25 Ideas For Small Business Holiday Marketing
When holidays are mentioned, some people think of a time of family get-togethers, good food, and relaxation. For others, it is a time of going out and partying.
Whether they are more willing to spend time at home or in some club dancing and drinking through the night, most people will associate holidays with fewer obligations, less stress, and more leisure time.
However, if you’re a small business owner, you might not associate holidays with free time and rest at all. Holidays are probably the busiest time of the year for some small firms. During Holidays people tend to be more willing to spend money on themselves, as well as others.
That’s why it’s especially important for you, as an owner of a small business to recognize, that Holiday time is a time of great opportunity.
Here are just some of the many great ideas that can be helpful to you and your small business during the holiday time:
1. PERSONALIZED HOLIDAY CARDS
In today’s digital age, we rarely write postcards, letters, and even holiday cards. It’s like we forgot the simple art of just a pen and paper.
Those cards can be mailed to some of your previous customers, wishing them well. Little things like these will make you stand out and show that you care about your customers.
By including something as simple as a written note or a card, you can make the gift or the order made from your business feel more personal. You can provide different options for people to customize their holiday cards. They can be a pleasant surprise with the order, too!
The cards can be handwritten or printed out, depending on your resources and the number of orders you may receive. The most important thing is the text included.
2. E-MAIL REMINDERS
If your budget isn’t allowing you to send out cards to all of your customers, you can always count on the internet.
Sending out e-mails and wishing happy holidays to people as well as promoting your products during the holidays is easy, especially if you already have an email marketing service provider.
E-mails aren’t the most effective way of reaching out to people, but they are quick and easy and can communicate with a wide audience. Even if some people might miss out on your e-mails, the ones who do see them in their inbox will appreciate the kind gesture.
If you’re already having some special holiday offers, an e-mail reminder could be of great help.
3. SOCIAL MEDIA GIVEAWAYS
Social media presence is crucial for small businesses these days. It is a way for you to promote yourself and your business for free.
Because many people are doing the same thing as you are, you have to think of creative ways to stand out.
The prize should be something your business offers for free, whether it be a product or a service.
Rules should be simple – people should follow your Instagram, Twitter or Facebook page, share your post or tweet, and invite friends to join the giveaway, giving you more social-media exposure.
4. SOCIAL MEDIA COMPETITIONS
Social media accounts are also a great place for you to organize various creative competitions.
You can set up different challenges and phases of your competition, but contestants should be required to use your products if entering.
Competitions are not only fun but also very appealing and will give your business a lot of good social media exposure.
Have fun with the holiday theme, and entertain your followers!
Set up prizes for the first three places, or more and announce your winners! You and your followers can even work together in choosing the winners.
5. MAKE YOUR WEBSITE (AND SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS) MATCH THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT!
How your website looks and what visual identity is, isn’t something you should overlook. No pun intended.
While you are promoting your business during the holidays, change up the look of your website and social media accounts. The use of color and design should be coordinated with the holiday in question.
For instance, you may use various colors: orange, red, brown, and black during autumn, and Halloween time, or maybe purple, red, and pink near Valentine’s day, etc.
This may seem simple enough, but it is an efficient way for you to promote your small business.
The visual change will draw attention to your website, as well as your Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. It shows that you care a lot about your visual identity, which keeps people interested.
Decorate your social media accounts by changing profile pictures, headers, and backgrounds to match.
The change of design will inform your buyers that you have something planned they should look forward to and it will keep them interested.
A design that stands out shows a brand’s personality, which many people care a lot about.
6. DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE STORE WINDOWS, TOO!
Not everyone likes online shopping, and that’s okay! Some people like the old-fashioned way of walking around and visiting actual stores.
If your business doesn’t solely rely on the internet to function and you have your own space to showcase everything you offer, this is a suggestion for you. Enhance the beauty of your space!
Nicely decorated store windows, will attract more people and make them want to enter. If you, for instance, own a café or a restaurant, a nice cozy, holiday atmosphere will be a key to winning the hearts of your customers.
