Alas, the holiday spirits have filled the air! It’s time for small businesses to deck the halls and get merry- and what better way to make the most out of the holidays than amp up on holiday-themed marketing campaigns?
Whether your marketing campaigns are small and simple such as adding a cute little Santa hat on your company’s logo, or extravagant campaigns that manage to go viral on social media, Many small businesses are rolling up their sleeves to take advantage of the spending season. The best way to do this is to look for ways to market your brand to enthusiastic holiday-ready customers.
How Do Successful Businesses Do It?
With Christmas and New Year parties and plans filled up on the calendar, November and December are the months of riches for businesses. Did you know that these two months alone drive an astonishing 30% more revenue for e-commerce businesses compared to the rest of the year?
Some brands do an excellent job marketing their business during the holidays, while others have difficulty catching up. How do successful businesses outshine others amidst the noise and reach customers while others compete harder?
That is simply because successful brands create and make use of campaigns that genuinely make their customers happy instead of merely contributing to the holiday hysteria. They stimulate emotional, usually nostalgic, responses from their customers. They uncover the sweet spot that encourages sharing and personal connection and inspires the spirit of giving.
Here is a rundown of some of the best small business holiday marketing strategies you can do for your business to get yourself holiday-ready:
1. Find your brand’s unique holiday angle.
Jollibee is famous for, of course, their world-renowned Chickenjoy and Jolly Spaghetti. But aside from their delicious product offerings, they are also well known for their powerful tear-jerking holiday marketing campaigns in the form of short videos which they produce annually. Their focus on Filipino culture and heritage of family, prayer, and togetherness never fails to touch the hearts of their audience. This way of marketing, by appealing to emotion and nostalgia, easily makes the customers associate the brand and product with warm feelings of family.
At the end of the commercial, they would plug in a heartwarming quote with the Jollibee logo right at the very end.
They have mastered these holiday series of heartwarming, moving commercials showcasing how Jollibee communicates its brand and mission effectively through the prism of the holidays.
Another famous example is Office Depot’s now-annual “Elf Yourself” campaign. Elf Yourself allows people to upload photos of their faces laid over existing dancing elves' footage. In its first year (2016), Elf Yourself garnered over 36 million visits within five weeks, with 11 million elf videos made.
Keep it clean and straightforward while making it personal, and give people a reason to talk about it and pass it on. These ideas draw big audiences by eschewing the urge to add features and functions.
What makes this campaign a yearly phenomenon is its focus on ease of use and word of mouth. This simple marketing campaign is an example of a successful holiday hook.
2. Get your customers involved
How do you get people to trust you and spread the word about your product? One of the best, most engaging strategies to reach these goals is user-generated content (UGC).
User-generated content (UGC) describes any content created by brand users and often made accessible via social media or online forums. This content can be videos, pictures, blog posts, and testimonials. These are posts where your consumers promote your brand instead of you doing it yourself.
When it comes to making a buying decision, which would you trust more: a brand’s advertisement or genuine advice from a buyer who uses the product?
A study by TurnTo Networks revealed that 90% of consumers admitted that user-generated content greatly influences their buying decision more than any form of advertising. This is simply because it’s unbiased and created by satisfied customers with the offering of a business or brand.
You can use UGC's this holiday season by organizing a best comment contest on social media with a catchy hashtag. For example, post a holiday-themed announcement asking, “What’s your favorite product from (your business name) that you would like to gift your loved one this Christmas? Why?” The best comment winner gets gifts from your business, of course.
Ultimately, we are more likely to trust the opinions of our friends or family members who have used the products. This is the principle behind user-generated content. It’s all about letting your customers do the advertising for you.
3. Offer discounts, contests, giveaways
Another great way to spread holiday cheer to your customers is through promotions. A holiday promotion can be a discount code, rewards points, or a gift with a purchase.
You can also incorporate potential partnerships in your campaigns with other brands. Cross-promote marketing boosts traffic both ways – which is a win-win.
If you want to take your campaign to social media, that’s a great plan! Social media contests are an excellent method of driving holiday sales because it reaches a wider audience.
Here are some benefits of promotional content and special coupons:
- increase sales
- drive traffic to your store
- generate leads through social media
- reach your consumers on a popular platform
- strengthens brand loyalty
You can also run a holiday-themed social media contest. Participants in your contest can contribute UGC for a chance to win rewards. This often involves a customer posting photos on social media, tagging them with a specific catchy hashtag, and tagging some of their friends or followers.
If you have a signature product in your small business, how about running a photo contest? Customers love a chance to engage creatively with your brand. It’s also a great chance to show off their originality. Allowing them the opportunity to have their posts flaunted by your brand is a reward they’d appreciate.
This kind of content is a straightforward, inexpensive approach to set up. With this, you’ll increase your brand visibility thanks to the people sharing content related to your brand.
To reward your customers and make them feel extra special, you can offer them exclusive deals, special rewards, and discounts when they sign up for your company’s newsletter, email chain or follow your company’s social media accounts.
4. Give your site a festive holiday feel.
As much as we love brick-and-mortar shops, we live in a digital age! Gone are when people crowd shopping malls and physical stores on Christmas Eve, searching for that one last gift.
No, instead, holiday shoppers will research or purchase gifts online. This means they can interact with your brand and products in the comfort of their fuzzy pajamas and a glass of wine. This leaves your business with an excellent opportunity to hook them by those holiday strings as they browse through your site.
When customers land on your site, your small business’ holiday special promotions should welcome them with cheerful, festive designs. Create holiday-themed landing pages to direct customers to any exclusive deals you offer, and make shopping on your site an enticing, enjoyable experience.
Add some festive holiday-themed images and have fun with them. Your customers are in a festive mood, so it’s best to keep it that way!
5. Create a unique unboxing experience
This is a no-brainer! Dressing up your products with festive designs is a well-tested approach to holiday branding. Many businesses release redesigned packages every holiday season, which can be delightful. Your small business can do this as well. For instance, have holiday-themed cups in your cafe during the season instead of your usual, regular ones, or perhaps a shiny ribbon wrapped around your signature product so it looks like a Christmas gift.
Every year Coca-Cola releases a new holiday packaging for Coke; The creativity and uniqueness of the packaging is a supreme example of how to infuse a festive feel into your product without compromising brand integrity.
Showing your holiday colors is an excellent way to bring the season to your brand and make your store shelves prettier and more festive.
6. Social Media posts
Marketing using Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, and other social media sites is beneficial in today’s digital age. Take advantage of social media to a target audience who might not otherwise have the opportunity to engage with your brand. This is a great chance to start a conversation about your products and let your brand’s identity and personality shine.
Creating your posts with unique holiday-themed content is sure to garner interest. Here are some ideas to engage social media users.
- Gift guides – This is an excellent opportunity to showcase your products in a convenient, easy-to-purchase setup.
- Holiday hashtags – Social media hashtags are an engaging way to promote your holiday campaign while spreading the word about your small business!
- Host a Facebook Live – You can host giveaways, offer prizes, or play festive games during the live. You can also incorporate a Q&A, offer a flash sale, or a promotional discount/gift/goodie at the end to reward your customers for watching.
- Run A Customer Appreciation Campaign- Because really, who doesn’t want to feel appreciated this season?
The bottom line is that the key to a successful and memorable holiday marketing campaign is analyzing your brand, figuring out which strategy naturally fits your business, and then incorporating that strategy.
The holiday shopping season truly is the best time for businesses. So take advantage of the chance to spread your holiday cheer to your customers. Follow these holiday campaign strategies, and you’ll be sure to make you and your customers very merry this season.