When the world has holiday shopping on its mind, how does a business grab a slice of that pie? With the current volatility and uncertainty, how do you pinpoint clear online marketing strategies for your small business? What plan can a brand put in place, to stand out in a sea of marketing messages, especially when the consumer is already overwhelmed?
Launching and extending your holiday promotions is a great start!
To save you time, we have compiled 16 clever marketing ideas to adopt – and adapt – for your small business this season. A winning approach is to combine digital and offline marketing tactics smartly.
Capture the magic – marketing tips & ideas to maximize the holiday business!
There are multiple ways to market your business online. As a brand and a business, lead with empathy for how your customer is feeling, and take a proactive, solution-focused approach to both your marketing and messaging.
Cash in on popular date trends
Offer promos for days like ‘Panic Saturday’ or the Saturday before Christmas, (December 22nd this year) popular in the retail industry for last-minute sales and extended store hours. Similarly, you can capitalize on dates like Boxing Day or New Year’s eve. Pick one that works for your audience for one or more campaign(s).
Take the time to create product recommendations
Since customers are probably feeling overwhelmed with tons of things already on their minds, make it easy for them with product recommendations.
Get creative with discounts
The word sale is synonymous with happiness. Everyone is in the mood for deals, and discounts are by far the best way to entice customers. But how much is too little? According to research, a minimum of 20% off on a holiday discount is required to make an impression. Else, make your discount $-off, not %-off.
You could also offer tiered discounts where the discount increases as shoppers add more products to their carts.
Free shipping is another valuable incentive. Customers do not see any value in a shipping cost so why not build that into the price of your product instead. According to Etsy, many sellers who set up a US free shipping guarantee saw a 20% increase in sales, on average.
You have the skills! We have the jobs!
Make it urgent!
Whether it’s flash sales, the last few pieces left, limited time, or one time offers that create FOMO, time-bound urgency is a great trigger for action. For best results, pair those with a clear end date and a strong Call to Action. Using a Benefit-Based Call to Action like ‘Order Now and Receive by Thursday’ creates even more excitement.
Update your Holiday look
Don’t forget to give your email, website, and social media channels a festive refresh for the season. Whether you modify your pop-up form for the holidays – in holiday colors with your current product, or switch up your social media header images, or email templates, catch the attention of potential customers by getting into the holiday spirit. Research shows that people associate these colors with gift-giving and it triggers an emotional sensation, priming them to buy.
Have a look at the Holiday-themed footnote we put at the end of our newsletter.
Grow your email list with freebies
The simplest option is a discount on their next purchase, but you could also get creative by offering them a novelty seasonal add-on product, or personalized post-purchase services that relate to your product. Offering a free digital product is a great way to offer more value.
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You can also list your digital products in our marketplace and gain visibility, traffic and business!
Holiday Marketing ideas to maximize customer goodwill!
Cherish your existing customers
Repeat customers keep businesses in business. Offer a bonus gift at checkout to delight or a special holiday discount (or promo) to your best customers. Whether it’s an email with a coupon code or a special landing page with a promo offer, take the time to court your existing fans.
Capture reviews with sales
Good reviews increase your social proof as well as Google ranking. Engage your customers at the point of purchase and incentivize them to leave a review right away. E.g. you could offer them a freebie or a discount as a thank you for leaving a review.
No hassle video promotions
Stressed about shooting new promotional videos for the holidays? Here’s a great marketing tip for your social media. As long as you have good images, use the Facebook Slideshow option on your business page to easily create engaging videos from your product images. Add music and create content usable this holiday season and beyond!
Want to get more out of your Facebook Lives and slideshow videos? Try this simple way to save your Facebook slideshows and videos and reuse them on Youtube?
Create or choose a relevant holiday hashtag to use for a promotional campaign. You can prominently display this in your store, website and social media and encourage shoppers to use the hashtag to show off their latest purchases. Each hashtag share is additional publicity and great for social searches too.
Want marketing tips for Social Media or Email Marketing. Wondering how to market with Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram? Get The Best Business Tools and Freebies for Marketing – offered by the pros.
Let your customers market it for you
Customers trust feedback from their peers the most. At the point of purchase, incentivize your customer to share a picture of them using your product or write about their experience on social media. User-Generated Content, where customers rave about you, is the best unpaid, marketing tool. Pair it with a Holiday Hashtag for even more marketing wins on social media!
Send a Postcard
If you have mailing addresses, reach out to customers with postcard marketing. Virtually 100 percent of postcards get read, since in contrast to mail-in envelopes, a postcard is already “opened,” and ready to read. Keep the message simple. Use the postcard instead to grab the reader’s attention and then lead them to the next step that can close a sale; i.e. visiting your website, attending a grand opening, getting a freebie, or using a coupon.
Collaborate and co-brand
The holiday season is a great time to consider brand partnerships and collaborations with complementary businesses, to enhance the experience for your customer. This is probably the one time your customer might actually be happy with an upsell or cross-sell to help cover everyone on their list. Not only can you share the cost of customer acquisition, but by collaborating, you even lower the cost of discounts.
Find the perfect collaboration. Someone is looking for your expertise right now!
Approach Influencers in your niche on social media and offer your product for free in exchange for a mention or an inclusion in a round-up. In fact, at this time of the year, many bloggers put out requests for product inclusions. A simple search within Facebook groups for example, for words like ‘holiday gift guide’, could show you any recent round-up requests.
Tap into emotion
Tis’ the season for nostalgia and meaningful messaging. Even though holiday terms might not be core to your brand, using it creatively is all that’s required. For example, you could put a fun twist to your newsletter ideas by subject titles such as ‘Christmas Deals Even Santa Can’t Pass Up or ‘12 days of your product.’ Similarly, Giving back, gratitude, home for the holidays, and goodwill, etc are other emotions that fit the season.
Share your good work
When gratitude and generosity are in the air, highlight the good work done by your company for the community. Share your philanthropic initiatives, the way you take care of your employees etc, and harness the goodwill season. For an all-round win, encourage charity within your customer with your messaging.
As far as possible, personalize your campaign to your customers. In the end, If your buyers are buying till the last minute, as most shoppers tend to, your marketing efforts should also be incessant.
The best holiday marketing ideas to maximize your brand?
Creative marketing ideas aside, if you simply lead with joy, it will become the most wonderful time for your business and customer!
A Designer, Entrepreneur & US Patent Holder, Aditi graduated from a top design school and subsequently started her own design and merchandising business. Co-founder at Maroon Oak– the Free Business & Career Networking Platform for Women, she has over 17 years of business experience with Two Dotts, her design consulting company and an Etsy store which serves as an outlet for her gifts and patented product designs.
A mother to a teen and a tween, she enjoys running, dancing and raising her dog, a Bichon named Miltie.