In Arizona, this is the time of year where all of us heave a collective sigh of relief as the temperatures start to finally drop down to tolerable. You know what else fall brings?  The need to plan for your holiday marketing efforts. But don’t panic! Here are some great tips on how to get your small business ready to market for the holidays.

Dates to keep in mind as we near the holidays

Constant Contact offers a great infographic on marketing and holiday planning, including a few key dates to keep in mind:

  • Black Friday — November 25th
  • Small Business Saturday — November 26th
  • Cyber Monday — November 28th
  • Giving Tuesday — November 29th

Whether you offer coupons, discounts, or special shipping offers, etc., you want plenty of time to get people excited about your business and what you’re offering for the holidays. The week before Christmas is NOT the time to send out coupons; you’re way too late to the dance at that point. Take the time to see when ALL the holidays are, including those shopping days, and take advantage of them now.

ideasA few holiday marketing ideas

Now that you have your marketing calendar squared away for the holidays (at least you now know WHEN those days are!), it’s time to get creative!  So what should your small business do for holiday marketing efforts?  There are lots of fabulous resources on great holiday marketing ideas, so let me share a few articles below:

25 Holiday Marketing Tips & Ideas – This little article is a treasure trove of great ideas, from approaches to try to platforms you should be using to get the word out.

33 Creative Ideas for Small Business Holiday Marketing – This article is fantastic because it keeps the small business owner in mind, so many ideas are low cost or no cost. A must-read!

EVERY small business should do holiday marketing

There might be a few people right about now thinking, “I don’t sell products so holiday marketing is probably not applicable to my small business.” WRONG!  Just because the service you sell can’t be wrapped and topped with a bow, it doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the holidays. People still love  holiday “deals”. Whether you’re a business consultant, a doctor, or a financial advisor, you can still use the holiday season to re-engage past clients, offer something special to entice or reward existing clients, and attract new clients. Read on for some brilliant ideas.

Examples of holiday marketing campaigns

Check out a few examples of holiday marketing campaigns to get those creative juices flowing:

18 Brilliant Examples of Holiday Marketing Campaigns – At first glance you might think that most of these examples are bigger brands but the concept is the same, and you as a small business owner can pull these off as well. Maybe you won’t shoot a commercial, but how about a quick, funny video on YouTube? And did you see those infographics?  You can do that, or hire a marketing professional to create them for you. Even an email blast to remind people of upcoming shopping dates can work. Keep in mind:  people consume information in different ways, so using a variety of approaches is a great way to create buzz and gain new business.

blogOther ways to take advantage of the holidays

There are some businesses out there that may not feel they should “market” to the holidays, based on the nature of their business. You can still hop on the holiday wagon in a different way. Take advantage of a tried and true content marketing approach, and write a blog post that threads in the holidays as an angle. Are you a dentist? Write a post about holiday candy and it’s impact on kids’ teeth. Are you a product designer? Write a post about the top 10 cool holiday product designs. Maybe you offer web development services: showcase 12 cool holiday-themed websites. Get the picture here?

The holidays can have a profound impact on small businesses. Take advantage of a few of the suggestions above and plan for your holiday marketing efforts now.

Do you have a holiday marketing idea to share? Share with us in the comments!

Patty Hughes
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