5 Steps eCommerce Online Marketing Planning for Local Business

How can the local businesses prepare digital marketing activities for holidays? Rachel Lindteigen contributes her formula successful experience.

It’s almost October now which means Q4 starts within a few days. Are you ready for that?

While you are still have plenty of time to deal with your personal shopping list, your website is another thing. Is it ready for clients? Have you set up your holiday strategy yet?

If not, it is time to get start now. The vacation shipping season is coming to us, and the clients will no longer hitting the shops and the internet in search of the perfect gift.

Before your customer start to check off their gift list, you need to optimize your site’s local listings.

Step1: Make Sure Your Map &Directory Listing Information is Right

If shoppers can’t find you, they won’t buy from you.Check your Google Places Local, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Facebook, Twitter and any other social, map or directory listings you have and ensure your contact information and hours of operations are  available.You have to make sure to update the listings to the new holiday schedule if you’re changing your hours for the holidays.

Step 2: Design A Drive-To-Retail Strategy (If that’s Your Goal)

If you have a storefront and try to drive offline conversions, you need to attract your online customer to invite them visit your store.

Provide free gift wrap or offer a special discount to online costumer that only good in store which will help drive in-store traffic and it also will help you track online-to-offline conversion.

If you are in a business selling the seasonal product,  considering offer a trade-in option. For instance, if a store sells kids coats, they could offer $20 off the purchase of a new coat when you donate an old one to a child in need.

Cooperation in something with the local charity and cut the coat price at your store. Put the special event on your website and through your social media channels, encourage your fans and follower to share the information.

Step 3: Carry out Schema Markup On Your Website

Schema markup allows search engine spiders to make your information more easily.

In order to get the best result, you’ll wish to rise your location, store hours, events(such as the coat drive mentioned above) and any other  applicable options for your business.

Step 4: Optimize Your Social Network And Comments/Grade

Maybe you already have a Yelp Business Page(If not, sign up now),but how to optimized your profile? You will consider to add some information such as your business, website, photos in your store to enrich your profile and make it more engaging.

You’ll also want to browse your reviews —— are they good or not? What’s the overall emotion? How current are they? Are there any bad comments that warrant a response? Do you have three reviews or 20?

You will want to stimulate your customer reviews if you don’t have any reviews or the reviews are old. Ask the loyal buyer to reviews you on website, and maybe offer them an incentive in exchange for a completed reviews.

If you receive lots of negative reviews, look for the commonalities among them and see what you can do to solve the problems. Instead of urge to get defensive, find out ways to improve yourself.

Step 5: Craft A Content & Promotion Calendar – Make Sure Your Holiday Seasonal Messaging

If you will offer special deals for Black Friday or Cyber Monday and have a loyalty program for your customers, there are extra incentives you can offer the program members.

The best way to set up the calendar is to fill the holiday or promote information you know. Choose the type of calendar you like and mark out October, November and December holidays. If your business involves kid you’d better add information about school closures.

If you’re going to provide specials for Black Friday or Cyber Monday, take notes on the dates.(You don’t need to know what your promotion just yet——you can simply set a placeholder for now).If you’re going to open additional hours right before the holiday, mark that down.

You will run as you have outlined the holidays and promotions you know, have a look at the calendar and see if there still has something else you should include.

If you’re going to run the free gift wrap or discount coupon offers mentioned earlier and decide on specific dates for those promotions and host a coat donation and choose a set time period to hold the event.

Now you have a calendar complete with holiday and promotion information all the left is to see how you will promote your business.

Look at what you’ve planed and make up your mind to find the best way of communication with your clients. Some promotions will suit for email campaigns, while others might be better on other social network, such as Facebook or Twitter.

To know your audience on each channel and how they engage is an important part. It is okay if you are not sure which one will be the best way to work, you can experiment this time and use the information to help with next year’s holiday promotion planning.

Post by eXpressProjects online Marketing and Website Designer in Honk Kong and China.