5 Holiday Marketing Tips to Boost Sales
The holidays are a crazy time for marketing and small businesses in general. There is plenty of different opportunities to market your business before December 25th even rolls around. Everything from Halloween, Black Friday, Small business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day (not to mention all of the holidays in between).
Despite the recent pandemics, holiday sales grew 8.3% in 2020 and a further 10.5% in 2021 according to the National Retail Federation (NFR). The increase was more than double the average holiday sales increase pre-pandemic. What do these stats tell us? That post-pandemic, our consumers are willing to chip out their hard-earned dollars to spoil their friends and family around the holiday season.
On top of this, In 2020-21 we saw an overall increase from 2019-20 in small businesses overall, a 180 a reversal from previous years declining growth, including a 16.5% increase in small business income, according to the ABS.
How to get a piece of the pie
Now for the all important question, how do we get a piece of the pie for the 2022 holiday season? To help your efforts, we’ve gathered some tried and true Marketing tips to help you prepare for the happiest season of the year. Not all ideas work for all businesses, but finding the ones that work for you and tailoring them towards your brand is always a great way to stay ahead of the competition.
We’ve included plenty of small business budget-friendly and easy to coordinate ideas, but they do take a little planning. Get a head start before the rush to make sure your holiday selling season goes as smooth as possible!
1. Partner with a charity or cause that aligns with your brand
Ideally, you already have a go to charity or non-profit organisation that you love supporting or would like to start supporting, and the holidays is a great time to get started.
Aside from the obvious positive feel-good factor for you and your team, partnering with a charity or non-profit can also generate customer loyalty, increased brand awareness, strong community relationships and can create a hike in your profits. The holidays are an ideal time to start new charitable partnerships as consumers are in a giving mood and everyone is actively shopping.
A good example of this would be a business that sells small-batch pet food could partner with a local animal shelter to donate proceeds of each sale or a singular product to the foundation. They could also allow their staff paid days off to volunteer at the shelter. The partnership could be publicised on both the shelters and the brands websites, social media accounts and any promotional edm campaigns, materials or even product labels. This could be as easy as adding a sticker callout to eligible existing products or marketing brochures that showcases the partnership. You could also offer a place for customers to donate pet supplies or sponsor a local blanked drive or adoption event to help strengthen community relationships.
No matter what your brand sells, this type of partnership can be extremely effective cost little, and has a major reward for both the business and the community (Win Win!)
There is of course, things to consider when picking a non-profit or charity to partner with, including;
- Making sure you are partnering with an organisation that shares your brands, and more importantly, your and your teams personal values
- Choosing the right fit for your brand, product or service (Don’t partner with a children’s charity if you sell craft beer)
- Research your charity well and make sure it is run well and doing the right thing
- Make it a year-round partnership – helping our community shouldn’t be seen as a purely marketing move. This can come off tone-deaf and can be potentially damaging to your brand image
- Know what you have to offer, and be clear with your chosen organisation, whether its time, money or publicity
Whether you are just donating tips to support the local children’s charity or donating $ from every jar of honey sold to RSPCA, there are lots of amazing benefits to all parties involved.
2. Put them in a winning mood
With Holidays come increased sales traffic, with everyone looking for the perfect gifts for their loved ones, whether it is online or in-store. Who doesn’t love a good competition? A great way to take advantage of this increased online traffic is to hold a contest, whether it be via social channels or via your website. This is an ideal way to pick up leads, followers and expose your brand to new customers without having to shell out the big bucks!
Even without a large follower count, you can promote a ‘tag a friend’ contest on Instagram, this is a great way to bring customers to your brand and social media. To enter to win their prize, all they have to do is tag a friend in the comments! Then that friend see’s the competition and tags another friend and so on, so forth.
An example of this kind of giveaway would be a small cosmetics company offering a twin pack of their new lip-balms with the caption “GIVEAWAY TIME! To enter for your chance to win our new lip-balm gift pack for you and your bestie, tag who you would share these goodies with! The more you tag, the more entries you get …T&C info”. You would then randomly select a winner from the comments. Its as easy as that!
There are plenty of other types of contests you can use, including post-your-own-photos giveaway, where you could have your followers post a picture of their favourite makeup look or their fave summer hacks. Come up with a fun, image-focused campaign that’s easy for customers to enter and share. To easily organize a fair contest, check out a sweepstakes site like Rafflecopter.
