7 Holiday Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

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Small businesses have to get creative to compete for consumer attention, and that’s no different during the holiday season. If you’re ready to stand out and get your business seen during the busiest shopping time of the year, follow our tips for rocking your holiday marketing this year.

1. Research!

Let’s talk about PPC and display ads.

Not all keywords, approaches, or ad types are going to work well for your business. If you want to succeed with Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or Display Ads, you need to understand your target audience and how they use different platforms. 

So what do you need to consider to build out a winning digital marketing strategy for the holidays?

First up, think about who your audience is. Are they busy moms who juggle work and parenting? Millennials with disposable income who love animals? Parents, who need an easy but healthy meal option at the end of the day?

From there, you can start extrapolating what problem your service, product, or shop solves for your target audience and how it does it.

One way to get insight into this is to look at your 5-star reviews. For example, a quick look at our Google Reviews shows that our clients think:

  • We’re easy to work with
  • We’re helpful and willing to explain complex concepts
  • We’re knowledgeable about what we do

We could run a campaign that differentiates us from the competition by showcasing our expertise and willingness to share information from these insights. These are traits that resonate with our clients, and most likely, with our target audience.

Once you know your audience and how to approach them, you need to research which keywords to bid for if you’re opting for PPC or display ads.

Your keywords should reflect the terms your customers use to find you. These keywords may reference particular services, products, or areas. Let’s say you’re selling poinsettias in Tampa and are offering delivery. Possible keywords may be Tampa poinsettias, poinsettias in Tampa, Tampa flower delivery, Tampa holiday flowers, etc.

It’s important to note that your holiday keywords may differ from keywords you use during the rest of the year. Right now, people are focused on gift-giving and prepping for the festive season. So, while you may sell great musical equipment and focus on branded keywords during most of the year, during the holiday season, you may need to tweak your keywords to highlight your most popular giftable items.

There are a variety of tools you can use for keyword research. If you’ve run campaigns in the past, give your historical data a lookover. You should also examine your Google Analytics dashboard to identify current trends and see where your traffic is coming from. Tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs can help you find popular keywords in your industry, and don’t forget to do a competitor analysis to see what the competition is bidding on!

2. Start Your Holiday Marketing Early

Right now, there’s a lot of pressure on businesses because of the supply chain, staffing, and shipping issues. Customers are being told to shop early—which means businesses need to start advertising early. While there will always be last-minute shoppers that you can try to win over, you don’t want to bet the bank on them. Start your digital marketing ASAP!

Keeping track of your ad performance year-round and understanding which channels work best for you can help you mobilize quickly. 

3. Engage!

Want to make authentic connections with your customers? Engage with them in a fun way. Hold a giveaway or ask them to submit a fun photo featuring your product or their favorite holiday activity. 

With the latter, you can feature the top entries on your social posts. User-generated content is extremely popular on sites like Instagram. It shows you have a unique connection with your target customer and helps your followers see how your product or brand could fit into their own lives.

The sky’s the limit with this one. Ask your customers to create festive jingles featuring your brand for a chance at a gift card or have them share their favorite holiday recipes. The only thing you need to focus on is being authentic to your brand. Whatever you post or share should be in line with your brand voice and mission.

For maximum impact, try to do something similar every year. That way, it becomes an identifiable part of your brand and something your customers look forward to year after year.

4. Feature Your Own Gift Guide

Have some great items or services that you want to make sure customers know about? Or how about some new seasonal offerings you want to share? Creating a gift guide and sharing it on your blog, social media channels, and newsletter is a great way to highlight your unique products or services and show why they make great gifts for different audiences. Create gift guides featuring the best relaxing products for Mom, top science gifts for tweens, fun gifts for your techie boyfriend, or whatever aligns with your brand goals. Get creative!

5. Don’t Forget the Last-Minute Shoppers

It’s a given that some people will start their holiday shopping late or forget to buy a gift. Make it easy for those last-minute shoppers to score something great by offering deals near the end of the holiday season, like 10% off your gift cards. Or you can bundle some products or services together to create a unique last-minute gift idea.

6. Use a Countdown Timer

A sense of urgency can be crucial for getting customers to take advantage of an offer like free shipping or a deal. A countdown timer can also serve as a reminder for the last day to score regular shipping to ensure holiday delivery during the holiday season. You can find a fun, festive countdown and have it show up on particular pages on your site or sitewide.

7. Hire a Holiday Marketing Expert

Often, small business owners end up putting too much on their plates. In addition to worrying about the day-to-day operations of your business, you don’t need to tackle the learning curve of digital marketing. Rather than wasting time and money on teaching yourself how to use different ad platforms, make sure you hit the mark from the start with a skilled team ready to score your results.

At Digital Neighbor, we’re all about helping our clients reach their goals and grow their businesses. We help them navigate the sometimes confusing waters of digital marketing to focus on what they do best—running their businesses. From SEO and PPC Ad Management to Social Media Management and Content Creation—we support small businesses through a suite of services engineered to get them noticed. When you hire a digital marketing agency, you benefit from their combined experience, the ability to scale quickly, and a partner that wants you to succeed. Ready to get started? Contact us, and let’s chat about how to make a holiday marketing campaign that gets your business noticed.

Eric Ritter, CEO

Eric Ritter

Eric is the conductor of an orchestra here at Digital Neighbor. He knows how all the digital instruments should sound together. When he’s not solving marketing challenges for the neighborhood, Eric is also an adjunct professor at the University of South Florida, where he teaches Digital Media in the Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications.

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