The holidays are upon us, and this special time of year for family and friends can also be incredibly special for your business. Leveraging this season for your company’s marketing efforts can pay off well into the new year, and then some.
At Rainmaker Integrated, our gift to you is eight simple marketing tips for this most wonderful time of year. Here are some inexpensive ways you can market your business the holiday season.
1. Plan, Plan and Plan
In marketing, planning is easily half the game. Aligning your various strategies, KPIs and budgets all in one place provides you with a roadmap to guide and focus your efforts. Without a plan, you run the risk of floundering between strategies with no real insight to lead the way. This is also the best way to avoid being surprised with how quickly deadlines seem to creep up during this time of year.
Sitting down to craft a holiday-specific marketing plan can help you identify your goals for the season, along with actionable ways your organization can accomplish those goals.
2. Cross-Promote Your Business
Cross-promoting involves partnering with other businesses to amplify one another’s deals, messaging and products/services.
First, identify your target audience and research potential partners who share similar targets. Once you’ve chosen an organization, work to discover mutual benefits of cross-promotion. For example, a small gym owner may team up with a meal prep service to offer some of their meal options in the gym. In exchange, the meal prep service provides a discount to users who enter the gym’s name at checkout.
Over the holidays, consider partnering with a brand in ways that complement the spirit of the season. Frozen turkeys are often sold with coupons for dinner sides, such as stuffing mix, attached to their label. You can be just as creative for your organization.
3. Offer a Unique Experience
The holidays are a magical time of year, so set your company’s whimsical side free during this season. Offering customers an experience is a great way to stand out from the crowd, but resist the temptation to do what your competitors are doing. An Italian restaurant could provide a small holiday tasting menu, celebrating traditions from back home. A local bookstore may offer Sunday Christmas story readings by Santa Claus or recommend other books to be part of a larger gift package for book lovers. Couple your brand’s unique identity and strengths with Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s customs to make for memorable marketing moments.
4. Be a Resource
As wonderful as the holidays are, they remain a stressful time of year. Think of ways your brand can be a resource for busy families trying to do it all. Downloadable guides are an inexpensive way to position your organization as a thought leader while providing a useful tool for current and potential customers. Bonus, you can request an email address for downloading these guides, setting up a lead generation opportunity.
Hubspot is a great example of digital resources done right. The platform offers a rich library that also acts as a lead generation tool. Hubspot’s guides include everything from how to hire and train your marketing team to how to build an annual social media strategy.
Brainstorm ways to alleviate the holiday hustle, and make sure it fits with your brand’s messaging. For example, a masseuse might create a guide on how to keep stress low during the season (one of those suggestions of course being to get a massage) and share it via their monthly newsletter and on their website.
Beyond providing education digitally through a guide, your organization can ease the pressure of the holidays in physical ways, too. Offer a free gift wrapping service or distribute a complete grocery list for the perfect holiday dinner. Your audience will appreciate any way to help save time and frustration during this time of year, and those positive sentiments are remembered long after the season ends.
5. Embrace the Influencers
Micro-influencers are quickly becoming the favorite for marketing pros (versus macro influencers, who are more like celebrities). In addition to charging smaller fees, micro-influencers have a much more engaged and local following. Their content also tends to be much more authentic that bigger influencers because they aren’t yet being inundated with offers for advertising partnerships.
Via a sound influencer marketing strategy, invite some influencers in your area to stop by your business for a behind-the-scenes holiday experience they can post about. Think about having them show off a new product, but they can also help shine a light on something you already offer that happens to be perfect for the season.
6. Launch a Local Search Campaign
A local search campaign over the holidays can deliver a strong ROI by targeting consumers who are already interested in your product or service. Local search rankings can help you tap into audiences that are near your business and have a high probability of visiting your storefront. The holiday season generally sees a push from local economies about the benefits of shopping local, especially on Small Business Saturday. Make sure you are prepared to capture those warm leads who are nearby and ready to buy.
7. Give Them a Reason to Come Back
If someone is taking advantage of your holiday offerings, make sure you give them a reason to come back again once this hectic time of year has ended. Provide holiday buyers with an invitation to an event in February or a discount they can use to kick off the start of spring. Be sure to get shoppers to sign up for your email database though so you can send them a reminder for their bounce-back reward. It is easy for holiday shoppers to lose track of those offers as they scramble to finish their gift lists and prepare for family get-togethers.
8. Give Clients Gifts They Will Love
Ditch the branded pens and cookie boxes that often get forgotten and even thrown out. This is the perfect opportunity to give customers something they will love and remember after the holidays are over. Two sites that we recommend are loopandtie.com and gyft.com. These inexpensive options can help you gift something truly useful for your clients and make your mark this holiday season.
Your Holiday Helpers
These eight tips for holiday marketing are easy to implement and best of all, they won’t cost your company a fortune. Position your organization as a resource and let your creativity run free to best take advantage of marketing opportunities available this time of year. And if you’re ready to take the next step with your marketing efforts, reach out to us for a free consultation at 480-305-2017 or firstname.lastname@example.org.