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5 Ways to Market Your Business for the Holiday Season

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5 Ways to Market Your Business for the Holiday Season

By kmurray, Contributor and Moderator
Published: October 23, 2013

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and the time is now to make sure you get the most of your marketing efforts to help secure sales success in the coming months. Here are a few budget-friendly ideas to help get you started.

Social Media Contests

If your small business has a social media presence, contests on Facebook and Twitter are often a popular way highlight your brand and engage with customers, reminding them that your product or service is available – and a potentially great gift idea. With a few rules, a clever hashtag and incentive such as a prize or discount on your offerings, you can drum up excitement about – and draw people in to – your business.

Extra Appeal for Your Loyal Customers

Take this time to make your loyal customers feel extra special – it may come back to you by way of additional business and referrals. Without breaking the bank, you can provide special offers, sneak previews, free shipping or secret sales.

Special Events or Open Houses

Make your small business stand out by hosting an open house or special event at your store or restaurant. Use it to showcase holiday season gifts, menus and merchandise so customers can get a glimpse of your seasonal goods in advance. Pair the browsing with light refreshments – a mug of hot cocoa or a glass of cider – to get people in the holiday spirit. On their way out, give a special offer or coupon that invites customers back to make their purchases at a discount.

Holiday Help

This is a great idea from Illana Bercovitz at Small Business Trends: use social media to offer helpful tips during a stressful holiday season. Consider your industry, product or service and related advice you could offer to make customers’ lives easier. “Everyone appreciates useful advice and your customers will thank you for pushing content that makes their holidays slightly less stressful,” Bercovitz says. Use an original hashtag to maintain brand awareness across platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

Email

Although it’s often considered overused, email remains inexpensive and easy to implement when it comes to maintaining contact with existing customers. That’s a key to remember – to be effective, email marketing should be used with folks you have already done business with or who have expressed an interest in your business and have requested email from you (otherwise known as permission marketing).

Keep these tips in mind if you plan to use email to support your holiday marketing efforts:

  • Keep the e-mail short and sweet. Link directly to the content of interest so you make the process as easy as possible for your customers.
  • Clearly state the email’s intent in the subject line. For example, "A Special Offer Just for You. Thanks for Your Business in 2013.”
  • Be festive in your design. Appeal to the sights of the season with a special design for the holidays.
  • Follow online marketing rules. Don't forget that online marketing is regulated, so whatever tactics you employ be sure to follow government guidelines that apply to list management, SPAM and other guidelines.

For more great holiday marketing insight, check out this recent post from guest blogger Rieva Lesonsky, “Start Now to Plan Your Holiday Retail Marketing Campaign,” and our 2012 web chat with Caron Beesley.

About the Author:

Katie Murray

Contributor and Moderator

I am an author and moderator for the the SBA.gov Community. I'll share useful information for your entrepreneurial endeavors and help point you in the right direction to find other resources for your small business needs. Thanks for joining our online community here at SBA.gov!

Comments:

Those are some very good ideas to increase your business during the holiday season. Social media is definitely on the rise when it comes to marketing your product. It is a great way to get people to introduce your business to their friends and family, it's kinda like word of mouth for the digital age.
A few more ways that are inexpensive that you can use to market your business include: - Publish a blog post where you give away tools and proprietary tips for the public. You can also research keywords for that post before publishing and implement on page best marketing practice and keyword insertion into the content and images which will bring additional traffic/potential customers, because you will rank for those high volume keywords on Google eventually. - Include interesting statistics for the past year that your company can share, that may interest people in a blog post. For example if you have a credit repair company, offer statistics to the public that reveal the top 5 biggest credit mistakes made over 2013. That would bring value, traffic and new customers to your site, and for free. - Interact on social media with the intent of building relationships and then offer other companies a referral fee for every customer they send you. Once you build up contacts from your social media interactions, now you can ask them to send you business if they come across potential customers for your business, and you will pay them $50 per client. If someone interacts with your business on social media, they must have somewhat of an interest in your company, where they would probably be open to sending you clients and especially for compensation. - Contact your current customers to see how useful or helpful your product or service has been to them, then ask them what you can do to improve on it and offer them extra assistance, and then while you have them on the phone and satisfied with your business, at that point ask for a referral or positive review - If you own a financial company, offer some type of holiday money saving tips in a press release or blog post.
Marketing your business for the holidays? Buy some of your presents from your own store... Whether it is a product or service, you can give gifts from your business to your friends and family for the holidays. Not only does it remind them you're in business, but it allows them to try your product or service without having to buy from you. You will end up with repeat customers and you're supporting your business in the process. This Christmas we're giving coffee gift baskets from my company's new healthy coffee line. All the best to your success, Jackie
Yes, I love email marketing. Though It's a rather antiquated communication tool for gen Y, it does work. The key here is you must have already built a relationship with your potential clients or customers. This will work for holiday marketing if they are truly expecting to receive your email, because they consider it contain high value info they cannot get elsewhere.
Offer freebies and/or reduced or free shipping during the holidays.
Excellent post! Your ideas is good to improve our business for the holiday season. Yes it is very true the Social media is really good platform to attract the traffic. Thank you so much.
We started a Sweepstake for our marketing efforts for the Winter Season and we have received more customers. Everyone's having sales and discount offers and in order to competitive in this slow economy we have to provide incentives to sparks people's interest.
Those are some great ideas to promote your business during holiday season. Social media is definitely a very good way to promote your business. One thing we like to do around this time of year is, offer discounts on bundled service packages that people may need around winter.
Normally we ignore these things while planning about our business marketing, many thanks for sharing.
i like the 1st way: social media contests, because social media is marketing trends for now and future. There is a huge people always on social network, and social media contests will improve your campaign!

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