‘Tis the season…for sales! We’re now smack in the middle of the time of year when your sales should be soaring, but if you’re a small business owner, you have to remember that Santa isn’t simply going to drop those extra sales down your chimney. You’re going to have to do some work for them! But boosting your holiday sales doesn’t have to be complicated: there are some simple, yet clever, things you can do to get your business noticed this holiday season, so you can make the most of the holiday season, and stay in the black well into the new year.
Get Creative This Holiday Season!
As we mentioned above, the holiday season should be the time of year that gets you into the black. In fact, the holiday sales season accounts for up to 30% of annual sales on average. So how can you capitalize on this? The best way is by seriously stepping up and focusing on your marketing efforts, of course! And notice we didn’t say by pouring money into your marketing – you can do this by getting creative and implementing some of the following ideas:
Don’t take a holiday from social media
Now is not the time to slow down on social media, much as you might feel like you’ve got other things on your mind. There’s no better – and cheaper – way to get out in front of, and engage with, your customers. In fact, 57.5% of people say they are more likely to buy from a brand they follow on social media.
And how can you dazzle customers a little more on social media specifically at this time of year? First of all, make sure you have a lot of well-planned and festive posts, especially since people are using their newsfeeds to get gift ideas during the holidays, making this time the perfect opportunity for you to boost brand awareness and promote your products/services. In addition, though, you should also consider offering a special holiday discount to customers who follow you – and you’ll have the added bonus of growing your network.
When engaging on social media during the holiday season, try:
- Using festive hashtags
- Making gift lists
- Promoting special offers
- Supporting/highlighting a charity
- Posting giveaways and contests
- Updating your images with festive photos of you, your team, your business, etc
Get involved in your community
Now is the time when a lot of communities are hosting holiday events, so check out what’s going on in your area and connect with organizers to see how your business can get involved. Getting your name on a program for a local event by sponsoring or helping out can work wonders in terms of growing an engaged customer base.
Focus on your strengths
With things getting holiday crazy, now is definitely not the time to try to work on your weaknesses (you can save that for your New Year’s resolution)! Instead, build on your strengths, using the 80/20 rule to focus on the 20% of the activities that give you 80% of your results. If that’s video marketing, double down on that; if it’s social media engagement, get posting, commenting, and replying; if it’s face-to-face meetings, get out there in front of your customers!
Feel the New Year’s vibe
You might be thinking that we’re already pretty well through a lot of the holiday season, but don’t forget to look ahead to the new year, when your customers will be feeling the burn of the post-holiday season. Leverage the desire for self-improvement that comes with this time of year and try to give your product or service a New Year’s resolution spin. Try promoting products or services that:
- Are focused on organization or productivity
- Enhance health, fitness & wellbeing
- Help with decluttering & cleaning
- Offer safety and protection
Get personal with your email marketing
Email marketing is always a good idea, and personalizing it to your customers is a must. But at this time of year, why not try sharing something more personal about you and your business? Tell a heart-warming story, or pick a “story of the year” about your business, and remember to make your customers feel like they’ve been a big part of your life (and don’t forget the call to action).
Charitable giving is certainly its own reward, but there’s no harm in leveraging your good deeds as a marketing tool. After all, you’ll be supporting a good cause, and your customers will see you in a very positive light – a win for both your business and the organizations you support. In fact, did you know that 56% of shoppers will travel an extra 10 minutes out of their way to purchase a product that supports a cause they care about, and 71% are even willing to pay more for that product? So get giving, and you might end up also receiving!
Promote gift cards
Whether you offer a product or a service, offering gift cards can make you a go-to business for frustrated shoppers looking for a gift for the loved one who already has everything. And you know what? 72% of customers will spend more than the value of their gift card, so it’s smart to offer and promote them, even if you don’t think of your business as one that would traditionally offer them!
Offer special deliveries
You might not be able to offer free shipping for your products all year round, but you might want to try offering it as something special for the holidays to help you stand out from the crowd. Or do you offer a service? Consider offering an upgraded hand delivery service of a gift certificate with a special treat (like a spa gift card hand-delivered with flowers), or offering your services done on-site. Remember, you might not be able to compete with the big guys when it comes to shipping costs or speed, but you can make up for it with personalized service!
Launch something new
Maybe December isn’t the time to launch a new product or service – you might be too busy – but consider planning for a launch in January, when the New Year’s vibe is strong. You can jump onto the whole “new year, new you” feeling and apply it to your business, so you can excite your customers!
Sure, you can bust your butt competing with local businesses, but this time of year is all about love and togetherness, right? So try to find local businesses to partner with – you can offer a multi-business-wide discount or allow them to put out coupons in your store and vice versa. Especially at this time of year, customers will appreciate you and other local businesses supporting each other, and will feel good shopping with you!
Send a New Year’s greeting
When the new year arrives, don’t forget to send a personalized message – ideally a card – to your customers. This is a simple way to thank customers for their business and will help remind them of the importance of shopping locally. It will also help keep the momentum of the holiday season going into the new year!
No matter what holidays you and your customers celebrate, you can make your business stand out and feel more relatable and memorable by incorporating some clever marketing strategies at this time of year. Take a little extra time out of your hectic holiday schedule and try some of our ideas, so you won’t miss the opportunity presented at this time of year to really connect with your customers!
Co-written by Joanna Bowling