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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:

.It certanly has some good tips and advices.
Online shopping has always been a seasonal market and there are promising signs for the upcoming holiday season,So you make the most of it.
Social media is really a good tool to attract new customers or create more loyal customers.We should make most of it.
Although it’s often considered overused, email remains inexpensive and easy
This is great. Holiday season is really competitive but if a business has a unique strategy to get notice from others they will really benefit from it. I will try this one and see if it works on our business.
Great post! The ideas are good especially the idea of making “Extra Appeal for Loyal customers”. As far as “Email” is concerned, we know it is one of the important marketing strategies. Kmurray, thanks for sharing these top tips. Following this one can achieve good results. DbaiG Bolee.com
Good advice for the holiday season. Thanks for the article. Okay, I am a bit curious. I posted the above comment, but it was removed because it didn't conform to community rules? How in the world did the above comment not conform to community rules?
Thanks for reaching out about your recently moved comment on the SBA.gov Community. You'll note in the Rules of Conduct that to maintain quality of discussions, contributions that do not provide a substantive purpose or relevance will be removed. If you have additional commentary related to the discussion topic or blog post, you're welcome to post that along with your original comment. Thank you for your understanding and for joining us on the SBA.gov Community. 
I'm owner to small business. This was great article to boost sales for Holiday season. Thank you for great tips.
I must say, the authors here are always top notch, and you're certainly no exception. I happen to teach a very value driven approach to social media marketing and to see you list that as your top choice for this particular instance speaks volumes. Then to add in email was brilliant. Those are far and away the 2 best ways to connect with, engage, and stimulate your customer base. thanks for the other relevant information worth looking into adding to my repertoire.

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