Christmas is practically upon us, which for businesses means a mad rush to get everything sorted and in order for the New Year. Here at Bunnett & Bassal, your tax accountants in Dandenong, we love the year-end festivities. And if you’ve planned ahead and want to go one step further this season, why not take advantage of these opportunities to market your small business? If you’ve missed this year’s boat, not to worry – there’s always next year!

1. Branded gift items

Choose these carefully and think about items that people use every day, such as pens, cups or coasters. Getting your brand out there with an appropriate festive greeting will keep your business at the forefront of people’s minds. Also, check with your tax agent as some gifts such as these can be set against your tax return.

2. Samples
If you’ve got any potential customers who have expressed an interest in your company as the result of a marketing campaign or on social media, think about sending them a “gift” this Christmas, whether it’s a sample product, a discount voucher on services or a downloadable free template if this is relevant to what you offer.

3. Voucher code sites
Consumers generally look for cheaper products during this time of year, and if you can offer a daily deal via a voucher code website, this is the time to do it. However, only offer this if it is going to be sustainable to you as a business, bearing in mind that customers do prefer to use trusted daily deal websites rather than offers on social media.

4. Send a Christmas card
If you cannot afford to post out cards there are some very professional e-card sites where you can personalise your greeting. These can often be free of charge, which is helpful for small businesses, and you get to keep in touch with your clients.

5. Mobile marketing
Potential customers are spending more time researching and checking out ideas for presents and gift items using their mobile phone. If you have a website, make sure it is mobile friendly because well over 50% of Australians use their mobile devices for search queries during the festive season. And if you have got SMS as a response channel for letterbox marketing, your customers will engage with this and with your company.

6. Festive social media
Customers want to use a company they can trust and that makes them feel valued and listened to, so make this a two-way process and share Christmas with them. Use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and the rest to get them to share their stories. If you use hashtags this will encourage interaction with you and your brand, as well as connect you with potential new consumers.

7. Local as well as global
With social media, even the smallest of businesses can reach out across the globe, but don’t forget your local community. Get together with other small businesses to market the festive season together, be part of local PR initiatives and support community charity events so your brand gets seen.

8. Do the thinking for them
There is nothing a last minute shopper likes better than a one-stop shop for gift ideas. Get your Christmas marketing organised with services and products for all, and make it easy for customers to buy from you.

9. Countdown to Christmas
Start early and plan your campaign with a countdown to Christmas showing consumers how you can save them time and money. Add an online calendar with reminders and tweets to keep customers on board.

10. Say thank you
Finally don’t forget to say a big thank you to all your clients and customers, either electronically or through letterbox delivery, and you will retain brand loyalty.