The holiday season is an interesting time to observe marketing tactics, especially when it comes to large businesses. Black Friday (now fading into Gray Thursday), Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday — these are official shopping days that have almost become holidays in and of themselves. It is true that without these named shopping events, retail businesses would likely still rake in the cash during the holiday season – but riding the wave of seasonal excitement ups end of the year revenue. Read on to find out the three digital marketing techniques your small business should be using.
Small businesses, and especially those in the non-retail realm, can benefit from all the hype that bigger businesses create during the holiday season. It is a great time of year to show your customer base who you are and that you appreciate their patronage all year round. You don’t have to take out a full-page newspaper ad or mail hundreds of Christmas cards to do it either; in fact, digital marketing costs less and is a much more effective way to reach customers and make sales.
ExactTarget reports that 77% of consumers from age 15 and up say that email is the preferred mode of promotional content. Add on the popularity of social media and text message communication to customers, and small businesses stand to win when it comes to digital marketing during the holiday season.
Here are three specific ways to reach out to customers in a digital way during the holiday season in order to build brand image and improve bottom line:
- Reward loyalty. Make customers thankful that they are your fan or follower with social-media discounts and coupons. Provide online discount codes or coupons that can be accessed only through social media profiles. If you sell goods, give your social media following sneak peeks of your upcoming sales. If you provide services, offer a consultation or a small piece of writing for free to your friends and followers.
- Give gifts. People spend a lot of money during the holiday season on gifts for other people–so provide a little gift to them. If you have it in your budget, purchase a gift card for a popular store or restaurant and use a contest widget on your Facebook page or website for people to cast entries. You can also give away something that you sell, or partner with another company that wants to donate a gift in exchange for cross promotion. While discounts on your products or services are nice, they ask for something in return. A giveaway does not require a purchase or commitment on the part of your clients but offers something for simply being a customer.
- Jump on the bandwagon. Get into the holiday spirit in every way you see possible. Send an e-card for the season, send out happy wishes through status updates and Tweets, and “decorate” your website using a website design company for the month of December. While these activities may not directly garner any sales, it extends goodwill to your clients. Don’t be a humbug; show the human side of your business during the most wonderful time of the year and grow your digital reach.
Overall, the holiday season is a great time for small businesses. What are you planning for your digital marketing?
About Megan Totka
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.