It’s that time of year again: The eve of the fall-into-winter holiday season. At least that’s what this time of year could be called by small business owners. Especially when you look around the big box stores and see the very visible sparkling set ups already in place.
Yes, the large- and mid-size chains create winter wonderlands long before the turkey is carved or even the jack-o-lantern is displayed. A healthy portion of their shelf space is already devoted to all things holiday – lights and card sets, seasonal décor and gifts. Signage is in the wings and ads are already appearing – everywhere. While Halloween gets its due in large stores, there is nothing like the winter holiday season to send national stores into a dizzying display of anticipation.
What’s a local florist, gift shop, restaurant, even service business offering holiday gift certificates and cards, to do?
While this blog continually stresses the need to play an active role in social media and keep websites up-to-date, there’s a very viable advertisement promotion that will soon be offered in your local newspapers and online outlets – the holiday gift guide.
Many local and regional monthly (and even daily) publications provide a colorful holiday gift guide – a special section with pages of articles (often called advertorials) featuring small businesses throughout the area. The profiles typically include a bold company headline and incorporate important details about that company’s services or products. Every segment should include key contact information with store hours, street address, phone number, and website and email addresses.
Of course, these news outlets reach a wide variety of consumers and will incorporate a diverse range of small businesses in one section. You may find your establishment sharing a page with the local hobby store and boutique. And don’t be surprised that the guide’s sales staff will request an advertisement in exchange for a “free” section in the publication.
But when you consider how many people read the publication and how many different businesses are sharing the space, your small business will be seen by more readers than you may anticipate.
If you haven’t heard about your local newspaper or newsmagazine’s holiday gift guide, don’t be shy and contact them for the details and deadline information. With the holiday season quickly approaching, this is a wonderful opportunity to reach more customers. And always remember to proofread your small business article to ensure your contact information is correct.
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