Tips for Holiday Marketing
Well here we are again, the holidays are about to go into full swing. Actually to me it feels like we skipped Thanksgiving and went straight to Christmas. I admit, I've been listening to Christmas music and watching the Hallmark Channel since the beginning of November. Guilty. This time of year seems to go by in such a rush and I find myself "trying" to slow down and enjoy it a bit more. So the whole feeling of moving past Thanksgiving might be a little self-induced. Sigh.
So that said, what are your holiday marketing plans? We don't need charts and graphs to know that this is by far the biggest shopping season of the year. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday... and by the looks of it, Black Friday started a week early this year. (Justifies my Christmas music in November habit...)
You should have your marketing strategy in place by now, but in case you're running behind, I've gathered up a few tips so that you don't miss the opportunity to reach out to your clients and prospective customers.
Holiday Email Marketing
You know how I feel about the importance of email marketing. If you don't, you haven't been listening! It's by far the easiest and most effective way to reach your audience.
Now there are a lot of what I'd call "micro-strategies" in managing that email campaign and the list(s) that go with it. The reason I call them micro-strategies is not to diminish the importance of them, but rather because many of you don't even have an email strategy. I don't want to overwhelm you with some of the more advanced options available when you don't even have an email list to begin with. Your eyes will glaze over and that will be the end of it. We'll have none of that!
So I'm not going to get into the nitty gritty email campaign tactics here (drop me a note if you want to learn more though!), but here are a few advanced email campaign strategies to consider once you've got that list going:
- List segmentation with differing offers
- Sale Previews
- Countdown Timers
- Email Automation vs Behavioral Triggers
Basic Holiday Email Marketing Ideas
Ok now the basics. We've got this!
- Share information about upcoming sales, promotions or specials
- Post your holiday hours and availability
- Gift ideas
- Upcoming local events
- Thank them for their business - ALWAYS thank you customers for their business!
- Wish your followers Happy Holidays (or Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, New Years - whatever is appropriate)
Purely my opinion here, but don't overthink the political correctness of whichever holiday you're wishing happiness for. Let's focus on spreading some gratitude, joy and kindness. I am not offended if you wish me a Happy Hanukkah (especially if you come bearing latkes!) and my Jewish friends have no issue with me wishing them a Merry Christmas. The point of the season is peace and love. Let it start with us.
Social Media for the Holidays
Which social media channel do you find works best for you? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest...? If you're anything like me, you're probably finding it a bit overwhelming to keep up with them all. But that said, one or two of them are probably better and more effective channels for you than the others. Part of it depends on your business and part of it depends on your followers. Well chat about that at another time.
So given that we're already busy (read overwhelmed) with family dinners, shopping, increased workload and traffic, let's narrow down just a couple of social media channels to focus on. We want to enjoy this time of year too, right? It's why I start in November. Just sayin'.
- Create posts (images and video), like your email messages, that speak to your audience and promote your offer. Which of your products or services do you think they'd be most interested in? Shoes (that would be me), massage (ok also me), electronics, holiday-themed gifts... Get it out there.
- Use relevant hashtags like #giftideas and #mybrandisawesomeandunique
- Be sure to tell them where they can purchase your special holiday widget, be it your shop or your website.
- Add a holiday theme to your posts; capture the spirit of the season. Be it greens, reds or blues, snow, or a palm tree draped in holiday lights for you southern folks, create a festive mood to your post.
- Get other people (customers/influencers) to post about your product or business - be sure they tag you. Easy and FREE!
Have fun with your posts! 'Tis the season to lighten up a bit. Capture the culture of your business and share it with your followers. Does the dog go to work with you? How about a Santa hat on Fido? Do you bake Christmas cookies? Share that - and maybe even the recipe too.
The cool thing about social media is that there really are no rules when it comes to the content you want to generate. Create some brand awareness and capture the essence of who you are and get it out there.
Social media is the new word of mouth. Take advantage of it!
This is a little off message but it's worth saying. Support the other local businesses in your community. Those are the people, like yourself, that donate to the local fundraisers. Mr. Big Box Store, not so much.
Instead of searching Amazon for that perfect hat and beanie for your niece, stop by the neighborhood boutique. And while you're at it, chat with the owner about what they're doing for holiday marketing. Let them know what you do and share some ideas together. And don't forget to post about the cute new outfit you just bought there. Because let's face it, you know you're going to buy more than just that hat and beanie!
Create some community in your community. #shopsmallbusiness #shoplocal
Spread the Message of Peace and Love This Holiday Season
So here's the bottom line for me: We put so much into selling at this time of year - advertising, strategies, promotions, sales, whatever. Let's overlay a message of peace and joy into our marketing campaigns. Spread some kindness and love. Do some joint marketing with a local charity or shelter. Remember to say please and thank you. Give back when you can.
The holidays can be a difficult time of year for people. Remember that this may not be "the most wonderful time of the year" for everyone. Keep that in mind if your sales clerk seems short-tempered or someone cut you off to that parking space at the mall. Let it go.
Be grateful for all of the blessings around you. Let that message ring through your holiday marketing campaigns. Maybe together we can spread some good cheer and make the world a little happier.
Happy Holidays my friends. Wishing you many blessings!
To learn more about managing your marketing strategies, drop me a line. I'd love to chat with you. Also, please check out the @WestCoastCyberChick podcast and follow me on social!
Laura Nowak Brown
aka The West Coast Cyber Chick