With the holidays around the corner, it is time to start thinking about how you will ensure business keeps flowing during what might be your slowest period. While retail stores see peak sales, many service businesses see a steady decline in scheduled services during the holiday rush.
Consumers focused on holiday purchases paired with inflation concerns leading to tightened wallets make enacting an intelligent holiday marketing plan more critical now than ever before. However, too often, businesses simply pour more money into existing campaigns, hoping to outpace their competition. This can lead to a huge spike in marketing spend during a time when you might actually need to do the reverse. Let’s take a look at nine creative holiday marketing ideas that can help you increase scheduled services without burning through budgets.
1. Create Content with Useful Holiday Tips
During the holiday season, one of the best ways to ensure continued customer loyalty is to provide a unique value add for clients. The holidays are the perfect time to use your industry expertise to help build strong customer relationships.
One of the best ways to do this is to create content that shares timely tips relating to your industry. Check out the following creative service-based business ideas for holiday content for inspiration:
- For plumbers: A video explaining DIY tips for unclogging a toilet when plumbing systems might be overwhelmed by extra guests
- For HVAC companies: A blog highlighting the key signs that it is time to replace your furnace before your guests arrive to a chilly home
- For electricians: A series of social media posts geared toward home electrical safety as customers string lights and potentially overload circuits
- For auto repair shops: A guide to basic car maintenance to prepare your vehicle for a long holiday drive
These are just a few ideas for using holiday content to reach your customers. Creating this type of content aims to establish trust with your clients. When they see you as the go-to choice for discovering helpful information, they will trust you for the services they need as well.
This is also a great way to give your online presence an organic boost over the holiday season. Google and other search engines like to see that you are publishing new, relevant content. It can help your rankings, driving more organic traffic your way.
2. Offer Discounted Bundles of Holiday Focused Services
During the holidays, many of your customers will be extra conscious of pricing. Spending on gifts and purchasing additional food for guests can put a strain on everyone’s wallet. To help entice customers to still pay for services during this hectic season, consider creating discounted bundles on holiday-focused services.
For example, many of your auto repair shop customers will be traveling during the holiday season. You could offer a bundle package that discounts the cost of windshield wiper replacement, wiper fluid top off with freeze-safe fluid, an oil change, and a tire pressure test. You could name the package “Holiday Travel Bundle” and showcase the total dollar amount a customer will save by purchasing this package deal.
Regardless of your service business, think through what services you can bundle together and how you can pitch them as a holiday package. This is a great way to update your marketing campaigns while helping drive new sales.
3. Pair Services with Free Local Gift Cards
With gift buying top of mind for most people during the holidays, another great seasonal incentive is providing a free local gift card with the purchase of a specific service. You can determine the dollar value of the gift card based on the cost of the service scheduled, offering increasing incentives for more costly services.
This is a great alternative to offering a standard percentage discount, which many of your competitors might already be doing. You can pitch your gift card as a special way of saying thank you around the holidays and can reinforce the added convenience of receiving a local gift card during a busy shopping season.
To help lower your costs, you can even partner with another local business. For example, you could offer a local boutique a discount on gift cards to your service business in exchange for a discount on their gift cards. You can then cross-promote each other’s business, offering added value to customers while lowering costs for the promotion.
4. Host a Charity Drive
The holiday spirit is all about giving, and nothing builds better goodwill in your community than using this season to give back. Consider partnering with a local charity to host a drive at your physical location or donate a percentage of sales during the holiday season to a local non-profit.
For those who are focused on helping others during the holiday season, seeing that you are being charitable might be the exact incentive they need to schedule services. Whether it is dropping by your auto repair shop to donate canned goods to the local food pantry or choosing to schedule a furnace tune-up because you are giving a percentage of the sales to the local animal shelter, this is a great way to benefit everyone involved.
5. Send Out Holiday Greetings
Don’t miss out on the perfect chance to contact your customers this holiday season. Whether you launch a targeted email campaign or you send out physical cards, make sure to take the time to send a holiday greeting to existing customers.