A lot of people pass by your business location every single day, and most of them don’t come in.
If you put up eye-catching, attention-grabbing decorations, you will surely attract people who weren’t even planning on visiting. The holiday spirit is contagious, after all!
7. HOLIDAY GIFTS
Holiday gifts are a great and simple way for small businesses to get a few points of favor from their customers.
Depending on your budget, you can determine the size and the cost of the gift. The price isn’t the most important thing. The gift should be somehow related to the theme of your holiday campaign.
It can be something simple as a calendar, mug, or a keychain. The most important thing is that the gift is well-thought-out and on-brand with the services and products you offer.
You can motivate people to spend a certain amount of money if you promise them a gift with their order. I can’t be the only one that is keener or spending more money on something when there’s a free gift included, right?
8. FREE SHIPPING
Online shopping is getting more and more popular each day. With the option of online shopping, comes, of course, the process of shipping and delivery.
It is a well-known fact that people hate paying the price of shipping. They often don’t mind paying a higher price, getting more products, and reaching a certain amount of money that allows the free shipping option.
We’re all guilty of doing this!
If you’re a company that offers the online shopping option and you don’t offer free shipping, you should consider doing so during the holidays. Believe it or not, shipping can be a deal-breaker for some people.
Admit it we’ve all given up on an online order because we didn’t want to spend any additional money on the price of shipping.
If you’re expecting more traffic and orders on your online website, offering free shipping is a great way for you to inspire people to click that ‘Add to cart’ button.
9. LAST-MINUTE HOLIDAY DEALS
Many people delay buying gifts until the very last moment. We aren’t sure why that is, maybe it is because it’s quite human not to do anything we don’t have to do until we have to do it.
We’ve all noticed how crowded malls and stores get, and how hectic shopping gets, as an example, near Christmas and New Year’s time.
If you make a great last-minute deal that includes products or services you offer, you might attract those who are either indecisive or just procrastinating their holiday shopping.
If people are panicking and realizing that they might be too late to purchase decent gifts, news of your last-minute sale might get their attention.
Send out e-mails, post about it on social media. Good prices will surely convince those who are indecisive, into finally getting their holiday shopping done.
10. START YOUR PROMOTION EARLY
If many people procrastinate their holiday shopping, probably the same amount of people dislike the holiday craze and see buying gifts as a not-so-fun obligation.
Those people love getting their shopping done ahead of time, so they don’t have to stress about it for too long.
To catch those early-birds, you need to think about starting your holiday marketing campaign early.
It shouldn’t be too early, but two or three months ahead. However, the art of this tactic is to be subtle at first. Get your customers excited by announcing and slowly revealing parts of your marketing campaign.
Don’t reveal everything at once.
If you start your marketing campaign early and share everything at once, people will lose their interest. Spread out your social media and website posts, interact with your followers, and make them excited about your holiday deals.
11. PERSONALIZE AND OPTIMIZE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA FEED
Many people will notice your Facebook ads, shares, Instagram posts, or maybe a tweet. Sometimes, due to the unknown works of social media algorithms, your post won’t even reach that many people.
However, even if they’ve seen your posts, not many people will remember what they’ve seen in the long run!
That’s why you need to be active on social media and consistent with your uploads. Remind people of your holiday offerings at least once a day.
Even if you are promoting the same things over and over again, you mustn’t get repetitive. Find fresh and creative ways to talk about your products! And remember that holidays are, after all, a time of fun!
Therefore you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously!
As sad as it is, nobody is going to care about your social media accounts if you only post strictly informative posts about your company and offerings.
12. DON’T JUST FOCUS ON ONE THING!
What we shouldn’t forget when creating a holiday marketing campaign is to use different formats that are available to us. Because, if we’re not taking advantage of them, are we using modern technology to its full potential?
This marketing tactic isn’t strictly related to the holiday season, but it isn’t something we should ever forget.
Some people might see a beautiful picture on your website, or Instagram, and immediately want to know more about your company.
