By Helen Anglin

In no time at all, the Halloween items in shops were removed and replaced with Christmas decorations, gifts, cards, food and much more. Many shops are already selling their Christmas products and online businesses need to match this level of preparation.

Is your online business ready for the Christmas rush? In the USA, online Christmas purchases increased by 11% last year. More and more people are opting to do their shopping in the comfort of their own homes and the rise of smartphones has obviously contributed to increased purchases online. Competition is fierce in this medium, with many small businesses competing with the might of Amazon, eBay and plenty of large brick-and-mortar companies that have recently turned to the internet.

But, it is possible to stand out at Christmas and increase your sales if you have a comprehensive PR strategy in place. If you haven’t started yet, use these digital PR techniques for brand exposure and increased traffic and start now!

Write Christmas-Related Blogs

Blogs are a great way to get people clicking on your website from search results. By creating valuable and useful content, it helps to build brand trust and adds serious credibility. This is more important than ever at Christmas. People will be giving you their personal details and expecting gifts to be delivered on time, meaning authority, consistency and trust are vital qualities for your website to display.

Writing blog posts which target what people are searching for at Christmas is a great way to draw people to your website. If you’re an eCommerce site which sells mugs, for example, create a blog post about the best mugs for a certain group of people, such as. “10 perfect mug gifts for sisters this Christmas”. These are the terms, ideas and products that will be on the minds of people looking to make purchases at Christmas.

Highlight the great products you have on offer and why the customers should buy from you. Always include an enticing call to action in the blog post. Adding urgency, such as “only 20 days left until Christmas!” is ideal.

Work with Bloggers and Influencers

On Twitter, the #prrequest hashtag will reveal bloggers asking for products for their Christmas gift guides. Bloggers love writing gift guides and their subscribers love reading their recommendations.

If you can get featured in a bloggers gift guide whose readers are your target audience, this can be a superb way to gain exposure. It’s important to find the bloggers who are reaching your target audience and have a good amount of exposure and visibility.

Sending them a product can be worthwhile if it results in more sales. Having recognition from a notable blogger is another way to add a layer of trust and credibility to your brand.

Share Content and Get Talking on Social Media

There are so many events in the run-up to Christmas: switching on the lights, Black Friday and, nowadays, the release of the new Star Wars film. You can tie many of these events in with the content you write about and share this on social media. Follow hashtags and the topics that people are talking about to give your output every chance of appearing in front of web users and attracting more visitors.

Creating share-worthy content on social media is another way to grab your audience’s attention. It doesn’t even need to be your content; many brands re-share relevant, viral content from others (with consent and credit) but, it shows that there is a human on the other side of the computer. It’s a great way to get your brand out there and interact with customers so they can ask you questions and begin connecting with your business.