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The holiday sales rush is on and businesses are upping their game with holiday marketing ideas that will help get their cash registers jingling. The payoff is much more than seasonal: The most successful businesses are working to turn new customers from this holiday season into loyal customers and brand ambassadors all year round.
Here are 50 ways to make your holiday marketing shine.
Infuse your social media with holiday spirit.
1. Coordinate with your vendors to see if you can cross-promote on each other’s platforms to broaden your customer base.
2. Find hashtags that are trending, whether overall holiday and gift related phrases, or those specific to your area.
3. Don’t be a taker. Make sure that you share and comment on the content of others. Being an engaged user invites them to engage with you in return and can introduce you to new audiences.
4. Take the time to create a social media calendar so that you have your messages planned in advance. This ensures you will stay active during this important time of the year.
5. Be a problem solver for your ideal customer. Offer gift ideas but also suggestions for other challenging holiday issues, such as what to wear to an office party. If your product is something they can use right now, help them be more effective. For example, if you sell scarves, offer tips for glamming up outfits with different ways to tie them.
6. Follow the 80/20 rule. Have 80 percent of your posts be about something other than promotions or sales.
7. Invite interaction by adding polls or questions to your social media. For example, invite people share the best or funniest gift they ever got or their best Christmas, Hanukkah, Christmas Eve, etc., ever.
8. Run a special offer on your social media channels. Take advantage of holiday themes for certain days of the week.
9. Use Instagram for more than just product photos. Those are important, but mix it up with behind-the-scenes shots of your team at work, your store decked out for the holidays or what’s going on in your “Santa’s workshop.”
10. Up your Facebook game by including images. Posts with pictures get far more engagement than text-only posts.
Be ready for mobile.
11. Make sure your website and email marketing are optimized for mobile.
12. Double check your phone number has “click to connect.” People on the go aren’t able to remember a phone number, and it just makes it that much easier for them to find you.
13. Check the keywords that people are searching and aim to be included. Make sure your business is listed in local directories or include your town name/neighborhood so people know you are nearby.
14. Design your emails and blog posts are in bite-sized formats so people can easily read them on the go.
15. Check that your hours, location and all other pertinent details are up-to-date with holiday hours and other information so customers can find you easily.
16. Include directions and parking information on your website to remove one additional barrier from someone driving over to see you.
17. Consider using hyperlocal, targeted ads that consumers will see when they search for your keywords while out and about.
18. Do you have a rewards program? Make sure it is easy to use on a mobile device to eliminate the annoyance of extra cards.
19. Check your home page to make sure buttons are easy to use when making a purchase. Customers will abandon your site if it’s too hard to use on a mobile device.
20. Use text messaging marketing — but sparingly. Consider sending coupons or updates via text so that your out-and-about customer can visit you, but make sure you have their permission to market this way and make it worth their while with a great offer.
Make sure your website is ready.
21. Add sparkle to your website with holiday cheer. You might add holiday images to your main page; for example, putting a Santa hat or holiday lights in a prominent place. A little snow or a few bows can go a long way to feel extra festive.
22. Although holiday spirit is important, stay consistent with your general look and feel. Don’t drastically change fonts or logos-even just adding a pop of holiday color can make an impact.
23. Create places for customer to post product recommendations and reviews to help boost involvement.
24. Develop gift guides organized by both recipient and price point. Include tough-to-buy-for categories like teachers, clients, secret Santa and more.
25. Make suggestions for purchase with a purchase. Sometimes people want to buy more than one thing but aren’t sure what might go together. Help them out with complementary products.
26. Offer specials for customers who opt-in to your email marketing lists. You want to capture those addresses to help turn them into repeat customers. Make it easy for them to sign up. Give them a gift that makes it worth their while.
27. Check your webpage loading speed. Customers won’t wait and will abandon your site if it’s not quick on both desktop and mobile.
28. Test out going through your own check out process. Make sure it’s easy and intuitive.
29. Create a page of best sellers so customers who don’t have time to browse can find the most popular products.
30. Let your customers know you value their opinion by offering a small discount for those who provide feedback on the buying process.
31. Make your store a haven during the hectic holiday buying season. Offer comfy places to sit and a low-key atmosphere.
32. Decorate festively. Many shoppers, especially when they are visiting small businesses, are enjoying a holiday outing so make sure your store is dressed for the occasion. Create a “destination” for holiday shoppers.
33. Consider playing instrumental holiday music as a respite from the muzak many stores use.
34. Even better, see if you can engage a live musician for peak shopping hours.
35. Hold customer events to help promote loyalty. Offer a special service that they won’t get other times, like gift wrapping.
36. Team with local nearby stores to help promote your area as a destination. Extend shopping hours one night or create a promotion where customers get something special if they receive stamps for stopping by multiple stores.
37. Offer hot chocolate or coffee to encourage customers to linger.
38. Help sales associates with some small talk tips and give them pointers on how to let customers know they can help without hovering.
39. Encourage repeat business by offering a discount to shoppers who return after the holidays.
40. Take care of yourself! It is hard to be friendly if you are overtired, hungry, etc. Make sure you take breaks when you need them.
Service, service, service.
41. Staff up for the busiest days. It will pay off in more satisfied customers.
42. Train your staff to know the back story on the products you sell and why they are special or unique.
43. Take special orders and let a customer know when something comes in they were asking about.
44. Get to know your best customers’ preferences. Surprise them with a suggestion based on something else they have bought.
45. Send special offers to the best customers. They don’t even have to be formalized for everyone; you could send a small gift certificate as a random thank you. Customers love to be surprised and delighted.
46. Offer fancy gift wrap so that the purchase feels special, no matter how small it is.
47. Create tables of gifts that are already wrapped so those in a hurry can grab and go.
48. Develop a list staff picks to help an indecisive customer (like a spouse or boyfriend) make an easy purchase if they are outside their comfort zone.
49. Offer curbside delivery if someone is stopping by for a quick purchase.
50. Ask for feedback with each purchase. Knowing what your customers think can help you improve your service throughout the year.
Do you need help developing or customizing your holiday marketing ideas for the upcoming season? Please reach out and we’ll set up a consultation. Call me at 1-858-859-1411 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org today for a personalized review.