43%. That is the percentage of people who have already started their holiday shopping, who did so, in fact, before the end of October. What does this mean for West Virginia small business owners? It’s time to bust out your 2021 holiday marketing strategies so that you don’t miss out on what the holiday spirit can do for entrepreneurs (i.e. a stocking filled with ROI!).

If you are ready to put on the Santa marketing hat but are unsure of the best path forward, then the West Virginia Small Business Development Center can help. Read on to learn more about what tips and tricks you can use to capitalize on this year’s holiday retail shopping. It’s our ultimate marketing holiday guide, specialty gift-wrapped just for you!

Holiday Promotions

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

And that’s because holiday specials are in the wintry air! All consumers know that this time of year brings forth holiday specials in the form of discounted offers or free resources. Gift bundles at a discount? Yep, I’ll take that. Free gift wrapping? Why, thank you! A retail shopper expects to get a good deal, so you will want to have one ready as part of your marketing strategy. 

According to HubSpot, whatever promotion you choose to adopt should be central to all of your marketing endeavors. And there are many offers from which you can choose: contests or giveaways, e-books, templates, pre-booking specials, flash sales, virtual classes, videos, or other such tools. 

What is key is knowing your audience and product and then aligning the promotion with the two. For instance, if your typical clients are busy home renovators, then they probably don’t have time to take an online course. Additionally, if your service is outdoor landscaping, then offering a pre-booking sale (book now for the Spring and save 15%) makes the most sense because most people don’t work outdoors in the winter. 

The 2021 Holiday Marketing Guide

Website Holiday Makeover

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…

Bing Crosby and so many others dream of the official look of the holidays, so it’s important to make sure your business’s website has that festive aesthetic. Consider swapping out your website’s summer look for a winter one. Change font sizes and colors, central images, headers, backgrounds, or other page basics.  

You could also consider adding some seasonal videos to your website. During a time of the year where consumers are bombarded with offers, you will want to stand out and videos are an ideal platform to do just that. Videos create impactful, value-laced content that will help drive conversions. In fact, websites that use videos as a marketing tool have seen an 80% increase in conversions.

So while you are adding the reds and greens to your website, add in some engaging videos and watch it rain (er, snow) dollar bills. Just make sure your videos are optimized for mobile devices!

Important note: If the video is meant to advertise your central promotion (which is highly recommended), make sure you place it on the landing page where the offer is housed. So, another pro-tip: make sure you have an effective promotional landing page on your newly remodeled website!

Holiday Email Campaign

Deck your emails with boughs of holly, fa la la la la, la la la la.

A marketing staple, and not just around the holidays, is using email to promote sales and brand loyalty. However, especially during the holidays, your subscribers will be checking their email in the hopes of catching the golden ticket of a sales promotion. You’d be remiss not to create a holiday email campaign that promotes your main seasonal offer.

Second only to websites, email initiatives are what small businesses rely on to acquire new customers and, while existing customers are the ones more likely to spend money this holiday season, do not forget to market to the newbies, as they could become oldbies later on.

From informing subscribers of special events to showcasing a time-sensitive sale, revealing a new seasonal product line to simply sending a holiday thank you, the options for email campaigns are as varied as they are vast. Choose one and let the emails fly, straight from Santa’s marketing sleigh.

The 2021 Holiday Marketing Guide

Social Media Holiday Posts

Have yourself a merry little Christmas…

People cherish the holidays for the sense of merriment it brings…and then they post about that joy on Facebook or Instagram. So it only makes sense for you to be posting as well. In addition to pictures of chestnuts roasting over an open fire, make sure your posts authentically build community spirit, promote your business, or spotlight your central seasonal offer.

Facebook, for instance, is an excellent platform to share seasonal insights with your existing or potential customers. You can share informative videos about your business, post about special sales, unbox your products, or detail recent customer testimonials.

If you use Twitter or Instagram, make sure you embrace the hashtag as it is an easy way to disseminate information about your promotions. Why is it so easy? Well, because your customers use hashtags to spread the word (so, your marketing goes on autopilot!) and hashtags are great mnemonic devices for your business. And your business should be memorable!

West Virginia Small Business Development Center: Helping to Make Your Business Memorable

At the WV SBDC, we understand how important the holiday season is to small businesses; it’s the time of year to make an impression, to be remembered for the duration of the new year to come. So, it has become our mission, especially in the wake of COVID-19, to help West Virginia entrepreneurs regain their business footing. And there is no better time to do that than during the holiday season, where people are ready to invest just a little bit more to feel just a little bit better. Let’s work together to make sure they invest in you.

Contact us today for more information on how to make your holiday mark. And, truly, Happy Holidays, friends.

About the Author: Katie Willard

Katie WillardThe Social Bee Marketing Agency’s Founder & CEO, Katie Willard, comes from a long line of entrepreneurs, innovators, pioneers, and doers in the Mountain State. Her entrepreneurial spirit was lit at an early age as she grew up watching her father build his own small business, which is still in operation after 40 years. 

Her passion is West Virginia, and her goal is to showcase its authentic and resilient people, organizations making an impact, and disruptors going against the status quo just like the many generations before them. She has spent more than 12 years helping businesses and organizations communicate their brands effectively through content marketing. 

She has a diverse background working in public and private sectors, leading creative teams, developing and implementing economic development marketing initiatives, and connecting the right people with the right resources. Before launching The Social Bee, Katie was the Deputy Director of Marketing and Communications for the West Virginia Department of Commerce.


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