Marketing Your Local Business During the Festive Season

Person sitting on the sofa looking at their laptop holding a Starbucks coffee mug. There is a Christmas tree with silver decorations in the background

While you may not want to hear about the ‘big C’ before we’ve had Halloween or even till the 1st December, it’s only

Day
Hour
Minute
Second

Till Christmas and your business should be planning your marketing campaign. While you think a big push with your digital marketing might not be worth it for whatever reason, it is!

Why a Christmas Digital Marketing Campaign is Important for a Local Business:

61% of consumers were open to buying from new retailers last season and nearly 50% actually did*.


Think about it, as the cold weather comes in, ailments occur, boilers breakdown, so making sure you are the one being found when a person is most in need is important.

Important Dates for Your Festive Marketing Campaign:

White wooden advent calendar with draws with gold numbers on each. A small lit up house scene sits on top.

While you may believe the goal is all about getting sales before Christmas day and then everything drops and goes back to normal, that’s not the case.

There are some other key dates before and after the big day you should keep in mind, when planning your local business’ festive digital marketing.

  • More than half of holiday shoppers begin research in October or earlier**
  • Black Friday – Friday, 23 November 2018
  • Cyber Monday – Monday, 26 November 2018
  • Manic Monday – Monday 3 December 2018
  • Searches for “where to buy” spike 18th – 23rd December after the shipping cut-off***
  • Christmas Day – 25th December 2018 – Holiday shopping doesn't end — about 20% of all December store traffic happens in the 6 days after Christmas****

 

In preparation for the above, your business should make sure you’re ready for an influx of enquiries, you have the right amount of stock (will you need more than usual?), and that you have the right amount of staff in on each of the busy days.

If you offer an emergency service, do people know, is it obvious on your website. If you are prepared to work over Christmas let customers know – give out cards, send out emails and make sure your online channels make it known.

Campaign Ideas:

  1. Add Festive Flair to Your Branding


Update your logo and social media profile pictures to incorporate Christmas elements without affecting your brand recognition. With your social media cover images, you can go slightly further by using a Christmas themed image or by updating it regularly to reflect promotional offers throughout the season. Remember any cost accrued can be justified by the fact that once created you can reuse these images for several years.

 

  1. Reach Out to Customers / Leads with a Festive Email


While you may not be able to offer a 12 days of Christmas campaign, where you have a different time limited offer each day like larger businesses. You can still send out regular emails over the festive period putting emphasis on unique items which aren’t available from high street stores. You can also alternate between spotlighting specific products and services, offering general discounts.

 

  1. Run a Giveaway Competition


A competition works both online and offline and is a great way of getting people who know about your brand and those who are just discovering it to interact. The purpose is to have fun, engage with your audience and collect data so don’t over complicate things.

Have simple entry rules like to comment, share or like the post. The prize can be anything you want from money off their next purchase, to a specific product.

Remember to drive traffic to the competition from any other social channels you use, including email if applicable.

If you want to keep it local say the winner has to come in and collect.

 

  1. Post Festive Content


When creating content whether it’s for your blog or social media the general rule is that 80% should add value to your followers’ lives and only 20% should be promoting your services or products. Over the festive season you shouldn’t feel guilty if this slips, remember people are looking for offers and ideas, so help them by showing off the promotions or unique items / services your business provides. As long as you don’t end up only posting promotional updates, the extra promotional offer or Christmas jumper day snap won’t hurt!

 

  1. Offer Gift Cards


While someone may not know what to purchase from your store specifically, they may know the person they’re looking to buy a gift for will love your products.

Vouchers or gift cards can work for most local style businesses, no matter the product or service. You can also ask for referrals or reviews to be left online on the back of the card.

If You Don’t Want to Run a Full-Blown Digital Marketing Campaign, here are Pointers to Consider:

1. Mobile Website Load Time

How long does it take your mobile website to load?

A staggering 53% of visitors will abandon your mobile website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.*****

To make sure your local business’ mobile site is loading in less than 3 seasons there are a variety of tools available, for example, GTMetrix or Pingdom. Google also offers their own testing tool which provides information on changes you can make to your website to increase your speed.

 

2. Optimise Mobile Site

Create a mobile landing page that loads super-fast or find a company that offers a free report such as Speedy Website

 

3. Claim or Optimise Your Listing on Google My Business

Make sure you have claimed or updated your business listing on Google My Business, this will help to get you on the front page of google. While offering quick information (for example: opening hours, directions, services, web address and telephone number) to people who are searching for businesses within your industry.

 

4. Use Online Advertising

Google Ads or Facebook can both help you become top of mind and whether you offer a local service or have a local based business, retail or otherwise, you want to create as many chances as possible for someone to find you online. Having an ad, plus Google My Business and an organic listing on the first page of Google helps you win the lions share of clicks.

Google data states 65% of people who have buying intent click the ads on Google search.

 

5. Make Sure Your Product Availability is Up-To-Date

75% of consumers expect retailers to have product availability information before visiting in store******

 

6. Opening Hours

Make sure to update your Google My Business Information, Website Information and send out social media posts informing customers of special opening hours over the festive season.

Still Don’t Have Time to Do Any of The Above?

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At the very least schedule some content to go out on Christmas day on the social media channels your business uses, wishing your customers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and thank them for their continued support.

Our Gift to You:

Christmas Gift - Wrapped in red paper with white dots with a green bow on top and tag saying Merry Christmas

Get 3 Months for the Price of 2 on our Local Marketing Packages

(Please note: To receive this offer fees must be paid in advance. Rates will be at standard price not discount or offer prices.)

Sources:

* Google/Ipsos, "Post-Holiday Shopping Intentions Study—Total Shoppers Report," base: U.S, 2 holiday shoppers, n=1,500, Jan. 2016

** NRF, 2017 Retail Holiday Planning Playbook

*** Data, U.S., Nov.-Dec. 2016.

**** Google Data, Aggregated, anonymized store traffic from a sample of U.S. users that have turned on location his 32 tory, U.S., Nov.-Dec. 2015 and 2016.

***** Google Data, Global, n=3,700 aggregated, anonymized Google Analytics data from a sample of mWeb sites opted into sharing benchmark data, Mar. 2016.

****** Capgemini, Making the Digital Connection: Why Physical Retail Stores Need a Reboot (January, 2017) as quoted in eMarketer.

Digital Marketing Assistant / PPC Specialist (Google Certified)

For over 4 years, Jess has been Talkativeonline’s digital marketing assistant and PPC specialist. She can often be found in her natural habitat (the production office) writing content (you can see some of her work on Talkativeonline’s blog), creating graphics, analysing data, creating targeted PPC campaigns and training clients.

Outside her role at Talkativeonline, Jess is a great lover of food, board games, comic books and Dungeons and Dragons. If you look up ‘nerd’ in the dictionary, you’ll find her picture there.

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