The Top 5 Ways to Market Your Small Business During the Holidays

It seems like only yesterday we were advising you to make the most of your summer vacation, and now the holiday season is here once again. Make the most of it with these tips for showcasing your business in its best light throughout the season of selling.

1. Get in on the Shop Small Movement

Small businesses get their share of the spotlight each year on Small Business Saturday, which fell on Nov 24, 2018 this year. The intent is to mobilize communities everywhere to step out in support of their favorite small businesses, and to encourage consumers to shop small throughout the holiday season.

If you’re a small business, now is the time to promote yourself as such, and to remind your customers of the value of shopping small. For example, shopping small keeps tax dollars in the community, makes it more diverse, and creates jobs. Although Small Business Saturday is over, the buzz surrounding this event, and its intention, will be present all season long. Find tips for promoting your business by leveraging the #smallbiz movement here.

2. Give to Receive

Nothing says Happy Holidays like a sale. Just the mere mention of Black Friday gets the collective consumer pulse racing. Choose a promotion that will bring people in the door – virtual or otherwise – and help you build a marketing database. For example, a discount code or printed coupon that is accessed by entering an email address (online or in person), or a giveaway drawing that requires social tagging in order to win.

You can further sweeten the deal by offering a free gift to every customer who makes a purchase or enters information that can be used in future marketing initiatives. That gift can be as simple as a sample or coupon, or depending on the industry you serve, as complex as a free consultation or, an appetizer or drink, a matching scarf, and so on. Everyone is looking for the best holiday deal or bonus, so make sure your business is in the running.

3. Maximize Your Social Presence

A strong social media strategy during the holiday season is crucial to sales success. You’ll want to be active on all of your platforms throughout the season, but haphazard posting will nearly always backfire, holiday season or not. Your social marketing campaign should be approached as thoughtfully and strategically as every other aspect of your marketing plan.

Start by setting goals. Are you looking to drive traffic to your website? Increase followers? Engagements? Increase reach for a specific promotion? Next, be sure that everything you’re posting is consistent with your brand. When creating content, use your metrics to determine what type of content is most successful with your audience, then use that information to create a plan 2-3 weeks in advance of posting, so you don’t fall behind when things get busy.

Last, remember that a picture is worth a thousand words. Photo and video are always popular with audiences, and a great way to promote your business and the products and services it offers. Use them throughout the season to promote your events, décor, gifts and offerings, or to tell the story of your business and how it provides value to the people you serve.

4. Send a Holiday Greeting

Social is crucial but email marketing is still an effective, essential, tried and true way to reach your customers. It also has a more personal feel, especially when the email in question is a personalized holiday greeting (bonus points if it comes with an offer as described above).

Be sure your email looks and sounds professional, and that it too is consistent with your branding. Include a call to action, and make sure you’re using analytics to determine open and click-through rates that can drive future campaigns. If you’re holding holiday events or offering any kind of holiday promotion, be sure to include it here.

5. Tell Your Story

Holiday season is the right time to connect with your customers by sending a heartfelt message that tells them who you are, and why you do what you do. An authentic backstory or sincere message of appreciation to your customers will play well during the holiday season – but only if it is sincere.

This is also a great place to incorporate video in your web and social campaigns, or to consider adding a media budget for T.V. or radio. And remember, this is also the season of giving, so don’t forget to highlight some of the charities that you partner with to help raise awareness for your favorite causes, and engender customer loyalty and community spirit.

Regardless of what holiday you celebrate, or if you celebrate at all, the holiday season is a great time to raise the visibility of your business. By spending just a little extra time on your marketing plan, you can make sure you’re taking full advantage of the season of selling, and connecting with customers who will stay with you in season and out.

For more tips on marketing your business, subscribe to the Small Business Solutions blog today.

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