4 Festive Marketing Ideas For Small Businesses
Omage of a desk with a clock on its back and pencil on a curriculum vitae with the text underneath saying: How can a neurodiverse individual effectively prepare for a jon interview/meetig

Think it’s too late to incorporate some festive marketing ideas into your business this year? It’s not!

At this time of year, pretty much every company is vying for the attention of potential customers – and it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. Not only can festive marketing campaigns take up a lot of time for an already stretched-to-the-limit business owner, but they can also take up valuable profits that small businesses need to stay afloat.

That’s why we’ve put together a couple of quick and low-cost ideas on how to incorporate some festivity into the marketing for your small business.

Most of the ideas below are quick and simple to put together, so there is still plenty of time to make the most of this festive period.
Don’t forget: Offering holiday discounts or free shipping can be great, but only if you can afford to do so. Don’t put yourself under financial pressure to compete with Christmas deals offered by larger companies!

Image of a branch of a christmas tree with balballs and gold lights

1) Add some festive imagery to your emails, website, and social media

The great part about adding festivity to your online communications with your customers is that you don’t need to wait for anything to be printed. If you were to, say, create a festive flyer, you’d need to wait for it to be printed and sent to you before you can distribute it to potential customers. However, when it comes to your online presence, you can add a festive feel at the click of a mouse!

We’ve recommended Canva as a tool for small businesses before (click here to read our blog “Free Online Tools for VAs”). Although there are paid versions of Canva, there is also a free version which can help you to create festive social media graphics, website images or banners for email newsletters. Canva allows you to add graphics or photos to pre-prepared templates, so you can add your own branding, logo and written copy onto templates. Canva’s template library makes the process of making seasonal imagery quick and easy!

If you can’t quite find what you’re looking for amongst the free photos in Canva’s photo library (the free plan only offers a limited selection of photos), you can also look elsewhere for photos that fit your business. We’d recommend Pixabay (www.pixabay.com) and Unsplash (www.unsplash.com) for royalty-free images that you can use commercially.

A christmas gift wrapped in gold and white packaging with gold balballs and gold stars scattered around

2) Organise items on your website into categories

People doing frantic Christmas shopping are often looking for simple solutions. Especially as we get nearer to Christmas eve, there will be plenty of customers looking to do some last-minute shopping.

Instead of waiting for a customer to see a product on your website and think that it would be perfect for their friend/family member/co-worker, tell them who it would be suited for! You could organise your products on your website into categories such as:

• Small gifts for Secret Santa
• Gift sets and bundles to introduce people to a range of your products
• Gifts by age/interest
• Price categories (E.g. under £10)

Depending on how your website is put together, you should be able to make these changes quickly and update your website in an instant!

Christas gifts on a white table wrapped in white paper with red and white string and a sprig of holly as decoration

3) Offer freebies

Adding something small and low-cost to any orders is a great way to boost the perceived value of your product and encourage people to buy during the festive season. The best freebie for your business will depend on your product or service, but here are a few ideas:

• Children’s colouring in sheets (you could make these yourself by creating an A4 document with black and white pictures on Canva!)
• Sample size of a skincare/cosmetics/toiletries – Buy a few small sample size jars or sachets and add a sample to customers’ orders
• Online freebie – do you have any online documents/freebies/guides that you could add to any online orders?
Some of these freebies will take time and effort (such as creating something specifically to give as a freebie) but time-poor business owners can use what they already have.

For physical products, try advertising any additional freebies as a ‘stocking stuffers’ – this simple shift in advertising will tie into the season and capitalise on those who want their festive shopping to be as simple as possible!

Q wooden reindeer decoration wiht a christmas gift wrapped in red ribbon

4) Create an interactive social media contest

For the cost of one product that you sell, you could get a lot of social media engagement in return. However, its best not to do a simple contest that involves people just liking a post. While sometimes helpful, this only boosts your engagement in the short term and is unlikely to convince many people to follow your small business on social media.

Instead, create something interactive. Use your imagination – if your company sells baking equipment, create a contest where people share pictures of their festive bakes to your page to win some of the equipment you sell. If you offer online writing courses, you could create a competition where people submit a festive poem to get a free entry onto a course. If your company sells candles, ask your followers to share pictures with you of the cosiest spots in their home or their festive decorations.

It’s a good idea to ask those entering the competition to share their competition entry on their social media and tag your page to increase engagement and increase the awareness of your brand.

Being inclusive in your marketing

When planning your marketing at this time of year, it’s best to use fairly neutral and non-specific language to avoid excluding anyone.
It’s also considerate to give customers an option to receive your marketing or not. In recent years, many companies have begun sending out emails asking them if they would like to opt out of festive marketing. This is good idea if you are considering sending out anything via email. This is a way to keep people’s inboxes free from festive marketing if they would prefer not to receive any.

Season of giving

Christmas is a time where almost all businesses are trying to make some extra money, but why not go against the grain and decide to instead offer a portion of your festive profits to a local charity?

This could be as simple as just saying on your website that you are donating X% of your profits to a local charity, and perhaps give that charity a plug by linking to their website.

However you choose to incorporate your festive marketing into your small business, I hope that you have fun while doing so!