It's easy to get discouraged about, well, anything right about now. But if you have a small business don't let yourself get discouraged from putting yourself out there to offer your products and services to your community this holiday season. There has been a dramatic shift into the digital economy in 2020 as business has shifted away from traditional brick and mortar stores into online shopping and more local choices. After the pandemic hit last spring there was a huge surge in the mentality of supporting small businesses and spending locally.
In a recent Shopify panel Justin De Graff, Head of Ads Research & Insights for Google, said that people were more interested in new brands and small local brands. I have personally experienced this as I have found myself seeking out more and more local options.
1. Plan Ahead
Start pondering ways to reach your customers far ahead, it will allow you time to properly plan and give you much less of a headache during the holiday season. If you are providing a service over the internet, remember that post office delays could affect your business, so you want to hold your promotions sooner than later to encourage early shopping.
2. Consider Pandemic Trends
More than ever, you should be marketing to how people feel. We are all going through this together so it's not too hard to think of how to shine a light on your product in a way that appeals to people during these tough times in a pandemic.
Don't be shy about adjusting your text to sell your product in this new world. If you sell soap absolutely talk about how much more we need to be washing our hands, and how your soap doesn't dry out the skin like big brands!
This applies to gift giving too, if your product is a 'want' and not a 'need' kind of product, market it for the tough times we are all going through. We could all use a bit more relaxing times and if your product achieves that it would make a great gift or personal treat, so adjust your marketing for these times.
3. Put Yourself in Front of Your Customers
Don't waste money on Facebook ads if your audience isn't even on Facebook. Focus your marketing efforts and promotional materials on where your audience already hangs out. That being said Facebook may be where it's at for your business! Think about who your audience is and where you've had the most engagement in the last year and place your promotions there in front of the people that are already interested.
Don't forget about your email list! By signing up they have opted in to hear from you, so make sure you include them in your sales and opportunities!
4. Sell Gift Cards
Selling gift cards for your store is a great way to offer your customers the chance to give a gift without making the decision. Gift cards are wonderful for small businesses as they have a two pronged positive effect. First there's the exchange of money, then later at another time there is an exchange of goods and services. It keeps the business moving forward and is a great opportunity for your customers to support you and give a gift to a loved one.
5. Offer Something Irresistible
Your followers and customers have been tuned in and tempted by your business all year. They have been dreaming about your product and if you offer just the right deal it's pretty likely they will make the jump. I read once that there is an average of seven interactions before someone makes a purchase (don't quote me on that) but I experience this personally.
I will drool over a small business and just adore them but not feel like I can afford their product right now because it would be a treat (a pair of earrings lets say.) But then as soon as they offer a great deal I AM THERE FOR IT. I am wearing those earrings right now in fact ;)
6. Reward Loyal Customers and Your Community
Don't make the mistake of focusing your holiday marketing only on new customers. While it is a great opportunity to appeal to and obtain new customers, don't forget to reward your current customers for being there for you. You can send out a discount code to all your customers from the previous year, or offer a special deal to your email list to reward the people that are already invested in you.
7. Update Your Online Space to Reflect Your Promotions
You can create a banner for your website to reflect your seasonal sales, or even just update you logo for the holidays to add a fun splash of holiday joy. (Message me if you need something like a santa hat on your logo!)
8. Provide Great Customer Support and Engagement.
Now more than ever you need to be very clear and communicative with your customers. Be absolutely clear in the expectations before they even make a purchase, and provide exceptional customer service in terms of engagement and answering questions. There's a lot of competition and people will rightfully so guard their hard earned money before handing it over to you. Make sure they are comfortable and confident in making their purchase with your business.
9. Think Mobile First
Are you on your phone right now? There's about a 70% chance you are! Especially if you're marketing through social media, make sure your website and online store is compatible with mobile because that's where your traffic is coming from. There is nothing worse than a website that you have to zoom way into just to try to hit the 'add to cart' button. Don't do that to your people.
10. Test Everything Before Your Promotions Start
This one should go without saying, but we so often forget to test things! Send a test email, click the buttons and even try a test order before you go live. It will make the entire process more enjoyable as you wont be worrying about whether or not there are any glitches on your end.
Happy Holiday Marketing Business Babes! Leave a comment if you have any questions or cool marketing ideas that you want to share.