marketing game, but it can be discouraging with so many prominent retail rivals. Fortunately, we've got a few holiday marketing strategy tips to position your company for success against big-box retailers.
Promote and Market Early
Because of all the manufacturing delays caused by the pandemic, inventory shortages might continue throughout the holiday season. However, that doesn't mean you can't market the products that you currently have or ones that will soon be in stock. In fact, promoting upcoming items weeks before they actually release will give your customers enough planning time to purchase those products.
Despite the inventory delays, marketers believe that holiday sales will increase by 7% compared to last year. E-commerce is expected to rise by 35% this season. To accommodate these shoppers, make sure your website is fast and user-friendly, with crystal-clear delivery windows and pickup options.
Ninety percent of retailers are accommodating for BOPIS (buy online, pickup in store) customers this year. In addition, 62% of retailers will offer this option across all stores, and 59% will offer in-store returns on these items. 84% of retailers will also offer ship-from-store delivery, a faster service that small businesses can easily take advantage of.
Utilize an Integrated Advertising Campaign
For smaller companies with a growing audience, it's best to use as many marketing channels as your budget permits. Digital advertising is very cost-effective, particularly on social media. It doesn't cost anything to make posts that can be seen and shared by millions of users. If you need to reach more of your audience, consider reaching out to followers of big-box rivals. Since you both offer similar products, there's a good chance that their followers will consider buying from you this holiday season.
Content marketing through blogging is also a great way to increase traffic to your website through organic search results. Keep customers informed with in-depth product reviews, upcoming in-store events, and other relevant shopping insights. According to an Adobe survey, 34% of consumers will make impulse purchases after reading creative and quality content.
You can also repurpose those blog posts as content for an email marketing campaign. Email marketing is especially useful because you can segment your messages and have them read at prime delivery times. In fact, 22% of emails are opened upon the first hour they're received, encouraging prompt customer engagement.
A quality TV commercial can also attract customers by blending both audio and visual elements together with compelling scripts. OTT advertising is also very budget-friendly while still reaching a large portion of your potential audience nationwide.
Remember To Stay Consistent!
While it's good to have a lot of marketing channels, don't let your messaging change across each one. For small businesses, establishing their brand's unique persona is crucial to standing out against bigger rivals with long-standing reputations. Brands that craft consistent messaging can generate a 33% increase in revenue.
Part of that strategy is also creating a consistent customer experience. Consumers that visit your brick-and-mortar store want to have the same seamless journey as they would from online shopping. For both storefronts, a team of friendly associates is necessary to provide excellent customer service.
Building Trust With Your Audience
Most major big-box stores have been around for years, so customers know what to expect from their advertising. It can be hard for a small business to gain similar attention quickly, especially if they don't have a large audience yet. According to a recent Edelman survey, 81% of customers said that brand trust is essential to making a purchasing decision.
In addition to a consistent advertising strategy, one of the quickest ways to build brand trust is cause marketing. You'll gain your audience's respect by committing to help the greater good, especially if that involves supporting a local charity. Over recent years, customers have been holding brands to a higher standard and prefer to support ones with similar values.
Get Your Holiday Marketing Strategy Right This Season
Small businesses should begin their advertising weeks in advance to prepare for the influx of holiday shoppers. If you feel intimidated by the surplus of advertisements from competing retail giants, reach out to a media partner. Media partners have years of expertise and can boost your brand throughout the holidays and beyond.