When you’re running a small business, you’re not really competing with the big players. Although drawing inspiration from major brands and their holiday marketing ideas is a must. As a small business, you actually have an advantage because you can narrow in a little community, and tailoring your holiday marketing ideas to appeal to a niche audience.

Let your imagination soar. Because you’re working on a smaller scale, there’s more room for creativity. The holiday season will soon be here, which will surely keep everyone on your team busy. Pull your budget together, and give your clients something to smile about.

Before you start brainstorming, review your sales, promotions and offers from last year. What worked? What didn’t? What can you improve on this year? This should be the first stage of your campaigns for this year before you settle on something personal and appropriate for your brand.

Your primary job is going to be to get your clients in the holiday spirit and surprise them with with offers unique to your brand. We’ll kick off our list with something a little more visual.

1. Quick redesign to get people excited

It’s the end of November, and you know what that means. Time to give your website and social media accounts a makeover! We’re not talking about a drastic redesign, just small hints here and there letting your clients know something exciting is waiting for them at the end of the year.

Deck the halls with winter visuals, change things up on social media pages by getting new covers, and prepare banners, posts and other graphics with your offers. Don’t panic if you don’t have a designer that can take care of all this. Crello is a marketer’s best friend for the holiday season, allowing you to create beautiful (even animated if you’d like) visuals for your website and social media accounts.


2. Focus on just one outstanding (and irresistible) Christmas offer

Can you imagine how many different holiday offers consumers get at this time of the year? Instead of bombarding them with deals before, during and after the holidays, allocate your budget to have just one very modest offer, deal or promotion. Your need to find a unique holiday angle. This way, you get to concentrate your efforts on doing one thing, but doing it very well.

You can create hype around your one Christmas deal in the days leading up to the holiday and kindly remind your customers that your offer is exclusive to them. This works because targeting new clients and trying to acquire them takes a toll on your budget. Maybe this year, reward your most loyal clients instead and put all your efforts into one excellent deal.


3. Get people talking on social media

Some things that can benefit your  brand in the long run actually don’t cost a thing. The holiday season is the perfect time to reach out to your followers, and get a bunch of conversations going. Ask them about their most memorable Christmas, their favourite gifts, food etc.

It’s nice to know that there are humans on the other side of the screen making an effort to get their customers involved in things and want to hear their opinion. There are a million ways you could go about this, but really think about your business and what you could be posting in this time frame to engage your followers.


4. Everyone loves contests (and freebies)

If you can give something away for free, host a contest! It’s another great way to engage users, and acquire new clients in the process. You can bring some humor into the contest and ask your followers to share their ugliest Christmas sweaters. It can be a really simple idea, but if your giveaway is valuable enough, you can count on high engagement.

To host a contest, you have to write out very clear instructions and describe the prize so it’s evident what people have to do to participate. Don’t forget to brand your contest and include your logo somewhere so that as the posts are shared on social media, it’s clear where they can find answers if  they have questions.


5. Create a holiday gift guide

Chances are, you have more than one product that you can advertise. Put together a little guide for your clients about gifts they can purchase from your store. You can get really creative by coming up with different gifts for different target audiences. This is an opportunity to attract clients that are looking on social media for gift ideas.

Remember to include all your special prices in this holiday gift guide. Use this gift guide as another way to inform potential clients about your business, what you do and what you’re offering on a seasonal basis.


6. Pre-wrapped gifts and free shipping

If you have tangible goods as part of your business, offer people the option of having their purchases pre-wrapped. In doing so, you make it easier for clients to deliver potential gifts they pick out on your website. Show them the different ways you can wrap the items and give them the power of choice.

Free shipping also gets a lot of attention. If you don’t normally offer free shipping, now is the time to try it as an extra bonus. If you’re concerned about the toll it will take on your profits, offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount.


7. Run Instagram ads

Your holiday marketing activity should stretch out across all your social media accounts. People are once again more likely to find your business through a well-integrated Instagram ad because they’re on the lookout for gift ideas.

Have some fun with your holiday ads! Set aside a small budget to run some ads on Instagram to promote your products. The holiday season might also be a good time to switch over to a business account so that new clients can easily get in touch with you.


8. Instead of blasting clients with emails, send a few

You know why this is a good idea? Because every business is going to far extends to lure shoppers into their stores. As you are a small business, you can be very modest about it. You can send one early-bird email about your amazing deals, one on the day of to send your warm regards for the holidays and a final email for late shoppers.

Facebook surveyed users from all over the world and found that 65% of shoppers continue to shop after Christmas. Make sure your email campaigns reach out to those users as well.


9. Get emotional with your copy

No, no one needs to cry or laugh out loud at your humorous and witty campaigns. What we mean here is that emotions drive actions which means that you can use this to get creative. Pay attention to how you craft your copy and pull at those heart strings! It’s definitely the season to get sentimental.

Pay attention to the angle you take when you’re writing about your campaigns, sending emails or posting something on social media. What you say and how you say it is going to ultimately decide if people decide to buy your products or not.


10. Add movement to your designs

Crello recently released a new format – Animated Designs. What this means for your business is that you can get really creative within your team and have fun with your campaigns in the process. Animated Designs will surely catch attention in a static feed and might get you those clicks!

The + Idea: Partnerships and co-brand campaigns

The wildcard on our list is something that requires a little more preparation, time and research. You can reach out to other companies and (as an example) invest in a charitable partnership instead of spending all your money on ads for your brand. This is slightly more unexpected, and give you the opportunity to reach new audiences.

You can also just reach out to other brands and instead of doing your own holiday campaign, do it with another brand. These types of co-brand campaigns could peak the interest of your customers and reach an even wider customer base.


Lastly, remember to take care of your basics such as optimizing your page for mobile shoppers. All your activity online should look great on those tiny screens so people have the chance to view them at their convenience.

Don’t forget to have fun and try to add a very personal touch to your holiday marketing. Ideas are everywhere, you just need to sit down and brainstorm with your team. If you have any success stories you’d like to share, leave your best holiday marketing ideas in the comments section below.

Start on Depositphotos for FREE. Get 10 downloads! Start Free Trial

Read top articles of the month!