As much as we love the festive season for the opportunity to spread cheer and share special moments with family and friends, as small business owners we can’t deny that remaining engaged and connected with our customer base is still essential.
One way to overcome this tension is to embrace the holiday season as part of our marketing strategy.
Tip 1: Get into the spirit
Nothing gets us more into the mood of the holiday season than tinseled windows, gift shopping and Boney M. Get into the spirit and do the same with your marketing:
- Decorate your logo – add a festive twist and remember to add it to your Facebook logo
- Decorate your website – apply a seasonal colour-scheme, or add a ‘gift ideas’ tab
- Customise your Twitter page
- Include a festive graphic in your newsletter
- Create themed subject lines for your emails
What you’re going for here is the cheery mood that will have a positive impact on you and your brand.
Tip 2: ‘Tis the season for giving
Why not give your loyal customers a festive gift? This can be anything from
- An actual gift – try and make it something relevant to your brand if you can. For example, if you’re a dietician why not give a fruit and nut basket, or a torch from a camping store – you get the picture. If this works out to be too expensive, then what about a promotional item – a pen, or calendar?
- A free delivery/special offer/discount
- Or you can invite your customers to a holiday event, for example a cocktail party. And if arranging one yourself if too much trouble, there are plenty of organised events at this time of year that are begging for your custom, so invite your clients to one of those.
If none of the above appeal to you, and even if they do:
Tip 3: Give thanks
It’s the time to give thanks, and one of the most effective methods for creating and keeping loyal customers is expressing an appreciation for their business. This can be achieved through something as simple as sending a thank you email or even a postcard.
If you send an email, don’t forget the 3 rules:
- Keep the email short and sweet
- Clearly state the intent of the email in the subject line
- Only send this to people you’ve had regular contact with – don’t use this as an opportunity to send unsolicited emails
You might want to attach your special offer to this. And of course you can personalise it and be festive in your design.
Tip 4: Speak holidays
Create holiday specific content relevant to your industry through articles, blog posts, videos, social media updates. For example
- Our dietician might write a post on how you can eat healthily and still enjoy yourself this festive season
- Your pharmacist could tell you about which supplements to take when you’ve over-indulged
- The insurance guy might advise on how to make sure you’re medically covered while on your overseas holiday.
Bulk-write them now and then post-date them according to your well-prepared marketing content plan, so that you are still creating awareness during the season and positively affecting conversion rates, even while you’re sitting on the beach.
Tip 5: Keep sharing
Let you customers know well in advance what your holiday plans are, ie when your office will be closing (lucky you), who to contact in your place, how to get hold of you in an emergency and when you’ll be back at your desk.
Nothing is more debilitating for your brand than a client emailing you with urgent business only to be surprised by an out of office auto-responder, or worse still, no response at all.
Bonus Tip 6: Take a break
Research has shown that not taking a holiday is bad for your brain.