Small Business Marketing Ideas Ideal for the Holidays

For people who are stretching their summers as far into the fall as possible, it might seem too early to say this, but in the world of a small business retailer, it’s a plain fact: the holidays are just around the corner. And that means your busiest season of the year is, too. Not only is it time for small businesses to get stocked and ready for the rush, it’s also time for them to start pulling together some small business marketing ideas.

According to BIGinsight, 60% of retailers in 2012 launched their holiday marketing campaigns in advance of Halloween, up from just over half of retailers in 2011. So if you want to keep up with the Joneses this holiday season, you’ve still got time to design and implement a spectacular marketing blitz.

What such a blitz should entail will differ from one business to the next, but there are plenty of actionable holiday marketing ideas that can help any small company get ahead of the competition as they gear up this year. Here are a few of the best holiday marketing tips:

1. Deck out your website and social media platforms: This is something you can do to spread a little holiday cheer without breaking the bank. Hiring a graphic designer to give your standard business logo a holiday twist can be very affordable. Plus, you’ll only have to pay for it once since you’ll probably want to reuse the same holiday logo every year for brand consistency. In addition to putting it up on your website, you can use it as the default photo on your social media sites during the holidays, and even create a Facebook cover photo and Twitter background that also reflect the season. Personal touches like these will go a long way to put customers in spending mode, especially if your business is based online.

2. Adorn all snail mail with your holiday brand: Your holiday-themed logo doesn’t need to lead a singularly digital life. It should also be used on print materials you send out during the season, and on your fliers and signs if you have a storefront. Consider ordering custom postage stamps with your logo on them. Then slap ’em on all invoices, holiday greeting cards and other correspondences you have throughout the season. You could also go the trendy route and have a custom rubber stamp made, featuring your logo and/or a catchy holiday tagline.

3. Send a company card other than a holiday greeting: Customers love getting fun stuff in the mail from businesses they support, so why not send out a little something extra this year? Plenty of companies send out a holiday greeting card to their clients and customers. By changing things up and sending out a Thanksgiving card or a New Years card, or even a funny Halloween photo of you (and any staff) in costume, you’ll stand out from the crowd.

4. Introduce promotions and giveaways: During the holidays, people are often looking for deals and ways to save more than any other time of year. In exchange for choosing your business as the place to do their holiday shopping, think about giving them a gift in return. This might be as significant as a generous discount or free shipping, or as simple as putting a tray of cookies out for shoppers if you have a storefront. You can also boost sales by promising customers something special in the new year if they purchase now. Offers along the lines of “Free shipping or a one-time discount in 2014 if you shop with us in 2013,” will work great.

5. Give back to your community, and tell customers about it: The holiday season is all about caring and sharing, right? With a little bit of charitable work, you can establish your business as an integral part of your community — whether that community is physical or virtual. Many businesses don’t take the time to donate goods and services or volunteer their time for charitable causes. Those who do give back are surely noticed by a growing segment of today’s consumer market. People lead busier lives now than ever before, and philanthropy is a larger and larger piece of that. Charitable actions will serve your company well year-round. But the holidays are a critical time to play up your business’s role in helping your community.

Those are just a few small business marketing ideas to get the holiday ball rolling. The bottom line, however, is to find as many creative was as possible to enhance your brand image while spreading some holiday cheer. Done right, it will come back to you in the form of sales, profits and new leads!

Originally shared on the Kabbage blog —

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