Other people might be more drawn to well-edited, holiday-themed videos that feature your products or services. Or perhaps videos of other people using your products, so they can see how they work on regular people, in real-time.
Others might care more about blog posts, the texts, and articles you write. Slogans are an influential part of every good campaign, too!
Each part of the marketing campaign is equally as important, and it shouldn’t be overlooked.
13. SPECIAL HOLIDAY-THEMED PACKAGING
Even if a lot of us would hate to admit it, we care a lot about how things look.
We can use an example of people buying books. The cover art is usually the third thing people consider when buying a book, right after the title, and the recommendation they might have received about the book.
When we think about it, the cover art isn’t something that changes our reading experience.
Nonetheless, how the book looks is a very important factor that determines whether or not a book will be successful.
The packaging is a huge selling point for books, but many other items as well. Consider making seasonal, limited edition packaging. It should match the rest of your marketing campaign.
You can use your social media platforms to interact with your followers and offer them different packaging options, they can decide on. They can even help you create it!
14. GIFT SETS
Holiday gift sets for sure are not an original business idea. They’ve been around for a while, and they’re not going anywhere any time soon. People love them!
Even if this isn’t the most creative way to grow your business, it is a tried-and-true business tactic.
If you offer many individual products, examine the idea of creating gift sets in which people get more value for their money. The smartest move is to create a few different options that vary in price and selection, so they appeal to everyone.
Gift sets cost significantly less than if people were to buy each included product individually, which is why people love them.
It doesn’t matter if people are buying gift sets just for themselves or as actual gifts, they are a great way for you to increase your sales during the holiday season.
15. PROMOTE (OTHER) LOCAL BUSINESSES
In the world that’s dominated by giant conglomerates and multi-national companies, local businesses must fight for their place in the spotlight.
During the holiday season, partner up with other small, local businesses in your area.
You can give out coupons for discounts or prizes when shoppers buy at participating businesses. Organize shared events!
It is a smart move to seek out businesses whose products or services complement yours. That isn’t necessary, but it will be of great help.
As an example, if you own a bakery, partnering up with a local, well-loved coffee place throughout the holidays is a great idea.
During the month of October and near Halloween time, the coffee shop can offer your delicious seasonal cookies and cakes with their coffee. That way, more people will hear and try your baked goods. In return, you can give out discount coupons for coffee to your customers.
16. REWARD CUSTOMER LOYALTY
We wouldn’t be wrong if we referred to the 21st-century time as ‘the time of plenty.’
With the internet, there are so many brands and companies available, just a few lazy clicks away. It means that most people have so many possibilities to choose from.
If somebody is a loyal customer of yours, it means that they choose your firm over any other, each time. That kind of loyalty, in this day and age, should be rewarded. And what better time to do just that than during the holiday season? It is a time of giving, after all!
Give back to your loyal customers: offer them bigger sales, additional services, or gifts.
By doing this, you will create a stronger relationship with people who believe in your business. They will surely continue being your customers, as well as recommend your business to their friends and family.
17. SECRET SALES!
We’ve already talked about how you should consider rewarding your loyal customers for supporting you.
Secret sales are a great way to do so!
You can send out e-mails that contain a personalized coupon, code, or just a link that will show special, secret sales to the people who receive it.
It is important to create a personal and deep bond with your customers. And what better way than to show them exclusive sales, made just for them?
18. SHIFT YOUR WORK HOURS
A lot of people work jobs that have, to say it lightly, not the greatest of schedules. Those schedules aren’t better, not even during holidays.
Sadly, most of them wouldn’t usually have the time to visit stores and buy gifts or visit other places and experience the holiday atmosphere.
During the holidays, you can reschedule your work hours, so that those who want to visit your store but, are unable to during the standard work hours, can do so.
You can also do this during more hectic shopping days, like a few days before Christmas or New Year’s Eve. By doing this, you will help customers have a less stressful and more positive shopping experience.
