How to market for the holidays without breaking the budget

  
     
November 14, 2013

Some businesses depend on the holidays for a big portion of their annual revenue. For others, the fall/winter holiday season might be a slow time of year. Either way, this is a great time to engage and connect with your customers.

Holiday marketing doesn’t have to mean offering big discounts. There are many ways for businesses on a budget to go after their piece of the holiday pie.

BBB has the following tips for businesses looking to take advantage of the holiday season:

Use holidays to add a personal touch. Offer special discounts or sales tied to holiday themes. Showcase seasonal gifts, menus or merchandise. Offer treats like warm cider to get customers into the holiday spirit. You could use the opportunity to present a special offer or coupon that customers can redeem any time through Dec. 24.

Make special holiday offers for faithful customers. One way to take advantage of the season is to make existing customers feel special and try to get their repeat holiday business. You can make special offers available to current customers — give them sneak previews; offer perks like free shipping or secret sales.

Feature different products or services. You could feature different products or services and give them a holiday spin. Share your holiday-themed promotion on your website, social media, email, posters and flyers.

Cross-promote. You might be able to partner with a complementary store or restaurant and offer limited time specials that cross-promote each other’s goods and services. For example, a retailer and restaurant could hold in-store events where the restaurant provides food and drinks and the retailer provide the location.

Get involved in local events. Supporting charities, as well as sponsoring or getting involved in community events can generate awareness for your business during the holidays. If you can’t donate large chunks of money, you could volunteer or offer space or services.

Use your website and social media. Target and connect with local consumers during the holidays using your website, social media or email marketing. Develop holiday themes for email templates and update your social media with a holiday theme. You can also use social media to engage customers about their holiday activities and help drive foot traffic to your store.