I know that September just started, but if these past 9 months of 2017 have flown by, the last 3 months will, too – which means it’s not too early to start thinking about your holiday marketing strategy if you’re a product-based business (or even some service-based businesses!).

E-commerce is becoming more and more popular, as people are wanting to totally avoid driving to a mall to be met with insane lines and absolute chaos – which is why you need to really make sure you have a completely optimized online presence. Ready to start diving into what you need for your holiday marketing strategy? Let’s do this.

Update your website.

E-commerce sales have been historically increasing each year, which means your website needs to be in tip-top shape. If anything is broken on your site or there are any other issues, that could end up really affecting the sales you get from your site. You also want to make sure that your site is easy to navigate because if it’s confusing to move from one spot to another, consumers will leave the site instead of wasting their time trying to figure it out.

Consider hiring a professional to do a website audit or website analysis of your site so they can check for any broken links and evaluate the layout of your site. It’s always helpful to get a second opinion of how your website works so that you can take a step back from it and see how easy it is for a consumer to navigate. (Hint: Let me know if you’re interested in getting a website analysis – I know an awesome web designer and developer I can direct you to who provides these!)

Work with influencers.

One of the easiest and most efficient ways to spread the word about your product is to work with influencers. Influencers can promote your product in an effective way to reach your ideal market. They can review a product you have or post about the campaign your company is running – but it’s really important to be strategic about what you use the influencer(s) for.

If you are interested in working with an influencer, consider researching bloggers and Instagram influencers to see which one(s) will work best for you. However, it’s important to be careful when working with an influencer – you need to sign contracts to ensure that both parties fulfill their parts. You also need to be careful about the numbers – just because an Instagram influencer may have 15,000 followers, it doesn’t mean that those followers are engaged and genuine. Take a careful look at reach and engagement stats as well.

Implement ads.

You know the holiday season is coming when you start seeing ads EVERYWHERE. Facebook ads are a great way to target customers, and you can also use retargeting ads for users who have visited your site. These ads will help to persuade them to purchase the product that they were looking at.

You can work with a Facebook ads strategist who will create, run, and track the ads for you – or you can work with a Facebook ads coach who will show you how to run these ads. Depending on what your needs are, both options are beneficial in different ways. (P.S. I know a Facebook ads strategist AND coach that I could direct you to if you’re looking for either of these options!)

Utilize your email list.

I can’t even count how many entrepreneurs I talk to who say they’re barely using their email lists or not using their email lists as often as they’d like 🤦🏻‍♀️ Using your email list is a super quick way to blast a mass promotion to warm leads at one time. The truth is, which people don’t always realize, that you don’t own your followers on any social media platform – but you do own your email subscribers. Anyone who signed up for your email list is someone who is interested in your business and your product(s), so you should be marketing to them as well.

If you have any sales or promotions going on, your email list is a great avenue to use to promote these sales. You can announce when your product will be 20% off or you can send a coupon. Consumers tend to purchase products after seeing them in emails, so think about what your consumer wants to see the most. Create an email that is appealing but also short and to-the-point; people quickly flip through their emails but will stop if something catches their eye.

Take advantage of hashtags.

One component of a social media strategy is a list of hashtags that are relevant to your business and audience. There are so many hashtags that come out during the holidays, and they can be used as another way to reach your target market.

Research popular holiday hashtags and see if they will work with your business. You can find these hashtags by looking at the hashtags that other people are using, searching hashtags on your own, and using Instagram’s auto-fill search feature.

Consider spending these next few weeks tweaking your current strategy to see how you can optimize it for the holidays. The holidays are a super important time of the year for making sales, so you want to make sure that you’re getting the most of it.