In this digital era of marketing, we often find ourselves interacting with algorithms more than we do with real people. Which is why for businesses, being present in an offline space can make a huge impact on how your customers feel about your brand.
The holiday season is the busiest period for most brands no matter what industry you work in. So from enticing customers to step through your door, to getting the word out about your business there’s a lot of considerations when it comes to planning your holiday promotions.
Maybe you’re a small business looking to build a name in your local area, or perhaps you want to capitalize on the influx of holiday shoppers. However you’re connecting to customers over the festive season, you can find a plan that works for your brand.
As a small business, you’re no doubt passionate about what you do. But no matter how exceptional your service or products might be, customers won’t get to experience what you have to offer unless they hear about you. The first thing to consider when preparing your business for the holidays is how you’ll get the word out about your brand. Here’s some quick and clever ways to get your name out there:
If you’re in the retail or restaurant business, this one is an exciting route to investigate. The holidays are usually jam-packed with events like craft fairs, food and drink festivals and artisan bazaars that will be looking for vendors to make the event sparkle. Plus, events are a great place to network and interact face-to-face with your customers.
To make sure you’re hitting the right audience, it’s worth putting time into finding an exhibition that feels like a natural fit for your business. For example, if you’re a restaurant brand, setting up a stall at a food festival would be the perfect place to showcase a taste of your festive menu.
Once you’ve chosen your event, it’s time to think about creating your stand and finding the perfect spot in the event space. When it comes to designing your booth, it’s important that it stands out against your competitors, but still clearly gets across who you are and what you’re all about. (For some creative inspiration, check out our guide on how to attract customers to your stall.)
During your event, you’ll have hopefully held some engaging conversations with customers, made new connections, and learned a little more about your audience too.
Keep the conversation going after the event with printed takeaways for attendees. Business Cards are a staple for any exhibition stand, but you can also level up your marketing material by creating a Menu that showcases your festive dishes, or if you’re selling products, a Flyer packed with gift inspiration.
If your business is online, you’ll have different challenges to those who have brick and mortar sites. Since customers won’t be able to spot you from the sidewalk, make sure you keep your business front of mind by using other spaces in the community to promote your name.
For example, if you’re a cleaning business or a hairdresser working from home, you can ask your neighbourhood restaurants, stores or community spaces to keep your Flyers and Posters in their windows. Be sure to include your top seasonal offers, and even switch up your branding with a festive design to capture the holiday spirit.
Take partnering with other businesses one step further by finding like-minded brands that share your passions.
For example, if you’re a retailer who is committed to only selling sustainably sourced gifts, you might find a connection with a restaurant that donates all of its food waste to shelters over the holidays. Although these two industries seem poles apart, the chances are that they will both share an audience that is passionate about sustainability.
During the festive season, each business can offer customers a discount in their partnering company’s store. It’s a great way to practice your networking, while also driving some extra business over the holidays. Win-win.
The holidays are a huge opportunity for brands to generate sales — particularly during heavily commercial periods like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. To meet seasonal shoppers’ expectations of discounts and special offers, ensure you dream up a couple of enticing promotions that add unique value for your customers, balanced with some discounts.
If you’re a business that sells giftable products like art, accessories or homeware, creating BOGO and 3 for 2 style offers could help you boost how much money a purchase brings in. Ahead of your promotion, create some printed Postcards or Flyers that advertise the offer, and include it as an insert in your packaging. This will help you stay front of mind when customers come to shop over the holidays. You can also check out our guide to making your holiday orders awesome for more packaging inspiration.
Sometimes what really brings in customers is the promise of added value, not just money taken off the price. If you’re a graphic designer or illustrator, why not give away free Greeting Cards or festive Sticker sets designed by you with your purchases. It’s a thoughtful added extra for your customers that will really come in handy when they do their holiday gift wrapping.
To really ramp up the added-extra angle, you can even design your own run of limited edition Postcard prints that can be gifted to customers when they purchase selected products.
To generate some repeat business over the holidays, why not transform some Business Cards into your very own stamp cards. Customers can collect a stamp every time they use your service or purchase from you, and once they fill their stamps, receive a special offer or discount.
The holidays only come once a year, so make time in your calendar (particularly around Small Business Saturday) to hold some seasonal events that customers will enjoy. It’s great for bringing in new clients, but is also a rewarding and fun way to celebrate small businesses.
Holding a donation drive or fundraiser can be a great way of getting customers into your store while also giving back to those who need it over the holidays. Don’t forget to print off Flyers with suggested donations and how to find the event.
A sip and shop is a great way to get customers out of the cold and into your store. turn up the volume on the festive songs and lay on plenty of refreshments for your guests to enjoy while they browse.
Whether you’re a hairdresser, designer, maker or restaurant owner, you’ve no doubt got fantastic skills in your trade that other people would love to learn about. Perhaps you can offer some cooking tips on preparing a holiday feast, or even host a Greeting Card illustration class. Wherever your talent’s lie, an activity night is a great way to show your customers that you’re passionate and skilled in your field, while making some great connections too.