While consumers think of Q4 as the “most wonderful time of the year,” it’s the most advantageous time of year for marketers — if you approach it with the right tactics and strategies, that is.
Running from the beginning of October through the end of December, Q4 represents the final stretch of the year.
While Q4 has many things going for it, it’s also got its share of obstacles, including steep competition and busier-than-ever customers. So how do you stand out from other eComm brands to capture the attention (and the dollars) of consumers?
Use these eight Q4 marketing ideas and best practices to end the year with a bang while positioning your online brand for a profitable 2023.
1. Focus on Top-of-Funnel
While all four stages of the marketing funnel matter, the first stage (awareness) is critical for this time of year. With limited time and people primed to buy, making sure potential customers are aware of your brand, products, and services are crucial to the consumer purchase cycle. After all, if customers don’t know you exist, how do you expect them to pick you over your competitors?
Some tactics for racking up impressions and building brand awareness include using programmatic and connected television, organic and paid social media, influencer marketing, and branded and non-branded keywords. Just make sure to tailor your message to the needs of your target consumer at this time of year.
2. Calendar it Out
Does any time of year pass as quickly as Q4? From holidays and social engagements to travel and time off, Q4 packs a lot in. This means you may end up with less time to squeeze in all of those secret ingredients than you anticipate — especially if you don’t plan for it.
To avoid running out of time, schedule all of your activities and the time you’ll need to complete them. Be sure to factor in that your customers, clients, and coworkers are also up against time constraints of their own.
The more you anticipate and adjust for this time crunch on your Q4 business calendar, the more realistically and accurately you’ll be able to plan.
3. Know Your Goals
Q4 is the year’s last chance to make good on your goals! To ensure you’re on track and to allow yourself time to course correct if necessary, review your Q4 goals to confirm that they’re SMART (AKA specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound).
4. Use Data to Drive the Customer Experience
Generic promotions and one-size-fits-all sales fail to leverage the full potential of your marketing efforts. The best way to drive sales? Meet shoppers where they are. Data is the key to achieving this.
Your data will let you know things like what consumers are into and how they’re engaging with your brand online. You can use these insights to structure and personalize your holiday campaign and messaging.
5. Make Sweet Offers They Can’t Refuse
Everyone loves a bargain, even during the holidays when gift lists are long, and money is tight. The importance of using special offers and discounts can’t be overstated — especially when you factor in that 71 percent of consumers say that offers are the most important consideration when it comes to deciding where to shop.
Popular offers and incentives include free shopping, discount codes, competitions/giveaways, BOGOs, and charitable donations. And if you want to add a festive feel, use discount codes that are related to the holidays, such as YEAREND15, for 15 percent off the shopping cart. Pro tip: It’s fun to promote during the holidays but keep in mind who your audience is and consider using inclusive verbiage.
6. Rely on Remarketing and Retargeting
Remember, people aren’t just shopping for themselves at this time of year. Remarketing and retargeting offer invaluable second chances to retain, upsell, or convert customers who’ve shown interest in your products and services.
Past website visitors, abandoned cart visitors, people who’ve previously engaged with your ads, and existing contacts in your CRM are all excellent candidates for remarketing.
7. Level Up Your Website and Social Media
Your eComm site and social media pages are the “faces” of your brand. This begs the question: Are you putting your best face forward? Evaluating and updating your website and social media heading into Q4 ensures that you’re representing yourself in the most compelling way.
Now let’s talk about adding in that extra spice…Tips for leveling up your website heading into the holidays include personalizing product icons and images, adding a seasonal section, creating new landing pages, updating social media banners, and using pop-ups to feature particular products or limited-time offers.
8. Update your SEO
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) and paid social advertising create important revenue streams. However, the world of search engine optimization (SEO) is dynamic. Ask yourself, “What will your target audience be searching for during the holiday season?” For this recipe to work, it’s essential to conduct proactive research and adjust your keywords and bids to line up with audience search terms that can position you for a successful Q4 campaign.
One last reason to prioritize Q4 planning? Even if potential new customers don’t convert by the end of the year, you’ll be top-of-mind when their budgets reset in the new year.
Want to end 2022 strong AND kick off 2023 in a power position? A well-planned, implemented, and executed eComm Q4 marketing strategy can make all the difference, and CakeCommerce can help. To get started with a free marketing audit and in-depth analysis of your marketing plan, contact our team of digital marketing experts today.