Holiday sales are essential for many small businesses, and effective marketing methods can go a long way for small businesses on a budget. Holiday sales campaigns are also a great way to turn one-time consumers into repeat customers who will stick around long after the holidays are past.
Pro Tip: Most people are shopping for loved ones, so keep that in mind for your marketing campaigns.
The Holidays are a difficult time to stand out among the millions of other businesses promoting holiday discounts, especially if your marketing budget is tight, you're a new business, and/or your SEO is lacking. Low organic traffic due to poor SEO can mean you'll have to spend more money on Google Ads or other PPC advertising to be seen.
Fortunately, a huge influence doesn't always require a big investment. Check out these 9 holiday marketing ideas to boost sales.
When Should You Start Your Holiday Marketing?
Let's define the holiday shopping season and the best time to start your small company holiday marketing activities. The holiday shopping season often occurs in November and December, however, many smart agencies and businesses start their holiday campaigns in October
Americans spend an average of $1,050 on holiday décor, sweets, travel, and gifts. Over half of that is likely to be spent on gifts for friends and family. That's money your company can't afford to lose.
To maximize sales, start your holiday promotions at the end of October or early November to attract early shoppers to your store or online. Remember that nobody knows your business or customers better than you, so look back at what has worked in the past and use that as a reference.
Prepare Your Small Business for Holiday Marketing
Plan your Christmas marketing strategy. The holiday marketing ideas below are helpful, but you'll get more out of them if you intend to employ them all together over the holiday sales season. Consider hiring a marketing professional to write out a strategic marketing plan with goals, execution, and a measurable summary.
Ideally, you’ll want to plan months ahead of time. Some companies start planning holiday marketing in February or March! Make sure you plan ahead of time so that all of your marketing efforts don't fall behind. Conduct research, analyze your website data, and conduct keyword research to have better insight into consumer behaviors and interests.
Your marketing plan should include paid advertising, social media posts, creatives, and content published on other sites as well as your website or blog. Start early and broaden your efforts to attract early and last-minute shoppers. Low inventory or not enough time for delivery? Offer gift cards!
Holiday Marketing Tips for Small Businesses
Holiday marketing can make or break your season's sales, so take it seriously and apply the strategies below to grow your small business's consumer base.
1. Take Advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Your competition will be participating in Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, so you must as well. In order to do this, decide what discounts and promotions you want to give over the two huge shopping days. Make your sales available online and in-store (if you're brick and mortar). If you run only a brick-and-mortar store with no online shopping, consider setting up a Shopify e-commerce site as soon as possible. If you are short on time, add your top-selling products to increase sales.
Consider running targeted local ads through Facebook Ads or Google Ads for your business. Just because you aren't an e-commerce shop online doesn't mean you can't announce sales to locals, offer gift cards, delivery or curbside pickup.
2. Deck out your Social Media for the Holidays
Strategic social media marketing is an economical and effective approach to reach your audience.
According to Shopify's Holiday Ecommerce tips, Instagram is the most effective non-paid network for gaining new consumers.
This season, post more frequently and share more creatively. This is a fantastic time to utilize Instagram Reels, Stories, Video Ads on YouTube, TikToc, and plan blogs about sales and new products. You could also publish lifestyle content that demonstrates to buyers how to use or wear your products. People love tutorials!
Other creative ideas? Host giveaways, contests for videos with the best UGC (user-generated content). Try live sales on Facebook, polls, and discussions on Twitter.
Remember to update your accounts regularly for the holidays as well as your content. Decorate your social media profiles with festive cheer, just like you would a physical store.
3. Collab with Other Brands and Companies
Partner with another company to offer cross-company discounts, product vouchers, or promotional items with purchases. Collaborations are a terrific method to boost your brand's visibility and encourage sales.
If you own a physical store, choose a nearby competitor to boost foot traffic and make it easier for customers to visit both. You can still gain from a business collaboration if you run an online business.
Match your company's products or services with another's. Create a collection with an influencer, partner with a company that creates stylish products, jewelry, home goods, etc. Partner with a salon, florist, children's store, bed & breakfast, etc. Think of complementary businesses where it’s a win-win for you both. Example: Buy a box of chocolates here and get 25% off roses at a neighboring florist shop.
The holidays are also a great opportunity to develop helpful holiday content for your company's blog or newsletter.
Are you a food or housewares business? Consider what useful information you can provide your clients. Consider creating a guide to hosting Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner with recipes, a grocery list, and preparation suggestions. Whatever you do, include relevant SEO keywords to increase your organic search ranking.
In addition to attracting new clients, providing comprehensive, high-quality content for free establishes credibility with existing customers.
4. Utilize Your Retargeting Lists
Use your retargeting lists. Another advantage of starting your ad campaigns early, or having ongoing ad campaigns is you build retargeting lists throughout the year that you can use during the busy season. Have a robust retargeting list and you’ll reach more of your brand-aware and repeat customers during the selling season.
As a preliminary step, identify potential customers—those who have visited your company's website but have not purchased. You may target these potential customers by going to your Facebook ad account and creating a “custom audience” that excludes anyone who has made a purchase in the last 30 days. Add your Facebook pixel to your website to see what activities potential buyers perform while surfing. Then you may develop targeted ads to get them to buy.
6. Launch Targeted Email Campaigns
One of the easiest holiday marketing techniques is to call out to those who have previously indicated interest in your brand. It's easy to connect with customers via email. It is cheap but incredibly effective. According to Shopify, email marketing is the top conversion source.
Make sure your emails are well designed, intriguing, and clickable. Use fun subject lines that create a higher open rate. Email newsletter providers such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, and MailerLite can offer you helpful insights into your campaign results.
Every email should bring value. You can remind customers about specials, give discount codes, announce extended holiday hours, or alert them about new product releases and pre-order information. Wishing your clients a happy holiday and thanking them for their business is also very important.
7. Work with bloggers
During the holiday season, shoppers actively seek out gift ideas, and many seek advice from influencers and bloggers. Consider collaborating with huge platforms to promote your business in front of more clients. Getting your products in the hands of blogger influencers is a good idea for reach as well as a healthy backlink for SEO!
8. Create an Exclusive Holiday Product
Collab with an influencer or create a unique holiday offering available only during the holidays. For example, Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte is a seasonal offering, Hallmark offers an ornament for that year, a clothing company could develop holiday-themed prints or an ugly sweater collection, etc. Consider your products and how they could be used to offer an exclusive offering for the holidays.
If you want to forgo the traditional holiday themes, create a product that isn't directly related to the holidays but is only accessible during this time period.
Announce your limited edition product a few weeks ahead of time to create enthusiasm and expectation. Follow up with emails with exclusive pre-order discounts.
9. Offer Fast Shipping
With shut-downs still ongoing and many shoppers reluctant to venture out to physical stores, the biggest concern from most shoppers will be, "Can I get this in time for gift giving?" Many shoppers will be concerned with ship times, delays, etc. Offering fast delivery is almost more important that free delivery. Consider ramping up your e-commerce store to include faster options with FexEx, UPS or DHL.
Are you looking for more creative or effective ways to boost your holiday sales? We can help. Our team of marketing experts has a wealth of experience in the field and would be happy to work with you on an innovative plan that will get customers knocking down your door this season.