8 marketing tips for the holidays

5 min read
Leighton Burley

Marketing through the holidays can be a big challenge for small businesses of all kinds. But whether you sell to consumers (B2C) or to businesses (B2B), the holidays provide massive opportunities for your business growth. Use these marketing tips to make the most of them.

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8 ways to stand out this holiday season

While your business might not have a massive marketing budget to allocate toward Christmas marketing strategies, you can still make your mark this holiday season.

  1. Extended holiday hours.

  2. A coupon with every purchase.

  3. Free gift-wrapping.

  4. A 12 Days of Christmas sale.

  5. Gift cards.

  6. A charity partnership.

  7. Return or exchange policies.

  8. Contests on social media.

Let’s delve into the eight marketing tips that will help your business stay competitive throughout the holiday season.

1. Extended holiday hours

You are likely to do more business throughout the holiday season than you normally would at any other time of the year. With the extra flood of customers rushing from store to store, it is wise to stay open for longer to accommodate them.

Extended hours help busy shoppers check off gifts from their shopping lists.

This will give your customers a good shopping experience. You’ll find that there are a lot of customers doing their shopping after they finish their work day. Many are only able to make it out to the store later in the evening.

2. A coupon with every purchase

The holiday season is a great time for your business to capture repeat customers through an easy and inexpensive technique. Simply add coupons or special offers to your customer’s shopping bag for them to use at a later date.

This will make them feel good about their purchase and you’ll have the chance to sell to them again after the holidays are over.

3. Free gift-wrapping

Offering gift-wrapping as a service is an effective way to get new customers in the door.

Shoppers are busy during the holidays. Having their gifts wrapped while they’re buying them is a huge bonus.

You could even charge a small fee to wrap gifts that weren’t purchased from your shop. This will help get customers into your store and browsing while they wait to get their gifts wrapped.

4. A 12 days of Christmas sale

Holding a 12 days of Christmas event is a creative marketing strategy that you can use to increase sales throughout the holidays. You can feature different discounts, giveaways or promotions on each of the 12 days that the sales event runs. This will help to get your customers into the holiday spirit while giving them an incentive to purchase from you.

5. Gift cards

Selling gift cards during the holidays is a win-win strategy, since they are easy to buy and appreciated by just about everyone.

Marketing Tips Wrapped Gifts
Gift cards are the ideal option for frazzled last-minute shoppers.
Photo: Kari Shea on Unsplash

By selling gift cards, you will not only get business now, but you’ll also open up the potential for more business down the road when you have new customers walking into your store to redeem them.

6. A charity partnership

The holidays present the perfect opportunity for any business to give back to the community through charitable work or donations. It’s also smart to integrate your charitable efforts into your marketing strategy to reach holiday sales goals.

Some options for fundraising:

  • Give a percentage of sales to select charitable organizations in your community.
  • Hold a fundraising campaign for a local charity.
  • Hold a drawing to win your products or services; anyone who makes a donation is entered to win.
  • Sell tickets to a holiday dinner or event and donate the proceeds to charity.

Charitable work will help your business build a positive reputation within your community while helping those in need in your area.

After the holidays, be sure to tell everyone via signage, email and social media how much your business raised.

7. Return or exchange policies

When it comes to purchasing gifts for other people, an excellent exchange or return policy can help put your customers at ease about their purchase decisions. This policy allows your customers to make their purchases now, knowing that even if they picked the wrong gift, their loved one can still exchange it for exactly the size or style they need.

It’s easier to buy gifts for others if you’re sure they can bring them back.

Pro marketing tips: Publicize just how great your return policies are throughout the holidays, helping to reassure your customers in their purchase decisions. Invite those who take advantage of your policy to rate your services on Google.

8. Contests on social media

Social media is an ideal place for your business to market itself to a younger demographic in a fun, yet modern way. You can hold festive contests to get your customers engaged in your brand and interested in your products.

Marketing Tips Ugly Sweater Contest
Hold an ugly sweater contest, awarding a product or service to the winner.
Photo: Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

A few ideas:

  • Ugly Sweater contests.
  • Elf on the shelf contests.
  • Coloring contests for kids (provide the colouring sheets in-store).
  • Christmas poem contests.
  • Photo contests using a hashtag you specify.

Creating social media contests is not only an engaging way to market your business in the digital age, but will also allow your employees to get creative and involved as well.

Marketing tips you can use now

Hopefully these eight marketing tips will help your business be more successful this holiday season. Regardless of which tips you decide to implement, remember to always put your customers first. Choose the tactics that you think will best appeal to them, their needs and their desires. Because after all, nobody knows your customers better than you do. Happy holidays!