What can get anyone to spend their hard-earned money? Aside from spending it on their kids, it’s got to be spending while in a good mood. Luckily for business, that’s exactly what holidays are known for: When the scroogiest of people become willing to crack open their fossilized wallet when surrounded by cheer, holiday glitz, uplifting music and the warm smells of pumpkin, eggnog, gingerbread and cinnamon. I’m even wiling to bet that reading that last sentence was enough to put you in a good mood.
Such is the power of the holiday season and luckily for us there are three back to back holidays in store. The only inevitable tragedy that waits is the lost small business profits from entrepreneurs who don’t cash in at all or early enough. Holiday marketing has to be put into effect at least one month prior to the holiday date. For Christmas, start two months in advance, simply because Christmas will always get noticed and clicked on (especially among females). To get started on a strategy, follow these key steps. Remember that every industry is different, and to get the idea wheels turning there are a few tips included for each key area.
1. Let the Holiday Guide You
Obviously, what’s done for one holiday can’t usually be duplicated for another. Each has its own theme and aside from fall decorations for October through November and Winter décor from November through December, you really can’t cross themes. Though to really consider what direction you’re going to go in, ask yourself what your aims are. Do you need more store traffic? Do you want more links or clicks? Which promotional projects you settle on need to be prioritized by which will get you closest to your desired results.
2. Get It in Writing
Everyone wants holiday content and it’s a great chance to get your name out there. Print publications are best for local outreach, though you’ll have to start at least 3-6 months in advance and work with the editor/publisher. A week in advance will do for online content (though remember the rule of starting a month in advance).
What you end up writing about should depend on your business. If you’re in the green sector, a statistical piece about the ecological effect of harvesting turkeys will do the trick. Not a lot of people will be writing about this and the title is sure to grab your core audience. This piece, of course, should only be pushed to like-minded publications.
3. Host a Contest
Everyone loves a contest and everyone loves prizes. The simplest way is to hold a social media contest and make it cross platforms, such as with Twitter and Pinterest or Facebook and YouTube. These contests are easy to track and will get you the most new followers. You can hold a contest for all three holidays and even design the contest to help inspire ideas, funnel content and reinforce branding.
4. Create an Environment
If you have a physical location, you can shift the contest to your store as well. A great example for a store featuring children’s products is to hold a Halloween contest or holiday crafts day on the weekend. For tech-based businesses, you can get people through the door by offering to help them design something original like an e-card.
There are lot of options and you’re really only limited by your own imagination. Whatever your route, do remember to invoke the rule of holiday cheer and decorate the space. Creating an environment means having holiday snacks, a goodie bag, warm aromas, music and more. The better designed your space is, the more positive the end experience is sure to be.
5. Get in Touch
Make use of that rolodex. Send out a holiday email campaign in advance with a coupon to promote sales, and then follow it up with handwritten company branded holiday cards for everyone. If you really want to get remembered favorably, include a holiday picture and a gift card for at least $5. These gestures also show that you value your relationship with your colleagues and clients.