With just around 60 days left, If you’re a retailer, you know this only means one thing: You need to start planning your holiday specials and marketing
Christmas season is one of the biggest shopping events of the year, and for many merchants, holiday sales can account up to 30% of their annual revenue.
Most retailers will try to maximize the holiday season by ramping up their marketing efforts, so you need to work twice as hard to compete.
To succeed during the holiday season you need to have a plan to prepare for the upcoming seasonal rush.
We’ve put together several tips you should do before the Christmas season.
Pair Charity Donations with a Sale
The holiday season is all about doing the right thing and giving donations to those in need. Take advantage of this as a small business owner. When people are in the holiday spirit, add a charitable element to your promotions. For example, you could donate a small portion of holiday proceeds to a charity close to your business or community.
This way, you’ll get customers while helping less fortunate people during the holiday season.
Reach out to local influencers for holiday gift guides
It’s relatively easy to get listed on holiday gift guides from influencers, even if you’re a small business. Most big companies would go after influencers with millions of followers but as a small business owner what you should be doing is contacting the so-called micro-influencers in your industry.
A recent study shows that micro-influencers produces better conversion compared to influencers with millions of followers.
You can either give them a free sample of your product. Or, if you’re in the service industry, offer free admission to a training or a free consultation! the goal is to test out your product so they might add it to a round-up of their favourite products for 2019.
Here’s a quick example of a YouTuber creating a 2018 gift guide with almost 200k views. now imagine if your product is in one of those videos and 200 thousand people will see your product.
The Good Ol’ Giveaway
Social Media giveaways and contents can generate a ton of traffic and engagement for your business, especially during the scramble to find the perfect gift. There’s a reason why big companies like amazon is doing it every single year. simply because it works.
Use your social media and email channels to launch giveaway content and invite people to participate.
Make sure you carefully explain the terms and conditions of the contest or the giveaway for legal purposes.
Crowdsource content from your community
User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful way to attract a buzz around your business. So, use it to your advantage. Create a challenge or contest and solicit submissions from your network of your social media followers. Keep it fun, lighthearted, and creative; and make sure to come up with a plan before launching the campaign to ensure it goes off without a hitch.
A great campaign that relied on user-generated content is Starbucks’ #redcupchallenge. With this contest, they invited followers to post holiday-inspired photos that incorporated that year’s “red cup” design. This is one of the best Christmas campaigns of all time because it engaged the community, promoted social sharing, and produced some unique coffee cup designs!
Dress up your website and social media channels
“Even if you only do business online, you can still show off your holiday spirit,” says Small Biz Trends contributor Annie Pilon. Dress up your social media properties and website with some holiday-inspired elements and colours. Why? Most people love to get in the holiday spirit, plus it shows a little brand personality, which consumers like.
Don’t forget holiday email marketing
If you collect email addresses from your customers (as you should), leverage your email list to send out a holiday gift guide highlighting the best products or services you have to offer.
To extend the life of the content, you can break the guides into different categories like “Gifts for [INSERT PERSON],” “Stocking Stuffers Under $[DOLLAR AMOUNT],” or “Last-Minute Gift Ideas for the Procrastinating Gift Giver.”
Your email list is already primed to your brand, so give them an extra nudge by offering some gift ideas for them!
Offer incentives to buy
During the holiday shopping season, customers are accustomed to deals like free shipping and gift wrap, guaranteed delivery dates, and other discounts. While a seemingly easy tactic on the expansive list of holiday campaign ideas, incentives are a great way to draw customers in.
Story tell like Santa
“Storytelling still works,” says American Marketing Association contributor Christine Birkner. Some small businesses during the holidays should focus on public relations as much as sales. Shine a spotlight on the inner workings of your business by showcasing employees on social media, sharing the behind-the-scenes of your business, or posting pictures of employees during their holiday time off.
Doing this makes your brand more relatable to consumers, and in turn, they will be more likely to buy from you.
Global consultancy PwC closes doors between Christmas and the New Year, and during this time promotes the effort as #PwCTakesABreak. By using this hashtag, employees can tell stories of how they use their downtime on social media. It also shows the public a powerful message: that the company cares about employees, which makes potential clients say, “This is a firm that I want to work with.” In the meantime, it promotes working for the company, too!
Create a seasonal lead magnet
Now is the time to create fresh and new content, wrap it in some seasonal branding, and launch a limited-time-only lead magnet. You can create a lead magnet to attract high-quality, build trust by helping your prospects navigate a problem, or offer a useful resource. Creating a holiday-inspired lead magnet can help grow an email list and nurture leads into sales, as well! Just make sure the lead magnet tackles the following:
- It’s action-driven. To generate interested leads, it’s important to give away free goodies.
- It offers a benefit. Lead magnets should provide useful information your audience can apply.
- It’s relevant. It solves your target audience’s main problems.
Optimize for local search
If you are a small business who relies on local foot traffic, consider it time to optimize your local search presence. This means making sure that your business and all of its details (name, location, website, and business information) is listed on local search sites like Google My Business, Yelp, Better Business Bureau, Yellow Pages, and Company.com.
Local search optimization can help lure local shoppers who are looking for specific types of businesses, this holiday season is a great time to make sure your local search listings are up to date and filled out!
Marketing holidays can be tricky, but it’s for sure doable with the above tips. Pay attention to the deals and plan ahead, as the holiday season is just around the corner. In fact, don’t wait until the last minute… It takes time to create a well-executed holiday marketing campaign. Start your journey at least a month out so you have time to cross your T’s and dot your I’s!
And stay focused on a single key objective so you can connect a clever concept to real business results. The best approach is considering what your business needs in the final quarter of the year: a boost in awareness, a fresh batch of high-quality leads, an influx of revenue, or a dose of customer loyalty.