How to boost sales over the holidays
The holidays will be here before you know it, and brands are already hard at work coming up with marketing plans for achieving maximum visibility during the holiday season. Their goal: originality and a high profile in order to boost sales during this critical period.
This global peak period is THE time of year when every single brand must absolutely ramp up its marketing efforts.
In 2014, 28 million French consumers selected or bought their holiday gifts online. According to this study, 7 online shoppers (people who had made an online purchase in the past) out of 10 bought their presents online.
For the ridesharing site BlaBlaCar, the season is about holiday vacations, which means an increase in travel between cities. This was the perfect opportunity for this e-commerce site to boost its sales.
1 / Animating and engaging the community
Today, this highly successful brand has a large community of loyal ridesharers to spread the word about its service. In France alone, it has 700,000 Facebook fans, and nearly 3 million worldwide.
Interview with Alice Chasseriaud, Head of Global Communication, and Alexandra Mounoury, Community and Content Manager at BlaBlaCar
BlaBlaCar’s performance depends primarily on the size of its community and their engagement. It’s the community that keeps BlaBlaCar going: they exchange with each other, plan trips together, and get to know each other. They’re connected through their ridesharing experiences.
To galvanize this community, the brand must be attentive and responsive, especially as the holidays approach. It has to find original and engaging ways to animate its community of users in order to catch their attention and lead them to the sale.
To this end, BlaBlaCar naturally decided to launch a promotion to animate and reward its fans. With the BlaBla Christmas Game Advent Calendar embedded in its Facebook page, the brand was able to raise its profile throughout the month of December: Every day from the 1st through 24th, there was a new BlaBla Kit to be won.
To give their fans a high-quality experience, BlaBlaCar completely customized the visual design of the game to match its own graphic style guide. For companies that want greater flexibility in terms of customization, Kontest also gives you access to the game’s CSS editor. Plus, Kontest offers an additional option that allows companies to customize all of the game’s text elements, including traditional button text. For example, BlaBlaCar was able to use its own « BlaBla Language, » changing the « Enter » button to « BlaBla Play. »
Using Kontest’s soft gate feature, BlaBlaCar acquired 27,000 new Facebook fans over the course of the game. These are all leads that had already shown an interest in the service.
Pro tip: Offering options for sharing on social networks and by e-mail at the end of a game can significantly improve your game results. Sharing by e-mail, which gives the entrant additional chances to win, increases the number of entries by an average of 10%.
2 / Driving traffic to their site
Galvanizing a community is only the first step. BlaBlaCar needed to then redirect traffic to its own site, where the conversion would occur. By choosing the 24-day Advent Calendar, the brand gave entrants the chance to play and win prizes every day. By driving repeat traffic to the game, the company also drove repeat traffic to its site by including a hint in each question that linked to a specific page on its site.
For e-commerce sites like BlaBlaCar, using Kontest’s site Overlay feature can be a good way to retain visitors who abandon the site, particularly during the critical holiday period. It is not at all uncommon for visitors to leave such sites without converting. Perhaps they intend to come back later, or they change their minds. There are many reasons for abandonment, they’re hard to pinpoint and brands have virtually no data on these visitors.
To catch visitors’ attention, brands can now put their marketing promotions front and center using an Overlay. This is a simple pop-in invitation that launches automatically when the visitor is about to leave the site. It can be used to collect information on these visitors, enabling a company to offer them a more personalized experience in the future. In such a case, for example, BlaBlaCar might then send such users offers for specific destinations to which they travel regularly.
3 / Mobilizing their contacts
During the holidays, using a game to animate a community is just one way for brands to achieve their primary goal, which is to drive their leads to the purchase.
Once the data is collected through the game, it must be organized and mobilized with business goals in mind. With Kontest, you can now use the data you collect through your games with over 400 applications, thanks to the Zapier connector (the « IFTTT » of the pros). This is a major timesaver for marketers, and it means data can be mobilized more efficiently. A number of « recipes » are available, depending on your objectives. For example, you can automate the import of e-mail addresses collected into a Mailchimp list, or add contacts to a CRM database like Salesforce. There are other « recipes » that are a little more fun, like publishing the entries of a photo contest on a WordPress site.
Once you’ve activated your recipes, it is easier to renew contact with leads and drive them towards a purchase.
4 / Measuring conversions
It is important to learn from each campaign in order to make improvements on subsequent campaigns. To do so, you must be able to measure the impact of your campaigns. Some of the KPIs you can evaluate are number of visits, entry rate and number of social shares. When your goal is to increase sales during the holidays, the indicator you’d want to monitor would be the number of sales conversions. During a promotion, companies are provided with analytics tracking code associated with their site, which they can paste into the game. This code provides stats that allow them to measure conversions.
But Kontest recently launched an even simpler tool for tracking conversions: all you have to do is add the code Kontest provides to the relevant conversion page of your site (home page if you’re tracking visits, confirmation purchase page, etc.). The data collected for each conversion is immediately available through the statistics tracking dashboard on the Kontest platform.
Having the results of their various campaigns allows companies to see which campaigns are most and least effective. As a result, they can adapt and improve their strategy and create campaigns that meet customers’ real needs.