6 Holiday Marketing Tips and Ideas for Small Businesses

Amanda Bowman
by Amanda Bowman 11 Dec, 2017

This time of year, there are holiday marketing campaigns everywhere. Whether the campaigns are small and involve dressing up a company's logo or campaigns that manage to go viral, many businesses are keenly aware of the opportunity to take advantage of the spending season and find ways to market to enthusiastic customers.


Late November and December alone drive an astounding 30 percent more revenue for ecommerce businesses than the rest of the year.


The key to a successful holiday marketing campaign is to analyze your brand and find which strategy is a natural fit for your business.


Here are some great small business holiday marketing strategies:


Find your brand's unique holiday angle


Apple is well-known for creating products that leverage technology as a way of connecting people and making their lives better. Their focus on products that foster communication was brought together with the holidays brilliantly in a commercial a few years ago, "Misunderstood."


In it, a teenager spends his holiday time with family seemingly fixated on his mobile phone. At the end of the commercial, he connects his phone to the TV and surprises the entire family with a thoughtful, heartfelt holiday home video that he created using his phone. Apple's name never appears in the commercial, and the only branding, Apple's logo, appears at the end.


It's a heartwarming, moving commercial and showcases how Apple communicates their brand and their mission effectively through the prism of the holidays.


Get your customers involved


Big companies like Starbucks have made user generated content (UGC) a key part of their holiday branding strategy.


red-cupIn 2016 Starbucks ran a UGC contest on Instagram inviting customers to post festive photos that incorporated that year's "red cup" design. Entries were tagged with the hashtag #RedCupContest.


Over 40,000 entries were posted and the campaign was a huge success.


But if you're going to ask people to send you content, be prepared to filter the entries for inappropriate things and make sure that entries are moderated if they appear anywhere on your site.


Offer discounts, contests, giveaways


Promotions can be a great way to spread holiday cheer to your customers.


A holiday promotion can take many forms: maybe a discount code, rewards points or a free surprise gift with a purchase.

The Shop Files, an ecommerce marketing blog, provides a thorough guide on how to do this. They include information about how to incorporate potential partnerships in your contest with other brands.


With contests or coupons you can:

  • increase sales
  • drive traffic to your e-store
  • generate leads through email
  • reach your consumers on a popular platform
  • deepen brand loyalty

 Another effective strategy is to run a holiday-themed contest.


If you have a signature product, try running a photo contest. Offering the opportunity to have their posts showcased by your brand is a reward in and of itself (and free).


Need some ideas for a photo contest? We've got plenty:

  • Best-decorated Christmas tree
  • Ugliest holiday sweater
  • Most awkward family photo
  • Most delicious holiday dinner spread
  • Prettiest holiday light display
  • Most adorable pet holiday costume

To really celebrate your customers and make them feel extra special during the holidays, you can offer them exclusive deals.


One easy way to do this is to offer rewards or discounts for signing up for your company's newsletter, email chain, or following your company's social media accounts. Everyone loves to feel special, and everyone definitely loves a good promo code.


Give your site a festive, holiday feel


We're living in a digital age. Ninety-two percent of holiday shoppers will research or buy gifts online; they can interact with your brand and product from the comfort of their fuzzy slippers and glass of eggnog.


When customers land on your site, your company's  special holiday promotions should welcome them with festive, cheerful designs. Create holiday-themed landing pages to help direct customers to any deals you are offering, and make it an enticing, enjoyable experience to shop on your site.


Create a special unboxing experience


Many companies release redesigned packages every holiday season, which can be quite delightful when done well.


For example, every year Coca-Cola releases new holiday packaging for Coke; The inventiveness and creativity of the packaging is a prime example of how to incorporate a festive feel into your product without compromising its brand integrity.


Here are some more of our favorite holiday package graphics designs.

Showing your holiday colors is a nice way to bring the season to your brand while making store shelves (and other places) prettier and more festive.


Social Media Posts


You can use social media to target users who might not otherwise have the chance to engage with your brand. Styling your posts with unique holiday-themed content is sure to pique interest. Try using some of these ideas to engage social media users.

  • Gift guides - a golden opportunity to show off your products in a convenient, easy to purchase setup.
  • Holiday hashtags - hashtags are a great way to promote your holiday campaign.
  • Host a Facebook Live - incorporate a Q&A, offer a flash sale available while you're live, or a promotional discount/gift/goodie at the end to reward your customers for watching.

The 2017 holiday shopping season is expected to be one of the best in recent years, and is already on track to be so. Don't let your business miss out on the chance to spread your own holiday cheer to your customers. Follow these holiday campaign strategies, and you'll be sure to make you and your customers very merry this season.