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4 tips to market your small business locally

Whether you’ve recently started a small business or have pivoted your sales tactics for your company because of COVID-19, you’re probably thinking about how to increase holiday sales. Here are four ways you can enhance your small business’s digital and physical presence during the holiday season.

Susan Friesen

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Whether you’ve recently started a small business or have pivoted your sales tactics for your company because of COVID-19, you’re probably thinking about how to increase holiday sales. 

Take your seasonal marketing strategy to the next level 

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It’s approaching fast, and now’s the perfect time to start your seasonal marketing strategy so you can bring shoppers through your doors or to your website. 

But first…understand the holidays are going to look very different this year.  

I talked about how your customers’ purchasing decisions this fall/winter may look completely foreign from what they did last year a few weeks ago in a previous blog.  

Now I’d like to show you how to increase your holiday sales locally, so here are four ways you can enhance your digital and physical presence: 

Create content with a local twist 

If you’re setting up your store for the holidays, consider festive “Shop local” signage that reminds people to support their community businesses.  

Because many consumers will be staying home this year, spending time with a select few family members or setting up socially distant visits with friends and neighbours, it’s important to provide valuable online content, too.  

According to Google, 35% of Canadians are finding in-store shopping difficult because of COVID-19. I’m predicting that a lot of people are going to hunker down and do their gift shopping online, rather than venturing out to stores.  

So that’s good news if you have an eCommerce store. But people don’t just want to scroll through product page after product page. They want to see articles, videos, reviews and testimonials. 

Consider creating articles that focus on local activities and even mention other small businesses (that you don’t compete with!). For example, you could write a blog on five fun things to do in your city this season, linking to a small business that sells holiday goodies or crafts. Then, write a call to action that links back to your own product or service as a great gift idea.  

Partner with a local charity 

Many small business owners donate time and/or money to causes that align with their values. In addition to being a kind thing to do, partnering with a charity can also make your customers more likely to purchase gifts from you. 

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You could donate a certain percentage of each purchase or give an item for every item purchased. Setting up a gift-wrapped donation bin at your business allows you to show your customers how many items you’re giving away, or you could post photos and numbers online. 

Your customers (and you) will be supporting a worthy cause, and you’ll also be promoting your small business.  

Spruce up your store or website/social media profiles

Just like you might decorate your home with garlands and stockings, decking out your store and/or website and social media accounts can create a festive feeling.  

Consider using local decor to support other small businesses and reinforce the messaging to shop local. 

If you’re doing your decorating online, update your profile imagery and posts with some virtual holiday decor that has a local flavour. Think beyond a snowman and include a snowy local mountain, or a shot of holiday lights at a tourist attraction near you.  

Now, when you share your discounts, sales, promos and well-crafted content online, your followers will see something familiar.  

The more you can create an ecosystem of content and relevant imagery that works together, the more you’ll increase your brand awareness, engagement, leads and sales.   

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READ: Your 2020 Holiday Marketing Guide for Business 

Wondering how to increase holiday sales? COVID-19 is a global crisis that has affected economies, supply chains and retailers around the world. Your customers’ purchasing decisions this fall/winter may look completely different from what they did last year. 

Those tried-and-true tactics that worked for us before may not anymore. No matter what type of small business you have, it’s crucial to realize that because the retail landscape has shifted, your holiday marketing plan must too. 

Read more on our website. 

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Host an in-store or virtual event 

If you can swing an in-store event with proper social distancing protocols in place, it can be a jolly way to get people into your business. You can offer refreshments, entertainment, and private shopping experiences to make your customers feel special. 

Now, I predict we’ll see fewer in-store gatherings this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make events part of your seasonal marketing strategy.  

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Think about how you can tie your product or service into the event. What about a virtual wine night with a highlight of your three most popular gifts? Or an interactive kids’ party that shows them how to make presents using your products?  
 
Use your imagination, and utilize a free tool like Facebook Live or a Facebook Group to host your online event. Before the party, you can email your subscribers invitations, share the news on social media, and tell people about it on your website. 

There’s no doubt the holiday season is going to be different this year. When you’re considering how to increase holiday sales, it’s essential to use empathetic marketing techniques to connect with your audience in an authentic way. 

Also, it’s important to reassure people you’re taking the necessary COVID-19 precautions, whether that’s cleaning your store a certain number of times per day or sanitizing shipments before they go out.  

By tailoring your seasonal marketing strategy to fit people’s new habits and preferences, you’ll be set up for success—now and throughout 2021.  

Do you have any ideas on how to increase holiday sales locally? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.  

(Featured image by Tim Mossholder via Unsplash)

DISCLAIMER: This article was written by a third party contributor and does not reflect the opinion of Born2Invest, its management, staff or its associates. Please review our disclaimer for more information.

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Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence. As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.