By Dina Indelicato

For many businesses, the holiday season represents an important time of year. For some, a great portion of revenue comes during the months of November, December, and January. For others, it’s still a great opportunity to get your target audience excited about your products and services. The holiday season may be well underway, but you still have time to create a great seasonal marketing campaign. Here are seven actionable tips for making that happen.

1. Add Holiday Touches to Your Store and Website

It’s time to “decorate” for the holidays. This includes your website, social media, and if it applies, your brick and mortar location. Why is this important? It sends an immediate and visible signal to your customers. They’ll know right away that you value and are engaged in the holiday season. As a result, their curiosity will be piqued. People will then want to take a closer look to see exactly what you have to offer. Here are a few holiday decorating tips:

  • Change profile pictures and background images so that they reflect the holidays.
  • Add holiday decorations to your store that are festive but also reflect your branding.
  • Create a temporary holiday logo to use on your website and landing pages.

2. Put on an Exciting Holiday Event

The holiday season is perfect for events and giveaways. Get people in your door or to your website, by holding one of your own. The keys to success are making your event exciting, attractive, and relevant to your company. Here are a few ideas:

  • Partner with other local businesses to hold a holiday themed gala with entertainment and special offers.
  • Offer a free class or other giveaway, then encourage attendees to sign up for your email newsletter.
  • Encourage your vendors to come into your place of business to offer free samples and to meet and greet your customers.
  • Hold a customer appreciation luncheon or dinner.
  • Go with a classic and offer pictures and a meet and greet with Santa and his elves.

Is your business online only? No problem! You can also celebrate the holidays with an exciting event. This is a great time to launch a social media contest or hashtag campaign. You just have to figure out what is relevant to the holiday and your brand, and plan a giveaway that is attractive enough to draw customers in. Finally, don’t forget the power of Facebook live to connect with your audience over the holiday season. For example, you could host a holiday related product demo, or bring in a local expert to share a Christmas recipe or craft.

3. Team Up with a Local Charity

People want to do business with companies that care about others. This is even more true during the holiday season. If they know that spending their money on your products or services can help others, that’s pretty powerful motivation.

Consider working with a charitable organization to create a holiday initiative. Once you’ve selected a charity that you believe will resonate with your audience, you can work with the charity to create an event or series of events. These might include:

  • Holding an online charity auction.
  • Donating a percentage of sales over the holiday season to your chosen charity.
  • Sponsoring an event held by the charity itself.
  • Mentioning the charity in advertisements.
  • Holding volunteer events for employees and customers.
  • Putting out donation cups or linking to the charity online.
  • Sharing the charity’s social media posts.

4. Have a Sale

This one may not be very original. After all, who doesn’t have a holiday sale? On the other hand, these are popular because they work. It’s no wonder. While the holiday season brings lots of cheer, it’s also a financially stressful time for many. By holding special, holiday sales events you can nudge customers further towards conversion.

Here are a few tips for putting on a sale that gets customers in the door:

  • Promote your sale on social media.
  • Set a time limit to create a sense of urgency.
  • Push holiday related merchandise.
  • Don’t just discount products. Offer savings on shipping and warranties as well.
  • Use BOGO offers and upgrades to add value to customer’s purchases.

5. Be Sure You Can Handle Customer Support and Sales

The best thing possible is that your holiday efforts are a success, and you get lots of sales and traffic to your store (or website). The worst thing possible is that your efforts are a success, but you cannot handle increased demand on your staff and servers. This is a good time to make sure that you have adequate staff on hand. This includes floor personnel, customer service staff, and backroom employees.

Next, check with your web hosting service. This is the worst possible time for your website to go down because it cannot handle the influx of traffic and orders. A quick checkup and possibly an upgrade can prevent this from becoming a problem.

6. Reach Customers with Email

This time of year, customers are on the lookout for great products, bargains, and exciting holiday offerings. Because of this, they are particularly open to email marketing. This means you can likely increase the frequency of your marketing emails. Of course, you holiday email campaign will only be as successful as it is engaging. Here are a few creative tips for success:

  • Send out a holiday gift guide featuring your products.
  • Give subscribers access to special deals.
  • Send a sales preview.
  • Inform customers of new holiday hours.
  • Incorporate holiday imagery into your emails.
  • Remember all of the holidays your customers will celebrate.
  • Don’t just promote. Send out holiday greetings and tips.

7. Create and Curate Holiday Content

It’s not just about sales and promotions! Embrace the spirit of the holiday by sharing plenty of holiday-related content on your website and social media pages. Here are a few ideas:

  • Share pictures of work celebrations on your blog and social media.
  • Pass along funny or touching holiday stories and videos.
  • Share holiday cooking and decorating tips.
  • Have employees share pictures and stories of their family traditions and celebrations.
  • Ask audience members to share their holiday content.
  • Create a holiday themed social media quiz complete with a product recommendation at the end.

To get the most out of the holiday season, you’re going to have to hit the ground running. Grab a few of the strategies listed here and put them into action! You could see a nice boost in sales before year end rolls around.