Looking for some affordable marketing ideas for your local business during the holidays? Many of these ideas won’t take a lot of time to do and can have real impact. Here are a few that won’t break the bank:
• Spotlight special services or amenities like free gift wrapping, curbside pick-up, personal shopping, etc. on your website, social media, emails, ads, etc..
• Send e-blasts to your email subscribers promoting gift ideas, special offers, and services. Share a link to your e-blasts on your social media.
• Offer a discount on specific items for a limited time.
• Keep your website up to date, especially if you sell online.
• Promote extended shopping hours on your website, social media, and in your store.
• Set up a Shop (e-commerce) on your Facebook and Instagram business pages.
• Create reels to feature gift ideas and holiday tips, and post to Instagram and Facebook. Also share to your feed and stories.
• Post regularly on your Google My Business page. Your posts will show up with Google search results.
• If you have a blog or a newsletter, feature helpful holiday tips for your customers.
• Promote a giveaway like a gift card, shopping spree, or a gift basket. Or have a giveaway in your store on a specific day. This is also a great way to get email subscriber sign-ups by including an opt-in field on the entry blank.
• Give back to a local charity and spotlight this in your marketing, like a toy drive, food drive, or clothing drive. Ask the charity to help promote what you’re doing. Send out a press release to local media.
• Host a Customer Appreciation event and offer refreshments and hot chocolate. Tie-in activities like photos with Santa to appeal to families, prize give aways, live holiday music, etc.
• Host a Trunk Show spotlighting products from a particular line. Include a special discount during the event or a small giveaway to attract customers. Assign an employee to show/demonstrate the products, or ask your vendor to send a rep.
• Partner with other local businesses nearby on an outdoor event, promotion, or a prize package giveaway.
• Participate in holiday markets in your local area to get exposure to customers who have never been in your store or business.
• Offer a bounce-back coupon for a discount after Christmas for those who purchase now.
• Promote gift cards as a convenient gift option.
• Boost your posts on Facebook or Instagram, or run ads with the reach or store traffic objective to target customers within a specified mile radius of your location.
• Get your customers into the holiday spirit (and a buying mood) by decorating your store or business and creating a festive holiday atmosphere.
• Maximize key shopping days during the season such as Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.
Remember to focus on a few things you can do well during the holiday season, with a goal to engage your customers and create sales for your business. Good luck and have a very happy and prosperous holiday season!
Caroline D. Quinn is the founder of Quinnovative Marketing, a marketing services company that helps small and mid-size business owners in New England.