Small Business Marketing Ideas for the Holidays
The holidays are a crucial time for small businesses. According to the National Retail Federation, holiday retail sales in the United States hit a new record at $886.7 billion—an increase of more than 14 percent from the previous year. If you want to get a piece of that pie, you need to start planning your holiday marketing strategy now. Here are some ideas to get you started courtesy of the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce.
1. Creating a PDF Gift Guide
Gift guides are a great way to show your customers what products or services you offer that would make perfect gifts for their loved ones. If you sell physical products, take high-quality photos of your products and style them in creative ways. If you offer services, put together a list of package options or create gift certificates that can be purchased online.
Using PDFs is ideal, as you can send your PDF gift guide with ease to your target audience, and post online on your website or social media channels. Many people choose to work in Microsoft Word to create original content, then save as a PDF. And if you'd like to learn how to convert Word to PDF, you can go online and follow the four easy steps. Once downloaded, you’ll be able to share your gift guide for all to see.
2. Sharing Useful Content
People are always looking for helpful content during the holiday season—whether it’s tips on what gifts to buy for difficult-to-please relatives or recipes for festive holiday dishes. Share blog posts, infographics, videos, or other types of content that will help your customers during this busy time of year.
3. Holding Giveaways or Contests
A good giveaway or contest is always welcome—especially during the holidays when people are already feeling generous. Paperturn suggests offering up one of your products or services as a prize and promoting it across your social media channels and email list. Be sure to come up with fun and engaging rules that will get people excited about participating.
4. Investing in Holiday Packaging
If you sell physical products, make sure your holiday packaging is on point. This is the first impression potential customers will have of your product, so you want to make sure it’s something they’ll be excited to open up on Christmas morning (or Hanukkah evening). Think beyond just wrapping paper and bows—get creative!
5. Social Media Engagement
Social media is a powerful tool that you can use to connect with your customers and promote your business during the holidays (and all year round). Make sure you’re active on all the major platforms—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat—and take advantage of features like live video and Stories to give your followers a behind-the-scenes look at your business during this busy time of year.
6. Rewarding Loyal Customers
The holidays are a great time to show your appreciation for your most loyal customers with exclusive deals and offers that they can’t find anywhere else. Whether it’s early access to holiday sales or special discounts on popular items, let them know that you value their business and they’ll be sure to return the favor.
7. Partnering with Other Businesses
Teaming up with other businesses in your industry is a great way to reach new audiences and cross-promote each other’s products or services. Look for businesses that complement yours and come up with joint marketing initiatives that will benefit both parties involved—like co-hosting an event or creating a joint holiday gift guide.
8. Hosting a Unique Event
The holidays are all about tradition—but that doesn’t mean you can’t put your own spin on things! Hosting a unique event is a great way to get people in the door and generate some buzz for your business (not to mention some much-needed sales). Whether it’s an ugly sweater party, gingerbread house decorating contest, or Santa meet-and-greet, come up with an event that will get people talking (and spending!).
9. Supporting Local Charities
Giving back is always in style—especially during the holidays! Supporting a local charity is a great way to show your community that you care about more than just making money. There are plenty of ways to get involved, from hosting fundraisers and donation drives to volunteering your time and resources. And when people see that you’re committed to making a difference, they’ll be more likely to support your business as well.
These are just a few ideas to get you started—but there are endless possibilities when it comes to holiday marketing for small businesses! The most important thing is to start planning now so you can make the most of this crucial selling season. Happy brainstorming!
If you’re ready to grow your business with the help of great local resources and partnerships, join the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce.