10 Ways to Market Your Small Business at Christmas
Christmas is one of the most widely celebrated holidays globally and a pivotal opportunity to market your small business on the calendar.
Christmas is becoming an ever more commercially growing holiday, whereby brands and businesses alike jostle for attention via slashing sales and promotional products.
As December 25th is fast approaching, businesses of all sizes feel increased pressure to take advantage of the buying rush that we see in the run-up to the big day.
And in the rush of businesses vying for customers’ attention, effective marketing is essential.
Christmas is not only a critical period when it comes to marketing, but it also marks the finale of the festive period.
This means that the marketing you as a small business are doing over the winter months can have a massive impact on both your pre and post-Christmas sales.
In other words, getting your marketing right now is the key to a great Christmas and festive period.
When it comes to making your brand stand out and get noticed, creativity is king.
Here are ten ways to market your small business at Christmas, boosting awareness and driving up sales over the festive period.
1 – Create an Event
Creating an event that encourages potential customers to engage with your brand is a great way to get noticed and get your brand and your product out there.
Brand actualisation strategies such as creating an experience for the public will attract existing and new customers and bring about your brand awareness.
For example, you could consider converting a used shipping container into a space for your experience that is mobile, durable, and innovative, for example.
You can use events to call attention to your brand or product and engage with your customer base.
They give you a chance to enable your potential customers to experience who and what you are, live your brand, and tell their friends about you.
And they allow you to gain valuable insights about who your customers are, what is important to them, and how to market your small business to them in the future.
It is also important to synchronise your event or experience with your other marketing strategies. For example, enable your customers to engage with you about the event through your social media, helping to create a buzz online and offline simultaneously.
2 – Sampling Campaigns
If you are launching a new product or want to raise awareness of an existing one, free sampling campaigns can be an excellent way to get your product out to the public.
People love a free sample because they are getting something for nothing and because it allows them to try it before buying.
Teamed with a social media marketing campaign, you can get people talking about your brand, engage with you and your business, get valuable insights, and boost your sales.
You can set sampling campaigns for just one location, several locations or perhaps use a mobile booth.
It is widely agreed that sampling campaigns can create immediate demand as many people will buy a product after sampling it in a free sample giveaway.
This is ideal if you have a product that you are trying to push for Christmas or winter. Sample campaigns are also a great way to reach new customers, helping to give your business a boost over the period.
3 – In-store Interactive Experience
In-store interactive experiences are another great way to activate a brand and boost engagement with an existing brand.
Interactive experiences would typically include:
- Features where customers can touch or connect with the brand and products.
- Getting a better understanding of what you are all about.
- Helping to increase your brand awareness and sales.
In-store interactive experiences are an excellent way to get people’s attention, build an understanding of your brand, and create memories.
Whether using innovative technology for a fun experience, creating a personalised experience to make customers feel special, demonstrations involving customers, or other equally ingenious ideas, in-store interactive experiences can do the trick for Christmas and beyond.
Again, you can integrate your social media into your experience to create more of a buzz online, drawing in more customers and potentially generating more online sales and the shop.
4 – Time-Limited Deals
There’s nothing like a time limit to encourage people to buy your product now. If your customers can see that they are getting in on a great deal that is about to run out, they are more likely to make their minds up to buy now.
Creating special deals with a time limit is excellent for incentivising people to buy at that moment.
Some businesses offer great hourly deals, promoting different products from Black Friday to throughout the festive season. Others prefer to promote just one product, allocating a time limit for its special discounted price.
In a similar vein, you could also consider exposing stock levels to your customers. This can also incentivise customers to buy now instead of waiting, enabling you to make the most out of the work that you have put in for the holiday period.
Using a countdown timer on your website or in your email can also help create a sense of urgency that effectively incentivises people to buy before time runs out.
It is essential that you make your customers aware that you are running these special deals and can promote your flash sales in your email marketing, website, and social media for maximum effect.
5 – Social Media
Different social media platforms will be appropriate for your Christmas marketing campaign, depending on your target customer.
An important thing to remember is that you should use social media for marketing yourself with most of what you are doing. Whether you choose to engage with your customers, you can almost always enhance it with social media.
