Take your seasonal marketing strategy to the next level

Whether you’ve recently started a small business or changed your sales tactics for your company due to COVID-19, you’re probably thinking about how to increase holiday sales.

It’s fast approaching, and now is the perfect time to start your seasonal marketing strategy so you can drive shoppers through your doors or to your website.

But first… understand that the festivities will look very different this year.

I talked about how your customers’ buying decisions this fall/winter may look completely different than they did last year a few weeks ago in a previous blog.

Now I’d like to show you how to increase your holiday sales locally, so here are four ways you can improve your digital and physical presence:

1. Create content with a local touch.

If you’re setting up your store for the holidays, consider festive “Shop Local” signage that reminds people to support businesses in their community.

With many consumers staying at home this year, spending time with a select few family members, or scheduling socially distanced visits with friends and neighbors, it’s also important to provide valuable content online.

According to Google, 35% of Canadians are finding it difficult to shop in-store due to COVID-19. I’m predicting that a lot of people will hunker down and do their gift shopping online, rather than venturing into stores.

That’s good news if you have an eCommerce store. But people don’t just want to scroll through product page after product page. They want to see articles, videos, reviews and testimonials.

Consider creating articles that focus on local activities and even mention other small businesses (that you don’t compete with!). For example, you could write a blog about five fun things to do in your town this season, with a link to a small business that sells Christmas crafts or treats. Then write a call to action that ties back to your own product or service as a great gift idea.

2. Partner with a local charity.

Many small business owners donate time and/or money to causes that align with their values. In addition to being a nice thing, partnering with a charity can also make your customers more likely to buy gifts from you.

You can donate a certain percentage of each purchase or give an item for each item purchased. Setting up a gift-wrapped donation bin at your business allows you to show your customers how many items you’re giving away, or you can post photos and numbers online.

Your customers (and you) will be supporting a good cause and also promoting your small business.

3. Improve your store or website/social media profiles.

Just like you might decorate your house with garlands and stockings, decorating your store and/or website and social media accounts can create a festive feeling.

Consider using local décor to support other small businesses and reinforce the message to shop local.

If you’re doing your decorating online, update your profile pictures and posts with some virtual Christmas decorations that have a local flavor. Think beyond a snowman and include a local snow-capped mountain or a photo of Christmas lights at a nearby tourist attraction.

Now when you share your discounts, sales, promotions and well-crafted content online, your followers will see something familiar.

The more you can create an ecosystem of relevant content and images that work together, the more your brand awareness, engagement, leads, and sales will increase.

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READ: Your 2020 Holiday Marketing Guide for Businesses

Wondering how to increase Christmas sales? COVID-19 is a global crisis that has affected economies, supply chains and retailers around the world. Your customers’ buying decisions this fall/winter may look completely different than they did last year.

Those tried and true tactics that worked for us before may not work anymore. Regardless of the type of small business you have, it’s crucial to realize that as the retail landscape has changed, your holiday marketing plan must, too.

Read more on our website

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4. Host an in-store or virtual event.

If you can host an in-store event with proper social distancing protocols in place, it can be a fun way to attract people to your business. You can offer refreshments, entertainment, and private shopping experiences to make your customers feel special.

Now, I predict we’ll see fewer in-store gatherings this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make events a part of your seasonal marketing strategy.

Think about how you can link your product or service to the event. How about a virtual wine night with a highlight of your three most popular gifts? Or an interactive children’s party that shows them how to make gifts with your products?

Use your imagination and use a free tool like Facebook Live or a Facebook group to organize your event online. Before the party, you can send email invitations to your subscribers, share the news on social media, and tell people about it on your website.

There is no doubt that the holiday season will be different this year. When you’re considering how to increase holiday sales, it’s essential to use epathetic marketing techniques to connect with your audience in an authentic way.

Additionally, it’s important to reassure people that you’re taking necessary COVID-19 precautions, whether that’s cleaning your store a certain number of times a day or sanitizing shipments before they go out.

By adapting your seasonal marketing strategy to accommodate people’s new habits and preferences, you’ll be set up for success—now and throughout 2021.

Do you have any ideas on how to increase Christmas sales locally? I’d love to hear from them in the comments.

For the success of your business,

Suzanne