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Holiday Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

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It’s that time of the year again. Holidays are known to be busy times for everyone. It’s the holiday season and businesses all other the world are getting ready for an opportunity to boost their sales.

There is plenty to do, lots of planning to do, ordering in advance if you’re a retail store, other purchases to make for friends, family perhaps your business if you have one, gifts to wrap, goodies to make, etc…

I noticed an interesting trend around the holidays, many years ago when I first started my side hustle adventure. I noticed that holidays are also important for marketers as they provide a great opportunity to make more sales.

Restaurant owners, retail stores, and service providers all find ways to capture people’s attention during the holidays. Here are some of the business ideas I’ve seen that were effectively used to promote businesses:

1. Flash Sales.

One of the easiest ways to make the most of the holidays is by providing a flash sale. Flash sales have become an expected promotion technique for businesses.

A flash sale can last from a week to a few hours. The shorter the length of the sale, the more customers will feel compelled to make a purchase because of the FOMO syndrome. It’s generally a good idea to tease your audience with a special announcement to keep an eye out for. Here’s an example of a 3-day sale by Leadpages.

 

The most notable sales that come to mind are Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and New Years’ which account for approximately 15-25% of businesses’ annual revenue. What’s even more interesting is that this period provides businesses with a golden opportunity to earn new customers through unique offers and experiences. 

2. Send a Gift or Create a Gift Bundle

Another effective method to promote your business would be to provide a free giveaway because they have proven consistently over time to draw more interest in your business.

Gifts give customers the feeling of getting more bang for their buck. They also have the additional effect of showing that you are not cutting prices but that you are also participating in the holidays. The gift provided in this case can be something as simple as a T-Shirt, a mug something that will make your customer feel celebrated.

Here’s an example of an unexpected gift received from businesses I subscribe to.

 

Gifts provided by Aweber – My Email Service Provider. Received free socks, free T-shirt stickers, and a friendly note. Read the story here

 

3. Leverage Social Media or Your Favorite Marketing Channel

I do not have the statistics to show to prove this but It’s fair to assume that there is a surge in social media activity during holiday seasons. So your company should also participate in the holiday social media activity spirit, with holiday-themed campaigns.

Think about the different ways customers can communicate with you online. An ideal situation here for you as a marketer is to provide a nice mix of organic as well as paid marketing methods on your social media platforms.

A holiday-themed video would be very invaluable in drawing attention, setting you apart, and establishing a memorable experience for your audience. 

4. Email a Holiday Greeting

Holidays usually are busy times for a lot of us. We may constantly find ourselves occupied with something or we could just constantly be on the move, and doing things such as running errands, catching up with friends and family, sharing viral Tick Tock videos, etc…

With all that in the mix, it becomes increasingly hard for a business owner to catch their ideal customer’s attention. A very effective method for guaranteeing your message is seen, is by sending an email to your audience.

Many businesses take advantage of this fact during the holiday and you should too because it is proven to work. Customers check their emails frequently during the holiday season to find deals that are relevant to them. So you should be there in their inbox delivering that very message.

Email is a powerful way to keep your audience aware of holiday celebrations, deals, sales, seasonal product lines, etc.

One simple email can yield impactful results by informing consumers and encouraging them to participate in the holiday shopping event you have organized for them.

5. Offer Gift Cards

Who doesn’t love a gift card? If you have loyal customers, they would love to receive a holiday-branded gift card sponsored by your business. Gift cards can be provided in multiple ways, as an incentive to get more buyers, as a rebate for buyers, as a gift for an avid fan, etc…

6. Extend Hours of Operation

We are all busy and have to juggle life, work, family and friends, etc… Sometimes unforeseen circumstances can keep your audience from visiting your store during regular hours.

You understand that as a store owner and know that extending your hours of operation during the holidays will increase the number of satisfied customers and also increase the size of your loving fans.

7.  Holiday Decoration

Create a holiday atmosphere by decorating your store for the season. The decorations do not have to be extravagant but you can be creative by mixing branded store items with a holiday feel.