However, that doesn’t mean to say that you cannot run specific social media campaigns to market your small business.
If you are trying to appeal to the Generation Z digital generation, TikTok could be the perfect platform. If you are more image-centred, you should consider Instagram or Pinterest, for example.
You may want to run a campaign across several different social media platforms, looking for ways for the public to engage with you and each other.
When you are planning your social media marketing campaigns, there are many factors that you should consider:
- Timing – Social media operates in real-time, so timing is essential. You can check the peak time for your customers’ engagement on the platform you are using and make sure that you post accordingly. It would help if you also thought about how far you want to start talking about your campaign in advance.
- Reviews – Reviews are an excellent way to build trust in your brand, so ask for feedback from your happy customers and make sure that you tell people about it.
- Hashtags – Create custom hashtags for your social media campaign. Christmas sees vast amounts of internet traffic – and festive hashtags. By creating custom festive hashtags, you can help customers find details about your specific deals amongst all of your competitors. You could also consider using location-specific hashtags if it is appropriate.
6 – Christmas Giveaways
You can take advantage of the traffic that is created in the holiday season. Increasing your brand awareness by giving away a prize or running a competition is a great way to do this.
Everyone likes the idea of getting something for free. A giveaway is another way to help attract people to engage with you, involve their friends, and give you valuable information at the same time.
Competitions or giveaways can help to build a sense of occasion and build hype around your brand.
They will also make sure that you engage with the ‘right’ people instead of ‘any’ people, incite action, and help boost your social media following.
7 – Start Early
How often have you heard people saying that Christmas starts earlier every year? Well, there’s a reason for that.
Getting started early can give you a head start on your competitors, so why not offer an early bird discount?
Ensuring that your customer base knows who you are and what you have to offer is vital. It is essential that you do your research to find out when the best time is to start your St. Nicholas marketing campaign is to ensure that it peaks at the right time.
Some campaigns will need time to build up, whereas others will need to be more immediate.
You could also consider running your festive campaign for a bit of time after the day itself to market your small business – perhaps until January, to capitalise on the savvy sales shoppers that are scoping for further good bargains.
8 – Be Organised
Have your marketing campaign organised and set to go well in advance of December 25th so that it runs as smoothly as possible.
Automating and scheduling marketing emails, pop-ups, and social media posts is a great place to start, meaning that you can concentrate on other things at Christmas itself, such as preparing for the new year.
You could also consider carrying out pay-per-click and keyword research and getting customer feedback to determine which marketing strategies they engage best with to ensure that your marketing efforts are as effective as possible at Christmas.
It is also vital that you ensure that your business can handle the extra traffic this holiday season.
This means looking at whether your website is optimised for more significant amounts of data and having the workforce to deal with the influx of orders or queries you might get.
Not being able to cope with the orders that you get can negate the positive effects of your marketing efforts with bad reviews and a damaged reputation.
9 – Tie your Branding in with the Holiday Season
We all like to do something a little special during the holiday season, so see if there is a way that you can tie your branding in with it.
You could make festive branded products or give your website a winter makeover to market your small business.
Giving your website a sprinkling of snow or your products Santa hats is a great way to create a bit of a buzz and perhaps show that you are getting into the spirit and enhance your business’s branding to show your personality.
This is a chance to show your fun side and show off more of who you are, build stronger bonds between you and your customer base, and get people talking about you.
10 – A Long-Lasting Relationship
Remember, your Christmas customers are just as crucial as customers at any other time of the year, so make sure they know it.
The ROI for repeat customers is much higher than trying to find new customers all of the time – and a lot less effort – to be true to your brand, treat them well, and encourage them to come back to you.
The most important thing to remember here is that the minimum that you should be providing for your customer is what they expect – getting your admin right, sending the correct product to them, in the manner that you have promised, with the quality that you have advertised, and within the timeframe that you have offered.
You could show how much you appreciate your customers by personalising your communication with them – perhaps sending them a note with the product, a free sample of another product, or a branded gift.
To ensure that Christmas and the winter period is profitable and effective for your small business, it is essential that you plan marketing campaigns well in advance.
Using different strategies to market your small business, you can build your reach, engage more potential customers, and boost sales over this critical time of year.