The holidays may look different this year but that’s even more reason to make the most of it! Every business can spread cheer with safety protocols and social distancing in place. In fact, putting a smile on your customers’ faces is paramount under the current circumstances and the holiday marketing tactics below can help do just that!
Throw a Virtual Event
There may be less foot traffic at brick-and-mortar businesses this year, but that doesn’t mean customers aren’t looking for engagement. Virtual events have become a staple of this “new normal,” and it’s possible they’ll continue post-pandemic as well. So, why not throw a virtual Christmas party? If your business caters mostly to adults, you can share cocktails and conversation over Zoom. If your business is more about families, have Santa pop in for the Zoom call! It may not be the same as an in-person gathering, but it will help you stay connected with those in your community.
Host a Giveaway
Social media giveaways are a tried-and-true way to get more likes and followers. If you’re hoping to extend your reach heading into 2021, host a holiday-themed giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Not only will such campaigns bring more attention to your online presence, but they could bring more customers into your store down the line.
Decorate & Make It Selfie-Worthy!
If you plan to bring in any in-person customers this year, decorating your store is a must! After all, who doesn’t feel all warm and fuzzy walking into a business and seeing lights and decorations? Even if it’s just a tree or a wreath, it will make things feel festive for your customers. And we could all use some of that merriment this year. If you’re hoping to gain more online followers, you can also set up a decorative display to make your store “Instagram worthy.” Ask customers to take pictures in front of the display and share them to social media. Bonus points if they tag your store!
Send Christmas Cards
Plenty of consumers will limit themselves to online-only shopping, especially this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t wish them a happy holiday. If you make a habit of collecting customers’ addresses, send them a Christmas card. Getting mail is such a rare experience nowadays and they’ll appreciate the gesture. They’ll be especially thankful if you include some kind of promotion with the card. (And it might just gain you a sale, so why not?)
If you don’t have addresses for your customers, there’s a good chance you have an email list. Send virtual cards straight to their inboxes! And speaking of…
Leverage Email Marketing
Using email marketing to connect with customers is a viable strategy year-round. Given that most people are looking for gifts and deals during the holiday season, however, we’d argue it’s even more effective this time of year. So, take advantage of your email list to promote any new products and services you’re offering and any sales you’re having. Use email marketing to wish your subscribers a happy holiday as well. Doing so will help you build connections that turn into customer loyalty down the line.
Follow these smart tips to set up your email marketing plan for the season.
Create a Holiday Gift Guide
Gift guides have become a popular form of content for the holiday season, so why not put together your own? This can be in the form of a blog post or an email newsletter. And although you can showcase some of your company’s hot items for the season, you should fill your guide with other items that will appeal to your target audience as well. This way, customers won’t dismiss your guide as being “too salesy.”
A big part of content marketing is offering free value to your customers, and a gift guide serves as a great way to do that.
Bring Customers “Backstage”
Content can increase consumer trust, and that’s especially true if you take your customers behind the scenes of your business. Give them further insight into how your company handles orders. Let them get to know the people helping to bring them your products and services. This won’t just give your customers some interesting content to devour, but it will show them your company knows what it’s doing. You get increased engagement and (hopefully) customer loyalty. It’s a win-win, really!
Update Business Hours & Contact Information
Having up-to-date contact information on Google and your social media sites is important for your company’s overall SEO. During the holiday season, it will also prevent any customer frustrations from occurring. Many businesses have different hours during the holidays, and it’s important your customer base knows this. Otherwise, you may lose business because people show up only to find your store closed.
Make sure contact information is updated and repeat this every year. (Every six months is even better!)
Ask for Reviews
If your store traffic increases during the holiday season, that’s a great time to ask customers to leave reviews. Online reviews and testimonials can make or break a business. If you can increase the number of positive reviews your business has, though, you’ll be more likely to attract new buyers. Think about it: What company would you trust more, one with very few reviews or one with many positive ones to boast of?
Plan for the New Year!
Yes, there is a lot to do during the holiday season, but your company should also prepare its marketing strategy beyond December. January brings a new year and new opportunities, and your business should set itself up for success. Review your marketing tactics and sales from the past year and determine what worked and what didn’t. Use your successes and failures to plan your marketing strategy heading into 2021. You’ll thank yourself for being proactive later.