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Updated: Dec 4, 2015
‘Tis the season…of marketing. Enticing holiday discounts line every street corner and our inboxes are stuffed with season’s greetings and special offers. Meanwhile, your clients are scrambling to leverage the busiest and most profitable season of the year for their businesses.
Your small business clients may need an injection of last-minute financing to get them through the busy season, but it can be tricky to cut through the clutter and effectively market yourself during the hectic holiday season. Here are five simple and affordable ways to ensure your voice isn’t drowned out by the endless loop of Christmas music and the clamor over year-end sales:
Working around the clock to fill their customers’ stockings, your clients may be a little distracted by the lines of happy shoppers and inventory flying off their shelves. Don’t be offended if even your most responsive clients take a little extra time to get back to you.
To accommodate their extended holiday hours, why not adjust yours! A mad rush on their inventory can leave them in a pinch, but if you’re able to find them affordable financing at a moment’s notice, you’ll reinforce a loyal client-advisor relationship that will serve you well throughout the rest of the year. Consider sending your clients a friendly reminder at the beginning of the holiday season with your direct contact information and let them know the best way to reach you around the clock for any last minute financing needs.Pro tip: Email open rates plummet across the board in the few days leading up to Christmas, but some of the best times throughout the entire year to send a B2B marketing email are a week after Thanksgiving and just a couple of days after New Year’s!
Even if you feel your numbers starting to droop, launching a new cold calling campaign in December can feel like an uphill battle. As the temperatures drop and the snow starts to fall, it may be time to cuddle up to your list of warm leads.
One of the simplest marketing tools you have in your arsenal is the classic holiday card. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through — background on how you and your company did this past year with a few light-hearted jokes or seasonal references is sometimes all it takes. The point here isn’t to make a sale; it’s a chance for you to stand out from the crowd by making a personal connection.
The impact of a handwritten card is immeasurable, but if you conduct most of your business virtually and have more than 100 clients on your list, an e-card is an affordable option worth considering.
Don’t worry if your leads don’t start converting right away. Take this season as an opportunity to lay the groundwork for booming success in the new year. There are few marketing campaigns more powerful than a positive referral from a trusted friend, and if you’re top of mind for just a few of your clients, you’re likely to receive a lot more inquiries once the eggnog runs out. Small business owners attend holiday parties with other business owners in their communities and spend their days off with friends and family, reflecting on the past year. During the holidays, look for creative ways to remind your clients of the positive experience they had working with you and encourage them to review you on Yelp or Trustpilot.
These days, it seems like we spend more time taking photos of our holiday feasts than we do actually eating them. The latest trends indicate we’re all going to spend a good portion of our holidays talking with friends and family online. Because of the increased traffic, it’s more expensive to buy ads on social media during the holidays, but if you create an original campaign and execute it properly, you could really get your money’s worth.
If you’re already advertising on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, the holiday season can be a good time to double down on your investment. Facebook recommends increasing your normal bids to offset market competition and broadening your target audience to make sure your budget is spent. Scheduling in advance is a good practice to follow all year round, but it’s particularly important during this busy season so Facebook has enough time to review your ad before it goes live.
The holiday spirit is all about giving and — as with most marketing campaigns — you have to give a little to get a lot. While you may not be able to match the ridiculous sales that big box retailers promoted for Black Friday, a little elbow grease and creativity can go a long way in developing an effective holiday marketing campaign around a simple offer that your clients will find valuable.
A well-timed discount or financial incentive can help you stand out from the competition in the moment, but your long-term marketing strategy should be built around positioning yourself as a valuable resource to your clients all year round. Use your own expertise to reflect on current trends and emphasize your ability to demystify the complex finance industry. If you have a solid content-marketing strategy in place, it’s relatively simple to wrap up some premium content into a holiday guide, put a bow on it and send it out to your favorite clients and your best leads.
That’s exactly what we did for our small business clients! Take a look at the our Small Business Holiday Survival Guide.
It’s almost ironic that with all of the crazy advertising around the holidays that the most effective tactics are still built around making real connections with your clients. The competition may be fierce during the winter, but this is no time to hibernate. As a Funding Circle Referral Partner, you’re able to offer your small business clients affordable financing in record time. For some small business owners, that might just be the best holiday gift money can buy.
Paige Smith is a Content Marketing Writer and Senior Contributing Writer at Funding Circle. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and specializes in writing about the intersection of business, finance, and tech. Paige has written for a number of B2B industry leaders, including fintech companies, small business lenders, and business credit resource sites.