How can non-traditional marketers drive sales during the holiday season?

Australians collectively spend an estimated $25 billion during the festive season, making it a huge sales opportunity for businesses. But capitalising on that opportunity can be especially challenging for small businesses. How do you ensure your limited marketing dollars are being well spent? How can you stand out from the crowd in a hyper-competitive environment?

These challenges are especially apparent for SMBs who operate in ‘non-traditional’ marketing spaces, such as trades, healthcare, financial and legal services. If your business falls into one of these categories, you might think a Christmas marketing campaign would be about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.

However, with the right online marketing approach, you can boost sales over the festive season and even grow your year-round customer base. Here’s how.

1. Know your audience.

Your first port of call for any marketing or business activity is knowing your target audience. What types of people are looking for your products or services? What are their wants and needs? How can you help solve their problems?

Think about the customers that you already have – as well as the ones that you would like to attract over the holiday season. Put together a profile of your target customer, including details such as:

  • Age range
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Job
  • Hobbies/interests
  • Marital status

When it comes time to put together your holiday marketing material, consider what messages will be most appealing to your target customers. For example, if your typical customers are new Mums, you might want to highlight how your business can help them save time or unwind over the holiday season. It’s all about fulfilling a need or solving a problem.

2. Understand the fundamentals of a successful marketing campaign.

No matter what industry your business is in or what time of year it is, understanding what makes a successful marketing campaign is key to getting it right. So, before you go changing into a Santa suit and handing out flyers on a street corner, get your campaign basics down pat. This includes:

  • Positioning. What is the perception of your brand in the marketplace? Consider what makes your business different to competitors and how you can showcase your unique offering.
  • Competitive analysis. What do your competitors’ typical holiday marketing efforts look like? Aim to improve on their approach.
  • Incentives. What sort of holiday discounts and deals will your customers be looking for? Think about what you can offer to incentivise sales.
  • A timeline. When will you launch and finish your holiday marketing campaign? Develop a clear plan for all your marketing activities.
  • A budget. Work out how much you can spend on your holiday marketing campaign, broken down by specific activities.
  • Goals and metrics. Define clear objectives for your holiday marketing strategy and how you’ll measure success. For example, you might set a goal to improve sales by X% compared to the same period last year.

3. Get creative with content ideas.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking only ‘fun’ businesses get to have great holiday content. Your content marketing should be useful to your customers and relevant to your business. Aside from that, it’s really only limited by your imagination – so round up your team to brainstorm ideas and get the creative juices flowing.

Here are a handful of ways to attract and engage customers, no matter what industry you’re in:

1. Run a special offer.

Customers are primed for discounts and special offers at any time of year, but especially during the Christmas and New Year period. To stand out from the pack and drive clicks on your ad, you’ll need an engaging offer. Some ideas include:

  • A limited-time discount on services
  • A discount promo code with email sign-up
  • A “spend $X get X% off” deal
  • A 2-for-1 offer or package deal
  • A freebie with purchase

2. Create festive branded imagery.

Your imagery should always represent your brand’s personality and values, and adding a touch of festive goodness will show that you’re approachable and in the spirit of the season. You can create a subtle but effective Christmas mood by adding a Santa hat, bauble, or Christmas lights to your logo.

3. Share the Christmas spirit.

Social media is social by its very definition, so ask your audience questions to get them in the spirit of things. A good place to start is by asking people about their favourite Christmas memory, the best present they’ve ever received, or what food they’re most looking forward to stuffing themselves silly with.

4. Grant a wish.

A creative way to encourage engagement is to run a Christmas competition offering to make one person’s Christmas wish come true. This could be in the form of a free makeover, kitchen renovation, garden overhaul or anything that relates to what your business does.

5. Give back.

Consumers respond more positively to marketing that relates to charitable activities than other marketing strategies and, with Christmas being the season of giving, why not use the opportunity to show your business’ charitable side? Consider making a donation to a charity and posting about it on social media, or offering to match donations from followers.

4.  Experiment with different approaches.

From content marketing to SEO, paid advertising and more, there’s a wealth of options out there for boosting your brand visibility and driving sales over the festive season. Even the world’s biggest brands test different marketing tactics and learn from the results – so don’t be afraid to do the same for your own business.

Want to get your holiday marketing campaign underway but not sure where to start? Give Yellow Pages a call on 132 489 to discuss the best products for your business, or get in touch with us using the form below.

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