Holiday Success Tips and Tricks: Part 3

Holiday Success Tips and Tricks: Part 3
By KATIE STAVERT
Los Alamos Business Assistance Services

Advertising

Marketing during the holiday rush is a must to really attract customers and boost business. Let’s talk about a few great ideas and best practices when advertising during the holidays.

Paid Advertising

There are time-tested ways to get the word out about your business. Radio is still a powerful medium and can get you into the ears of a highly targeted market. Search engine ads are more and more useful especially as online shopping becomes even more popular. Facebook ads are also highly targeted and relatively inexpensive for small-town, local businesses. Your local newspaper can be effective when you place an attractive, incentive-based ad.

Email

Email is a very inexpensive way to connect with your existing customers. The key to remember is to only send email to those that have requested to be on your email list. When you send the email be sure to keep it short and sweet and content that is of interest to your audience. Another tip is to craft a strong and informative subject line that will make people open your email like “A Special Offer Just for You,” or “Thank You for Your Business in 2013.” Make sure that you design your email to be festive and appealing for the season. Last, always comply with the government guidelines for online email marketing.

Social Media

Using social media during the holiday shopping season is cheap and often free if you are willing to put in the time. Be smart in the way you post and with what you post. Some tips to remember:

Facebook: Post 3-5 times a week, mid-day during the weekdays.

Twitter: Post once a day, mid-day, all week.

Some ideas to engage customers with social media include offering a free item or dessert with a social media check-in from customers on their mobile devices, like on FourSquare or Facebook. You could also host a social media contest to highlight your services or products and engage your customers and remind them of great gift ideas. You can create more excitement by offering a prize or discount which will incentivize people to come into your business.

You can also use social media to provide stress relieving tips for your followers during the season. Be sure to consider your business and target customers and offer advice that will make their lives easier. Using original hashtags will also help maintain your brand awareness.

Holiday Merchandising

You can really enhance the feel of the holidays and encourage higher customer turnout by doing some very simple things. If you are in a destination or accommodation business, offer gift packages with future-stay gift cards. If you operate a restaurant, perhaps create a holiday menu or special holiday themed drinks or desserts. Retail businesses can decorate for the holidays and offer pre-wrapped holiday gift bundles that allow for higher price points. Stocking stuffers should be made readily available near cash registers. This is also the time to make sure your loyal customers feel special. You can do this without breaking the bank by offering special offers, free shipping, secret sales or sneak previews. Another creative option is to host a special event or holiday open house and showcase holiday gifts, menus or merchandise. You can offer light refreshments like hot cocoa or cider to get customers into the holiday spirit. Be sure to give out special offers or coupons as customers leave that will have them coming back for additional purchases. 

Tune in tomorrow for more information on how to choose the right discounts and deals to offer to your customers.

Los Alamos Business Assistance Services helps businesses with planning, marketing, financing, startups, training, and other specialized areas so businesses can start, grow and succeed in northern New Mexico. Visit our website www.losalamosbusiness.comfor a no-cost, confidential appointment.

Source: Holiday Success Guide. Abrams Rhonda. The Planning Shop, 2012.

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