December '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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40 || P R I N T W E A R D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6 Kelly "Rags" Ragland is the owner and operator of Rags to Stitches Productions, a holistic advertising specialty company that provides a range of services, from Web design and development to customized ap- parel. Read his blog at INTERNET STRATEGIES B Y K E L LY " R A G S " R A G L A N D H appy holidays are here again, and the marketing ma- chines need to be in high gear. What does the holiday season have in store for us in 2016, and what can we learn from 2015? Grab a cup of holiday cheer, and let's dive into what is happening online. BY THE NUMBERS A recent study from the tech company Fluent indicates that about 40 percent of U.S. consumers plan to make at least one purchase this holiday season on a mobile device. Of those surveyed, ages 18 to 44 are a key demographic in terms of mobile purchases. However, demographics of all ages will be doing research and comparing prod- ucts online before making their purchasing decisions, and roughly half of them will be using a mobile device to perform those tasks. In 2015, mobile made its presence known, accounting for an es- timated 18 percent of e-commerce sales. Per comScore Inc., one in five online holiday purchases added up to $12.65 billion from those handheld gizmos. Looking into those figures, it once again sends a clear message to online businesses that mobile-friendliness is now a way of life and not just a feature. Add to that Google's recent changes to their search algorithms, where users engaged in a search from a mobile device are now given results from mobile-friendly pages first, leav- ing incompatible sites towards the back of the line. Your local online strategies also come into play regarding mobile reach. If a mobile device is giving the search en- gine a location, or the user is logged into their account, local businesses get a boost in the search results. Be sure your company information is up to date, and you're on the map. Facebook has also added features for businesses that can be lever- aged to reach the mobile audience. The social media site released new call-to-action buttons that are customized to specific businesses. These buttons include those providing users a method of requesting an appointment or getting a quote. Mobile users can also be reached on Instagram. With 400 million active users and more than 60 percent logging in daily, it is the sec- ond most engaged network after Facebook. While Instagram used to limit itself to a mobile-only app, they've released a method for uploading camera images via desktop, found at This provides online marketers an open door for reaching those us- ers along with their other social media marketing efforts without being restricted to a handheld device. On the topic of social media, let us not skip the hashtag strategies. Hashtags have become common in virtually every social media plat- form. Here are those that have received the bulk of the traffic with online consumers during the holidays: #BlackFriday #BlackFri #CyberMon #CyberMonday #HolidaySavings #Present #Presents #Shopping #ShopSmall #StockingStuffer #StockingStuffers All of these insights have one thing in common, and that is the ability to leverage images. Your products and services sell them- selves with a great image, and im- ages grab people's attention. Use images everywhere, all the time, and every time in order to get qual- ity results. In between promotional content, stay engaged with online con- sumers through seasonal content. Adobe Spark (https://spark. offers a library of content that can be put together using images, video, and web stories that can keep your audience interested in your social media accounts. Splash in a bit of personal with a bit of promotional for a good holiday marketing recipe. Best of luck this holiday season! And Happy Holidays from Texas! Mobile Holiday Hustle Make the most of mobile holiday marketing

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