The holidays are fast approaching, and for small businesses, that means a boost of sales and visitors. And with the slowest time of year following fast on this season’s heels, it’s important to do everything that you can to make the most of your holiday crowds. Keep reading to learn 7 holiday marketing tips every small business needs to try this year.

1. Find Your Holiday Niche

Before you can start developing your holiday marketing plan, you need to find your niche. This niche will depend on the type of business you run and the customers you target. For instance, if you run a hotel or resort, your niche is likely holiday travel or travel for those visiting family around the holidays. If you sell products, your niche is selling holiday gifts. Restaurants might find a niche in providing seasonal favorites for those out holiday shopping, or perhaps providing an actual holiday meal, either for diners or for takeout.

Whatever your niche, being clear from the start of your holiday marketing planning process will help you stay focused on that niche.

2. Discounts and Giveaways Go a Long Way

Everyone is a little cash-strapped around the holidays. The average American spends $920 on holiday gifts every year. Which means that most people will also be looking for ways to save.

Discounts and giveaways can go a long way towards drawing customers in. Giveaways are an excellent tool for drawing in new customers to your website or social media. Discounts, especially those offered to your existing mailing list or to your previous customers, are a way to help tip the scales for those who are still on the fence about making a purchase for the holidays.

3. Decorate for the Holidays

Getting your customers in the mood for some holiday shopping should start the moment they walk in the door, or perhaps even before that. Decorating for the holidays is a simple but effective way to get shoppers in the spirit. This might be just what you need to help up their spending, as they see your products in a new light and as the perfect gifts for their family and friends.

You don’t necessarily need to go over the top, or even stick to a Christmas-theme. A few strings of light, some winter-scents in the air, and a bit of evergreen here or there is just enough to change the feel of your location and shift the moods of your customers. Don’t be afraid to start decorating early, either. While you might get a few naysayers who think that the lights and tree should stay in storage until after Thanksgiving, psychologists agree that decorating early can actually make us happier.

4. Make Family a Focus

As a small business, you are in a unique position to relate to your family-focused customers. Don’t be afraid to make it clear exactly where your priorities lay. 

There are many ways to keep your small business family-focused around the holidays. You can host events designed for the whole family to celebrate the holidays together. Bring in new products to target members of a family who might not normally find something in your store. You could even post images of your own family on your business’ social media accounts to remind your loyal customers that their purchases go towards supporting a family, not some big-box store.

5. Address Your Customer’s Biggest Holiday Woes

While it may be the happiest time of the year, the holidays don’t come without some stress and hardships. Besides worrying about money, your customers might also be stressing about finding the perfect gifts for everyone on their list, about finding ways to bring their family together during a busy season, or any number of other woes.

Targeting as many of these woes as possible, and offering solutions to them, will not only help boost your bottom line this Christmas season, but also help improve your customers’ opinions of your store, hotel, or other business. 

To address these woes, you could offer those discounts we already mentioned. You might also stay open later in the days leading up to the holiday, to help out those last-minute shoppers. Use your website or social media pages to post gift guides and suggestions that might help your customers find the perfect items. Hotels and resorts can show customers that they are the perfect spot for family time, while restaurants might stress that they can provide home-cooked meals without the time and stress.

6. Make Every Purchase a Gift

Make sure that customers leave your store feeling just as happy as they were while shopping in your decorated store. Turning your shopping bags into gift wrap is as easy as using brown paper bags with handles and adding a bit of tissue paper. It won’t cost much more than your existing bags but can have a big impact. When your customers get home, they’ll have the experience of “unwrapping” their purchases, which is the perfect end to their experience.

You might also consider offering gift wrapping for a small fee. This is just another simple way to help ease customers’ woes about wrapping endless gifts or having to wrap things up at the last minute.

7. Don’t Underestimate the Little Details

While big impacts like decorating, bringing in new products, or setting up a gift wrapping station can help keep your customers happy and spending money, sometimes its the little things that have the largest impact.

Sending out holiday-themed emails featuring your latest discounts. Posting fun Christmas-themed pictures on Facebook and Instagram. Sending out holiday cards to your previous customers. These small gestures all go a long way towards establishing your business’ brand as friendly, family-oriented, and customer-focused.

Making the Most of the Holiday Season

Any of these tips and tricks can help your business take its marketing strategy to the next level this holiday season! Try out a few or try every one; just make sure to consider your customers’ unique wants and needs when picking your strategies.

Need a little help making an impact this season? Check out our story and contact us today to see how we can take your marketing to the next level.