Is your business ready for the holiday season?
The holiday season starts with some of the biggest sales of the year on Black Friday (the Friday after Thanksgiving) and finishes with the welcoming of the New Year and the deals that so often come along with it.
Chances are, you’ll face some significant seasonal changes during the coming winter months. Luckily there are a variety of clever holiday marketing ideas at your disposal – which are better than any present you could ask for!
Get inspired and put these 8 top holiday marketing strategies into action, and you’ll be sure to have a joyful and profitable season ahead of you.
Why is the holiday period so crucial for businesses?
The facts speak for themselves – did you know:
- 10-40% of yearly retail sales occur in the last two months of the year
- Consumers will spend near $120 billion with online retailers alone from Nov.1 – Dec. 31
- A third of shoppers reported that their holiday weekend purchases were primarily driven by promotions
- 80% of shoppers are influenced by something online before making a purchase – and it largely starts with a search engine like Google or Bing, highlighting the importance of keywords
- Nearly 30% of online holiday sales are from last-minute shoppers – so it’s not too late!
Now that you know the holiday stats, you’re ready to implement the top holiday marketing ideas to make sure you get your numbers up and take advantage of the holiday season. There are many opportunities here, and most can be adapted and applied to just about any business.
Most businesses make the classic mistake of not thinking about the holidays until they’ve arrived, so rather than telling you ‘you should have started planning months ago’, we’ll let you know what you can do right here, right now. There are still a few weeks for you to get your ducks in a row if you haven’t already – the time to act is NOW.
8 effective holiday marketing ideas:
Here we give you some of the best holiday marketing tips that can be applied to just about any business.
Top 8 effective holiday marketing ideas:
- Determine your discounts
- Gift suggestions using email marketing
- Include free shipping
- Raise your holiday spirit level
- Up your social media game
- Make use of keywords
- Don’t forget about staff and inventory
- Use ads that demand attention
1. Determine your discounts
Holiday pricing strategies will need to designed differently than the pricing strategies you use the rest of the year. But, before you start picking your marketing team’s brain, first things first: determine the types of discounts you want to offer.
Shoppers are all looking for the best bargains in town, so you need to get creative to beat the competition.
- Offer one single, very valuable discount to draw-in those bargain hunters.
- Decide to have a series of short-term discounts and promotions that change every few days. That way, you can get shoppers to come back, and back, and back again.
2. Gift suggestions using email marketing
Consumers’ email inboxes are going to be bursting over the holiday season, and they’re going to get used to hitting the ‘delete’ button. You need to make sure your gift suggestions are unique and stand out from the crowd.
Prepare your email campaign ASAP, offering ‘the best gift ideas’ and better yet, offer discounts for bundled purchases. When it comes to email marketing in the holiday season, email subject lines need to catch eyes. A bit of quirkiness can go a long way.
Example email subject lines to catch attention:
- [First Name] – this is NOT just another holiday promotion clogging up your inbox
- HOHO-Hold Your Horses! Use this Coupon to Jingle Your Way to Savings!
You get the idea.
3. Include free shipping
Holiday promotion ideas can also include shipping discounts.
It’s predicted that more than half of holiday orders will include free shipping.
You know what that means – if you’re an eCommerce business owner, make sure you’re keeping up with your competition. If your competitor offers free shipping and you don’t, it’s pretty obvious which one the customer will choose.
There’s no use in having free shipping and no one realizing until they get to the check-out page. Make sure your customers know about it. Pop it in your marketing emails and shout it out to the world.
4. Raise your holiday spirit level
Give customers what they want – after all, customer experience can make all the difference to your business’s success.
Whether it’s adding decorations in your shop’s windows or restyling your website for the holiday, let it go, let it gooo!
If your business sells physical products, you can offer a special holiday gift-wrapping service. Providing services? Decorate your work truck to make it shine with festivity! Leave your customers with a smile on their faces and you’ll make a mark they’ll be sure to remember.
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5. Up your social media game
Of course, you’ll want to increase your social media presence gearing up to the holidays. The top three social media platforms will likely be coming to mind (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). Yes, those popular platforms generally prove to be extremely useful for social media marketing.
That said, we suggest looking into more niche social media channels like Quora, Reddit and Pinterest. Why? We’re glad you asked! Those channels are often forgotten, but they’re riddled with customers waiting for you to grab their attention. The bottom line is: choose a channel best suited to your product or service, and get marketing.
6. Make use of keywords
Seeing as 80% of shoppers are influenced by something online before making a purchase, you’ll want to improve your website SEO (search engine optimization). Nowadays, we’re all walking around with a personal shopper, teeming with reviews and recommendations (aka our smartphones). Who isn’t guilty of searching for Google reviews on certain products/services before purchasing them?
That’s why SEO is so important for your business.
You’ll want to make sure that when someone is looking for your type of product or service, yours will right at the top of the search results.
Side note: SEO is a slow process, we want to be real with you here, you won’t see immediate results. But give it some time and you’ll see your efforts paying off in a few months down the line. At the very least, you’ll be more prepared for next year’s holiday season.
7. Don’t forget about staff and inventory
It’s always crazier than you can remember!
Make sure you have enough staff (even if that means hiring some extra hands just for the holiday season). Increased activity will mean more stress on current employees who may not be able to cope with the added pressure.
Customers don’t like excuses ‘order volume is high so you may experience slower response times’ – that simply won’t cut it, especially when customers need to give those gifts very soon!
They certainly won’t be happy if you run out of stock, and neither will you. There’s nothing worse than having the leads and not having the product to sell to them!
Running out of stock is not only bad for your reputation in the short-run, but it can also result in a lot of unwanted negative reviews which can harm the future of your business. Make sure you don’t get yourself into this sticky situation – be prepared for the influx of customers.
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8. Use ads that demand attention
There is something for everyone, the sky’s truly the limit during the holiday season, so it’s time to get those creative juices flowing! Play on emotion, tap into nostalgia. Users aren’t just shopping for gifts, but for memories.
Make sure to take advantage of retargeting ads as well. You’ve probably forgotten about that shopping cart you created last week or the item you put on your wishlist months ago. A retargeting ad is a gentle reminder that that product is still sitting there.
The holiday season presents many opportunities for small business owners to expand their reach, draw in new customers, and give their sales a well-needed boost. Make the most of the holiday marketing ideas listed here and you’ll be watching your business bloom even when the weather outside is frightful!
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only, should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter and should not be relied upon as such. The author accepts no responsibility for any consequences whatsoever arising from the use of such information.