By Jenn Clark
It’s the time of year that everyone seems to equally dread and love: the holiday season. The holidays always seem to be the busiest both in and out of the office. One minute, we’re enjoying the holiday office party, and the next, we’re stressing over year-end tax preparations. If you’ve been ignoring your holiday marketing because of all this hustle and bustle, don’t worry – we’re here to help.
Thanksgiving has come and gone, but it’s not too late to plan some December promotions. Check out our nine last-minute holiday promotion ideas you can steal for your business.
Last-Minute Holiday Promotion Ideas You Can Steal Right Now
Whether you’re a B2B or B2C, there are plenty of in-house ways you can use the classic caroling song for your company. From 12 days of giveaways to a different special (or food item, restaurants!) for 12 consecutive days, the possibilities are seemingly endless.
Make sure to advertise this appropriately by making an event page on Facebook, using Google AdWords, sending a media release to your local media outlets, and incorporating it into your email marketing plan. If you have any influencers you’re working with, ask them to share the content too.
Plan a week-long in-house event.
If you’re selling goods and have regular food traffic, host an in-house event the week before Christmas. Have a theme for each day and make sure your decorations are up. The best part is that you don’t need to have a large budget to do something like this. Have exclusive sales, a selfie photo station, light snacks, freebies and so on as a way to celebrate with your customers. This is a great holiday promotion idea to steal especially if you’re a doctor’s office or clothing store.
Be sure to get customer’s consent and take photos throughout the week so that you can share all the fun photos on social media, a company newsletter and your website!
Spruce up your website for the holidays.
Update your website to be holiday-themed for added cheer. Have your social outlets also be updated for the holidays with festive cover photos, profile pictures, and more. You can see how Ellen Degeneres nails it for her Facebook page here.
You should even consider hiring a professional photographer to do Christmas photos of the staff or take a general group office photo to use for your holiday imagery.
For best quality, ask a graphic designer to add a festive touch to your logo for your website and social platforms!
Host a food or clothing-drive.
The holidays are all about giving to others, so follow suit by hosting a clothing or food-drive for families in need. Your local Salvation Army and other groups often also ask for people to help buy gifts for children during this time of year through their Angel Tree program, and they’d be happy to have your help. Transform your office Christmas tree from a cheerful decoration to an instrument that gives back this season.
Use the power of social media to help spread the word about your cause. A Facebook Live video of you setting up the collection boxes can be a clever way to help attract more attention to your cause.
Ask people to share their new year’s resolutions or vote for the cutest holiday pet as an online-only based contest. Have contestants submit videos or photos to your social media pages or website, and announce the winner live. Be sure to have a disclaimer that will allow you to share their content upon entering if you want to be able to use their submissions for marketing purposes.
Have your contest rules displayed clearly and simply. You can also use third-party sites like Wyng or Rafflecopter to create your campaign. Be sure to also review the terms and conditions of Facebook and other social sites to ensure you are not violating any policies.
Use hashtags accordingly.
The hashtag (or, as most of us knew it growing up, the pound sign) emerged 10 years ago thanks to Twitter and former Google and Uber designer, Chris Messina. This popular online tool is used as a way to make topics easily searchable. They never used to be too relevant for Facebook, though, and were even more useless on Pinterest. However, recently, these social platforms are becoming more hashtag-friendly. So, as part of your holiday marketing, incorporate trending festive tags or create your own as part of your promotions. But, don’t overdo it. Unless you’re on Instagram, use the hashtags within your content sparingly so as to not annoy your readers.
Use sites like top-hashtags.com to see what tags gain a lot of attention and mix in with less-used tags to help your posts not become lost in the shuffle. Write out a list of relevant holiday tags you want to use ahead of time to include in your December content. This will keep you organized and on top of your holiday marketing plan.
Create your own elf on the shelf.
Your holiday campaign does not have to be all sales and promotions; you can do something engaging like bringing in your own elf on the shelf. While working with a small-town pharmacy, this was something Planful helped to implement one year. Instead of an elf, though, they used a stuffed gingerbread man and hid him around the pharmacy. You can use your own “elf” to show off an unknown service or to simply enhance that customer experience. Click here to see how the pharmacy did their elf on the shelf, or rather, “Gingy the Gingerbread Man,” as they called it.
Ask staff to be a part of it and share photos for social media and your website. This is a great way to get them involved with some of the internal marketing. Plus, your audience will love to see the team being a part of the holiday spirit. This also gives you a chance to show prospective customers how personable and approachable your company is.
Share holiday tips that are relevant to your industry.
Your regular followers love to hear from you, and if you can provide value in their lives, they’ll continue to keep coming back for more. Share holiday-themed tips that they can actually use in or out of the office. For example, financial advisors might note ways businesses can get their budget ready for the new year or a restaurant may do a few how-to videos on simple holiday recipes.
Make it easy for your customers. Show them best-selling items from your selection or have staff participate by chiming in on their votes for which of your products make the best gifts for men and women. Include your reasons, too, whether it be because of how meaningful a certain item is or how useful. With all the options and craziness the holidays bring, it will be nice to eliminate some of the noise for your audience.
Offer an exclusive discount on the gift ideas you and your staff pick out. This may help encourage not only the sale but a repeat customer!
Whether you choose to steal all or just one of these holiday promotions, we hope you’ve found our list useful! With these promotions plus our post on how to rock your marketing in the new year, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your business goals faster than before.