Christmas is now less than two weeks away. This means all brands big and small are busy implementing those grand marketing strategies they’ve been planning for the silly season.
There’s only one little problem. While the bigger businesses can pump in heaps of money into an elaborate marketing campaign, if you’re a small business, you need to work around a much tighter budget.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a kickass budget-friendly marketing plan to boost your sales over the holidays.
Here are 5 expert marketing tips that won’t break the bank:
1. Make an emotional connection.
This is one of the oldest tricks in the marketing hat but it always works. Make an emotional connection between your customers and what your business stands for. Talk to them. Write to them. Get their feedback. And then, whether it’s a print, radio or social media promotion that you’re planning, think about how people feel during the festive season, what they’re looking for - do they want personalised gifts for the family? Do they want to plan a holiday? Or do they want to support a cause?
And now think how your product or service can get them closer to what they want. You may find that you need to offer a customised range of products over Christmas or maybe collaborate with a charity and donate a percentage of your profits to them so you and your clients can feel good about your sales.
2. Tailor your campaign for every platform.
This tip holds true all year round but especially over the holidays. You’ve got to customise your branding campaigns for each individual platform depending on what your goal is. For instance, Facebook might be the best space to ask questions, run competitions and showcase videos, whereas Twitter might get you maximum link clicks and your Instagram followers may just want to know you better through your behind the scenes pictures.
Use the different platforms to make people interact with your products, tell them about your services and ask them for their honest feedback.
3. Don’t neglect social media over the holidays.
We all know small businesses never really take a break. Especially not during the holiday season when the whole world is shopping and looking for services. This is also a great time to stay in touch with your audience through social media. Many big companies tend to automate their messages over the holidays using expensive marketing tools. But remember that human touch can make all the difference (even if you’re not posting every hour). As long as you’re taking the time and effort to personally post and reply to messages, your customers will know you care.
You may also like: 12 Common social media mistakes you need to avoid
4. Create festive season discount codes.
Think Christmas, think sales. Like it or not, people love waiting for the sales before they actually start shopping for the holidays. So instead of keeping your fingers crossed that shoppers pay you full price for something they may find cheaper elsewhere, it’s a smart idea to attract customers with time sensitive gift vouchers. It’s a great incentive to draw people in and push them to take action on a purchase they’ve been planning for days.
5. Send Christmas cards.
Remember the time you used to receive Christmas cards from family and friends via good old snail mail? And how the best ones would go up on the fridge? Won’t it be awesome to have your brand sitting on your customer’s refrigerator? It’s not all that difficult (or expensive) actually. And given that hardly anyone does this anymore, you don’t even have much competition.
What you need to do, is go online, look up a website that designs beautiful custom cards that represent your brand (without being too in your face of course), find a good discount offer on printing and voila! Tell your customers you’re thinking of them.
Christmas is the perfect time to get inventive with your marketing strategy, so if you’ve got some cool new ideas or tips, do share them with our small business community in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.
And if you’re looking for more help on planning your company’s marketing strategy, you can download this ready-to-use handy marketing plan template.