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Updated: Nov 21, 2017
You could probably hear the jingle bells in TV commercials starting in October, and you can’t turn on the radio without hearing ads for the latest holiday sale. Amid billboards, commercials, bus stop ads, and an onslaught of coupons direct to your doorstep, it may seem daunting for an independent business to advertise during the holidays. Most businesses can’t afford billboards or a national commercial — so what’s a company to do? Here are seven ways to stand out amid the holiday hubbub.
However you may feel about tweets and snaps, there’s no denying that social media has become an earmark for how we perceive brands. Update your company’s social media profiles with your holiday hours, photos of your products in action, gift ideas, and more. There are a lot of companies fighting for attention on social media, so don’t feel shy about posting regularly. People are on the hunt for the season’s must-have holiday gifts, so make sure your products and services make everyone’s list!
If you don’t have one already, get your corporate blog started! This is a great way to showcase your expertise and encourage people to keep coming back to your site. Think about what your company offers and what topics your customers may be interested in. For example, if you own a retail store, you can create a gift guide featuring your most popular gifts. Or, talk about what’s available as a part of a special holiday sale or even an inside peek at who your team is!
Take a look at your team’s skillset and think of where your customers spend their time. Are you pretty handy with a camera, and your business targets millennials? Try creating a funny YouTube video about your company. Does your receptionist have a knack for Photoshop? It may be time for some festive posters — you can ask other local businesses to hang them in their windows (in return for you doing the same for them)!
Hopefully you already collect the email addresses of your customers (and people who are interested in your product or service!) — if you don’t, you may want to start. Sending a regular email newsletter to people who have already expressed interest in what you do is one of the easiest ways to keep them coming back. Consider offering free shipping or another exclusive holiday discount along with your warm seasonal wishes of holiday cheer.
Have a new product? Opened a new location? Offering a special holiday deal? Writing press releases — and convincing a journalist to write a story about you — can be tough, be can also be one of the most rewarding methods of promoting your business. Sharpen a pencil and put on your writer’s cap to think about how you can spin recent news in your favor. And don’t forget to share the press release on your own social media channels after it’s published!
Whoa, whoa, whoa, you may say. I’m not made of money here. Don’t worry — there are lots of options for throwing an awesome promotional party on a shoestring budget. Grab some balloons, throw up some streamers, and put some cider on. Add a merry holiday soundtrack, and you’re in business! Let everyone know about your holiday shindig at least two weeks ahead of time to give them plenty of opportunity to plan their social calendars. Make sure to mention there will be exclusive coupons offering a discount for party attendees.
Are there other businesses offering complementary products or services in your area? Consider partnering with a few other businesses to offer a joint promotion, like a cross-business discount, or a bundled deal! Everyone loves a very merry discount, and you can keep the giving going all season long.
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.