Every business attempts to capitalize on the holidays. In a season of sales, how do you get yours noticed? Here are some ideas to brighten your holiday marketing results.
Add Holiday Sparkle to Your Digital World
Sprinkle holiday cheer throughout your business’s digital world to nurture the spirit of gift-giving.
Produce Share-Worthy Media
Think of the social media that grabs you, particularly around the holiday season. In most cases, these are messages you can relate to. A post that solves a problem, is of great interest, carries heavy emotional content, or entertains will find its way through the networking ranks a lot faster than common overstated or unrelated messages.
However, everyone loves a good holiday sale, gift-giving ideas and coupons. The better the deal, the more likely they will share these with their friends and family.
But if you want to really light up your key performance indicators, post a video. According to WordStream, 1/3 of online activity is spent watching video. In addition, 82 percent of all Twitter users watch videos and that 45 percent of online users spend more than an hour a week watching videos on Facebook or YouTube.
Set the Mood
Most businesses work hard to create a Christmas atmosphere, adding a tree, some music, a hot cocoa and cookie bar. But don’t neglect your website, either. Decorate your logo for Christmas by adding a Santa hat or a few ornaments. Temporarily change your site’s background with snow, Christmas lights or glitter. You can even take it to the next level by adding a video Christmas greeting on your site.
Make Your Sales Magical
Spread some cheer with an intriguing sale. Create an offer customers will pine after and get the word out everywhere possible. Here are some themed sales ideas that have worked for other businesses.
Twelve Days of Christmas Sale
For this event, you will unveil a new surprise sale item each day. Your 12 Days of Christmas can be rolled out in three easy steps:
- Step 1: Choose the 12 items you will include in the sale.
- Step 2: Select each item’s one-day only sale price.
- Step 3: Decide how you will get the word out and be sure to publicize the details.
As far as possible before the event, promote your sale and list the giveaways, along with how many winners there will be each day.
Holiday Flash Sale
Start a social media buzz about a limited sale, making sure once again that your offer makes Santa look like a small time gift-giver. Go beyond the 10-20 percent off deal. Offer a specific amount of services (or products) at an exceptional savings for a limited amount of time. This technique will reel in new customers andkeep you from losing money. Here’s how to plan:
- Step 1: Send out the news of your flash sale the day before via social media, text messages and emails.
- Step 2: Be clear on what is being offered and that it is for a limited time.
- Step 3: Make the offer or discount deep enough to entice people.
- Step 4: Keep it simple.
- Step 5: Make it easy to redeem. Offering a coupon in a printable and digital format, for example, makes for an easy check-out.
Twelve Days of Giveaways
Shout it from the rooftops! Everyone loves a free gift. Rev up your social media with giveaways that coincide with the twelve days of Christmas. Select a winner from your social media accounts daily or host a drawing in-house. The message of freebies will spread like a melting snowman on a hot stove.
- Step 1: Select the free gifts.
- Step 2: Set the dates of your giveaways.
- Step 3: Create the rules for the promotion.
- Step 4: Get the word out everywhere possible.
You can also take it a step further and require an email address when they register for the giveaway. This is a great way to capture new contacts for your email marketing.
Cater to Procrastinators
There’s at least one in every family. The person who waits until the week before Christmas to shop. Here’s how you save the procrastinator’s holiday.
- Step 1: Make sure you have something to offer them. Perhaps offer an exclusive storewide discount just for the last-minute shopper, or extra reward points if you have a loyalty program.
- Step 2: Since there are, most likely, no official “procrastinators anonymous” groups out there, you will just need to get the word out through as many platforms as possible. Let the world know that procrastinators are people, too, and that you are here to help.
- Step 3: Follow through with what you promise. Some may call this enabling. But in actuality, it’s simply meeting the needs of customers with a slightly different need than those who began shopping mid-July.
Create a Celebration
Invite clients or potential customers to a holiday event and create an engaging environment that leaves people with warm fuzzies. This emotional connection is the milk and cookies that will keep them coming back. Even if you are a service-based business, this could be a great way of simply thanking your customers and getting your business’s name into the community.
Christmas for the Kids
Help parents create a holiday memory with the kids in just a few easy steps.
- Step 1: Offer a craft such as painting ornaments or cookie decorating, or have everyone pitch in and construct a giant gingerbread house.
- Step 2: Offer refreshments. Let visitors indulge in the hot cocoa bar and treats.
- Step 3: Present a photo op with a prop that kids can poke their faces into, such as the Grinch and his dog Max.
- Step 4: Use free gifts or raffles to draw people to your event. Consider possibly having a stack of gifts or envelopes that visitors can choose from in order to find the “grand gift,” which could be free landscaping or $1,000 gift card. Make sure the “losing” gifts or envelopes have at least a coupon in them.
Ugly Christmas Sweater Week
Nowadays stores manufacture ugly Christmas sweaters on purpose. Capitalize on this idea by hosting your own ugly sweater event.
- Step 1: Attract guests in by offering a drawing for some extravagant gifts. One to three is all you need. Your lure must be something people will flock to. This step is key, because without the lure, your event will be crickets.
- Step 2: Encourage participants to wear their ugliest Christmas sweaters to qualify for the drawing. Take photos and display them on a wall.
- Step 3: Offer refreshments and mingle. This is a great fun, stress-free event that gives you the opportunity to get to know your customers personally.
Christmas for the Grown-Ups
Host a classier event while giving yourself the opportunity to mingle with your customers on a personal level. Your business and personal preference will guide you, but here are some ideas to get you started:
- Step 1: Choose your giveaways and make them big. Guests will come if they know there’s something big happening. For example, if you own a nursery, raffle off some Christmas topiaries or garlands for guests to embellish their front porch. But also make sure everyone leaves with a little something that says “thank you” for the business.
- Step 2: Send out invitations to existing clients and allow them to bring guests.
- Step 3 Hire an expert in wine and cheese pairings. Allow guests to sample and learn about various wines and cheeses. Or hire experts in other fields, such as a masseuse or an author. You may be able to get a professional to give their items or services for free in exchange to the free marketing they will experience just from being at your event. You could also consider purchasing some of their products or services yourself as some of your giveaways.
- Step 4: Create an atmosphere. Add music in the background loud enough to set the mood, but soft enough so everyone can be relaxed and converse.
- Step 5: Have refreshments available that match the theme or atmosphere you are trying to create.
Wrap it Up
Marketing for the holidays doesn’t just give you an opportunity to boost your sales. You also have the opportunity to appreciate your customers and grow your client base. Experimenting with creative ways to achieve your holiday marketing goals helps you discover what works and what doesn’t so you can plan a stronger campaign for the following year.
Author: Cindy Lynn Sawyer
Cindy specializes in writing features, how-to articles and informative pieces on topics of interest to entrepreneurs and homeowners. She owns and operates her own company, Capitol Hardware, LLC, with her husband. As an experienced business owner, she has developed expertise in various areas of entrepreneurship, but emphasizes, “There’s always something new to learn.”