23 Ways to Creatively Market This Holiday Season

Want to stay ahead of the competition this holiday season? Make sure potential customers think of you first by applying these 23 creative holiday marketing strategies.

Standing out is tough. If you want to get people to your business this holiday season, you have to advertise. There are plenty of ways to make yourself known, but not all will work for all businesses. We assembled a long list of ideas that you might consider trying this year.

Your Website

1 – Make navigation easy

Make a special section for holiday gifts. Make it easy to find on your main menu during the holidays. Have it sortable by price, age, gender, etc. for ease of use by shoppers.

2 – Deck it out holiday-style

The holidays are just as much about nostalgia as they are about shopping. People like the feeling of the holiday season, so join in. Dress up your website to have a holiday flare.

3 – Offer suggestions

Maybe somebody looks at shirts on your site. Offer suggestions like socks, pants, and hats on the same page. It works for Amazon and many other online retailers.

4 – Include shipping deadlines

Remind your customers who order merchandise for delivery when the latest time to place their order is to get delivery in time for the holiday (example: “Order by [date] to receive your order by December 24″). Check with your shipping carriers to get the dates they suggest. Urge your customers not to wait until the last minute, because shippers get swamped, and to ensure the items they want to purchase are in stock.

RELATED: 7 Simple Ways to Boost Your Online Holiday Sales

Digital Marketing

5 – Use local awareness marketing

Facebook lets you target customers within a certain radius of your business’s address. This is a game-changer for local businesses.

6 – Start early and highlight a single product

It’s not just about Black Friday. Businesses start running specials before Black Friday, and customers shop before that day, too. Run a social ad highlighting individual deals for the days leading up to Black Friday. This will generate buzz, traffic, and sales.

7 – Holiday Keywords

If you use Google ads, create some new campaigns around holiday keywords like Black Friday, holiday, Christmas, and variants of those. Or make the keywords into longer phrases for better reach and more cost-effective advertising, for example, “Toddler Toys Holiday Sale.”

8 – Learn about dynamic retargeting

What if somebody came to your website, looked at a certain product, but didn’t buy? That’s the end of the prospect, right? Wrong! Dynamic retargeting allows you to put that same product in front of the customer as they go to other sites. It’s pretty techy, so you might need help setting it up, but your conversion rates will likely rise.

General Marketing

9 – Encourage mailing list signups

Your website or physical location will probably attract customers who haven’t visited you before or or only visit during the holidays. Encourage them to sign up for a mailing list to get coupons and notices of special sales. Then send mail to your list regularly to improve sales all year long.

10 – Put your creativity to work

Can you design a campaign around Santa’s reindeer? The 12 days of Christmas? Hanukkah or the mind-blowing stress of Black Friday?

11 – Use urgency as a marketing tool

Remind customers who visit your store or website that inventory may become limited and special prices are for a limited time only. Use phrases such as “While quantities last,” “Limited quantities,” (if true), “Time is running out,” “It’s not too late,” or other time-sensitive calls to action.

12 – Gift Cards 

In 2021, 45% of holiday spending was expected to go to gift cards and 93% of people responding to one survey reported they’d rather get a gift card than a gift of the same value. Make sure you can meet that need.

13 – Have a thank-you dinner

The holidays aren’t all about retailers. Invite your business-to-business customers to an appreciation dinner or special event.

14 – Get away from the normal party times

People get overwhelmed with things to do during the holidays. So, consider having your holiday parties before schedules fill up. Or, postpone it into the New Year, and make it a New Year kickoff celebration.

15 – Combine resources with other small businesses

Join with complementary small businesses and cross-promote. If you’re a plumber, you might partner with a local hardware store and promote each other’s deals. Get together with other small businesses in your local chamber of commerce and run special joint promotions to attract visitors to town for holiday shopping.

16 – Support a charity

Do it because you believe in giving back, but there are business advantages, too. For every $10 spent at your business, you’ll donate $1 to the charity, for example.

17 – Rent a booth

‘Tis the season for craft shows and other winter-themed shows. Ask if they accept commercial vendors. Even if it’s just for brand awareness, it’s probably worth your time.

18 – Get to the parents through the kids

How about an ornament-making event or contest? Bring in Santa? If you can get kids to your location, parents come with them.

19 – Find the local bloggers

Every city has a legion of local bloggers who highlight community deals. They’re always looking for new information (that they don’t have to write.) Send them sales, events, or other goings-on that the community should know about.

RELATED: Create Systems in Your Business for a Worry-Free Holiday Season

Store Environment

20 – Offer a safe place

Speaking of Black Friday, stores are no place for the person who doesn’t like crowds. What if your store offered a more tranquil environment complete with coffee and maybe a TV with a game on?

21 – Have plenty of chairs

Walk the mall, and what do you see? Men sitting in the chairs waiting for their families. Have a place for companions to sit but don’t ruin the traffic flow to do it.

22 – Free gift wrapping

If you’re shopping online, free shipping is the add-on that you’ll find valuable. At physical locations, gift wrapping is the extra service that could potentially land the sale.

23 – Candy as swag

Did you know that you can get your logo printed on popular candy? What a nice giveaway for people who purchase or for kids that visit.

Bottom Line

The holiday season might be the most wonderful time of the year, but business owners are locked in a battle for the billions of holiday dollars up for grabs. To get your share, get creative. Find ways to stand out that others didn’t think of and start putting those plans into action right now.

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