Holiday Marketing for Small Businesses – Ten Strategies to Get You Started
When done right, holiday marketing can result in serious quarterly dividends for big and small businesses alike.
To prepare you for the holiday seasons we’ve compiled a list of various strategies small businesses can use to get the right profits this season.
Why does marketing for the holiday season matter?
There are tons of opportunities for a business to expand during the holiday season. Let’s look at the six ways those opportunities arise:
• The holiday marketing festivities bring people and businesses together.
• There is an increased demand for products during the season.
• It’s an opportunity for businesses to connect with customers on a personal level.
• When done right, the holiday season helps businesses drive more sales.
• It’s the ideal time for branding activities that can potentially lead to customer loyalty.
• The yearly holiday seasons are an opportune time to experiment, and get creative with your marketing strategy.
There are plenty of reasons besides these that prove the holiday season isn’t something that businesses can overlook.
The changes in consumer behavior are apparent. The general customer is safe at home and enjoying themself with his family and friends. It’s an opportune time for businesses to capitalize on the festivities to improve their sales margin for a particular quarter. As icing on the cake, seasonal sales can also lead to customer loyalty and new customer onboarding.
Holiday marketing for small businesses: The strategies
How can a small busienss take advantage of the holiday season?
Well, in this section of the post, we’ll discuss the various strategies small businesses can apply to drive more sales.
Note: This section isn’t just restricted to eCommerce stores. The strategies also work for physical stores looking to run holiday sales.
1. Having a value-added sales event
This one is pretty obvious, of course.
Consumers love a good sale where they can find products of value at a lower price.
If you’re facing competition as a small business, then having a sales event can give you a competitive edge.
Yes, while the competition might also offer a sale, you need to try strategies that set you apart from the competition even further.
One of the best strategies for differentiation is product bundling. Even in a small business, you’ll have popular and not-so-popular products. To sell them in product bundles means adding value to a consumer’s purchase while also clearing out inventory that would not have been sold individually.
2. Brand yourself with the seasonal vibe
Regardless of whether you’re running a physical or online sale, you need to ensure that your website is decorated for the event.
The modern consumer is always connected to the internet. For a small business, the vibe of the traditional sale should show up in the online persona of the business.
Think of it like decorating your brick-and-mortar store with candy canes, Christmas trees, and fairy godmother props.
All of this is to give off the atmosphere of the season, and thus, prompt users to enter your store.
Make sure your website or online store has a holiday vibe. This way, even if you’re not making digital sales, you can still imprint your brands’ seasonal arrangements in the minds of the consumer.
But what if you were making digital sales? In that scenario, you need to work extra hard to embody the holiday spirit. This includes creating social media posts and designing your eCommerce store to be reflective of the season.
3. Creating holiday season focused landing pages
Changing the entire layout of the website to reflect the holiday season seems like a lot of work for a business.
It pays off, but there is an easier solution to the problem: creating landing pages.
Landing pages are action-based web pages that prompt users to take an action. These pages can be built and used for every website, it’s not just exclusive to eCommerce.
The reason they’re used is they help generate interest, leads, and eventually conversions. Plenty of businesses have attested to the impact landing pages have in boosting conversion rates, going to about 20% compared to the 1-3% for regular web pages.
For small businesses, having specialized landing pages for the holiday season can prove to be a time-saver.
With it, not only are you branding the right seasons on your store, but you’re also not compromising your store’s layout.
Note: If you don’t want to change the layout of your main storefront, that’s fine. But we’d highly recommend you change the logo to embody the festive spirit.
This helps your entire website to avoid looking out of place from the holiday seasons. There are plenty of examples of holiday-themed logos that you can try out.
4. Developing a holiday guide
The festive seasons are a time for sharing. You see it all around you.
Your friends, relatives, and acquaintances are all sharing presents with one another. For an eCommerce store looking to make sales, having a gift guide for purchasers during the festive season can prove very helpful.
It allows them to view and purchase a range of gifts without having to think about what they’re going to get.
Of course, you can mix it up with a quiz or a survey that takes in user-generated information and recommends a gift. Similar to how you would reduce the buyer journey for quicker checkouts, you can keep the guide short and targeted for the user.
5. Gift wrapping as a complement
Gifts, attending family functions, and socializing, the festive season is just as hectic as it is fun. Of course, in the midst of all that, people forget to wrap their gifts.
As a value-added service for your business, you can offer customers an option to have their gifts and products wrapped with the holiday theme.
While this isn’t monetarily profitable, it can lead to building awareness for your brand and have conversations centered around your business. Of course, you’ll need to wrap the products with the gift wrap real nicely for those to actually happen.
6. Email marketing
Email marketing is, and always will be (unless something better comes along) a great marketing medium for small and big businesses alike.
With a big enough emailing list, you can target the right customers with a variety of different variations for your newsletters. Also, you can send personalized and heartfelt messages for the holiday season to your customers.
You can follow it up with an email advertising your holiday sales, or any other branding messages.
Doing this can prove effective in building awareness for your brand. It also leads to renewed customer interest.
7. Product line expansion
As a small business, you only have a handful of products to work with. Product line expansion during the holiday season helps you select specific products that will be bought by the customer during the season.
Now, considering that this step is not the right one for most small businesses, what you can do is add an extra homemade touch to your offerings. This gives off a homely feeling to your products during the holiday season.
Huddle your team together and come up with ways on how you can make your products more relevant to the holiday customer.
8. Promoting a stress-free shopping experience
We’ve all seen how busy it can get for the store during the holiday season. Whether it be black Friday or Cyber Monday, we’ve all seen people getting run over by each other just to get the right goods that are up for sale during the holidays.
Now, a lot of people don’t like that much stress. Some even abhor it. How can you as a business owner sell your products out while also ensuring that users that aren’t in a rush can purchase as well?
The answer to that lies in a stress-free zone within your store. A safe space if you want to call it that. For users that aren’t in a rush, you could have a designated safe zone where they can relax until the holiday crowd thins out.
A safe zone is beneficial not only for the customer but also for shoppers who have made the purchase. They can also come in and relax after an intense shopping spree.
9. Product bundling
As a business, you’ll always have a range of popular and not-so-popular products. Of course, in any holiday event, the popular ones will be sold out more than the other. The question then becomes, how can you as a business sell more of the non-popular products?
Well, the answer to that lies in something called product bundling. They’re an effective way to sell more products on your eCommerce store.
For your less popular products, what you can do is combine them together with the popular ones. Bear in mind that you have to give customers the option to try the bundled product. If you don’t, then you’re going to lose out on customers that just want to try out single products.
10. Multi-channel selling
While selling through the traditional brick-and-mortar shop might be effective for businesses, there is no denying the potential of selling online, and through a variety of other channels.
In the midst of Covid-19, pandemics, and lockdowns, selling through multiple channels is vital. So, try to focus on selling not only through your brick-and-mortar store, but also through social media, your website, or even a marketplace like Amazon.
Small business holiday marketing isn’t difficult
From all that we’ve discussed in this post, it should be clear to you that small business marketing has its challenges, but it’s not an impossible effort. With the right organic strategies, you don’t have to worry about investing too much money into the holiday season. Creative efforts trump high budgets, we’ve seen that time and time again.
So, start creating your small business marketing strategy today.