Management Prep (NOW) for Stress-Free Holiday Promotions - Amber Hurdle | Globally Recognized Leadership & Personal Branding Expert

Management Prep (NOW) for Stress-Free Holiday Promotions

August 22, 2018

The holiday season has a way of creeping up on business owners. One second, you’re enjoying your summer, and the next minute you are swept up in the holiday rush. It’s simple:  you’re either prepared, or you’re missing out on opportunity for more sales, more exposure, and more business growth.

There is no denying that the key to every successful holiday marketing plan is early project management. There are five key things that you can put into practice to avoid a lot of the stress that comes along with the success, and September is the perfect time to buckle down and get organized.  

A Schedule Creates Momentum

Considering that a big chunk of your annual revenue is earned during the fourth quarter holiday season, you will want to make sure that you have as many promotional details lined out as is possible.  Whether you’re in the B2C or B2B world, your marketing calendar is the best place to start.

Implementation of your organized schedule is going to be what brings the momentum and the revenue to your business during the holiday season. You should have a detailed map for the days and weeks of the holiday season with specific goals for each holiday opportunity. The specific holidays you select for running promotions depends on your business and your customers, but all businesses should be aware of the biggest shopping and giving days of the year. I’ve outlined them for you below.

Black Friday: November 23

Small Business Saturday:  November 24

Cyber Monday: November 26

Giving Tuesday: November 27

Super Saturday: December 16

After Christmas: December 26 – January 1

Your Social Media Strategy

Once you have your promotions on the calendar, the next focus should be creating your social media strategy. Take advantage of tech tools, like CoSchedule, and schedule as much of your social media marketing plan as possible ahead of the holiday rush. Consider scheduling holiday-related social media marketing strategies, such as a flash sale or a giveaway, to increase followers, engagement, and ultimately, revenue.

When creating your social media schedule, pay close attention to how much holiday promotional content you are planning to post. It’s important to ease your customers into the holiday buying mindset, rather than forcing it on them. A great way to take advantage of the pre-holiday months is to start collecting survey results from your customers. Find out directly from your buyers what products or services they are hoping you will feature during the holiday months, and incorporate the results in your overall holiday promotional plans. Use social media to find out what your customers actually need or want, and you can almost guarantee that your sales will benefit from the feedback.

Last Year’s Success

There is no better time than the present to break out your numbers and stats from last year to see what worked in last year’s promotions.  What was your best selling product? What marketing strategies received the biggest attention?

An assessment like this is always very helpful; however, don’t lose sight of what email and social media promotional strategies have been working so far throughout the year, as well – not everything changes during the holiday season, and some of your most effective marketing strategies may still make sense to incorporate during the end of the third quarter and throughout the fourth quarter, as well.

Plan Your Pre-Game

The weeks that lead up to the busy holiday season are not to be overlooked.  Building excitement for the holiday season is just as crucial as showing up during the holiday season, so make sure your schedule includes specific pre-season plans!  Get excited and share with your customers what you have coming up for the holidays.

Brainstorm ways that you can help make things easier for your customers during the busy holiday season. Position yourself as the business with solutions by providing advice on how to plan their holiday parties or tips for selecting gifts. Plan to share helpful and inspirational articles on your blog and social media platforms. Helping your prospects and customers now and throughout the entire season will benefit your sales, as they look to you when it comes time to buy.

Check in on Your Website

Your company’s website needs to be prepared for the holiday rush, too. The months leading up to the busy season are the best time to check in with your designer and make sure that things are in order. Studies show that 80% of shoppers compare prices online before shopping in the store, and you simply don’t want to miss out on that opportunity to meet new customers and make sales.

 The following are some important ways that you can update and spruce-up your website in preparation for the holidays:

  • Ensure that your site is mobile-friendly. Consumers are turning to mobile more and more as their preferred device. It is predicted that shoppers will place more orders from their phones than in store or from any other device this upcoming holiday season, so you need to be ready.
  • Check for broken links. The attention span of consumers today is short and the online competition is fierce regardless of your industry. Make sure all your links take customers to the correct destination.
  • Update your hours of operation to include a note about any extended hours during the holidays. Adding this to your site sooner than later is a great idea to get your website visitors to start thinking about purchasing from your business.
  • Take some time to write your holiday-themed blog posts now and collect the images you’ll need. Tackling this ahead of time will only benefit you when the days get shorter.
  • Create a gallery of holiday-themed products. Planning new pages such as this for your website builds excitement and creates focus. Set to publish at just the right times will impact your sales.

The holidays don’t have to be stressful. By planning ahead, you’ll promote an increase in revenue. Just as important as revenue, you will also be able to focus more on creating a positive customer experience and allow yourself an overall better experience, as well. Start reducing your stress now and make the most of the busy season by taking some time each week to set aside for holiday project management.   

*Some of these link may be affiliate links where Mary or I make a small commission if you choose to purchase. We would never recommend something based solely on this tiny commission, and we recommend you only using tools that will help propel your business forward.

 

About the Author

Mary Barbee

Mary Barbee

Custom VA Solutions

Systems and Project Management, Virtual Assistants

As the founder of Custom VA Solutions, Mary Barbee specializes in providing online business support and strategy, helping small businesses reach big goals. With over 15 years experience as a business owner in both product and service based businesses, Mary has built, systemized and sold successful companies of her own, but she has found her happy place providing her entrepreneurial knowledge and expertise to online businesses as a virtual assistant, starting in 2013. Since then, Mary has developed and organized a stellar team of experts inside Custom VA Solutions, providing services that start with strategy and include task implementation of all levels. According to Mary, the best part of owning and managing a virtual assistant service is the constant opportunity to learn, do and teach. When one client reaches success, there are always tricks to learn and apply to another business, and taking notes of success has always been one of Mary’s strengths.

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