Market Your Business for the Holiday Season

Wednesday, December 02 at 08:50 AM
Category: Business Banking

The holidays are upon us, which means you’ll want to make the most of your marketing efforts to help secure sales success throughout the season. Here are a few budget-friendly ideas, via the U.S. Small Business Administration,* to help get you started.

Social Media Contests
If your small business has a social media presence, contests on Facebook and Twitter often are a popular way to highlight your brand and engage with customers, reminding them 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 into – 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.

Although it often is 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 already have 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 email 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, etc.
If you have any questions, please contact an Arvest Business Specialist.
Tags: Arvest Biz, Business Banking
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