The data from the National Retail Federation shows that 20% - 40% of sales for small businesses happen in November and December. But wait, it gets better, sales are expected to increase between 3.8 percent and 4.2 percent over 2018. That's an estimated total spending of about $730 billion. That should be reason enough to get your business holiday ready.
When I start preparing my biz for the holiday season I have a list of 10 things I do (see 1 - 5 in the previous blog).
Here are 5 tips to prepare your business for the holiday season:
6. Outline a Marketing Campaign
This is your organized, mapped course of action that helps to sell your product, service or event and reach your holiday goal. Outline a plan for how you will reach your customers and drive them to your site. Decide how you want to market your products for the holidays, when to market them, when to do a promotion, and/or when to do a contest and/or giveaway. Social media platforms, email campaigns, and/or advertising are ways to alert customers of these special holiday offers and drive them to your website, service or event page.
7. Create a Brand Story
Often times we fail to create a brand narrative that customers can connect with. A brand story encompasses the facts and feelings that are created by your business. Things that can influence your brand include your product, price, history, quality, marketing, experience, purpose, values, social media presence, and what other people say about your brand. When people spread the word about your brand that free, let me say that again, FREE advertising. Include a nice brand story in the About Section of your page, include pictures, behind the scene photos of the process, and make sure the story is compelling and connects with your audience. With competition increasing everyday the deciding factor for a customer on who to purchase from may come down to how a brand resonated with them, the brand's story. Make the customer want to stay, connect with you and purchase from you.
8. Check for Website Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO), or website optimization, is the process of making changes to your website so that it will appear higher in search engine results pages (SERPS).
Here are some key things you can do to optimize your site:
Update Keywords to include holiday keywords
Update Tags + Titles + Descriptions for holiday items (Etsy Sellers)
Check Links (Broken Link Checker is a free site to check for broken links)
Create Page Titles
Create Meta Tags
Create Alt Text/Tags for Images
Check Conversion Rate
Check Bounce Rate
9. Update Website
Review your website and make any updates that will draw in holiday shoppers. View your website on a desktop, laptop and mobile device to ensure it is easy to navigate, loads quickly, and is mobile friendly.
Some other suggested updates are:
Update the banner/main picture so that it shows a more holiday appropriate item or theme.
Update Bio/About Section
Create Holiday Categories (i.e. Gifts for Mom, Stocking Stuffers, Holiday Favorites)
Make sure ship times and policies are clearly listed on your site
Link all social accounts to your website and include clickable links on your website
Review your checkout process and ensure it is easy to navigate and encourages shoppers to complete their purchase
10. Create + Schedule Social Holiday Content
More and more shoppers are finding businesses online and more specifically on social media. Having content created and some posts already planned for your social media is crucial during the holiday season. You can use a downloadable calendar, spreadsheet, app or whatever works best for you to plan out your content. The goal is to have a plan and start creating content so that you have plenty on hand when the holidays rush in. Many businesses use sites to help curate and create content. Sites like Canva, Upsplash, Creative Market to name a few, can help provide you with graphics, photos, etc to add to your social media posts.
Here are some ideas of content that can be created and shared:
Blogs - Holiday DIY Ideas, Gift Guides (created using your business + other small businesses)
Graphic of your holiday promotion
Pictures of your items using holiday themes OR gift wrapped
Share your item directly from your site
Also, don't forget to use your Instagram Stories to increase visibility and drive traffic to your site. Just behind the scene clips of you preparing an order, drinking your favorite drink, or anything thing you can think of to quickly share with your audience. Video content is king and Instagram stories are free, so utilize them for your business. Later.com has an entire library of blogs dedicated to Instagram Stories. They have all the info you need to create Instagram Stories for you business.
I hope you are taking notes and bookmarked this page to come back and visit when you need to review your checklist. Make sure you check out Part 1 of this blog for more tips.
Your girl boss biz bestie,