Still months away, this is the time of year that many retailers are already deep into their holiday marketing plans. This includes having a content calendar ready to go, as well as a detailed strategy for how each channel will be addressed. And, while that structure provides a great framework for covering all marketing bases, it may not provide a way to truly stand out if you are implementing the same tactics and approach as the competition.
To get noticed during the holiday rush, your small business has to do something creative to stand out, make engaging connections with consumers, and win them over. Here are five creative ideas to implement for your small business this holiday season that can help you get noticed:
1. Holiday Memory Sharing
The holidays are often the most nostalgic time because each season reminds you of your childhood with gifts, treats, and family gatherings. Those "warm" moments are a great way to connect with your audience. Here are some examples:
- With permission, use your team's photos from their youth to create collages of holiday moments that your audience can relate to. Adding team members' names next to the photo with a few sentences about their favorite holiday memory also adds to the emotional connection with your brand. This is a great campaign for your website and social media because it aligns your brand attributes and products with those same memories your audience may be reliving.
- Ask your audience to share their great holiday snaps, including a favorite holiday moment or gift. In return, you can give them a coupon or special code to get a great holiday deal. This provides a way for you to have fresh content that you know the rest of the audience will enjoy.
2. Google Shopping Campaign
This is a great strategy if you sell products online, offline, or both, and want to ramp up your reach leading up to the holiday season. Doing a campaign with Google Shopping puts a lot of the heavy lifting in their hands. Google offers shopping ads, which are also referred to as Product Listing Ads (PLAs).
Those target customers searching on Google will be able to see your products with prices before they reach your website. Giving them this much information in advance means those that come to your site are more likely farther along in the purchase decision. You can also tie this campaign to your holiday gift guide plans, aligning available products with the ad campaign.
3. Holiday Checklist and Timeline
Often, retailers focus more on inventory levels and sales rather than what the customer wants. Instead, implement valuable strategies like creating a checklist for customers with a timeline that guides them through the holiday season in a stress-free way. Also, try these ideas:
- Send email and SMS alerts that list things to do this week that make holiday shopping more enjoyable, and it doesn't even have to continually tie back to your products. For example, remind them when it's a good time to start the layaway process or send out party invitations. Or, let them know the local Christmas tree lot is open with tips on how to care for their fresh tree. Another alert might share an easy holiday dinner checklist to help your customers remember everything they need rather than having to make their own list.
- Post a whole holiday season timeline on your website that includes drop-dead dates for holiday shipping or options for pick-up times for layaway and key sales times. Include reminders on the timeline about international shipping, as well, to help your customers plan their gift-giving.
- Ask your followers on social media to share their checklist and timing tips for the holidays so other audience members can benefit and know they can go to you for a large circle of expert advice.
4. Social Cause Campaign
Since it's the season of giving, this is the perfect time to create a social cause campaign that shows your company is more about giving than receiving. If you already donate to a local charity or larger nonprofit, ask them what type of assistance they need during the holiday season.
For example, you can add videos or pictures of your team adopting a local family and tell how your brand helped them this season or delivered gifts or food. Alternatively, you could ask your audience members on social media to donate food, an unwrapped toy, or clothing that, in return, you will give them a special discount.
Then, when the campaign is over, share the results, including how much you collected and how it helped others during the holiday season. It's a feel-good way to do holiday marketing that reminds you that marketing is not always about receiving revenue. Instead, it's about creating relationships and finding ways to help others.
Customers want to know that you believe they are special rather than just a number. That's why the holidays are a perfect time to show them gratitude for their loyalty by giving those customers a little something extra for standing by you for so long. Think more about longevity versus how much they have spent with you.
Honor them with an in-store event, like a holiday party, where they can enjoy treats, mingle so you get to know them better, and shop with fellow customers who love your brand. Create an online store with new products or an exclusive sale that they only get access to. Or, do a feature on individual customers on your social media page or website that shares their personal holiday plans. After all, they are the face of your brand.