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6 Holiday Marketing Ideas for Small Business Budgets

Ring Central Blog


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Dec 09, 2016

Businesses are finalizing their marketing plans and shoppers are topping off their shopping lists—it’s the holiday season and a great opportunity for you to market your business and make more money.

Luckily, you don’t need a big budget to attract jolly, holiday shoppers. With a few creative ideas, like a local holiday dinner or charity partnership, you can reach the people who are spending.

Create a 12-Days Sale: Retailers

Everyone knows the 12-Days of Christmas and it’s a fun way to give your marketing a festive twist. If you’re an online retailer, offer a different discount every day, starting high and getting lower and lower—to encourage people to shop fast. You can also feature a different item each day that’s marked down lower than all the others.

To generate excitement, head to your social platforms. Let all customers and followers know that you’ll be announcing the deal each day on the social network of your choice. Using social media to announce the deals will likely increase your total number of likes or followers, because people won’t want to miss the deal, while boosting engagement, as people are sharing the post with friends and family.

Use The Ultimate Guide to Creating a 12 Days of Christmas Sale or Giveaway to make sure you have every detail figured out before Day 1 starts.

Promote Exclusive Online Discounts: Retailers

If you have a brick and mortar store with buying options on your website as well, create exclusive discounts for your online store this holiday season. Why? A whopping 73 percent of people polled plan to shop online this year, according to a 2016 CouponBox survey. If people are already going online, you want to give them incentive to spend money at your website, not your competitors.

Better yet, if you sell on your website, in addition to sites like Amazon or Etsy, create discounts exclusive to shoppers buying directly from your website. This saves you money on fees while still attracting the online shoppers who are looking for a deal. Promote via email and social media to make sure everyone knows where to go for the best prices.

Host a Local Holiday Dinner: Service-based businesses

Get into the spirit of giving by hosting a holiday dinner. Not only do you get a chance to do something nice for current and potential clients, but you can also network with surrounding businesses that will help you pull off the big event.

For example, you’ll need to work with a nearby restaurant to reserve a large space and manage the food and drink. Offer to promote them on your invitations or dinner flyers if they give you a discount on the room and/or food. Consider also partnering with a complimentary, nearby business that can help broaden your list of potential clients. They’ll invite people you’ve yet to meet, who may also need your services.

This is the perfect idea for businesses that maintain a client list. It shows clients that you’re grateful while also giving you a chance to talk about new services and ideas.

The “Give and Get” Holiday Sale: Charities or businesses that support them

It’s the season of giving, and you can encourage your customers, clients or charity members to give even more with this fun marketing idea. Create a tiered list of giving options, with each dollar amount connected to a free gift or discount on a product or service you offer. Whenever someone donates that amount of money, they get the gift that comes with it.

Charities can partner with local businesses, with both the charity and the business promoting this holiday special, or vice versa. Either way, you’re able to shed light on a good cause while encouraging people to do something for others this holiday season. Love this idea? Learn more about Heart Marketing to promote social good all year long.

Send Personalized Cards: Service-based businesses

Using a card-making site like Zazzle will allow you to quickly and inexpensively create your own holiday cards that can be personalized for each customer. Once the cards have been delivered, sit down with your team and hand-write and sign each one. To make it even more personalized, make sure everyone is sending their card to a client they’ve worked with personally. Inside each card, include a discount on their next purchase or service. This small “gift” will bring more business during the holiday season and after.

Featured Blogger Spotlight: All small businesses

No matter what your business is, there’s a blogger out there who’d be interested in featuring it in a holiday gift guide or just as a spotlight for their readers. The process of finding bloggers can be laborious, if you don’t work with any yet, but once you have your list, you can start emailing.

When asking for a spotlight or inclusion in the gift guide, be sure to bullet point the top three features that would entice their readers the most. To increase your chances of getting a “yes,” offer a free product or month of service to the blogger. You can also offer to give them a code that their readers can use to get a discount on the product or service.

Note: Most bloggers charge for this sort of placement, and the price can range from $25-$300. Use tools like Moz and SimilarWeb to get important stats like Domain Authority and monthly traffic to decide if the cost is worth the placement.

The holidays are a great time to test out new marketing ideas—you never know what’s going to resonate best with shoppers. Use these ideas to change things up without spending too much money.

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