For some businesses the Christmas period is so busy and their perfect time of year. For others, it’s more of a tough slog. They get forgotten about, they’re not really appropriate for Christmas, and business can really slow down or halt altogether.
If this sounds like you (and I’m one of those people), there are lots of things you can do throughout December to keep your business visible and get your customers ready to spend with you when Christmas isn’t all consuming and they have the money to spend again.
Create a social media advent calendar
Count down the days to Christmas by sharing hints, tips and ideas with your followers. Focus it around your business if you can but if not, just something that your followers will enjoy or find useful .
Have a competition or giveaway
Everyone is buying for friends and families so create a competition or giveaway with some loveliness for your customers to treat themselves.
Elf on the Shelf
Invite an Elf on the Shelf into your business and show your customers what you do behind the scenes and how you do it. Have your elf explain it through their eyes to show a different angle to your business. People will enjoy seeing the different aspects of your business and it doesn’t even have to be Christmassy!
Start a fun campaign
Share images of unusual Christmas trees or ornaments, funny signs or cards. Ask customers and followers to share pictures of their Christmas jumpers, their trees or decorations – you can even create a special hashtag people can use.
Write a Christmas blog
Write about something useful that might help your customers over the Christmas period – how to stay calm and stress free, keep the kids entertained, self care. Think about how you can help your customers.
In previous years I’ve written Create your small business marketing plan and Declutter your office and your business. Neither are Christmas related but they are seasonal as people will be wanting to market like crazy in January and they will be wanting to declutter with all the new things they’ve gained.
Look back over the year
Remind your customers what you’ve done over the last year – products you’ve created, exhibitions you’ve been to, workshops you’ve created, services you’ve provided and how you’ve helped your customers. We all forget just what we’ve achieved over the last 12 months so it’s good for us, as business owners, to remind ourselves too.
Help a charity
Pick a local charity and ask customers for donations of food, clothing or toys – alternatively, give a portion of your takings to a charity of your choice (or run a poll and ask your customers to decide)
Send out personal Christmas cards
Business is quiet so why not write a short personal note in your Christmas cards, even if it’s just to your top 10 favourite customers. As a Thank You for their custom, send a small gift or a voucher to spend with you in the new year.
People buy vouchers for all sorts of things nowadays so even if you don’t sell the typical goods you’d expect a voucher for, don’t let it stop you. Create a lovely voucher, market it and your super customer may ask for one of your vouchers as a Christmas present.
Give your posts a seasonal feel
Share your favourite drinks and recipes, tag a local cafe (Christmas coffee and treats) or a local shop (gift buying) – they’re appreciate the mention and might even share your post. Share a picture of your decorated office, your attempts at present wrapping, a winters walk, ask about favourite Christmas films.
It might not be business as usual but people will enjoy seeing your posts and how you’re preparing for Christmas – not being sold to might be a welcome change as everything is geared up to selling. You just want your followers to remember you’re still out there.
If December is a tough month for you, then plan your campaign to stay visible and schedule as much as you can. Then be kind to yourself – take some time to buy presents, bake with the kids, go for a walk or meet for a coffee with friends. Enjoy the festive spirit.
Rather than slogging to try sell in December, focus on January and the coming year, and create a campaign to push your business when your customers are actually looking and are ready to buy. If you need some ideas, my blog January marketing ideas to boost your business can help give you some inspiration.
I’d love to hear how you market your business over the Christmas festive period. Let me know in the comments.