The holidays are a hectic time. There is a lot to plan for – the presents, the food and family gatherings. It’s also time for marketers to turn things into high gear. Here are six small ways businesses can harness the power of holiday marketing.
1. Use Traditional Marketing Methods
In the last several years, marketers have turned to the Internet as a source of revenue for small businesses. It seems that some marketers had forgotten the traditional marketing methods that were in place before online marketing really took off. Before the advent of the Internet, resources were more expensive – you had to pay for paper, ink, airtime and more.
2. Get Creative
There are several traditional marketing methods that many marketers tend to ignore. They have the effect of not being able to reach as many people, but the holiday marketing season isn’t about that. In fact, there will be fewer people glued to their cell phones and more people out and about trying to get their hands on holiday deals. You can reach these people by the use of print ads, television and radio ads, brochures and newsletters. For more ideas, check out this post on 50 ways to advertise a small business.
3. Run Contests and Competitions
People love to compete. The whole premise of having a monetary system in place advertises a message that there will be people who have things and people who will have to do without. Just look at sports – there are always winners and losers. Contests and competitions can be an incentive for people to shop with you. These contests put you and your business in the forefront of people’s minds. After all, if you’re out of sight, you’re out of mind.
4. Use of Social Media
If you hold contests on social media, the rewards can be residual. You can run contests that have people clamoring over each other to give you their email addresses and to go through your sales funnel. Once you have these email addresses, you’ve opened up a new revenue stream with email marketing. This is something you can use over and over again throughout the entire year.
5. Prepare Your Website and Servers
This is often neglected when marketers are getting prepared for the holidays. People think about what they can sell or put discounts on. They don’t think about the health of their website. Many Web hosting companies limit how many visitors per month you can receive. If you’re one of them and you have 1000 visitors every hour trying to get their hands on a limited-time offer, you can hit your cap very quickly.
6. You Can’t Afford Downtime
When you do hit your cap, your website may experience some downtime. When it does go down and you call for support, they’ll turn around and say it’s your own fault. This isn’t a risk you can afford to take. If your site is expecting downtime due to the hordes of people that are in the midst of their holiday shopping, you can stand to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars. Nobody can shop at an online business whose website is down. Ongoing website support is important to have.
7. Use Social Media to Your Advantage
The entire premise of social media is to keep people connected. This had the effect of forcing marketers to change their very thought process. Not only do people turn to social media to connect with other people, but they also turn to social media to connect with other businesses. Social media can be used to get people talking about your brand and what you have to offer.
8. Social Media Keeps People Connected
When you plan your marketing campaigns, give your audience a reason to participate. There’s a right way to do social marketing, and there’s a wrong way to do social marketing. If all you do is slap your audience with discounts and sales, then you blend in with everybody else who is doing the exact same thing. However, if you actually give them a reason to read your posts, you’ll reach them in ways that others are failing.
9. Give Your Mobile Users an Incentive
It’s not news that more and more people are using their mobile devices – their phones and their tablets – to shop online. In fact, they’re using them for a lot more than shopping. For many people, their phones and their tablets are their only window to the Internet.
10. Offer Ads Exclusively for Mobile Users
You can target this group of people by offering ads exclusively for mobile users. Get people to download your app through the Google’s Play store or iTunes Store and then offer exclusive discounts through your mobile app.
11. Use Impulsive Shopping to Your Advantage
Have you ever wondered why convenience stores have candy by the cash registers? Sure, we all recognize that these are impulse buys. If we have a budget, we try to stay away from them. You can still take advantage of this principle by looking around at what you have to offer and realizing that some things just go together.
12. Some Things Just Go Together
Next time you walk into a gas station, look for some bread. Chances are you’ll notice a small advertisement next to it telling you not to forget the milk or eggs. If you’re getting a soda, you may see an ad that reminds you not to forget the ice. By specifically targeting people who purchase certain items, you may be able to get them to buy more.
While most small businesses do not have an in-house marketing team, it makes sense to consult with professionals who can help you with your marketing efforts, website support and more. It is an affordable way to get the assistance you need to promote your business during the holidays and throughout the year, while you focus on helping new clients and earning a profit.