Have a holiday marketing strategy that will let your small business shine through the end of the year, no matter if you plan in September or get started in December.
If you have just one simple marketing tactic to connect with consumers over the holidays instead of flooding your audience with endless messages and posts, you’re guaranteed to end your year strong!
Even if you’re starting late in the holiday season, never fear! 41% of shoppers will not complete their holiday shopping until mid-December, so it’s almost never too late to get in front of consumers and get holiday sales.
Know All The Holidays (And Target Them)The holiday season covers everything from fall to the new year, there’s a lot to keep track of!
Here are the important holiday dates for 2019:
Seasons and holidays to consider:
- Fall (September - November)
- Winter (November - February, depending on your region)
- Halloween (Thursday, October 31st)
- Thanksgiving (Thursday, November 28th)
- Hanukkah (Sunday, December 22nd - Monday, December 30th)
- Christmas (Wednesday, December 25th)
- Kwanzaa (Thursday, December 26th - Wednesday, January 1st, 2020)
- New Year’s Day (Wednesday, January 1st, 2020)
- Black Friday (Friday, November 29th)
- Small Business Saturday (Saturday, November 30th)
- Cyber Monday (Monday, December 2nd)
- Giving Tuesday (Tuesday, December 3rd)
- 12 Days of Christmas
- Christmas Eve (Tuesday, December 24th)
- Christmas parties
- New Year's Eve (Tuesday, December 31st)
When thinking of your holiday strategy, don’t limit yourself to just Christmas or Black Friday, consider targeting a few different holidays to attract different aspects of your audience.
On the flip side, don’t try and target every holiday - you’ll not only overwhelm yourself but also your audience with so many messages and promotions!
Plan Early (For You And Your Business!)
Hopefully, you’re reading this before the holidays are upon us because many businesses make the mistake of not thinking about the holidays until they’re here.
If this is you, no worries
! Just skip this section and head to “Sell A Lifestyle, Not Your Product”
to find how your business can benefit from holiday marketing before the holiday season passes!
If you’re ahead of the holidays, start to take note of which of the tactics below resonate with your business and start organizing them now! When the holidays hit your time and energy will be absorbed by all the activities going on in your business and personal life.
By planning ahead, you can get all the moving pieces together and decide which holidays (and shopping holidays) you want to target.
A lot of your marketing tactics can be scheduled months ahead of time, such as targeted newsletters to your customers, social posts, and Facebook Ads or retargeting ads for potential customers. For things that can’t be pre-built and added to the queue, you can add them to your calendar, like Instagram Lives or holiday parties.
Allow People To Hit Pause On You
Before the holiday’s hit, make sure you plan for people to not want to receive your emails or messages.
I know, this seems counter-intuitive, but hear me out! During the holiday season, inboxes are flooded with emails that all read and look the same. All of these emails not only annoy consumers, but remind them of businesses they don’t want to hear from anymore - making it not just the holiday season, but the unsubscribe season!Be different this holiday season.
If email marketing is a part of your holiday marketing strategy (which it should be!), then consider asking your customers what they want to hear from you before their inbox is barraged.
Allow people to hit “pause” on your holiday email marketing by sending an email asking them to select what they would like to see from you during the holiday season.
It can be as simple as asking:
“What are you looking for this holiday season?
- Free events for the whole family
- Special discounts
- Gift guides
- An inbox break (just until the holidays pass!)”
Link to your email subscription service or a form that can add tags (segmentation) based on their choice.
Your list knows what they want to hear from you during the holiday season, before it’s upon us - ask them and listen!
Get Your Funnels In OrderBefore the holiday season is upon us, review your website and funnels to make sure they’re in flawless working order to deliver the best, automated service while you’re promoting your holiday campaign.
Check your inventory, product reviews, optimize your content, customer service channels, current funnels, and social media profiles, making sure they are all in working order and functional.
As the holidays ramp up, and your holiday marketing does the same, your time will become even more limited, making your foundational business efforts incredibly important.
Even if all you do for your holiday marketing is to make sure your business is running smoothly so you can step away for time with family, you’re setting yourself up for a relaxing holiday season!
If you want to ramp up sales during the holidays, then after you’ve done an audit of your current marketing; start building and scheduling your new campaigns. Build, test, and optimize for maximum success!
Deck the (Digital) HallsSpread the holiday spirit on your website, social channels, and even your Facebook Lives by designing new images, graphics, and having holiday decorations in your videos!
Coca-cola created an institution around their holiday images, including their beloved polar bear and Santa.
Invoke your brands' mission with holiday images that invoke nostalgia, warmth, joy, charity, family, or cheer.
