Holidays provide opportunities to increase sales and attract new customers. If you run a business to consumer (B2C) company, you have much more daily interaction with consumers than other business models. Consider the human equation when creating your marketing schedule.
There are more than 31.7 million small businesses in the United States. You have to stand out from your competitors and all the noise by creating a unique selling proposition and showing why you’re different.
Special days are an excellent time to embrace a new style of marketing. Traditions around each celebration help you come up with ideas that appeal to leads. Here are some ways you can ramp up your holiday marketing efforts.
1. Create a Marketing Calendar
Mark off every holiday your business notes on a calendar. Don’t forget Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Fourth of July and even lesser known events.
What special celebrations tie into your industry? For example, a company selling recycled products might tap into Earth Day.
Once you’ve listed the occasions, take the time to think through special events and sales surrounding each date. How far in advance do you need to promote each idea?
2. Offer Gift Cards
Around 50% of consumers said they planned to give a gift card for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, making it one of the top choices. Offer both online and offline versions to make last minute purchases easy. Make shopping for the person who has everything effortless, and you’ll gain new customers.
With the pandemic and social distancing, many people seek out ways to shop for presents without going inside a store. Gift cards meet that criteria. If you don’t already offer them for your customers, now is the perfect time to add the option.
3. Allow Enough Time
Get rid of last-minute thinking. You already have the calendar, so use it to plan out your promotions. Make sure you give yourself enough time to get the word out about events you’re hosting or big sales.
Thirty days before a sale starts, begin posting signage in your store. Pass out flyers to anyone who makes a purchase, listing the dates of the promotion.
Send out emails in the week or two leading up to the holiday. The more traffic you drive to your store for the event, the more successful it will be.
4. Give Out Promotional Items
Marketing has become highly competitive. Companies who hand out free ink pens may not gather much attention. You have to look for items your customers need and want. Try to stand out from competitors.
For example, if you sell electronics, pass out headphone wraps. They keep wires from tangling, but also promote your brand. Think about the pain points your customers face and solve them with a giveaway.
5. Throw Everything at One Holiday
While you should promote around the calendar year, the number of people making purchases between Thanksgiving and Christmas provides ample opportunity to ramp up revenue.
Reserve a big chunk of your advertising budget for the winter holiday season. People have likely watched your products for sales and specials, knowing they plan to buy something special for a loved one.
If you normally post twice a week on social media, increase your efforts three-fold for Christmas. Think about what would persuade your audience to go ahead and buy.
You’ve probably noticed many restaurants offer gift card incentives during this time. If you purchase a $50 certificate, you get $10 to spend on your next trip. The tactic introduces your brand to both the gift recipient and the giver.
6. Have Fun
Holidays are when people take a break from work, school and the busyness of life. They may be online more and they’re looking for ways to relax and enjoy moments.
Make sure your social media is upbeat and engaging during holidays. You might host a contest, play a game or share a funny story.
Consider traditions surrounding each occasion. For example, at Christmas, many people buy trees and decorate them with family ornaments. How can you tap into this event and bring in more customers? Perhaps you could host a contest where people share photos of their favorite ornament.
7. Revamp Your Ads
Freshen up your ads by including words such as “season” and “holiday.” Offer deals such as free shipping for a particular occasion. Think about what might stand out to consumers.
Even the images you use should surround the holiday. For Memorial Day, you might use an image of a family picnic or the American flag, for example.
Pick and Choose
Choose only the occasions that make sense for your brand. Your customers may be mainly 20 and 30-somethings on the verge of getting married. You could ramp up your efforts during the wedding season and run promotions leading up to June.
Know your audience well enough to know which holidays make sense. Try new things and you’ll find your efforts generate more success than you imagined.
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. She was the director at a marketing agency before becoming a freelance web designer. Eleanor lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.