4 Ideal Marketing Channels for Small Businesses Ramping Up for the 2020 Holiday Season

If a business is looking to make as much as it made last year from online holiday sales—strategic planning is a must. With the use of digital marketing on the rise, many companies keep asking about the best channels for making the most of online holiday sales.

Consumers may be adjusting to the "new normal," as defined by COVID-19, but this situation does not take away the disruption caused by the novel coronavirus. People are still out of jobs, many companies are still struggling to find their feet, and the government is still adjusting.

It will take a while to have things back to their former position, especially true in terms of the spending power of the masses. The economy is nowhere close to resembling its previous state, and businesses must work around the current economic environment.

Hence, if a business is looking to make as much as it made last year from online holiday sales—strategic planning is a must. With the use of digital marketing on the rise, many companies keep asking about the best channels for making the most of online holiday sales.

Digital marketing provides a variety of options to help individuals and companies advertise their goods and services.

What should marketing channels small businesses consider for the holiday season during the COVID-19 economy of 2020?

Here are 4 marketing channel ideas to encourage sales growth this holiday season:

  1. Content and SEO marketing
  2. Email Marketing
  3. Brand Utility
  4. Social Media Marketing (Paid)

Content is King indeed.

No marketing strategy would be complete without great content. Content marketing, combined with indispensable search engine optimization (SEO), makes the website of individual companies appear on a particular search engine results page (SERP). It also helps in gaining more traffic (organic), as well as user engagement.

During the holiday sales, consumers will spend most of their time on their phones. They would also need to search for certain products and services they need. When this happens, the companies that have content in the SERP would be at an advantage. Therefore companies cannot afford to joke with their content and SEO.

When a company works on optimizing content across search engines, its content will get access to target users. Thus, they can engage, entertain, and cater to the right set of users. In the short term (speaking of holiday sales), such companies gain by getting more profit. In the long run, they earn their trust as well as the loyalty of their target market.

However, companies must also ensure that their content is educational and meets a specific need of their target market. The absence of this kind of benefit takes away the whole point of content marketing and even search engine optimization (SEO).

Additionally, effective content would engage customers. Such engagements, as well as feedbacks, would give the company insights on how to make future decisions.

Email Marketing

Email marketing was never a fad. Social media and messenger apps have not kicked email marketing out of the game—it is here to stay (at least, for now). Projections indicate that the number of email users worldwide will reach 4.4 billion by the end of 2023.

Research shows that most holiday sales come from pre-existing customers. This finding is indicative of why companies cannot afford to give up on email marketing at the moment. The primary resource needed here is a mailing list of their existing customers, and most companies already have that.

Do not take short cuts in crafting your emails; ensure they are inviting. Take the time to ensure that email has an attractive and complementary color palette, layout, as well as font styles. The content of the mail is also crucial, as various elements such as subject lines, calls-to-action (CTA), and offers all play critical roles in the success of email campaigns.

In as much as users have spent most of their hours in 2020 online, users would still ignore boring content. An excellent communication style, personalization, and air of authenticity in your brand's range are what keeps a user glued to a brand's email. A company cannot go wrong with an increase in their use of email marketing close to the 2020 holiday sales.

Brand Utility

Amid a pandemic and its negative effect on the economy, consumers want to experience the empathy of their favorite brands. The year 2020 is not the year in which companies can afford to make consumers feel taken for granted.

The concept of brand utility erases these kinds of thoughts from the mind of any consumer. This concept is set into motion before a transaction happens between the brand and the consumer. Here, a brand connects with the consumer without the aim of promoting the sales of their goods or services. First off, the brand solves a problem. This solution provided by the brand endears users to them and indirectly results in sales.

Some airline brands have used this concept in terms of allowing chatbots to help travelers book their flights. These acts can also be as simple as putting up road maps on lonely roads. The idea mainly involves solving a problem without trying to sell any product or service. The key here is not to play gimmicks with users; companies that do so only end up portraying themselves as "selfish."

To leverage brand utility, a company must genuinely solve a problem. For holiday sales, it can be as simple as giving out a coupon. The question answered may or may not be related to the product or service produced by the company. While addressing a problem, companies can brand the solutions they provide. Your answers are better if digitalized, lowering consumer effort, and increasing their convenience while affording your organization a more effective way of tracking the results of your actions.

Social Media Marketing (Paid)

Snapchat garnered an average of 229 million active daily users at the end of Q1 2020. Predictions for Instagram call for 112.5 million users in the U.S in 2020. These facts confirm that social media remains and continues to grow as an attractive marketing channel for businesses and brands of all sizes.

Other platforms like Twitter and Facebook are still beneficial for marketing. Users across all age ranges have continuously used Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram amid the pandemic. Brands should focus on the platform(s) that gave them the best conversions in the past for holiday sales. If a brand does not have a previous track record with social media platforms to draw guidance for future efforts, take a close look at your target customer demographics and how they align with the various social media channels. Investigate what your nearest competitors are doing in the channel, chances are that you will want to establish a presence within the same networks.

Wrapping Up

In times like this, when businesses have struggled through the first three-quarters of the year, having a massive gain on holiday sales is a big win. Employ these strategies and win.


About The Author

Howard White
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Howard White is a marketing leader with nearly 20 years of digital experience. He’s led digital marketing efforts for organizations in multiple verticals and various sizes, from startups to leading digital marketing operations for multi-national enterprises in both B2B and B2B. In his spare time, he is an avid musician, music fanatic and mentor.

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