10 ideas for marketing your small business this holiday season

November 06, 2014

The holiday season is around the corner. Help your small business receive a boost in sales with these marketing ideas.

For most folks in the United States the fourth quarter of the year is for shopping. Enjoying the holidays and celebrations loosens purse strings – not just for gifts and food, but for services, too. Whether your small business is retail or not, this time of year holds valuable marketing opportunities. Here are 10 ways to take advantage of those opportunities, from the easy to the not-so-easy and everything in between. Let us know if you use any and if so, what the results are.

  • Gift cards. Offer them, and let your clients know they’re available. Your happy clients and customers will be excited to have this easy-yet-thoughtful gift option.
  • New Year’s resolutions. Tie a promotion in to the year-end push for self-improvement. This can be especially good for fitness coaches, business consultants, and other service providers who focus on incremental improvements.
  • Food. Practically everyone loves to nosh, and you can leverage this easily. Health and wellness consultants can give clients gift baskets with healthy snacks or cooking spice mixes. Any business can host a thank-you dinner – or even breakfast! – for their best customers. Do this before Thanksgiving to make sure people can attend.
  • Sales. Of course holidays sales are an obvious choice, but you can make yours stand out by teaming with other businesses. Retail stores can do sidewalk sales with neighboring shops, and service providers can partner with other service providers to offer packages of complimentary services. For example, a career coach could partner with a fitness instructor for a handy “360 degree self-improvement” deal.
  • Exclusive sales. Host special sales for your best clients and customers. These don’t have to be event-based, but can be coupons you hand deliver or other offers you make personally.
  • Adopt a charity. Research local charities whose values align with yours, then get in touch to find out how you can help. Monetary donations to pet shelters, toy drives for foster children and hands-on help at soup kitchens will all be appreciated, and you can post updates and photos to Instagram, Twitter and other marketing real estate. You can even take it one step further and organize a volunteer day for staff and clients to participate in.
  • Cards. Send customers Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah or New Year’s cards. Include hand-written notes and address the envelopes by hand for added personalization.
  • Contests. Retail businesses can hold a drawing for free products or a store gift card that customers and the public can enter. Service businesses can put out the call for entries in a “I need a makeover” or “get fit in the New Year” contest, awarding one winner and gaining exposure in the process.
  • Gift guides. Participate in your city’s locally-owned businesses group and take advantage of any holiday sale events or gift guides they produce. Reach out to bloggers and websites who publish gift guides for possible inclusion.
  • Get festive! Even if your business seems hopelessly “un-holiday,” you can hire musicians to play in your store or restaurant, have a wrapping party to help customers prepare gifts or host a holiday-themed kids craft event in your store. Any business can incorporate holiday-themed imagery in their social media feeds and ask holiday-related questions on Facebook like “Stuffing or mashed potatoes?” and “What’s your favorite holiday movie?”Your small business doesn’t have to sell toys or other gifts to be relevant to holiday shoppers. Pick a handful of these small business marketing ideas to implement and make your company a vibrant part of the most wonderful time of the year.

Does your small business have anything special planned for the holiday season? Leave a comment below. We look forward to hearing from you!