Marketing is one of the most important things for a business. Without marketing you have a product or service that no one knows about! Marketing is the voice of your business without it you will go unseen. Marketing during the holiday season is just as important than any other time of the year, maybe even more. You need to plan your marketing strategy in advance so that you can easily tackle the hecticness of the holiday season. With so much going on with your business you may be at a loss of where to begin with your holiday marketing. Well, Women’s Council of Entrepreneurs has curated fifteen great ways to market your small business to success this holiday season!!
15 Holiday Marketing Ideas
- Give Your Current Email Subscribers Early Access and VIP Deals
- Categorize your Email List
- Increase your Digital Presence
- Use Social Media
- Do a Live!
- Offer Free Gift with Purchase!
- Partner with Other Small Business or Influencers
- Join Holiday Gift Guides!
- Create Your Own Gift Guide!
- Support a Charity
- Have Customers Help Spread the Word About You!
- Offline Marketing Channels
- Run Paid Ads
- Throw a Holiday Party!
- Have an After Holidays Sale!
Do you feel overwhelmed? Let us explain these Marketing Strategies in more detail….
- Give Your Current Email Subscribers Early Access and VIP Deals
Use your email list to let your current subscribers and customers know about all your upcoming sales and give them access to them before anyone else! Create specific codes for each holiday sale or discount that you have. The codes for early access makes it exclusive and makes your customers feel important and creates customer loyalty. By giving them early access and setting a date that the general public gets the deal you create urgency for them to buy. You should also give the current customer or subscribers an extra percentage off that the general public won’t get this will further establish their loyalty and trust in your company and will also encourage other people to become new subscribers!
2. Categorize your Email List
With data that you have collected from your customers categorize your email list by your customers’s interests or what they have purchased in the past. By segmenting your email list you can target your marketing more clearly. By targeting your marketing you can create more a personalized messaging to your customers and connect with what sparks their interests instead of sending out mass emails to everyone. You may target customers who have already bought a certain product when it goes on sale. Personalizing and targeting your emails to your subscribers should help your open rate and prevent unsubscribing.
3. Increase your Digital Presence
Before the Holiday Season gets here make sure your website is user friendly. Check that there are no broken links on your site and that your Ecommerce platform is working. Not only do you want your website to be working and user friendly, but more importantly check how your website works as a mobile site too! A lot of people do their holiday shopping on their phones and if your website is a pain to work with on the phone people will most likely close out and go else where for their holiday shopping. Let’s be real, isn’t this why Amazon is so successful?? We may not have the resources Amazon does, but there are little tweaks you can do to make your website and mobile site more user friendly.
Here is a great article on the steps to make your website mobile-friendly:
And if you really want to invest in your business you could make yourself an app for you customers to download. Jotform is a simple and easy to use platform for creating your own app for your business.
4. Use Social Media
We know, we know! Social media can be such pain! But, social media really is a great way to reach your customers and connect with them. Make sure you are updating your social media regularly and you are doing so with enticing deals and posts. We suggest picking a theme or idea each week that you want to communicate to your followers. Not only will this make your marketing more clear to your followers, but it will help you stay on track with your social media posts. When thinking about what to post make sure to use photos and videos of the products you are trying to sell, post reviews or stories from customers, and a good behind the scenes of your process always catches people’s attention!
That brings us to another great idea for marketing and interaction:
5. Do a Live!
We know these three words are terrifying to most…us included, but live videos work! Your followers who are online get a notification that you are live and will most likely tune in to what you are saying! If it is just a quick announcement there really isn’t a need to hype up that you are doing a live (it doesn’t hurt though). But, if you are planning to do a Live Sale make sure to post about when the live will be well in advance! You want to make sure your followers know when to be on so they can buy from you.
6. Offer Free Gift with Purchase!
One idea to gain interest in your business is to advertise that you are giving away free gifts with each purchase – make sure to make this a limited time only! Again, just like the early access for your email subscribers you want to create an urgency. As far as the free gift, you can use your promotional material, like stickers, water bottles, etc. You can also use sale items that aren’t selling successfully or you can even ask another small business if they would like to give away free samples of their items! Any way you go about it make sure to talk about it in your email and on social media before you execute the promo.
