Connect with more customers during the holiday season
It’s the holiday season and people are on the lookout for deep discounts and one-of-a-kind gifts. With customers already in a shopping frame of mind, it’s the perfect time to create a holiday-specific marketing initiative.
Effective holiday marketing strategies will vary depending on your industry and company size. However, as with anything in business, always take the time to think through your intended client, your purpose, costs and available resources:
- What will my customers consider valuable?
- How will my offer help them?
- What am I looking to get out of this?
- What are the costs involved: customer acquisition, volume, materials design, marketing, and distribution?
- What resources do I have available: time, money, staff and existing network?
Businesses of all sizes usually see a much-welcomed sales boost during this time of year. Of course, it’s always nice to make the most of it! Here we’ll share our ideas for effective online and on-the-ground holiday marketing.
1. Offer a Digital Coupon
Coupons may bring curious customers through the door, but they can come with a risk: The cost of designing, printing and distributing a paper coupon can be greater than the revenue they generate.
That’s why digital coupons are an appealing alternative. Post a coupon on your website or in your email newsletter. Customers can show the promotion on their phone or print the coupon at home. This keeps design and distribution costs down for you; for the customer, it means no more coupons forgotten at home.
Tip: If you still want to offer a paper coupon, hand them out with each purchase or try a coupon swap with a neighboring business to minimize distribution costs.
2. Host a Shopping Event
Treat your clients to a special event that combines shopping with a fun activity. This encourages customers to linger, browse and buy. Plus, you’ve created a meaningful shopping experience that fosters repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals.
Try something kid-friendly, pet-friendly or adults-only. Combine shopping with food from a partnering restaurant or brewery. Host an ugly-sweater party or Christmas costume party. Get creative! Make a Facebook event for inexpensive advertising.
Tip: This is the perfect time to build your lead list. Gather email addresses at the door or at checkout.
3. Enhance Your Website
There are myriad ways to jazz up your website for the season. A few options, from easy to more complex:
- Change out the featured photo/hero image and text on your homepage.
- Add a graphic or text to your site to feature any promotions you’re running like a coupon code or free shipping.
- Create a dedicated landing page to tie into an email or social media promo.
- Build a separate microsite for a specific product or promotion. (We can help with this.)
The goal with these tactics is to drive people to perform a specific action. Examples for business-to-consumer (B2C) industries might include:
- Restaurants: “Preorder Your Holiday Meal”, “Reserve a Table for Christmas Dinner”
- Hotels: “Reserve a Meeting Room for Your Company Party”
- Health and beauty: “Make an Appointment for Your Holiday Hair”, “Buy a Gift Certificate”
- Retail: “Shop XYZ Department Now”, “Send a Last-Minute Gift Certificate via Email”
Related: Call to Action Marketing > Part I, Part II, Part III
4. Be Charitable
With so much emphasis on spend, spend, spend, be the businesses that go against the grain – donate a portion of revenue to charity and make up the difference in volume (or just feel good about your choices). Some customer segments such as millennials actually prefer shopping at businesses with distinct cultural and social values.
Focus on organizations that directly support your local community such as food banks, minority organizations, homeless shelters, children’s charities, schools, health services, senior support, and non-profits.
Tip: E-commerce retailers can donate a portion of their online sales instead.
5. Start a Seasonal Marketing Campaign
Both online and brick-and-mortar businesses can start a seasonal search engine optimization (SEO) campaign to drive organic traffic to specific pages on their websites — for instance, a shoe store looking to increase sales of “snow boots” can run ads driving customers to those products. However, SEO campaigns take time to catch on (we recommend a minimum of three months in advance).
If this year is too late, work it into next year’s plan and budget for a search engine marketing (SEM) campaign this year. A search engine marketing (SEM) campaign selects targeted keywords based on research and data, then buys online ad placement to drive traffic to your site for increased leads or sales.
Tip: Don’t do SEM alone! SEM campaigns can be wildly wasteful without help. Integritive offers expert strategizing for online marketing efforts.
Related: An Essential SEO Checklist for Local Businesses
6. Get Busy on Social Media
The holidays make it easier to keep active on your social media accounts! Post photos of new products, wrapped gifts, your window display, a festive meal, snow falling, the parade outside your front door — just keep your posts on-theme, timely and light-hearted. Balance promotional posts with purely social updates.
Tip: Give your social media followers a special discount. They may spread the word to their friends, too. Your page gets a few more followers and your business gets more foot traffic. Need help setting up your social media presence? Give us a call at 828-250-0970 or contact us.
Related: Anatomy of a Winning Facebook Post
7. Participate in Small Business Saturday
Small Business Saturday, the local-business antidote to Black Friday, has grown in popularity over the years. Keep your doors open the Saturday after Thanksgiving and employ a unique promotion to attract walk-in traffic.
- Discounts between certain hours.
- Open early or stay open late.
- Discount with purchase (e.g., a bookstore offering 10% off a book with purchase of a coffee).
- Free or donation-based gift wrapping (team up with a local charity or Scout troop).
Let Us Help with Local Business Marketing
Promoting your business during the holidays or any time of year is fun, rewarding — and, at times, challenging. With help from experienced professionals, your investment can truly take off. Integritive offers a full suite of digital marketing services: web design and development including ADA accessibility, SEO and internet marketing, and logos and branding.
We offer free consultations to get you started.
Oh, and don’t forget to take some time off from marketing and spend time with family and friends. Happy holidays!