The festive season is a great time to promote your small business. But it’s also a time where everyone is busy with festive networking lunches and Christmas shopping – including you. So here are my favourite Christmas marketing ideas for small business to help you get ready in time!
Say thank you
Growing a business is not just about generating new leads. It’s also important to keep in touch with past and existing customers. And Christmas is a perfect time for that!
So here are a few Christmas marketing ideas that can help increase repeat business and referrals for your small business. Plus, it’s always a nice gesture to thank suppliers and business partners for their support.
Read more about how you can get more repeat business from your existing clients.
1. Christmas cards
You have many options nowadays when it comes to sending Christmas cards; by mail or email, using standard or branded cards. You can even go old-school and send a handwritten letter if that suits your brand best.
It also depends on what kind of contact information you have for most clients and business partners (in case you have their email instead of their postal addresses, for example). Or you can simply choose their preferred way of communication.
Another good way to say thank you is a little gift. This can be anything from a branded calendar for the new year to a bottle of wine. Just make sure to choose something relevant to the recipient that shows your small business in a good light.
If you’d rather support a good cause, let everybody know that you donated to your favourite charity. Include details about the cause and further information to encourage them to donate, too.
This is one of my favourite Christmas marketing ideas: Have a party! Before the holidays, everyone’s calendar is usually full of events, lunches and dinners. But if you plan ahead you can easily throw your own Christmas party and celebrate with clients, staff and business partners.
Alternatively, you can have a Doors Open Day: Invite people to drop by for a hot beverage and some Christmas biscuits. Or if you run a bakery invite them to a festive baking session. Another idea is to stay open for a late-night Christmas shopping with mulled wine for everyone.
Attract new business
The important thing to keep in mind when you’re looking for Christmas marketing ideas for your small business is that people are busy at this time of year. So try to find a way to be part of the celebrations without overwhelming people.
My best advice is to keep your marketing festive (and within brand), but leave the omnipresent, heavy rotation advertising to the big retailers.
1. Social media
Ho, ho, ho! Social media is all about people and being social. So why not spread the Christmas spirit on your Facebook page, Pinterest profile or Instagram account? You can do that, for example, by posting festive photos and videos or start your very own virtual advent calendar.
Also, don’t forget to change your header and profile image to something more festive – maybe including your Christmas offer. And don’t hesitate to post photos of your decorated office or your staff’s Secret Santa gifts.
This is one of the most overlooked Christmas marketing ideas: If you have a regular email newsletter going out to customers and clients, why not send a festive edition?
You could, for example, reflect on the last 12 months, sum up achievements and thank everyone for their support. Also, offer a preview of next year’s plans, such as events, product launches or important legal changes relevant to your readers.
Another great way to use Christmas to promote your small business is your blog. You can review the year and look forward to the next 12 months.
Also, you can write about how your product or service can help with the Christmas frenzy or with the post-New-Year’s resolutions rush in January. And if your busy time is the beginning of the year, give people a heads-up on all the features and benefits of your products.
One thing that can’t be absent from a comprehensive list of Christmas marketing ideas is your website. Have a look and see if there are ways to get your online presence into the festive spirit.
Sometimes even just a Santa hat on top of your logo goes a long way. And, of course, have all your Christmas offers visible for everyone on the homepage and make sure to update your festive opening hours.
You should also consider freebies or offers for the festive season. Can you offer free or discounted gift wrapping or a speedy delivery for late Christmas shoppers?
Are some of your products and services adaptable into a Christmas bundle or can you add a little gimmick to purchases? Another idea is to give Christmas shoppers a pre-ordering option or to offer an early bird rate for the ones who would like to beat the busy shopping queues in December.
Promotional merchandise is good to spread the word about your company, be it cute little rubber ducks with a Santa hat or the already mentioned desk or wall calendar for the new year.
For example, if you’re a landscape gardener, why not hand out little bags of seeds for an office plant or kitchen garden? Or if you enjoy baking, share the love by offering a taste of your homemade Christmas cookies in the shop.
Last but not least, make sure your advertising is up to date and ready to make the best of the festive season. Adjust your offers, add your specials and Christmas discounts, and make sure the design fits the season as well.
And don’t forget about your Google AdWords campaigns or Facebook ads. Don’t just run your usual ads but check if there’s something seasonal you can do to drive sales.
As Christmas is a busy time and you’re not the only one using it for marketing, your timing is crucial. Don’t be just one of many Christmas cards in the mail or, worse, have your card delivered when people are already on holiday.
If you fear getting lost in the avalanche of Christmas correspondence and online content, consider sending something before anyone else. For example, send out an advent calendar at the end of November or skip the Christmas wishes and be first to wish everyone a Happy New Year in January. Some businesses even skip the Christmas party altogether and invite clients and partners to a New Year’s reception.
Whatever you’re planning, make sure it’s at the right time and in the right place. Your staff Christmas photo might be better off in your newsletter than on LinkedIn and your Christmas special offer should be communicated early enough for people to benefit from it.
If you are interested in reading more about this topic, have a look at these:
New Year, New You: Get Your Small Business Off to a Flying Start
Your Small Business Marketing Plan: What is it, Why Do You Need it & How Do You Get One?
Small Business Marketing Ideas
Meet the Underdogs: 10 Underrated Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses