Typically when we think of online marketing during the holiday season, our mind goes straight to retail. In most cases, Q4 is the busiest time of the year for retailers, with digital marketing going full force in every possible way.
For service-oriented industries and B2B’s, however, the holidays tend to be a slower time of the year. This can leave these organizations feeling a little disoriented, chaos swirling all around us as we stand still and wonder – “should we be… doing something?”
From the experts at a digital marketing agency, here is our answer for what b to b’s, service-focused businesses, and non-retailers should be doing during the holiday season.
Identify Areas You Can Help
How you can help depends largely on what business or customers your business serves. But everyone can do something! Giving back promotes a sense of giving and purpose in your employees, helps your community, and gives customers another reason to want to work with you. Consider these ideas to find ways your organization can help.
Giving Tuesday is one of the simplest ways to give back. Identify a local non-profit organization whose values align with those of your organization, and make a donation!
A blog post and/or social media post is appropriate in this situation. Focus on the work the non-profit does, and why you chose to support them. Make the story about them, not you. A single line saying you donated is sufficient, and your customers will recognize your contribution as truly giving and not just a marketing opportunity.
Donate Time or Resources
Depending on the nature of your business, you may already offer something that is needed in your community. Perhaps your business does window cleaning or landscaping. You’ll be able to easily spot members of your community who need these services. Drop into a non-profit and let them know what you’re doing, or pick random subjects throughout your neighborhood and offer your services for free.
This can be helpful whether you offer IT services, legal services, or even accounting. If you just don’t think your services could benefit your community on a small scale, think of other ways you can give. Volunteer time at a food bank, give blankets and coats to a homeless shelter, or help mentor local youth.
Take photos of your employees at work and do a quick post on your socials to share how you’re helping. Highlight how good it feels to help your community and encourage your customers to find little ways to help out, too.
Get In the Holiday Spirit
Go caroling at a retirement community. Collect and donate gifts to children in the hospital. Help decorate your neighborhood. There are plenty of ways to help bring holiday cheer to your community, and this will make everyone involved feel good! It also makes your organization memorable.
Which of these two options sounds better to you?
1. Have an incredibly relaxing holiday. Give a low workload to your employees for the days they come in between Christmas and New Years – after all, it’s the holidays. Obviously, you continue to pay them for said work. Come back to work on January 2nd with a lot of work piled up and the responsibility of planning your marketing strategy for the year.
2. Do some of the activities above. Still have a holiday party or two. Start creating an outline for next year. Look at your budget and ROI for this year and decide how to alter that budget for next year. Distribute that budget among your marketing strategies in your outline. Celebrate new years. Come back January 2nd with a plan at the ready and employees not scratching their heads wondering where to start.
You can choose what option works best for your organization – but I’m going to take a guess that option 2 sounds a little better! You can still have fun and celebrate the holidays with your employees, but you’ll start the new year feeling a lot less overwhelmed and a lot more energized! Not only that, but you’ll likely have a leg up on your competitors.
Appreciate Your Employees
We probably don’t need to tell you how important it is to show your employees that you value them. But in case you need a refresher, you can check out The Importance of Employee Recognition, which describes how organizations that recognize and value their employees have lower turnover rates, attract better job candidates, and improve business outcomes.
This is even more true in a time when many companies are desperately seeking employees and offering incentives that are extremely – well – incentivizing!
The holidays are the perfect time to show your employees that you recognize them. Some of the more common but always appreciated ways to recognize employees during the holidays include:
- Employee gifts
- Holiday bonuses
- Holiday parties
Here are some other ways you can appreciate your employees during the holidays and year round.
Reflect on What You Did Right
The holidays are a wonderful time to reflect on what you did right this year, and what you are grateful for. It might be hard-working employees, a reliable work load, an increase in business, an awesome boss, a change in location, an equipment upgrade – the list goes on and on for what people, things, and strategies really made this year work for you.
Take some time to really soak in all that went right this year. It doesn’t have to be productive. You don’t have to integrate everything you’ve learned into your 2023 business plan (although you probably will!) Just enjoy the feeling of gratefulness and let it permeate your holiday season. After all, people who show gratitude are happier and more optimistic.
Nicole has been working in online marketing since 2007 when she joined Top Of The List. She loves creative endeavors and spending time with her daughter.