Should You Pay for a Last Minute Holiday Marketing Boost?
So, the holiday shopping season is officially in full swing but you got a little sidetracked over the last few months and let some of your internet based marketing efforts slip a little. You need a boost right now, and there is very little time left to make better use of organic SEO to give your retail site a boost.
So, even though you have never ventured down this avenue before, you are considering getting involved in paid internet advertising. But should you do it? And if you do what pitfalls should you be on the lookout for? Here are a few pointers:
Paid Search Ads
Whether marketers like it or not, Google is still the big leader in search marketing, with no one else even coming close. And paying for a Google ad via the Google Adwords program can pay off very quickly. If you bid on the right keywords. If you are already fairly certain about what your best performing keywords are – via your organic SEO perhaps – then you should be in great shape to launch a paid Adwords campaign. If not then you should either outsource the campaign to someone who does have proven Adwords experience (which may be pricey), or consider other avenues and make a note to learn more about Adwords next year.
Social Media Ads
More and more social media sites are opening up opportunities for small businesses to advertise with them, but with wildly varying results experienced by every unique business. Before you ever put a larger sum of money into any social media advertising campaign you need to test to see if such ads will even begin to convert for you.
As time is short, and especially if you are on a tight budget, Facebook is probably your best bet at this point in the year. You can set very small ad budgets (as in $20 small) target your audience in great detail and if you are truly cash and time strapped you can make use of a Facebook post boost to maybe bring you that traffic boost you need. Just ensure you are boosting something with real conversion value or you might just wind up with a lot of likes and no sales.
Some small businesses make use of an affiliate program with some success, but at this stage of the game you have no time to implement such things right now. What you could try instead is a referral program.
Offer your existing customers an incentive to spread the word about all of your great holiday bargains for you, 10-20% off, or free shipping perhaps. Or engage with those who have not yet become customers (but may have thought about it) by offering a decent value coupon via social media, or even just a simple discount code, that they can then pass along to their friends too. If the offer is good enough you may get a bigger benefit from this relatively simple tactic than you imagined possible.
Obviously, the best scenario would have been to be better prepared in the first place. For the New Year resolve now that you are either going to hire a marketing company – which you may not quite be able to afford yet – or bite the bullet and plan to devote a little more time to learning and implementing basic marketing practices yourself.