Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over. Scored any good deals?
For the small business owners that sell goods and services online, how were your sales? Was it as good as you hoped? If it wasn’t, don’t worry because you still have time to cash in on the holiday shopping madness.
A study from Custora revealed that online shopping increased by 12% in the holiday season (November to December 31) of 2015, and it’s bound to get higher as more people shop online. That’s why the holiday season is prime time to ramp up your marketing efforts to increase your sales and engage your target audience.
But how can you get noticed in a world cluttered with generic “Happy Thanksgiving” and “Happy Holidays”? How can you get your holiday campaign messages read amidst all the noise?
Here’s How to Get Your Festive Cheer On
1. Plan Ahead with an Editorial Calendar
I hope you already have an editorial calendar for your blog posts and social media but if you don’t have one yet, now is the time to start.
Brainstorm the type of content you want to publish ahead of time, so everyone in your team will know what needs to be done and when it needs to get published. For instance, if you wanted to create a Thanksgiving video, you’ll need to start at least a week before Thanksgiving so you have enough time to create and publish the video a few days before actual Thanksgiving. If the video goes live on Thanksgiving Day, not enough people will see it and by the next day it will already be outdated.
Things to Consider for Your Holiday Editorial Calendar:
- Specific holidays to write about (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year)
- Holiday promos and offers
- Promotion and collaboration opportunities
2. Use Festive Layouts and Images
Email marketing providers like Mailerlite and Mailchimp provide holiday templates, so you can make your newsletters and email promo campaigns a little more festive. You can also add holiday images like gifts and tinsel to your website.
3. Keep it Real
Your business has its own voice and brand, so don’t forget to incorporate those elements into your holiday campaigns. Businesses in the banking and finance industry may be more formal, while online retailers may use a more casual tone. Whatever your brand’s tone of voice is, keep it in sync with your holiday content so it’s aligned with what your readers have come to expect.
4. Write End-of-Year Trend Posts
Don’t limit your holiday marketing campaign to greetings and promotions, write useful stuff, too. One way to do that is to write end-of-year posts.
Think about the main trends in your industry, and what you expect to happen next year and write about that. You don’t have to write this on your own. Reach out to experts in your niche so you can write a solid round-up that includes a diverse range of opinions and experiences, like this one from Bit.ly.
You can also write about your New Year’s Resolutions or a gratitude list.
5. Give Back
Your business probably donates to charity, but does your target audience know about your good deeds? Now is a good time to tell them.
You’re not only doing this to let your audience know about your company’s values, but also to inspire them to give back. For example, Canon UK launched an awesome holiday campaign that showed their employees doing acts of kindness in an effort to trigger others to do the same. After watching the video, users are asked to do an act of kindness and take a photo of it, use the hashtag #selfieless and tag 3 friends so they can do it too. The campaign is brilliant because it combines a holiday theme with a promotional component (taking a picture, maybe with a Canon Camera?) and a viral component (tagging 3 friends).
If you sell products, perhaps a portion of your proceeds can be donated to a cause that you care about. Companies and professionals that offer services can offer pro-bono services during the holidays.
6. Share Your Culture
Part of building your online authority is giving your audience a behind the scenes look into your business. It’s one way to show them that your team also knows how to have fun, while sharing your team’s values and still promoting your business.
Culture sharing ideas:
- Share photos or videos of your team’s holiday parties
- Photos or videos of employees sharing what they look forward to next year, or what they are thankful for this holiday.
- Share photos of your office’s holiday decorations
7. Thank Your Customers
Your business won’t be running to this day if it weren’t for your customers. Show them your appreciation with a heartfelt “Thank you” message to show them your gratitude for the loyalty they’ve shown your brand.
Offer a discount, freebie, or other type of deal (buy 1 take 1) on products they would likely purchase, based on their spending history. Using their spending history to customize your offer makes it more personal, not something you’re offering everyone.
Don’t Go Overboard
Yes, the holiday season is a good time to update your website and online marketing campaigns. But don’t go overboard. Use the same logo with a dash of sparkle to make it festive, don’t change it too much. There’s no need to change your website’s color scheme, too.
Previous readers and longtime customers who visit your website again might not recognize it, if you make too many changes. I’m sure you don’t want that to happen.