9 Holiday Marketing Tips for Care Businesses

Nov. 27, 2013

Use the holiday season to reach out to current customers and acquire new ones.

If you run a care-related business (like an in-home care service, house cleaning company or pet sitting business), the holiday season is more than a time of celebration. It's also an opportunity to refresh marketing initiatives and attract families looking for care.

Charlie Nadler, a marketing strategist for Simple Machines Marketing and David E. Johnson, CEO of Strategic Vision, LLC, share nine ways you can leverage holiday season trends to build your business.

  1. Update Your Company Blog
    "Businesses can create strong visibility during the holiday season with topical content creation," says Nadler. Write a short blog post with ideas on how to include older family members in activities during the holidays or how to care for a pet during a holiday party. This type of content will show clients how empathetic and knowledgeable you are in this area -- which may make them more likely to hire you.

  2. Become a Tipster
    "The media and general public look for holiday angles in stories this time of year," says Johnson. Create a list of local newspapers, blogs and television shows and send each one a friendly email offering yourself as an expert. Suggest different types of tips or advice you could offer and provide a few quick sentences about your expertise.

    These tips should have a holiday angle and showcase your knowledge of your segment of the care industry. For example, if you're a kennel, suggest tips about holiday foods pets should avoid or tips for holiday travel with pets. Local media might be eager for this type of story and you'll get lots of free publicity.

  3. Offer Holiday Discounts
    For many people, the holidays mean travel -- and the family pet likely isn’t part of the travel plan. Kennels and pet sitters can create a discount for first-time customers, suggests Nadler. Then, leading up to the holiday season, advertise that special on your website and through local advertising, social media advertising and Google AdWords.

  4. Tout Your Affordability
    "Some segments of the market will always see the new year as a time to start adhering to cost-conscious resolutions and a time to recover from all the holiday spending," advises Nadler. Take advantage of budget-conscious shoppers during this time of year by highlighting how affordable your service is and how it will save customers time and money in the long run.

  5. Host an Open House
    "Holiday open houses are always great attractions," says Johnson, who suggests offering tours of your facility with holiday treats and even contests. Pet businesses can hold an ugly sweater contest for pets, while a day care might offer contests for kids and parents dressed in holiday attire.

  6. Create a Savvy Online Presence
    Using social media is essential, but care providers who think outside the box to work with this medium in creative ways may have a strong advantage. Johnson suggests grabbing people's attention by running online contests and promotions through websites such as Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

  7. Run a Direct Mail Campaign
    Useful and timely direct mail can help you stand out. For example, a senior care service could send out a flyer with information on winter safety tips for seniors. "Direct mail typically requires a frequency of at least two to three times to be effective, so it's best to start this tactic early enough to spark this conversation over the holidays," recommends Nadler.

  8. Send Holiday Greetings
    Holiday cards aren't just for family and friends; you should also send them to clients. Make up physical cards or craft emails to wish clients a happy holiday season. Don't include any sort of 'hard-sell' tactics in the notes; they should simply serve to keep your services top of mind during this time of year, recommends Nadler.

  9. Create Care Packages
    Instead of simple cards, you can also take the tactic a step further and send out small holiday care packages to clients. Include things that are relevant to your industry, such as pet-safe cookies, a product for removing oil from holiday linens, a flashlight for when the lights go out during winter storms, etc. It will showcase how much you care about your customers and help set you apart from other companies during this time of year.

Many families view the holidays as a time to make a clean start. By promoting your business effectively, you can benefit from this trend and gain new customers. But don't forget to take time to let your current clients know how much you value them and appreciate their business during the past year.

Corey Whelan is a freelance journalist based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Her work can be found here.

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