Stephanie Heitman, managing editor of the LOCALiQ blog, states that while December brings fun, family and food, it can also leave business owners and marketers feeling pressed for time and resources. But, with the right strategies and promotions, you can make your December marketing a breeze and spend more time relaxing with your loved ones.
Update your Google My Business listing
Holiday shoppers are going to be turning to Google for all of their holiday needs, whether for gift ideas, home cleaning, appliance repair, travel, safety and more. Make sure your business information is up to date so you can get found on search.
Be sure to:
- Verify your contact information.
- Update your holiday hours.
- Upload photos of your seasonal products and services.
- Create offer and event posts.
Stay top-of-mind with email marketing
During the holidays, people get busy. Remind them about your business with email marketing. Your email communications can include special promotions you are running, a round-up of local holiday events in your community, or just a simple reminder to visit your business in the New Year. Make sure your holiday email subject line stands out so people will click your email.
Here are some ideas for your December email marketing:
- Dentists can send an email about the best and worst holiday treats for your teeth.
- Fitness businesses can send an email about ways to stay healthy during this busy month.
- Mental health professionals can send an email about ways to de-stress during the holidays.
- Restaurants can send an email about special catering options they have available for family dinners.
Refresh your online reputation and get more reviews
A good reputation is important for your business year-round, but this might be an ideal time to put a little extra focus on getting reviews for your business.
Take some time to ask your customers for reviews, respond to all your reviews, and make sure you are managing the most relevant places where customers are reviewing your business — including Yelp, Google My Business, and Facebook.
Share tips or products
Take inspiration from the 12 Days of Christmas and feature a tip or product of the day on your blog or social media feed.
Here are some ideas to get started:
- Fitness-related businesses like personal trainers or health centres can give an exercise of the day to fight off gaining holiday weight.
- Flower shops can feature a wreath or bouquet of the day featuring different holiday colours or flowers.
- Restaurants and bars can showcase a cocktail of the day for the holidays.
Host a (socially-distant or virtual) party and giveaway
Events are a great way to market your business during the holidays. Have an open house and extend your business hours one evening. Invite local customers and other businesses to stop by and mingle. Serve some food and drinks or get them donated by another local business. A party or open house is a great way to ignite some word-of-mouth marketing and build solid partnerships.
Make sure your party adheres to Covid-19 restrictions. If it is not safe to host an in-person party, you can always take the show to Zoom and connect with your community through a virtual party.
Run a holiday Instagram giveaway
Instagram giveaways are popular throughout the year, but they can give you a real boost in December around the holidays. Think about the goal for your Instagram holiday giveaway—are you trying to get more followers, increase awareness for a specific product or service, or just spread some cheer to peoples’ feeds? From there, determine the right giveaway for your business.
Host or participate in a toy drive
The holiday season is the perfect time to give back to those in your community. Host or participate in a toy drive and encourage your customers to do the same.
Here are some ideas for your toy drive:
- Set out a large box for customers and community members to drop toys in.
- Offer a promotion for customers who donate to your toy drive — you can give them a coupon for their next visit, a percent off a purchase, or a stamp on their customer loyalty card.
- Partner with other local businesses in your area to get the word out about your toy drive and encourage them to leave a box out at their business.
- Share photos of your participation on social media and tag the charity you are working with.
Get personal on social media
Your business is built by real people, and your customers want to connect with you. By sharing a glimpse into the lives of your employees and yourself, you can help build a connection with your audience.
Share pictures or stories of your family and holiday celebrations on your blog and social media profiles. Do you have a favourite holiday memory that inspired you to open your business? What about a family recipe or tradition? Share yours on Facebook or Instagram and ask your followers what theirs are.
Here are some ideas for personal stories you can share on social media or your business blog:
- Bakers can share a video or recipe on their blogs.
- Photographers can post their family Christmas pictures on Instagram or Facebook and encourage others to do the same.
- Personal trainers should encourage clients and potential clients to join them on holiday road races through social media.
- Makers can share the inspiration behind a specific product.
Create a gift guide
A gift guide is a great way to get your name out there and provide a helpful service to your community. We know that people will be searching for holiday gifts online this year more than ever, so write a blog post or social post about gifts for moms, dads, children and friends.
The gift guide can include some of your products, but the best way to sell your business is not to sell it at all. Instead, showcase items that are related to your industry:
- Gift Guide for accountants (tech gadgets, ties, fancy pen).
- Gift Guide for the home decorator (Christmas pillow covers, gold candlesticks and electric candles).
- Gift Guide for the fitness enthusiast (Epsom salts for tired muscles).
Take customers behind the scenes
Show customers what your business is like during the holidays with video marketing. Are you a busy baker who is making cakes and cookies? Take customers into the kitchen with a video of preparations for the holidays. People are curious by nature, and giving them a sneak peek of new products or behind-the-scenes action will set you apart from your competitors.