The holidays are the perfect time to ramp up marketing efforts to increase sales. As a small business owner, we know you already have a lot on your plate this time of year, so we’ve compiled a simple three-tactic list you can use to stand out to your customers.
1. Offer a unique sale, gift-with-purchase, or discount.
Get creative with promotions. You can run specials or clearance a certain product for a limited time. Make sure what you are offering is tailored to the most profitable demographic and your customers’ needs.
Here are some good guidelines to follow when creating a sales promotion:
- Make sure there’s always an accessible call to action in your promotional materials—something to click or a number to call.
- Make the customer benefit clear and simple, so they know what’s in it for them.
- Make it clear to visitors when the offer expires.
- Make your promotion memorable and entertaining.
- Run it multiple times.
Of course, all of this takes time and planning. You know your customers and prospects best, so you probably have a good guess as to what they’ll find valuable.
2. Host a holiday event.
Everyone loves the holidays, especially when it comes to discounts and special deals. Organizing special holiday events can help lure in customers.
Here are some ways to leverage events for your customers:
- Join forces with other small business owners in the area to hold a weekend “sidewalk sale”.
- Host a private Cyber event if you have an online store. Lure in customers by offering a flash sale only valid for 24 hours.
- Provide entertainment. Hire musicians to play in your store or restaurant, or right outside to attract customers in.
- Appeal to customers who may have kids. Hold a fun event that invites parents to get involved with their children, which may include a make-your-own-ornament contest or holiday coloring contest. Give big prizes or just give everyone small gifts, like candy canes.
- Host a holiday season kick-off event to bring customers in — such as a tree-lighting ceremony with hot chocolate and a visit from Santa — and make sure customers leave with your holiday catalog.
3. Create an online gift guide.
Create an online gift guide to showcase the varied products and services that you offer during the holidays. Many buyers are unsure of what to buy and want recommendations. This provides a great opportunity to stand out win over customers. The more unique and thoughtful your gift guide, the more likely that potential customers will stop and take the time to shop your products.
Here are some tips to create and promote thoughtful gift guides:
- Make it personal to your customers. Create excitement with one post per week focusing on a different themed holiday guide–with the theme of the guide rotating each week. One week could be for her, one week could be for him, one week for the “boss”, and so on.
- Create a special holiday section on your site, accessible from your drop-down menu. This gives visitors easy access to all your holiday posts, so they’re more likely to stay awhile on your site.
- Utilize your current email lists to promote your gift guides. Make sure to publicize them widely across all social media channels to build anticipation with your audience.
Knowing how to effectively market and promote your small business does not come naturally to most small business owners. Thinking about making a marketing investment? You might find some value in this blog post about delivering a return on one in the New Year. Happy Holidays!