How to Rock Your Small Business Holiday Marketing
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It’s never a good idea to put off the holiday marketing plans for your small business. Large companies have been on it since September (and planning it all year), but there’s still time to come up with some great ideas that will help your small business stand out this holiday season.
Here’s some quick tips to help your business rock the holidays this year, even if you haven’t had a lot of time to plan.
#1 Don’t Jump the Gun
Christmas items are put out at the end of summer. Retailers now do “door buster” and “black Friday” sales weeks, if not months, before they used to. Cartoons and memes are shared all over social media in protest to the onslaught. Back in the day, Christmas promotions, advertising, and decorating didn’t start until at least the day after Thanksgiving. In 2015, the backlash was noticed by a number of national retailers who opted to actually close their doors on Thanksgiving so people could enjoy the day with their families rather than deal with thousands of consumers trying to get a deal.
So here’s where small business can really rock. Take some time for each holiday. It’s October, so come up with some creative Halloween-themed marketing ideas. Don’t even think about putting a turkey onto something until November 1st and definitely don’t bust out any Christmas promotions or decorations until at least November 25th. Actually close your business on holidays. Show people that you not only appreciate each holiday for what it is, but you care about the people who work for you as well as customers. People will notice. People might even smile and tell their friends to go support a business who is on the same page as they are when it comes to holidays.
#2 Get Creative
Get into the spirit of each holiday and get creative with your marketing. If Halloween is coming up, by all means utilize imagery from that holiday in your promotions – much like we came up with some Halloween themed email blasts for a client of ours.
Play off things associated with the holiday and make it fun.
If you have a physical location, have a Trick-or-Treat sale for Halloween. Print up discount amounts on orange paper and have a plastic jack-o-lantern at the checkout. Customers reach in and grab a paper and that’s what their discount is.
You could also host a little holiday-themed party at your location. Combine the party with a “flash” sale (a sale on merchandise or services just during the party). If you happen to be in a location with other local businesses close by, team up and have a block party or run cross promotions with other businesses. Don’t forget to decorate.
If your business is strictly online or more service-based, you can still come up with creative ways to entertain and engage your potential audience. Here’s a few more ideas that can be applied to holiday marketing:
- Do a “share your story/photo” promotion via your website or social media. Have customers submit their favorite story of the holiday to you and in turn they get a coupon code. Post the stories or photos to your social media feed the month of the holiday with a shout out to the submitter.
- Offer something other than a discount or sale price. For instance, throw in a gift card for purchases of certain dollar amounts, offer free gift-wrapping or shipping, donate part of the proceeds to charity. While more low-key than percentage-off holiday sales, they market your business and brand favorably to potential customers.
- If you’re a service-based business, send your customers or clients actual holiday cards in the mail. So many people do digital-only these days that receiving a handwritten card in the mail really does stand out. Include a discount or promotion within the card.
#3 Don’t Forget the Basics
While coming up with your holiday marketing ideas, don’t forget some marketing basics such as:
- Make sure any marketing or promotions are appropriate for your customers. Identify who they are, what their needs are, what they like, etc. Keep them in mind at all times.
- Do not come up with a promotion that could be construed as offensive, risqué, or inappropriate.
- Provide excellent customer service.
- Be aware of what your competition is doing.
- Don’t over-complicate your marketing. Be creative, but also simple and direct.
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