Spice up the ambiance with some hit popular holiday music. There are certain stores near my neighborhood that I love to go to just for the ambiance. I mean I go grocery shopping sometimes and see people singing and dancing. That to me is a multiple-win scenario because the store owner gets to:

  • Play catchy music that uplifts customers.
  • Customers feel more relaxed and take their time to browse items around the store.
  • Customers become naturally friendly to each other
  • Customers take money out of their wallets with a smile 

8. Provide helpful Holiday Tips

The local news usually reserves a segment during the holidays to provide useful tips to their viewers. Sometimes they would host a local business that would showcase their products and provide useful tips to their viewers.

This is such a powerful technique because they get to capture the attention of eager viewers and present tips that viewers would immediately associate social credibility to because it’s on the news.

9. Host a Holiday Event

Immerse your business in the holiday spirit by hosting a holiday-themed event. It is the perfect way to thank customers for their continued support. You could set up one of the following:

  • A holiday countdown
  • A friendly contest with your loyal subscribers
  • Offer gift cards, vouchers, or coupons

Leverage social media to draw attention to your holiday event etc..

10. Use Paid Advertising

You are a business owner, so you understand the value of paid advertising. Therefore it is needless to say that using paid ads will increase your chances of attracting more people to your holiday offer or getting them to sign up for your email list to receive your exclusive offer.

Here’s an email promotion example from Digital Marketer. You’ll notice the email on the left and to the right the landing page for the associated promotion. 

Credit: Thanksgiving email promotion by Digital Marketer

What I failed to represent here is the email campaign associated with this promotion. The team carefully drafted a campaign that started before the holidays, then sent a series of reminder emails throughout the holiday season to get their subscribers to participate.

11. Share A Portion of Sales with Charity

Increasingly, customers like to make a positive impact on the world. One way to facilitate this is by sending a portion of your sales to a charity.

Choose a charity and share the details of the contributions your business will donate to the charity. This is important to your customers so we encourage you to share this message in your advertising efforts. 

12. Partner with Other Businesses

Show camaraderie by teaming up with a business that brings complementary value to your customers. These would be businesses that have a similar target audience to yours.

Creating such a partnership can create a unique value offer for your customers. Think of idea 11, where we discussed offering a portion of sales to a charity.

You could push this further by establishing a partnership with the charity, assuming they also have an audience that could benefit from your services.

13. Share Free Resources

Everyone loves free stuff! Use your expertise and create a free resource that your audience can benefit from.  You can offer a free recipe, free tips, motivational quotes, etc.

which are great for showing quick value, and credibility and also growing your audience.

14. Partner with Influencers

There has been a surge of social influencers lately and they are impacting the construct of marketing in a major way. Influencers are storytellers that are loved by their communities. Storytelling is a powerful mode of conveying information.

As such storytellers are prime prospects for delivering your holiday message as well as promoting your services to their audience. You can find an influencer fit for promoting your holiday event on an influencer marketplace like Influence, Intellifluence, AspireIQ etc.

Take your time and review the potential candidates. Rates depend on a combination of the influencer’s total number of followers on a platform. You could expect roughly a rate of $10 – $25 per 1000 followers. 

15. Use Holiday Specific Landing Pages for Promotions

A landing page refers to the first page a prospect sees when they click on a link related to your business. So for example, if you are organizing a special event for the holiday, you can direct your subscribers to a specific page created just for the purpose of that event.

Your business can benefit from using holiday-specific landing pages because it helps the customer remain immersed in the holiday spirit.  A happy prospect will naturally become a happy customer.

Luckily you do not have to spend a lot to have a holiday landing page. As a business owner, you may already have access to resources that provide holiday landing page templates that you can use for your next event.

Here’s a great example of holiday website design templates offered by Digital Marketer.

Free: Holiday Web Design templates

Credit: Digital Makerter. Free: Holiday Web Design templates

 

Well there you go, some pretty cool and very effective holiday promotion ideas. Holiday promotions allow businesses to tap into an already hungry market, by incentivizing them with a gift.

Are You Ready to Start Your Next Holiday Promotion?

Oh! before I forget, there is one other thing that I have observed during the holidays that is widely popular. That is those who wait until the last minute to make their purchase.

The procrastinators…

While there are strategies to boost your marketing sales with procrastinators, I have to feel compelled to remind you that if you are running a business, you should plan ahead and not wait until the last minute to start using the holiday marketing ideas shared in this blog post.

It’s never too late to start planning for the next holiday promotion campaign. 

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