Sell A Lifestyle, Not Your Product
People don’t buy products, they buy solutions, they buy feelings, they buy “why.”
Instead of just showcasing your holiday deals, doorbusters, or any of the typical holiday promotions - showcase your product or service as a lifestyle choice.
This is the direction Starbucks takes with their holiday cup, “Buy anything that’s in our holiday cup and you’ll be part of our luxury brand, in the holiday season, and a part of the ‘cool’ community.”
Ask yourself, what do your customers want? How do they want to feel? How does your business make them feel?
Personalize your holiday promotions to exude this feeling, just like Starbucks does with the design of their cup!
Start Sharing Cheer On Video
Whether you’re sharing your secret Santa deliveries, holiday promotions, or a holiday gift guide, video allows you to easily get new holiday content in front of viewers fast!
If you’ve already started using video or not, the holiday season allows you to capitalize on the benefits of it in your marketing strategy. Over 8 billion videos are watched every day on Facebook, proving videos drive engagement.
All you need is a camera and a small message to share, your audience is waiting to watch and act!
Still not sure? 58% of consumers said they react to videos they see online, 60% said they visit the videos social profile after viewing and 70% said they went to their website - that’s a lot of people ready to act!
Donate To Charity
The holiday season is also a charitable season and people love to know they are giving back to those in need while celebrating the holidays and learning more about what your business finds important.
Choose a charity that connects to your business in some way, like an online pin shop selling mental health pins, as well as fun enamel pins, donating a portion of their holiday profits to suicide awareness and prevention.
As Simon Sinek tells us, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.”
Make the most out of this strategy by having a target amount you want to donate. For example, set a certain amount of every order, like 10%, to donate to suicide prevention, and aim to donate at least $1,000.
Not only can you promote to coordinate efforts to give back, but how close to your charitable goal you are. As you hit milestones in your goal, you can post your progress and allow people to feel part of the process of giving a large donation to a great cause.
Host A Holiday Event
Take an evening, weekend, or week to celebrate the holidays and your customers by hosting an event. An in-person event can invite people into your store to celebrate with eggnog, live music, and even local artists.
If you’re an online-only shop, consider hosting an in-person event in your local city to get to know your customers and celebrate them. You can offer a special gift bag to those who RSVP and attend that includes complementary services, product samples, and gift guides!
Can’t do anything in person? Consider holding a Facebook or Instagram Live where you giveaway services, promote other businesses, and share local (to you) musical artists. Invite people to watch the special online concert while they are prepping dinner or enjoying family time together and engage with the Live for their chance to win special prizes or services.
A breakfast, complimentary service, gift basket, or small party allows you to engage with both customers and prospects during the holiday season!
Create An Exclusive Offer (Even If It’s Not One)
This holiday season, have one goal in mind. One product you really want to sell, one service you want to fill up, one singular objection to achieve.
When you have that singular goal in mind, come up with an exclusive holiday offer to help you achieve it. This offer needs to be exclusive and time-limited so that your consumers know they need to act and that they won’t find a better deal at any other time of the year.
Scarcity drives action!
A lot of times we consider exclusive offers to be fully based on price, either discounts or BOGOs, but you can also provide consultations, downloadable gift tags, or even something as small as a free ringtone for your customers.
Think about something that would delight them when making a purchase, the figurative cherry on top - this is your exclusive offer!
But what about if you don’t have anything exclusive to offer? Work on your copy and phrasing!
While I don’t recommend deceptive marketing, by sharing what you currently offer with scarcity copy, you can trigger action in your holiday consumer.
This is especially the case for businesses that provide subscribe and save services, consider framing it as, “This month, get 5% off your order when you subscribe!”
Even though this offer is available all year round, the exclusivity of the language will help consumers finalize their purchase.
Share A Yearly Recap (Or Future Goals)
If you feel you don’t have time for any holiday promotion, consider an after holiday share.
Put together a recap of your past success to share with client’s, customer, leads, or prospects and how you’ve helped so many people overcome their problems!
- People contacted
- Emails sent
- Blogs written
- Social posts shared
- Customers helped
- Products sold
- Past events
- Top testimonials
If you feel nervous sharing your past, put together your vision for the next year! Allow your audience insight into hat you want to achieve this next year and some ways you’re planning on making that happen.
Consider goals like:
- More in-person events
- New product to share
- Conference to attend
- Customers to help
- Emails to send
- Online updates to make
Sharing with your audience your success or plans to grow will make them feel included in your business and a part of your journey and progress. You don’t need to always focus on selling to build goodwill and relationships with your audience.
Good news, no matter when you get ready for the holiday season, you can make a positive impact on your business. Whether it’s starting new content with video or hosting an event to celebrate the holiday season and your customers!
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