Budget-Friendly Holiday Marketing Tips for Small Businesses to Close More Sales

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Budget-Friendly Holiday Marketing Tips for Small Businesses to Close More Sales

'Tis the season of crisp winter chill, peppermint lattes, festive cheer and holiday sales. For businesses, the significance of this season is hard to ignore. Holiday sales are expected to grow between 8.5 to 10.5 percent this year, making it an excellent time for most businesses to dig deep and try to make the last hurrah before the year officially ends.

holiday retail sales year-to-year change percentage  2021

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Apart from increased sales, you, as a small business owner, have the golden chance to gain new customers, build brand loyalty and offer unmatchable user experiences. 

To maximize your returns from this holiday fest, it’s important you approach your marketing with a clear plan. If you're thinking, “How can I promote my business during the holidays when I don’t have a big budget?'' We feel you, but don’t worry as there are several holiday marketing tips that can yield great results without breaking the bank.

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Holiday Marketing Strategies That’ll Help You Sell More (And Spread Joy)

When it comes to holiday marketing, there’s actually nothing small about it. In 2020, Americans spent over $784 billion during the holiday season, and the National Retail Federation predicts 2021 could be another record-breaking year.

So we know the competition is fierce — how can you stand out?

With the right sprinkle of planning, unique holiday advertising ideas and thorough execution, you’ve got the chance to steal the spotlight from competitors, draw in the big crowds and propel your sales to new heights this holiday season.

Without further ado, we present our list of actionable and creative holiday advertising ideas that'll fit into a shoestring budget. 

Create Festive Website and Social Media Content

One way to get stand out in the competition is by simply decorating your website and social media accounts with the appropriate festive content. 

Your website’s festive makeover doesn’t require a complete redesign. You can add in small touches by updating CTAs, pictures, fonts, colors and banners. For example, add a star or Christmas tree image alongside your “Click Here” icon. 

Some free tools that can add a few festive feels to your content are Canva, Pablo, Adobe Spark or InFrame. You can also find some great holiday-related images on Shutterstock

Are the majority of your followers on the Gram? Use these Instagram marketing strategies to further increase engagement.

Offer Free Gift Wrapping

During the festive season, customers are bombarded with brands offering deep discounts, so why not stand out by providing them free gift wrapping service as well?

This simple-to-implement holiday marketing tip will not break the bank and it offers true value as many shoppers don’t have the time to sit down and pack their gifts. 

Level up your gift wrapping game by including a handwritten note, customized stickers or eco-friendly packaging. A thoughtful wrapping approach will also create a memorable unboxing experience that can further generate positive buzz about your business. VistaPrint, Etsy and StickerYou provide a broad range of customized stickers and other packaging materials at pocket-friendly rates. 

Host a Contest or Giveaway

Few words have the power to generate online traffic like “Win” or “Free.” Hosting contests or giveaways on social media pages is an easy, fun and effective way to attract traffic and build engagement. 

Popular ways of holding contests/giveaways include asking followers to leave a comment and tag friends, post a picture or repost your content. One thing remains — keep the rules simple, easy to follow and within a defined time frame. 

Remember, your free gift can be as small or as you like, but keep it related to your business. For instance, if you’re a fitness instructor, you could run a contest asking people to post their workout selfies and tag you. You can pick a winner using MiniWebTool's random name picker or Woobox's "Pick a Winner" tool. 

Highlight a Tiered Holiday Discount or Coupon

Customers love a good bargain, but instead of giving a flat discount, consider offering flash sales, BOGO (Buy 1, Get 1 Free) or tiered discounts (10% off 1 item/20% off 2 items).

Maximize your discount game by creating a dedicated holiday landing page that exclusively promotes your discount or coupon. Create a high-converting landing page via Unbounce, Carrd or Mailchimp using our tips:

  • Don’t make it text-heavy — just essential details on your special holiday discount.
  • Include a clear CTA (click here/enter your email).
  • Create a sense of urgency by using a countdown or timer. 

Create a Holiday Video 

video-marketing-ROI

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The power of video marketing is unprecedented; videos create a social connection that is hard to replicate and also generate solid ROI. You might think you need professional equipment or videographers to create videos, but that isn’t true. All you actually need is your creativity and a smartphone.

A few topics that make for a great video are:

  • 15-second video introducing or explaining your sale offers
  • Unboxing videos: It’s the perfect way to generate some hype around your product and tap into the unboxing craze. 
  • Year-end recap: Highlight some of the year's milestones and build excitement for the forthcoming year.
  • Educational videos: Turn your expertise into bite-sized 10-second videos. If you run an accounting consultancy, share some tips on how to save for the upcoming year while still enjoying the festive atmosphere. 

Create and edit your stunning videos and reels using InShot or InVideo (both have free plans). 

Partner with an Influencer 

advantages of influencer marketing

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Influencer marketing is expected to hit $13.8 billion by the end of the year, and the holiday season is one of the best times to take advantage of this partnership. Why do we recommend influencer collaboration? It boils down to one thing — trust. People tend to trust people they feel they know over a random sales rep. 

Find influencers by searching Instagram and Twitter tags or influencer marketplaces like Influence, Intellifluence and YouTube Brand Connect. Here’s our little tip — you don’t need the top social media influencer to drive sales. Reach out to local influencers or people who host events and run small organizations like charities, mom groups and hobby groups through Meetup Groups or your Small Business Development Center. These micro-influencers might not have 10,000+ followers, but their words and recommendations carry a lot of weight. 

Promote a Gift Bundle 

It's the season of gifting, so why not curate special gift bundles for your customers? Gift bundles are a great option for service-based businesses too. For example, if you are a hairdresser, you can offer a bundle of hair wash, cut and blow-dry or a combo of a haircut and a few hair accessories. 

What you offer is totally up to you and your budget. Gift bundles not only allow customers to experience your service but are also extremely easy to implement. 

Planning for the Holiday Season

We’ve provided a list of actionable small business marketing strategies, but how do you choose which one is right for you and how can you actually prepare for the mammoth festive season? Here are a few things to consider. 

Have a Defined Goal

What is it you want to achieve this holiday season? More sales? Higher value sales? Or do you want to boost an underperforming product/service? The clearer your goal, the easier it is to pick your marketing tip. 

Size Up Your Competitors

What are they offering? What have they offered in the past? Write down what you can learn and implement in your business. 

Start as Early as Possible

The earlier you start, the more time you've to build hype and mindfully execute your strategies. 

Win This Holiday Season with a Limited Budget

Yes, really, you can! We understand your concerns about how to market your small business with a limited budget. Planning for the holiday season can seem tough and investment-heavy, but it doesn’t have to be. While there is no single key to unlocking your holiday potential, our guide can help you plan and execute a successful campaign. 

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