Well, it’s official—the holiday season is upon us again!
And with it comes many of the things we cherish—eggnog lattes, sweet-smelling pine trees, and twinkling lights; but also, regrettably, the usual onslaught of poorly designed and ill-conceived ads, sales, and general product pushing.
To be fair, holiday promotions that truly delight consumers can be hard to come by.
But luckily for you, we’ve come up with ten tips to make your business promotions a huge hit this year.
1. Plan ahead
Outline how and where you’ll promote your products or services.
Will you be offering any discounts or other incentives to buy?
Define your overall goal (examples include: targeting new or existing customers, selling “x” amount of products by the end of the year, creating awareness for a new product or service, or building excitement for a time-sensitive deal).
2. Ask your customers what they want
It can be a challenge for businesses to figure out which products or services to promote.
After all, no business wants to disappoint by offering something nobody really wants.
So to avoid a festive fiasco, just ask your customers directly and avoid the guessing game altogether.
Another option is to consult your sales data—what are your best selling products?
Consider promoting those.
Either way, make sure you’re giving people real incentives to buy, and not just partaking in the hustle and bustle aimlessly.
3. Start early & build excitement
Now, we know this is going to sound funny, but it’s a good idea to promote your promotion.
Think: teaser posts, countdowns, etc… Starting early is smart, but you definitely don’t want to annoy your customers by clogging their feeds with holiday content before they’re ready.
A good rule of thumb is to start hyping your promotion sometime in mid-late November.
4. Make it unforgettable
The purpose of a jingle isn’t exclusively to annoy you, but also to serve as a memory cue, so you don’t forget the product being advertised.
Without question, having people remember your business’ promotion is a good thing, so make it memorable by giving it a catchy name.
Make it shareable by creating a unique hashtag.
For example, “Gabe’s Gorgeous Giveaway” = #GabesGorgeousGiveaway (please—we implore you—come up with a better name than we did here).
5. Use top-notch images
Make sure your visuals are eye-catching.
Use high-quality images that grab consumer’s attention and make them want to see more.
If you’re using pictures of your actual products, make sure they are high-resolution, and not grainy.
It may be worth it for you to hire a professional, so you have a stock-pile of beautiful images to use now, and later.
If you’re posting on social media, be sure to consult our very handy image-sizing guide here.
Many businesses partner with other, like-minded businesses to cross-promote each other’s products/services.
This is a great opportunity to get double the exposure and reach a whole new audience at the same time!
When you tag-team the promotional game, you gain the potential to make more sales, while at the same time building community.
7. Make sure your promotion relates to YOU
If you’re going to reach out to customers with a promotion this time of year, make sure it’s one that will get exposure for you, and not someone else’s company.
For example, don’t offer products that aren’t yours (ie: an iPad when you’re not Apple, or new Yeezys when you’re not Kanye).
If you want to take advantage of the opportunity, make sure it’s your business you’re hyping.
8. Consider making a holiday gift guide
Everyone loves a good suggestion! Especially this time of year when the pressure’s on to get just the right gift.
A holiday gift guide provides the perfect opportunity to highlight your products in a well-organized way, offering your customers a service they rarely find elsewhere.
Guides also allow for helpful (and ahem, catchy) groupings, like “10 Gifts Under $10”, or “5 Smart Gifts For the Smarty-Pants in Your Life,” etc… If you’ve heeded the advice from #5 in this list, you won’t have any problem finding great images for your guide!
9. Test it out
Before you send your customers down a complicated rabbit hole on your website, make sure everything is functioning the way you intended it.
If you’ve created a promo code, place a test order to ensure it works properly.
If you’re doing a giveaway and require contestants to like, follow, and/or tag you, do a quick run-through so you can be sure the steps are easy to follow and complete.
There’s nothing more frustrating than a clunky website promotion—your prize just out of reach—and any business that tortures their customers this way isn’t likely to keep them very long.
10. Get into the spirit!
Yes, we know the holidays are a wonderful time to plug your business, but they also offer an opportunity for you to show appreciation for your customers.
Don’t lose sight of the spirit of the season by getting caught up in sales data, conversions, and post impressions.
Along with your regular promotions, consider offering limited free shipping or gift wrapping, or adding little extras into orders if you can (this is also a great way to clear out old stock or samples).
You could also give a percentage of sales to a local charity!
Be creative, and don’t be a Scrooge—the most successful businesses know how to build relationships with their customers, whether that immediately converts into a sale or not.
With genuine spirit and a little creativity, taking your holiday promotions to new heights is totally possible.
If you continually offer thoughtful, quality incentives during these hectic few months your business may very well become part of your customers’ annual holiday traditions..
Give these 10 tips a try and let us know how they work for you!