15 Holiday Marketing Tips for Local Businesses

By Raubi Perilli |

  | Oct 31, 2018  /  Solutions |

The holiday season can be one of the most profitable for your business regardless of the industry you’re in.

People give gifts that are diverse by industry and need, which means you can find a niche of holiday customers. While everyone in your area is running around looking for gifts, make sure they know to come to you.

Check out these 15 holiday marketing tips to drive sales this December.

1. Promote Gift Card Sales

Gift cards are the gift that keeps on giving for your business! They ensure that people will buy your products in the future and likely spend more. In fact, 65% of gift card recipients will spend 38% more than the gift card is worth when they redeem it. Make sure your customers know that you offer gift cards at different values when they enter the store. You can also create gift card packages with small trinkets or add-ons to encourage gift givers to spend more.   

2. Host Holiday Events

Branded events are a great way to bring people to your location. Whether it’s a Sur la Table Christmas cookie class or pet photos with Santa, you can encourage people to stop by, shop around, and remember your business. This creates positive memories while generating sales. Brainstorm a few event ideas you can do during the holiday season and try them out to see what your customers respond to.  


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3. Team Up With Other Local Businesses

You don’t have to host events on your own. Consider teaming up with local businesses to host a shopping fair, parents night out, kids craft night, or other activity. Each business can provide part of the entertainment for one amazing event. You can also invite other businesses to your main location and host an event with their help.  

4. Stay Open Extra Hours

Our top holiday marketing tips also apply to store operations. The holiday season is a stressful time, so many stores, restaurants, and other places try to stay open a few hours longer to help their customers. Make sure you advertise the extra hours on social media so people know you’re still open. This is particularly important if you normally don’t have common hours or are closed on certain days of the week.  

5. Participate in Small Business Saturday

There’s a growing movement to buy from local businesses through Small Business Saturday. If you manage a locally-owned operation, let your local customers know! Share your promotions and encourage them to spend that Saturday with you. See if you can add your brand to local buying guides and neighborhood promotions to get that added exposure.   


For more tips, check out our guide on 8 Last-Minute Ways To Promote Your Business on Small Business Saturday


6. Run a Contest for Shoppers

Contest marketing can help both gift givers and recipients win. Host a contest online for a holiday treat for the family or run an in-store contest for customers who stop by. The giveaways can range from small trinkets to major gifts that your customers will remember forever. This adds a little competition to the holiday festivities and a few lucky customers will walk away with extra gifts.  

7. Create Holiday-Themed Offers

Get creative with holiday-themed promotions, products, services, and other store elements. This could range from new menu items to end-of-year check-ups. Create a reason for people to stop by your business before the year ends.

8. Give Back to the Community

Look for opportunities to give back this holiday season. This could be through store promotions, sponsorship events, or food and coat drives. Try to tie in the charity efforts with non-profits that are closely related to your brand, like a local retailer collecting socks and coats. This shows that you care about the community that you live and work in. You may even get a little extra publicity for your marketing efforts.  

9. Create a Countdown Promotion

People love advent calendars and other countdowns to Christmas, New Year’s and other events. Get in the holiday spirit with a promotional countdown of your own. You can advertise specific deals each day to bring people in and even the countdown with a big celebration or giveaway at the end. This makes your promotions unique and keeps them top-of-mind.

10. Develop Time-Sensitive Offers

During the packed shopping days of Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, competitive companies offer deals, events, and opportunities throughout the day. Test these time-sensitive offers to see how your customers respond. You can set a time deadline for people to visit your business or set a limit where “the first X people,” receive the deal. If you have extremely active and loyal customers, tap into SMS text marketing and send out “secret promotions” with time limits for people to claim them.

11. Take Photos of Your Events and Activities

Hire a photographer or find an employee who has strong photography skills to take photos of your seasonal events and promotions. These high-quality photos can build excitement around your business and show others how packed your store is. Plus, you can post these photo promotions online so people can tag themselves and share the pictures with their friends.

12. Publish Holiday Content to Help Shoppers

If you have a niche store or business and not everyone know what you sell, consider investing in content marketing to promote your wares. Businesses across the country create buying guides to help customers find out what’s new. Shoppers know that their family members and friends like wine, camping gear, or the latest gadget but might not know which items to get this year. Your content efforts can guide their decisions and drive sales.

13. Start Promoting Your Holiday Offers Early

Businesses start promoting their holiday wares earlier each year. If you’re waiting until December to talk about your events and deals then you’re already behind. Use email marketing to spread the word about event updates and new items in mid-to-late November and create your events on social media early. This way people recognize your brand early and start marking events on their calendar to stop by.

14. Add Gifts to Spending Thresholds

Online retailers offer free shipping when you hit certain spending limits (like spending more than $100.) You can do something similar by offering free gifts or discounts when people hit spending thresholds. These thresholds encourage shoppers to add more to their carts and pick up a few more items to get the discount. You sell more products or services and they think they got a good deal.  

15. Create Breaks from the Shopping Chaos

Turn your business into an opportunity to escape the crazy shopping season. This could be through comfort-food menu items or spa promotions if you run a salon. While you can certainly offer seasonal promotions and gifts, look for ways to let people escape and enjoy a few hours of peace. The holiday season is stressful for many people and you can give them an opportunity to calm down and relax before moving on to the next activity.  

Use Holiday Marketing Tips to Tap Into the Busy Season

You want to make sure customers keep you in mind during the holiday season, and there are plenty of ways to get creative with promotions. Whether you want customers to pick up gifts from your store or create a family tradition by stopping by, these holiday marketing tips can make sure more people than ever visit your business this holiday season.

Need help with promoting your local business this holiday season? We're here to help! Contact us to get a free consultation and talk about how we can help you promote your holiday sales, specials, and events to the thousands of customers all around your business.

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