Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Another holiday season is upon us – probably the busiest time of year for small business owners. From preparing for Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa dinners to celebrating New Year’s Eve, people typically flock to local stores and restaurants to shop, sip, and celebrate.
But peak season also brings with it a surge of competition. And while it’s always important for small businesses to stand out from the crowd, it’s even more crucial during the holidays – especially since end-of-year budgets are usually tight.
So, focus on holiday marketing that’s affordable and impactful to keep your brand top of mind and increase your return on investment. From postcards and flyers to stand-out social media, keep your customers coming back all season long with these 9 simple Christmas marketing ideas.
9 holiday marketing ideas:
- Promote holiday news with postcards.
- Highlight seasonal specials with brochures.
- Prepare clients for 2024 with custom calendars.
- Show lasting gratitude with personalized mugs.
- Attract return business with flyers.
- Get the word out with apparel.
- Add a touch of holiday magic to your packaging.
- Give your social accounts a festive (temporary!) makeover.
- Use social media to keep your customers informed and engaged.
1. Promote holiday news with postcards.
During the holiday season, get customers excited about your products and offerings with virtual events or in-store specials. Then, get the word out. Branded postcards that feature key details of your events and offerings are the perfect promotional outlet. In addition to all of the critical information, tease incentives like discount codes and gift-wrapping services.
2. Highlight seasonal specials with brochures.
Another way to appeal to holiday customers is to introduce a selection of seasonal products or services. Spas could offer a rejuvenation package that helps customers feel fabulous for the new year, while restaurants might offer a list of seasonal drinks or desserts made with festive ingredients.
Then, spread the word about your holiday promotions and specials with a brochure. Not only can you display brochures in your brick-and-mortar shop, office and local community centers, but you can mail them to potential customers and send them home with shoppers. You can also make sure your seasonal specials stand out with their own banner in your storefront.
3. Prepare clients for next year with custom calendars.
As a new year quickly approaches, build on customer enthusiasm with customized calendars. Add on-brand imagery and personalized dates to remind your best customers of upcoming will help you to standsales, holidays and more. Calendars are effective (and affordable!) ways to stay top of mind all year long – they’re often displayed in high-traffic areas, so your customers will constantly be reminded that you’re open for business.
4. Show lasting gratitude with personalized mugs.
Sending Christmas cards to clients is a common practice. But once the holidays are over, most cards get thrown away (obviously not yours!). Personalized mugs, on the other hand, get used on a daily basis, making them a lasting medium for a thank-you message. Mugs can also make great gifts for employees, who might use them outside the office and attract attention to your brand.
5. Attract return business with flyers.
The holidays are a busy time of year, so you’re sure to see a lot of foot traffic from both new and returning customers in December. But how can you ensure these customers come back once the rush is over? Seasonal flyers are a fantastic, cost-effective way to encourage one-off customers to come back. Before the holiday season, order a large quantity of flyers promoting an enticing bounce-back offer that’s only valid after the holiday rush. Throughout the season, display them prominently, and send one home with everyone who walks through the door or places an online order.
6. Get the word out with apparel.
One of the easiest ways to extend the reach of your small business is to give away free clothing and accessories. These gifts act as traveling advertisements, showcasing your brand and logo wherever wearers go. Tote bags are sure to make an appearance at grocery stores and local markets, while drawstring backpacks are great for hiking excursions, beach days and bike rides. Branded T-shirts offer even more real estate to advertise your business and make customers feel like part of your community. Since these items are more expensive, consider giving them to your ‘best’ customers – maybe shoppers who place an online order of $150+, or cafe visitors who stop by every day.
7. Add a touch of holiday magic to your packaging.
Whether you sell in-store or you ship your orders, customers appreciate pretty packaging. And if it’s appealing enough, they might even share it in an unboxing video online – so more eyes on you! There are plenty of DIY Christmas ideas for sprucing up your packaging. Kraft paper is an affordable gift-wrapping classic that you can easily adorn with doodles, twine or a few sprigs of winter greenery. For an extra bit of pizzazz, pair it with a silky ribbon in a festive color or pattern. Or, give your everyday packaging some seasonal flair with a holiday-ready gift tag or postcard.
8. Give your social accounts a festive (temporary!) makeover.
An easy way to get your customers in the holiday shopping spirit is to deck out your social accounts in holiday colors and designs. You can make a holiday version of your existing brand colors, add a festive element to your logo or use holiday-themed stickers in your Instagram stories. Just remember to stay true to your brand’s personality and to keep it consistent across all your platforms – including your website.
VistaCreate is a great way to design one-of-a-kind social posts quickly and easily. Find a template you love (for any social platform!), then customize it with decorative elements and add your logo.
9. Use social media to keep your customers informed and engaged.
Your customers are on social media every day, so it’s an ideal place to advertise your seasonal offerings. Start as early as mid-November and keep it light at first, slowly teasing what’s to come. Then pick up speed in early December and start sharing holiday content on a regular basis. Promote your specials, organize a flash sale or run a contest to drum up interest and excitement.
Beyond seasonal happenings, get creative with holiday social content. Film a packaging video to show off your holiday wrapping, take your followers on a behind-the-scenes warehouse tour or create a gift guide to help shoppers find the perfect gifts for everyone on their list. If you go the gift guide route, include your own products…and consider teaming up with other small businesses. Create an Instagram carousel or TikTok video to post on your social accounts and theirs, too – it will help you reach new audiences.