Holiday Planning Ahead of Time
Planning the holiday season in advance for your business can save you a lot of time and last-minute to-do's! We've broken up our ideas and tips into categories so you can focus your marketing efforts.
There is a crazy number of ideas you could come up with to offer your customers, during the holidays and really any part of the year. Of course they're more expected during the shopping season, as everyone is looking for the best deals!
Here are some ideas to give you a kick start for creating offers:
Create discounts, contests, giveaways
Create limited supply of gifts with purchase
Offer 12 days of Christmas
Offer gift card or other item in exchange for review/testimonial
Provide last minute holiday deal
Offer incentives to buy - free shipping, gift wrapping, gift card with purchase, etc.
Having a physical location for your business has some major upsides in how you get ready for the holidays. People are LOOKING for you and all you have to do is make yourself noticeable and available. When you promote your store with fun decorations inside and out, it is more appealing to those looking for your products or services.
If your business has a brick-and-mortar side, then here are ideas curated for you:
Decorate with holiday feel
Offer holiday exclusive items
Hang up flyers or other signage to promote upcoming events, offers, etc.
Have bag stuffers ready - coupon for specific timeframe, gift inspiration, info on local charity you support, info on upcoming events you’re involved in, info on how to get added to your email list for upcoming deals/info, etc.
When deciding on all of the great things you can offer your customers, don't forget about events! While people are looking for deals and shopping, this is also a very tiring time! Give your customers an outlet to have some fun and get re-energized for the holidays. You can also piggy-back on the local events your Chamber and other local businesses are already offering - saving you some work.
Doing an event can get your customers, employees, and community excited:
Get your customers and employees involved
Coordinate events with Chamber
Partner with other businesses for a special promotion
Plan your parade float ahead of time and get materials & people to help
Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce events during holiday season: Riverwalk Festival, Fallasburg Arts Festival, Harvest Celebration, Girls Night Out, Christmas Through Lowell, Annual Night-Time Christmas Parade & Festivities (parade bag & stuffer sponsors, Santa Visits on the Riverwalk
This is the PERFECT time of the year to really be charitable. More people are in the spirit of giving and you can really have a positive impact on the community.
Checkout these ways you can help give back to your community:
Get your customers and employees involved
Coordinate event or offer with non-profit / charity
Round up sales to nearest dollar to give to charity or program in need
Local non-profits: list of 39 currently in Chamber directory http://business.discoverlowell.org/list/category/non-profit-groups
Being found online is a continuous job for your business. Make it more fun with holiday images on your website/social media, offering freebies to gain visibility, and inspiring your followers with charitable or gift ideas.
Improve your SEO and get in the holiday spirit online:
Update website and social media with holiday feel
Plan on social media posts ahead of time - use scheduling software or add to your calendar
Offer gift cards or other item in exchange for online reviews
Utilize e-newsletter and social media to promote events, offers, giveaways, etc.
Host a gift giveaway on social media
Update your website / social media for local search optimization - make sure you are using your address and words that will help people find your business/products/services locally
Provide gift inspiration on your website or social media
When it comes to marketing during the holidays, you of course are still running a business and can't be involved in EVERYTHING. So make sure you are doing some tracking to see what makes sense for your business. Being profitable and having an impact can be tricky with all of the money you can spend to promote your business. Small businesses especially need to be aware of how and why they spend their dollars.
Plan and track your marketing efforts to ensure a Return on Investment (ROI):
Create your holiday budget so you don’t find yourself overspending
Donations, sponsorships, events, decorations, print & online advertising, promotional items, giveaways, etc.
Utilize marketing calendar to plan ahead
Get your customers and employees involved - word of mouth is the best marketing
Checkout the Business Brew's ideas for Holiday Planning Ahead of Time and share how else the Lowell business community can participate in the holiday season! :)