19. BLOGGERS AND INFLUENCERS ARE YOUR FRIENDS!
The Internet allows people to do thorough research before deciding on spending their hard-earned money. And that’s a good thing!
Bloggers, Youtube stars, and social media influencers play a very important role in the research process.
Due to their popularity, they often receive a variety of things, which they test out and feature in their blogs, Instagram pages, or Youtube videos.
People like finding someone who they trust enough to recommend them stuff to buy, so they wouldn’t spend their money on products or services that are bad or won’t work for them.
You may consider the idea of working closely with a trusted blogger or influencer during the holiday season.
You can send them your new products for free, and they might like them enough to promote them on social media.
You can also choose to collaborate with local, well-known individuals, whether it be just for the sake of making an ad, or them being included in the production process of certain items.
20. MYSTERY BOXES
If you want a more creative way to get people excited about the upcoming holidays, mystery boxes are a great idea. The element of surprise is the factor that will attract more people.
The content of the mystery boxes is, of course, your choice, but they should vary in prices and sizes. You can combine your best-selling products in one mystery box.
Perhaps, you can include some great products that might have gone under the radar and deserve more love. It is a great opportunity for you to promote your lesser-known products.
Same as the gift sets, the mystery boxes should cost less than if people were to buy products individually, as well as match the theme of the holiday.
You can also collaborate with other small businesses in creating the mystery boxes, so their content becomes even more interesting.
21. HELP YOUR CUSTOMERS WITH GIFT IDEAS
The art of gift-giving isn’t easy. With so many different options out there, it can be hard for us to think of a specific gift for someone. We can struggle with this if we don’t know someone well, and enough about the things they like.
You can make your customers’ lives easier by assisting them with gift ideas.
On your social media accounts, you can display your products and show how to use them, which combinations of products work best and which products can be great as gifts.
You can suggest different gift ideas based on gender, age, interests, or habits of your buyers. Consider encouraging people to ask for specific gift recommendations based on their preferences.
By doing this, you will show that you don’t only care about sales and money, but you also care about the satisfaction of your customers.
22. OFFER GIFT WRAPPING OPTIONS
As we’ve already established, some people want to spend as little time as possible buying and bothering with holiday gifts.
Those people would surely appreciate if they didn’t have to wrap up the gifts they buy, too!
Consider offering gift wrapping as a part of your holiday campaign, whether it be for free or for a symbolic price.
To make things more interesting, you can make your own wrapping paper or boxes that will match the holiday theme too.
23. DONATE TO CHARITY
Buying and receiving gifts is a huge part of the holiday season, but it isn’t everything. It is also a perfect time to give back to your community.
During holiday time, we need to count our blessings and remember people who might not be as privileged and can’t even afford fundamental items.
Donating or working closely with a charity organization during the holiday season will help those in need. Choose a local charity that usually doesn’t get enough funding, or choose a charity that fights for a cause that’s close to your heart.
People will be glad to participate if they know that it’s for a noble cause.
And also let’s not kid ourselves here, it is a great business move. It will give you publicity and a lot of positive exposure, which is always a good thing.
24. ORGANIZE DIFFERENT EVENTS
Hosting events during the holiday season is a great way to spread the holiday spirit.
Even if this isn’t the most original idea in the world, you can still have so much creative freedom when considering the venue, decorations, and activities people can participate in it.
It is up to you and your preferences! Create an unforgettable evening people will talk about!
Consider making your events kid-friendly and pet-friendly too, that way, more people, will desire to come.
Events like these, are also a great way to get local artists, as well as other small businesses, musicians, and charities involved.
25. HAVE A GOOD RETURN POLICY
And finally, buying gifts, especially online, can be tricky. There’s always a possibility that either the buyer or the company can make a mistake.
Also, it isn’t rare for a package to get damaged in transportation, and this is even more common when there are so many orders.
To please your customers, you need to have a great return policy. People will feel more comfortable buying from your business if they know exactly what to expect.
Caring about, not only selling your products but also whether or not a customer is satisfied, will get your small business far.
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