7. Partner with Other Small Business or Influencers
Collaborating with other businesses or influencers is so easy and you can find great success from it! Some ways to collaborate with another small business could include a giveaway or sale that you do together or you can simply just share each other’s sales and discount announcements online. Collaborating is especially good if you have a brick and mortar and you work with a near by business to make it enticing for people to come to your area to shop. Working with influencers will look much different. You will need to contact them in plenty of time for the holiday season and you will most likely need to pay them to promote your product, as well as, send them your product for free. This may seem like a lot, but it is worth it if their followers are your target market!!
8. Join Holiday Gift Guides!
There a lots of publications and e-platforms that compile Holiday Gift Guides. You can look to your local publications or do a google search on Holiday gift guides. Simply make a list of the possibilities and start inquiring about how to be a part of them. You will find that some will cost money to be a part of, but you should be able to find some for free. Just know you probably won’t get the same amount of traffic to your website and/or store with free lists. But, having your name out there on more websites never hurts!
9. Create Your Own Gift Guide!
Another great idea is to create your own gift guide! It can be of all of your products or you can create a list of yours and the businesses you have to collaborate with. You can make easy links to all your products or services that would make great gifts for different categories, such as, women, kids, men, grandparents, etc! You can even make it a Free Download so you can capture more emails for your email marketing!
10. Support a Charity
This is one of our favorites! Finding a local charity to support during the holiday season just makes sense. A way to support the charity is to collect a portion of your proceeds and donate it to your charity of choice. We suggest making it a certain length of time to again bring urgency to the buyer. Also, inform the charity when you will be doing this so they can share about it on their social media platforms and in their email newsletter. Give them ad copy and an image and/or tag them in all posts about it so that it is super easy for them to share!
Speaking of sharing….
11. Have Customers Help Spread the Word About You!
Reward your current customers for check-ins on social media while at the store, social media post shares, and positive reviews on Facebook and especially Google! Give coupons, discounts, or small (free sample size) gifts to people that share about your business. Have a little basket full of goodies with a sign that says “FREE – just please “Check-In” on Social Media to let everyone you’re here and to SHOP SMALL TODAY!” The influence of friends is a big deal when it comes to marketing! People are more likely to shop where their friends recommend as opposed to random reviews online.
12. Offline Marketing Channels
Offline line channel of advertising can be forgotten these days, but can also be a great option for you to market your business. Check locally to see if there are markets or vendor shows you can join. This would be a great option if you have a product to sell or even a service that would make a great gift! Another option for offline marketing are radio commercials. Only go down this path if it fits your budget and it is directed at your ideal market!! This is very important because you could could waste a lot of money directing ads to the wrong demographic.
13. Run Paid Ads
Another option if you have the budget is to run ads on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or even Google. These are great options to run seasonal ads on because you are able to direct the advertising to specific markets and demographics. Just like the social media posts on your pages make sure to use eye catching photos. These photos can either be of the product or clever holiday related images that would make people stop their scrolling and give your business their attention. Once someone clicks on your ad we suggest that you create landing pages that include offers or discount codes to shop at your store or business during the holiday season! This is a great way to grow your customer base and your email list!
14. Throw a Holiday Party!
Throwing a holiday party at your store is great idea to get customers in and you could even use this as a way to benefit the charity that you have chosen to support! Even if you don’t own a brick and mortar you can still find a way to throw a party. You could collaborate with a business that does have a space and co-host it! Having an event could give you great publicity especially if you plan it far enough in advance to get publications to write about it! If you don’t know how to write a Press Release you can learn how to here:
And last, but certainly not least…
15. Have an After Holidays Sale!
Why end your holiday sales at the holidays?! There are plenty of people that celebrate with their family at different times of the year or maybe received money for the holidays and are treating themselves to something special! No matter the reason, you should keep these warm leads interested. A good marketing slogan for after the holidays could be: “The holidays are over, but the deals are still here!” Have fun with it!
We sure hope these marketing ideas are just what you needed or sparked great ideas of your own. We do want you to remember when creating discounts for you business – don’t discount so much that you aren’t making any money!! Please know your business’s finances so that you make a profit this holiday season. It’s great to have lots of customers or clients, but if you don’t make enough money then it’s just not working.
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