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The Holiday Digital Marketing Cheat Code for Small Businesses

Black Friday, a shopping extravaganza that marks the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season, presents a significant opportunity for small and medium-sized B2C businesses. Shopping patterns have certainly changed over the last few years as consumers ditch the long and exhausting in-store lines for an online customized shopping experience. This presents a special opportunity for these businesses to thrive by leveraging digital marketing efforts that cater to these dynamic changes.  As a growing number of consumers embark on their holiday shopping well in advance, we, at Unfair Advantage, encourage our clients to consider the following aspects when preparing their business for this festive season:
  • Tailoring your business strategy to make informed decisions on product offerings and promotions.
  • Strategic resource allocation for peak periods, encompassing web development, customer support, marketing, and logistics.
  • Leveraging the full spectrum of the marketing landscape to amplify your message, encompassing SEO, email marketing, and paid media, among other tools.
  • Gaining insights into your target audience and their valued preferences is pivotal for crafting a compelling holiday campaign that truly connects with them.
  • Review previous holiday marketing plans to see what works and what you should try differently this year.
Join us for a merry sleigh bell ride as we take you on a detailed, step-by-step guide of how to boost your business during the holiday season! Step 1: Crafting a Winning Strategy The first step to success on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or any other holiday season is to develop a winning strategy. As Unfair Advantage advises, it's vital for smaller businesses to adapt and tailor their marketing plans long before the day arrives. You can do this by focusing on these key elements:
  1. Business Strategy and Product Selection: Analyze past sales and revenue goals to identify product categories that can help you meet your objectives. Be open to experimenting with deals that can enhance your product lineup.
    • Consider the following:
      • Check to see which products did well during this time last year.
      • What products are selling well this year? Which are driving the most revenue? 
      • Look for products that may not be selling as well as you would like and consider a promotion to lift those sales.
      • What promotions have you run in the past?
      • What promotions are your competitors running now and what were their holiday offers last year?
  2. Crafting Offers and Timing: Determine the most effective promotional offers by considering your product margins and profitability thresholds. Time your promotions strategically, considering the major sales days during the holiday period and the potential benefits of pre-holiday and post-holiday sales.
    • Experts predict that sales during the Black Friday holiday may not be as robust as previous years. Start spreading the cheer by introducing promotions earlier. You can also introduce the promotions in tiers to bring customers back to get the newest deal.
  3. Creating a Solid Backup Plan: We at Unfair Advantage always have plans A, B, and C. Develop contingency plans for various scenarios, such as product sell-outs, competitive offers, or underperforming promotions. Establish a framework for quick pivots.
  4. Resource Allocation: Ensure your team has the resources necessary to support your holiday promotions. Collaborate with key departments like web developers, customer service, marketing, logistics, and budget allocation.
    • As a smaller business it can be difficult to fund and find enough team resources to make these seasons successful so it's important to find a one-stop shop. At Unfair Advantage, we do it all - paid media, search engine optimization, conversion rate optimization, analytics, and we partner to support other services your business may need.
Step 2: Digital Marketing Foundations Once you have a clear strategy in place, it's time to build a solid foundation for your Black Friday digital marketing efforts. Focus on the following key areas:
  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Enhance your SEO strategy by publishing gift guides, updating holiday content, and ensuring local profiles are current. Consider how your content can help lead buyers toward your offers.
    1. Don’t worry if you do not have a content writer, you can leverage AI to help create these content items. Ask us how!
  2. Social Media Marketing: Maximize your social media presence with product highlights, optimized product catalogs, and product tags. 
  3. Leverage email marketing to build excitement and drive traffic to your promotions.
Step 3: Paid Media Tactics Paid media, including pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and display ads, plays a critical role in driving traffic and sales during Black Friday. Here's how you can utilize paid media effectively:
  1. Keyword Optimization: Review and adjust keywords to accommodate seasonal trends and heightened competition. Consider adding keywords like discount, sale, coupon, or code to your campaigns.
  2. Google Merchant Center: Optimize your product feed by adding promotions, sales, shipping, and return information directly to your product listings. Include additional lifestyle images in the feed if available.
  3. Bidding Strategies: Explore bidding strategies such as Maximize Conversion Value and Target ROAS to maximize your campaign's performance. Don't forget to consider seasonality adjustments to account for changes in conversion rates during promotions.
Step 4: The Power of Creatives In today’s competitive landscape, a strong online presence and compelling visuals are essential, as they are your visual calling cards. Not all businesses have the resources for a full-fledged creative team but there are cost-effective solutions to make sure you have a seat at the table. 
  1. Consider in-house talent
  2. Freelancers
  3. AI generators
  4. Platforms like Canva
Creatives capture users' attention as they are bombarded with marketing messages from all directions. So a high-quality visual can make your business stand out from the crowd and grab the potential customer’s attention.  Step 5:  A Long-Term Vision Black Friday is not just about a single day of sales; it's an opportunity to cultivate long-term relationships with customers. Engage and retain your audience well beyond the festive season. You can do this through retargeting users who have seen your ads or visited your website. Through retargeting campaigns, you can personalize your message to your audiences and offer relevant products that make your customers more likely to purchase! Holiday seasons present businesses with a significant opportunity to boost their sales and visibility. By implementing a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that encompasses a robust business plan, thoughtful offers, resource allocation, and creative assets, your business can make the most of this cheerful shopping season. Stay agile, adapt to changing consumer behaviors, and use the power of digital marketing to set the stage for a successful Black Friday and beyond. Small and medium-sized businesses can indeed thrive in today's dynamic marketplace by planning smart and reaping long-term rewards. Contact us to learn more about how Unfair Advantage can help you grow your business both during the holiday season and long after! Want to learn more? Read about how we used paid media to increase our automotive aftermarket client’s revenue by 157% or how to use local digital marketing strategies to grow. 

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