Being a small business can be tricky during the festive season. You’re likely already juggling extra stock, seasonal products and wondering if you’ll get enough footfall to sell it all. Have no fear as we take a look at our top 10 small business marketing tips to see you through the Christmas period!
Ready to make this Christmas the most successful ever? Keep reading as we show you how…
Even though it’s been around a long time, social media continues to be ground-breaking technology with ample time and attention paid by its users. Most of us spend an average of 145 minutes in just one day browsing through social media, so if you aren’t building an audience, you’re missing a trick!
Without a strategy, however, you might be wasting your efforts. So, figure out exactly how you want your social channels to perform, and identify your objectives before posting.
Here are a few key points to bear in mind:
How many social media accounts do you follow that only employ ‘push’ marketing? That’s right – zero. No one wants to follow companies that flatly advertise to their client base.
Start by putting together a content plan and decide what sort of thing you want to post that can add value for your target audience. You’re an expert in your field, so share your knowledge with your followers whilst making it easy for them to purchase if they want to.
People follow brands that they resonate with – so put your personality and knowledge first, and the followers will follow!
Social media is designed to be just that – social! If someone takes the time out of their day to comment, then be sure to show them the same care back! If your audience sees you don’t reply, they won’t bother reaching out and may unfollow. You want to keep your customers as engaged as possible, so be social and post content that leans toward engagement. For example, ask questions in your posts, add polls or share memes that inspire opinion sharing.
It’s far easier for your audience to find you if you’re already in the communities they are a part of. Using hashtags is a quick way to categorise your content and push it out to relevant people. There will be a noticeable difference in engagement on the posts that go out with hashtags compared to the ones that don’t.
Furthermore, if a user is ‘following’ a certain hashtag, it means they are already invested in the content that goes along with it. So, you’re attracting warmer leads, or people more likely to convert on your website.
This may seem obvious, but if you post without an image, engagement will suffer. Humans are visual beings, and we process visual information far more quickly than text. It varies industry by industry, but photos with people in them tend to do better than those without! Several websites offer completely free, amazing images such as Unsplash, Pexels or Pixabay.
A gift guide is simply a blog post (or a printed or digital brochure) designed to share product recommendations that you think your audience will love. This is perfect for retailers that stock different brands, or if you’re a solo brand, you could recommend non-competing products.
Be clear about who you’re writing the guide for – too general, and it won’t be relevant to anyone, but too niche, and it may only suit a few. You want to recommend products right in that sweet spot and choose a clear title that describes exactly who your gift guide is for!
A quick and easy way to make your products more desirable is by offering a gift wrap service. Consumers have loads of retail outlets to choose from, and competition is extremely high during the festive season.
Offering a gift-wrapping service never gets old and adds that special touch to purchasing a present for a loved one. You can also take this opportunity to reinforce your brand by personalising gift wrapping using branded stickers, stamps or Christmas cards!
Think of a large retailer and how they present products at Christmas – you’ll notice that many of the ‘regular’ products they sell are now provided in convenient boxes with bows and gift wrap as part of the offering. This is because it adds value to a product at Christmas – the products are ready to be presented as a gift straight away, saving the customer time and money.
A few ways you can add festive value to purchases include:
Christmas is an ideal time to make use of an audience that is already engaged with your brand. Emailing is the most direct form of communication to reach your customers, so you need to ensure that your message is personalised.
Don’t just send a random festive-themed promotion to your entire user base, but segment it down into different groups based on the metrics you already have access to. Most modern email automation providers have ‘dynamic content’ where you can choose different elements to display based on who’s inbox it lands. People only pay attention to emails that are relevant to them, so make that your main objective – and make sure the subject line reflects it!
As competition is so strong this time of year, adding an incentive is an easy way to stand out and increase conversions. Incentives might look like:
Make use of any successful incentive campaigns you’ve used in the past and adapt them to a Christmas-shopping audience.
These are often overlooked but still very effective – if you have a retail store, you should consider offering gift cards! They can help build your customer base into the new year as you’ll get footfall in your shop that might have not visited otherwise. Don’t forget to promote your gift cards in the lead up to Christmas – and make them readily available on your online store (if you have one).
Whether it’s another retailer in your city or online competition, it’s a good idea to keep track of what other companies are up to during the festive season. They may have spotted a trend you haven’t or half-attempted a campaign that you think has further potential. Take stock of their tactics and see if there is anything similar that you could implement within your business!
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Black Friday is a popular holiday in the US around the time of thanksgiving, but it's recently taken a storm in lots of countries across the world, including the UK. Black Friday promotions should now form part of your yearly marketing campaign as consumers will expect to be able to find deals from all retailers on this day or in that week. It also serves as an excellent promotional tool for any discounts or deals you might be running at the time.
Cyber Monday falls after the Black Friday weekend – whilst still technically being two different events, it often marks the end of four days of offers and discounts for many retailers.
When is Black Friday 2021?
Black Friday falls on the 26th of November this year. Cyber Monday falls on the 29th of November, so there's still time!
For most retailers (whether online or offline), Christmas marks a time of increased footfall and traffic as people scramble to complete their gift shopping for the big day! With all this extra footfall, it becomes the perfect opportunity to showcase your products and excellent service. So be sure to:
Now you know how to get the most out of the festive season this year and boost sales for your small business! Which method will you try first?
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