Forgive me for reminding you that the 2017 holiday season is just around the corner. I’m really not the kind of person who starts counting down the days until I can eat pumpkin pie in March.

Still, it’s time to start working on your holiday marketing, so let’s talk about some trends we expect to see as well as tips you can use to optimize your small business’s holiday marketing:

1. We’re nostalgic

We wrote about nostalgia and it looks like it’s here to stay.

Nostalgia was huge in 2016, and the top presents were things like Nintendo consoles and record players. Expect to see more nostalgia buying trends during the 2017 holiday season, since the holidays tend to remind us of time spent with family, eating or opening presents as a kid.

Tips for Getting Nostalgic

Go retro with your holiday marketing. Even if you’re using newer marketing methods (think a Facebook video ad or a holiday newsletter) you can inject a hint of nostalgia into those campaigns. Think of your target audience. What were the holiday trends when they were kids?

You can also use retro design elements (like retro colors on landing pages or in emails).

If you have a physical storefront, don’t forget to showcase items that will remind customers of their childhood (think Nintendo, Rubik’s cubes, etc).

2. Shopping starts earlier and earlier

Some of my friends have already started their Christmas shopping. What happened to good, old fashioned putting it off until the last minute?

But, earlier Christmas shopping is great for local businesses! That means that you have a longer time to get people in your doors.

Tips for Early Shoppers

Start planning your holiday marketing and promotions right now.

Seriously. If you wait until the holiday season is in full swing, you will be far too busy to do a decent job of planning out your holiday promotions and preparing a messaging strategy that matches.

Don’t forget to start teasing or promoting your specialty holiday services or items now!

Things to think about:

  • Early holiday shoppers who are shopping right now (remember a lot of them are posting on Facebook so think about starting an early holiday display they’ll want to share with friends)
  • Black Friday Promotions
  • Cyber Monday
  • Displays and impulse items
  • Early gift card sales for current customers

3. Mobile, online shopping and pick-up in store

According to research by the National Retail Federation, people are increasingly shopping online, and they are opting to pick up their orders in store. So, if you have an online store, make sure to give them the option to pick up in store.

Tips for if You Don’t Have an Online Store

Now is the time to get your digital marketing in order.

To hook those online shoppers and get them into your store, you’ll need to target them with a cross-platform digital campaign. Search and social media ads will be a great way to make them aware that your store has what they’re looking for, even if they can’t buy it online. Don’t forget to plan special promotions to go with those ads so that you have something unique to offer consumers.

But that’s not all. Preparing for trends is all fun and games until you forget the basics.

Don’t forget about these holiday essentials:

  • Add holiday business hours on Google
  • Start looking for seasonal help
  • Check your map markers on Google and Bing
  • Don’t forget about your new year specials
  • Plan out your holiday social media posts and increase your social posting

Start planning your holiday marketing now and you’ll be miles ahead of the competition. And, when everyone else is scrambling with last-minute preparations, you may even have time to enjoy yourself and loved ones.

About the author

Chris “Fosdog” Foster is the Pack Leader of FosDog Marketing. Foster is a local, experienced, affordable website designer and marketing expert. A life long Michigan resident with a passion for helping small businesses since 2006. He has worked for the large, impersonal marketing companies and found them severely lacking in personal touch and customer service. As of 2012, he knew, as an entrepreneur, he could do it better for the small business person who wants to stay competitive with the “big dogs”.

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