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7 Holiday Marketing Tips on a Limited Budget

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7 Holiday Marketing Tips on a Limited Budget

By Caron_Beesley, Contributor
Published: October 25, 2012

When we think of holiday marketing – which can be critical to your business success – we often think only of promotions and discounts. But you don’t have to cut your margins or break the bank to stand out from the crowd any more. Here are seven budget-friendly steps you should consider to promote your small business while meeting the needs of your customers this holiday season.

Host an “Open House”

If you operate a retail business, restaurant or any gift-oriented business, why not plan an open house event in mid-November? Use it to showcase holiday season gifts, menus and merchandise. Offer up a glass of warm cider or mulled wine, and really get people into the spirit of the holidays. This will give customers an opportunity to check out your merchandise or holiday menus in advance. You could throw in a special offer or coupon that customers can redeem anytime up until December 24.

Work the Holiday Magic for Your Faithful Customers

Think of ways to generate repeat holiday business from your existing customers. Special offers, sneak previews, free shipping, or secret sales are all great ways to make your faithful customers feel special without breaking the bank.

Feature Product/Services of the Day or Week

I love this low cost marketing idea from Ivana Taylor at SmallBizTrends: why not create 12 days of “your product” or a product or service of the month? Feature and market a product or service every day or every week during the holidays. Think about focusing on high margin products or items your customers don’t know about. “Companies in the food business use this strategy a lot,” explains Ivana. “Think beer of the month, cheesecake of the month, or coffee of the month… Maid service companies could feature an extra cleaning detail each month, trainers or consultants can offer featured webinars, reports or newsletters.”

And don’t forget to communicate this themed promotion on your website, social media, email, posters, and flyers.

Offer Gift Certificates

Whatever your business, selling gift certificates, gift cards and e-certificates is a great way to give your customers a convenient gift option. They also help you generate sales well into the New Year, with recipients often spending more than the value of the certificate.

Partner With Other Businesses

It’s likely that many of the businesses in your community also rely heavily on the holidays for a good chunk of their income. Is there a way you can partner with complementary stores or restaurants to cross-promote each other’s businesses? For example, a cosmetic store and a hair salon might develop a promotion that offers a time-limited discount off each other’s respective goods and services, if the customer frequents both. SBA guest blogger Rieva Lesonsky offers more tips in her blog: Forget Competition It’s Time for Co-Opetition.

Get Involved in Community and Charitable Events

Getting out there and supporting charities or sponsoring or getting involved in community events is a great way to generate awareness for your business during the holidays. Even if you don’t have the budget to donate large sums of money, think of other ways to get involved, such as offering volunteer services, equipment or even space.

Use Your Website and Social Media to Promote your Holiday Activities

Your online presence, email marketing, and social media networks are a great way to target and connect with local consumers through timely updates and compelling calls-to-action. Develop holiday themes for your email templates and update your website and Facebook profile picture with a festive look.

Then be sure to channel any offers or promotions through social media. You can even offer deals or events exclusively to your social media fans to help drive foot traffic and generate leads. And don’t forget to engage in two-way dialogues. Ask your fans about their holiday activities. For example, a restaurant might highlight a holiday dish of the day on Facebook and ask fans to chime in on their favorite dish or items they’d like to see on the menu.

What lost-cost holiday marketing tips and tricks have worked for your small business? Leave a comment below!

About the Author:

Caron Beesley

Contributor

Caron Beesley is a small business owner, a writer, and marketing communications consultant. Caron works with the SBA.gov team to promote essential government resources that help entrepreneurs and small business owners start-up, grow and succeed. Follow Caron on Twitter: @caronbeesley

Comments:

Special offers, sneak previews, free shipping, or secret sales are all great ways to promote your goods to your faithful customers.Good idea!!!!!
Now a days we have lot more ways to promote our product online, apart from Facebook we can also use Whatsapp and other mobile messaging app. It is reported that 25% of teens switched to mobile messaging apps and are spending more time on it as compared to Facebook. Facebook is very good platform for online marketing but one should also consider famous mobile messaging app which has huge potential in today world. Implement your strategy to use Whatsapp for online advertisement, it can be very powerful as compared to Facebook and twitter. Thanks
Partner up with other businesses works very good. You both can do a promotion and help each other out. Great ideas Caron, thanks
Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration.
We love social media, it's very effective way of knowing customers, rewarding them with discounts for following us, and spreading the word about us - it's effective, cheap and limited by creativity only
Using Social Media to promote holidays in my opinion is just a waste of time.
how can you say that? elaborate this..
I think Holiday marketing is so important in after sale plan. I always sent. ilove holiday, if you visit viet nam in This post was edited to remove a link. Please review our Community Best Practices for more information about how best to participate in our online discussions. Thank you.
completely agree with your reply, i have seen tremendous grouth in online sale during summer vacation and all holiday seasons, social media really play a very important role.
People like to feel special and inviting your current clients to a special event will do just that. Great way for word of mouth advertising.

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