As you design your holiday message, focus on including the following key elements:
- An inclusive holiday message: Your customers might come from a variety of backgrounds. Make sure your greeting is simple and inclusive. “Happy Holidays!” is a great choice.
- A sincere message: Add a personal touch to your holiday greeting. You might reflect on the year and what it has brought to your business or mention a milestone in the community. This personal touch will help differentiate your brand.
- A gift: Closing out your holiday greeting, give something back to your loyal customers. You might provide a one-time discount or a free add-on service. This is a great way to show your customers you appreciate them.
6. Share a Holiday Video
A holiday video is a great way to grab your customers’ attention during the hustle and bustle of the season. You can use the video to gather your team and wish customers a happy holiday season. You can do a quick tour of your facilities, inviting people to visit you. Or you can even showcase your service technicians at work, reminding customers of important holiday services they should schedule today.
Once you have designed your video, share it through social media channels and add it to your website. Don’t forget to check out our resource to help you create a quality video: Steps for Producing Quality Marketing Videos for Your Small Business.
7. Host a Holiday Workshop
Your customers probably have a full calendar during the holiday season. However, they also might have a pile of critical to-dos they have to complete before guests start arriving.
To help your customers, consider hosting a holiday workshop that might assist them in tackling a few of those to-dos. Ideas include the following:
- For plumbers: Host a workshop where you teach your customers how to fix basic plumbing issues around the home. At the end, invite customers with bigger issues to schedule a consultation.
- For HVAC companies: Host a workshop where you teach customers how to replace furnace filters and other simple maintenance tasks. Use this workshop to also answer common HVAC questions, helping troubleshoot issues customers might have.
- For electricians: Host a workshop focused on electrical safety when installing Christmas lights and other decor. Leave attendees with a business card or coupon for an electrical inspection of their homes.
- For auto repair shops: Host a workshop teaching customers how to test their tire pressure, how to top off fluids, and how to change a tire in the case of a roadside emergency. You can hand out coupons at the end to all attendees, offering a discount on their next oil change.
These are just a few ideas of how you can use your team’s expertise to connect personally with clients. Consider adding a remote element to your workshop as well, offering customers the option to attend virtually via video.
8. Run a Social Media Contest
Over the holidays, your customers will spend a lot of time on their phones looking for gifts. Capture their attention by running a holiday social media contest.
A brand-awareness campaign is one of the best holiday picks as it helps you gain the attention of not only existing followers but also new followers who are interested in winning.
To run this style of contest, create a post that invites your followers to enter to win a holiday-themed package from your business. This can include free services but also physical items, such as a branded mug or local product.
From here, ask followers to enter to win by taking the following three actions:
- Follow your brand (You might also consider teaming up with another local company. You can build the package together, featuring goods from local companies and services from your brand. In this case, ask potential followers to follow you and any other brands you are teaming up with for the contest.)
- Like the post.
- Tag a friend in the comments. One friend tag equals one entry; unlimited entries are allowed.
Make sure to indicate when the competition will end. This is a wonderful way to increase your reach while offering a fun holiday contest for customers.
9. Countdown Specials on Social
As you approach a specific holiday, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, or the New Year, consider doing countdown specials on your social media pages. You can start with a small discount and work your way up as you get closer to a holiday with a bigger promotion. Invite customers to take advantage of these limited-time deals by scheduling within a specific period.
This is a great way to build excitement and encourage engagement with your brand. Customers will continue to pay attention to your posts every day, looking for the discount or deal they need.
Gear Up for the Holidays with J&L Marketing
As the holidays approach, it is time for you to ramp up your marketing efforts. The good news is that when you work with our team at J&L Marketing, you don’t need to ramp up your spending to ramp up your efforts. We specialize in helping service businesses optimize their marketing campaigns to lower spending while increasing reach.
Our goal is to ensure that you can continue to remain profitable as the holidays approach. If you are interested in learning more about how we can help, please reach out. We’ll hop on a call with you and learn more about your business, creating a personalized holiday marketing plan for your company.
Reach out for a free consultation, and let’s get to work.