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Boost Your Holiday Season Brand Awareness

Leverage paid social media and organic SEO to stand out in this noisy time of year.

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Whether it’s peak shopping season or not, you want to make sure your brand is being seen by as many potential customers as possible. With paid social media’s low financial barrier to entry and sophisticated targeting capabilities, even small and local e-commerce businesses are reaping the rewards of paid social media. In addition, a recent report from Brightedge found more than 53% of all site traffic came via organic search, so don’t forget the power of SEO. And Mailchimp can help you take advantage of both. Here’s how to get started.

Paid Social Media

When your goal is to get new eyes on your business, spending a little money on paid social media can go a long way. To help you out, we’ve listed a few paid social media tips to ensure you hit the holiday season right.

Determine your target audience

In order to make the most of paid social media, you’ll need to identify a high-value target audience and engage with them specifically. If you’re a business servicing a local community, targeting people in your area makes sense. If you sell outdoor apparel, it’s best to target people who have shown interest in outdoor activities. The best way to start this process is by compiling any audience data you already have from previous customers, such as age, location, and engagement patterns. This might sound daunting, but Mailchimp’s client relationship management software can make it easier.

Next, you’ll want to track your website and social media analytics to see what influences your customer purchasing decisions. This will help you create more engaging content that’s relevant to your targeted audiences. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube have built-in analytics tools that you can easily access with a business profile, and Google Analytics is a free tool that you can integrate into your website for on-site analytics.

If you don’t have a ton of data to work with, a particularly useful method is to target people who are already following your competitors. Understanding the competition will help you figure out what types of content get high engagement, and if there are any gaps in your industry that your brand can fill.

Select the channel that speaks to them

Once you’ve found your audience, you’ll want to focus on the social channels that they’re engaging with most. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are probably the first ones that come to mind, but other platforms such as TikTok and Pinterest might make more sense based on your brand. Even though many of them overlap, every social media platform has its own audience.

Knowing which social platform your audience prefers is a great starting point. The latest Pew research of online usage can help get you started. For example, they found 65% of people ages 18 to 29 use Snapchat, while just 2% of adults over 65 use the app. TikTok is similarly popular with younger demographics, while older groups instead use Facebook and YouTube the most. And 46% of women use Pinterest, but that number drops to 16% for their male counterparts.

With this data, you can make more informed decisions about where you spend your paid social dollars. If your business sells fast fashion products targeting younger Millennial and Gen-Z customers, you’ll likely want to invest more in TikTok or Instagram. However, if you’re selling higher-ticket home improvement goods to an older audience, you may want to focus more on Facebook.

Determine how much you want to spend

After you figure out who you’re targeting and where they are, you’ll want to figure out how much you’re going to spend on your campaign. If you’re just starting out, it’s likely better to start with a small budget and gradually increase it over time. While costs vary by platform, Facebook recommends a minimum daily spend of just $1 per day to drive impressions to your brand. And while a tiny budget may not get you massive results, it will allow you to see how your strategy is working so you can adjust accordingly for future campaigns. Take some time to decide how much you’re willing to spend on a paid social media campaign during the holidays.

Create ads that drive action

When creating your social media ads, you’ll want to design them in a way that draws customers to act. Mailchimp’s Creative Assistant allows you to craft beautiful, on-brand creative that you can customize to your preferences in just a few clicks. Remember that you’re targeting a specific audience based on location, age, gender, interests, and more, so craft the ads with content that’s engaging and speaks directly to them.

Organic SEO

Even though a paid social media strategy is highly advised for holiday sales season, don’t forget that organic search is still how most people find new businesses. Here are a few ways you may be able to push yourself up in the rankings:

Research your keywords

Developing your SEO strategy starts with keyword research, a process that involves finding search terms that your target customers enter into search engines when looking for your products or services. Remember, it’s important to define your target audience before starting the keyword research process, because this will help you decide which topics are stronger for your business—and therefore which keywords to target.

Once you’ve found your relevant topics, free keyword research tools such as Ahrefs Keyword Generator and Moz Keyword Explorer can help you generate a list of target keywords to attract potential customers. Turn to solutions such as SEMRush and Google Keyword Planner to calculate your keywords’ monthly search volume, where you currently rank for the keywords in Google search, and the level of competition for the keywords. Targeting long tail keywords—3- to 5-word keyword phrases that are more specific than general keywords—is an excellent strategy for SEO newcomers. Over 70% of search queries are made using long tail keywords, so they definitely should be a point of emphasis.

Develop and execute a content strategy

In order to capitalize on your research you’ll need to implement a content strategy. Your keyword list can help you with this, as it will allow you to develop topics for your SEO-optimized blog content and landing pages.

Your site’s content is most effective when it answers common questions that customers might have about your products or services, and when it addresses your customer’s intent. For example, keywords phrases that include words such as “best” or “top 10” indicate that a potential customer is comparing their options and is likely ready to make a purchase. In turn, your content should include the same trigger words in its title, meta description, and body copy.

Once you’ve figured out which topics you want to tailor your content to, you’re ready to begin publishing landing pages and articles on your site to attract customers. It’s up to you to decide how much content you want to publish, but it’s advised that you’re regularly posting new content to your site to build page authority. Creating a content calendar will help you develop a cadence that works best for your business.

Optimize your website

Now that your content is out there, you’ll need to optimize your site. Google favors websites that provide the best user experience for customers, so increasing your site’s speed, improving its page layout, removing broken links, and resizing its images will help with your rankings. Mailchimp’s Google Analytics plugin can help you figure out which pages are in need of optimization.

Utilizing organic SEO is an important strategy for all business owners that might not have the budget for a paid social media campaign. Organic search rankings don’t change overnight, but with consistent content development and website optimization, you’ll hopefully see a gradual increase.

When used effectively, paid social media and organic SEO are great strategies to combine with Mailchimp’s email tools. Paid social media and SEO help customers learn about your brand and engage with it, while email marketing helps you speak directly to them, developing long-term relationships.

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