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Monday, November 18, 2013

4 Tips for Holiday Marketing

The Starbucks red cups are out and the Christmas music is played loud and clear at Macy’s, and that can only mean one thing—the holidays are here. In order to yield a successful holiday campaign, you need to plan in advance so your product or idea is ready to start well before the Black Friday rush. Read on for more helpful holiday tips and platforms:

1.     Utilize Social Media
Facebook is THE social media platform to focus your campaign on. According to PR Daily, use your Facebook page to run holiday-themed contests on the Timeline to engage your fans. Ask for shares and “likes” and create a specific hashtag to keep the message trending so it is likely to be seen by people outside your audience.  Change your Facebook page cover photo to reflect the upcoming holiday season, post appropriate-themed status updates, highlight popular products or ideas. Businesses should also consider using Instagram or Pinterest for a board or photo-sharing campaign. 

2.     Repeat Often
Set goals as to what your business is looking to accomplish; holiday promotions can be a great lead-in for future campaigns. Whether it is through a subscriber e-newsletter, social media or direct mail, advertise your offers multiple times throughout the next two months to get the word out about upcoming launches and events and boost your sales. However, make sure to space them out so not to stress out your customer. Consider sending out one message to customers two to three weeks out, a second message the week of the event, and a third message thanking customers and making sure they connect with your business via social media.

3.     Figure Out What Makes You Unique
What is it about your business or product that is different from the major marketers? This is especially important for local businesses to consider marketing outside of the major holidays, including Small Business Saturday (usually held after Black Friday) and Cyber Monday. Cater to your audience with special deals and promotions, making sure you emphasize the specific entities about your products (quality, service, etc.) throughout the season.  

4.     Consider Add-On Incentives
Whether it is a gift card to use for a specific amount spent, a refer-a-friend discount, coupon codes or free shipping for online retailers, incentives are an easy way to bring in sales and encourage future purchases. For example, “Spend $50 and receive a $10 gift card off your next purchase”, or “Refer a friend and you both get 20% off your next purchase.” Businesses need to shift their focus to their customers, and by giving the customer a specific amount of time to purchase the product, your business will encourage customers to utilize the offer now.

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