If you are a bricks and mortar business without any social presence, you can also offer an in-store contest as a way to garner customer interest. It can be as easy as the classic dropping off name or business card in a fish bowl or guessing the number of candy canes on a Christmas tree.
3. Use the power of influencers
If you want to look at partnering with influencers, particularly those with large followings, you will want to start working sooner rather than later, as most influencers holiday sponsored calendars get filled up earlier and earlier every year. Whether you want to work with influencers with large followings, or smaller influencers with more targeted niche or local audiences, they can be extremely valuable to your brand.
If you are unfamiliar with influencers, they are individuals with large social media followings, generally based on their knowledge of specific industries, matters, or items. They would generally post frequently about their niche. Their followers are highly engaged and will often listen and follow the influencers views and recommendations.
For instance, there are many ‘pet influencers’ that our first example company could use to promote their business. Companies like Influence.co or Tribe are devoted strictly to helping businesses and influencers find each other, like Tinder for brands and influencers!
The no. 1 tip we have for working with influencers is research. Research, research, research. Google is your best friend and find what you are really looking for out of your potential partnership with your influencers.
Finding local social media celebrities or bloggers that cover a specific industry, particularly one that is related to your product or service is also a must. We recommend checking out their social media channels, blogs or website to see if people are interacting with their posts regularly, particularly any past sponsored posts they may have done. You can also estimate their website traffic using a site like websiteiq.com to see if it is worth your time and valuable dollars.
If you feel like the influencer is a good fit for your brand, start to build a relationship with them. Show them your authentic self and let them see the real value in showcasing your brand to their followers. If you are sending them a product to review, make sure its ready to go and represents your brand in the best light.
Also, the most important tip for working with influencers - get a signed contract with any influencer or blogger you work with. This is imperative to set any agreed upon guidelines or expectations you may have.
4. People love discounts (duh)
Towards the end of Spring, as we make our way into summer start offering holiday shopping discounts. People are shopping earlier and earlier every year – get in on this early bird rush by offering coupons to entice your shoppers to buy their holiday gifts early.
For online or even in-store gifts, you can easily add a larger personalised holiday card with a coupon for customers to instantly see when they open their packages or bags, not only is this a lovely, personal touch, but it also encourages your customers to return for their holiday shopping.
If you have smaller products, a fun idea is to create your coupons using custom business cards that will fit easily in packaging of any size. These are great to personally hand out in a brick and mortar store to your loyal customers as a special appreciation for their business as well. Want to print the cards yourself on-demand? Try printable business cards you can design and print when you need them.
This gives you a lot of space to have fun with it and get creative. Your main goal with the design should be to make it ‘Fridge Worthy’. A great deal, along with a fun slogan or design can make the difference between getting thrown in the bin or kept around to use.
This is an easy add on to your campaign and can be used in social media posts and EDM campaigns. You can even create holiday themed posts that coordinate with your cards.
5. Get those last minute shoppers
Let’s be honest, everyone has procrastinated buying a gift once or twice. Every year, you see shopping centres flooded on December 24th with those last minute shoppers looking to pick up some bonus last minute gifts.
NRF data shows us that the average shopper has only completed half of their shopping by December 15th! That’s a whole lot of people looking to complete their holiday shopping in only 10 days of the year. Target those last minute shoppers and give them a great incentive to shop with you by offering them a great deal. Good promotions are things like 20% off storewide or By One Get One Discounted (BOGO Sale). This is a great time to push customers towards a particular product as well, for example if you own a cosmetics business and have plenty of stock of lipsticks doing 20% all lipsticks is a great way to lure in last-minute shoppers.
Another great way to tempt customers to spend with you is by offering extra, inexpensive Christmas gift ideas at the counter or check out. People are always looking for that little something extra to add to a gift or a small, simple present for their neighbours, acquaintances or co-workers. Keep all of these things in mind when up-selling customers by placing them on your homepage, or even a popup before they checkout online, or at the register area in store.
And most importantly, if you are an online store, be aware of shipping deadlines as the holidays near. If you are offering specific holiday deals, you want to make sure you are able to get them to your customers before those big days when they need. You never want to over promise and underdeliver.