Thanksgiving is a time for families to come together and small businesses to prepare to meet increased consumer demands with exceptional end-of-year marketing campaigns. Is your small business ready?
We know what you might be thinking: As a small business, developing a Thanksgiving campaign for this year isn’t really my priority. And we get it — this has been no ordinary year. Countries were brought to a standstill, hospital systems were pushed to the brink, and the global economy was dragged into what may be the worst recession since World War II. In fact, this article titled “7 COVID-19 Struggles Small Businesses are Facing and How to Overcome Them” recalls that COVID-19 only intensified challenges that small companies faced prior to the pandemic.
“Authorities forced non-essential enterprises to close temporarily and mandated that all others follow new health and safety procedures,” the article says. As a result, many small businesses found themselves struggling to stay open with COVID, and consumers found that their lack of employment and waning funds couldn’t support such businesses in their time of need. How would such businesses hold up to the end of the year, when anticipated holidays are expected to bring in an influx of consumer goods and discounts? Most small businesses this year didn’t even have the funds to keep employees on the payroll, let alone consistently produce new items and offer them at discounted prices.
Something we’ve learned in the midst of the health chaos and financial crisis is that many individuals are still interested in supporting where and when they can during this difficult time, and that includes during the holidays.
In that same article cited at the outset of this, a survey found that 39 percent of small business owners feared they would not generate enough profits to make reopening worthwhile. At the same time, it’s suggested that small businesses analyze their company to gauge if it’s even feasible to run the business now the same way that was done before the pandemic. If you find this to be a concern, know that there are ways to run successful marketing and advertising campaigns for the holidays this year without breaking your budget (or that of your consumers’).
For this year’s Thanksgiving campaign, small businesses should take advantage of the ‘less is more’ strategy by doing the most simple thing to show your supporters that you appreciate them: Thank them.
Here’s an easy marketing campaign that’s specifically ideal for Thanksgiving: Thank your supporters. As a small business, finding the opportunity to thank your customers is vital, even if the support your business received was limited or nonexistent in recent months. Honestly, there is no better way to get into the Thanksgiving spirit than by thanking your loyal customers for their support!
An appreciation post on social media might gain some reception, but you can take it up a notch by giving away an exclusive deal or a small gift to one of your social media followers. You could also reward them by posting a promo code on your Facebook or Instagram page, thanking them for their unwavering support throughout the last couple of months.
Virtually connect with your supporters by making a pandemic-friendly holiday marketing video.
A holiday video can help show the personal side of your business. Especially during these times, people like to see that you’re making efforts to stay connected and show them you care, if even from a distance.
Speak from the heart by creating a video of your employees wishing your customers a happy holiday. This can be done by having your employees record a short video of them in their homes waving and wishing your customers safe and happy holidays. With masks on, Then share it across your social media channels to bring a thoughtful, human touch to your brand.
This article made a good suggestion for small businesses to run a reinvention contest. That’s right — the highly expected (but not necessarily anticipated) Thanksgiving contests with a creative twist.
“Many Thanksgiving themes are so overdone that people are annoyed the moment they see them,” says the article. “Leverage that anti-Thanksgiving sentiment by challenging people to reinvent overused motifs.” The article makes some cool suggestions, such as hosting a friendly social media competition to see which one of your followers could turn classic savory side dishes into desserts or encouraging people to share photos and videos of the funniest Thanksgiving pageants.
For this holiday season, don’t forget to update your website with any relevant, holiday-friendly (and pandemic-friendly) information. During the holidays, hours change, new discounts become available, and customers are interested in what you’re doing.
This seems like a really practical thing to keep in mind during the holidays, but you might be surprised to learn about the number of businesses that forget to update their website, social media, and Google with updated hours of operation and other vital holiday information. This article reminds small businesses to prep your online presence just like you would prep your actual business. Update your website to showcase any Thanksgiving events you’re putting on with specific times, dates, and any other information so a customer who is on the hunt for Thanksgiving activities can easily access that information.
And when it comes to your website, alternate between promoting Thanksgiving content in addition to your usual content. You don’t want to saturate your social media channels with only Thanksgiving content (remember the highly expected (but not necessarily anticipated) content we talked about earlier). Doing this might alienate some customers because we keep in mind that not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving and not everyone is that invested in the holiday. Finding that balance between posting your business’s regular and specialty content will boost awareness of your Thanksgiving plans while retaining your usual customer base.