10 Holiday Marketing Ideas to Bring Your Business into a Happy New Year

If you own a small business, you know that right now is crunch time.

The holidays are approaching, and while everyone else is focused on holiday cheer, you can’t help but feel like you have to make the most of the holiday season for the sake of your business.

So check your list and check it twice, because for you we’ve got some holiday marketing advice!

1. Determine your brand’s stance on religious vs. secular marketing.

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It’s almost 2020, which means that every day, we’re becoming more and more thoughtful and inclusive in our marketing choices during the holidays.

That being said, where do you stand when it comes to marketing about the holidays?

Are you going all out with Jesus imagery and nativity scenes? Want to keep it vaguely supportive with a general red and green color palette? Maybe you celebrate the challah-days and want to put a menorah on your website. Or maybe you want to try something new by acknowledging a winter holiday that you’ve never celebrated before.

Whatever your choices are, keep in mind two things: 1. Do what feels right to you. 2. Do what feels right for your demographic.

If you’re doing it right, the solution will make both you and your demographic happy at the same time.

There’s no wrong way to celebrate the holidays, but you always want to keep your customers feeling comfortable and understood when it comes to the holiday marketing ideas you put into action.

2. Ask other brands to write about your product, or influencers to post about your product.

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With the help of internet research, your customers are savvy shoppers. That’s why having your name out there – and coming from all different kinds of channels – is one of the most important things for your brand.

The kind of visibility you can receive by having an insta-famous influencer review your product or service, or a related brand give a shout-out not only shows that you’re credible, but that other people and brands genuinely respect your brand.

Most influencers and brands will require some sort of compensation, but every once in awhile, you find people who have a passion for your brand and want to promote it just to have a good relationship with you.

It’s all about making connections with the right people.

Utilize bloggers and social media influencers to help you get a further reach, and to entice them with the awesomeness that is your brand!

Plus, if you get in touch with a blogger who’s doing a gift guide for the holidays, even better!

3. Partner up with a local charity.

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It doesn’t have to be all about holiday discounts and promotions. Sometimes it just feels good to give back.

And in the season of giving, giving selflessly is part of what it means to be a good human. And if your brand is showing that you care, your customers will care too.

As companies, we have a responsibility to influence our power in a way that makes positive changes in the world around us.

So if your company is all about sustainability and environmental awareness, partner up with your local environmental organization.

If your company celebrates diversity and inclusion, partner up with your local social activist group.

If your company cares about homelessness and creating a better city for ALL who live there, partner up with a local homeless initiative.

The Kolas cannabis dispensary is doing exactly this by partnering up with The Downtown Streets Team. Together, they’re helping Sacramento and all of its homeless residents find the help they need to rebuild their lives. They’re also building credibility for the cannabis industry as a whole.

Everyone wins when you give back!

4. Offer gift wrapping.

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If you’re looking for cost-effective holiday marketing ideas, you’re going to love this one.

Especially if you offer more products than services, offering gift wrapping will take your customers’ buying experience to a whole new level.

Not only do you turn the purchase from a normal transaction to an exciting gift-giving rush, but you show your customers that you care about their loved ones and how they’ll feel about receiving their gift for the holidays.

Choose a nice wrapping paper and a ribbon, and maybe give your staff a quick lesson on how you’d like the products wrapped.

Or just make everyone’s lives a little easier and source out cute little bags and have your staff add tissue paper to it.

You can get creative and have fun with it!

5. Change product names, or offer limited edition products.

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If you’re a clothing brand, come out with a limited-edition holiday-themed t-shirt. If you’re running a coffee shop, rename one of your drinks as something that embraces the holiday spirit. And if you’re a cannabis brand, release a strain like Jack Frost.

You can get creative about what it is you change, rename, or introduce. But however you do it, this is a super fun way to show your customers that you’re having fun this holiday season, and so should they.

Even just changing the color of your shopping bags, or adding a free candy cane with each purchase are great ways to boost holiday spirit in your store.

If you don’t have a storefront, there are still some awesome ways to change things around a little bit to make your brand more festive.

For example, we added snowflakes to our client’s website and a little wreath in their logo.

It may not be a huge change, but it’s still festive, fun, and easy.

Need some help turning your website into a winter wonderland? Want even more holiday marketing ideas that’ll bring holiday cheer?

Contact us today and we’ll help you upgrade your website for the holiday season.

6. Hold a raffle for a holiday-themed event.

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If you don’t have the budget to throw an event yourself, this is an awesome alternative.

Get a couple of tickets to a coveted wintertime concert or event, and then raffle off the tickets to the customers that follow on social media, subscribe to your email newsletter, or purchase a minimum amount in your retail location or online store.

One of our clients is currently hosting something similar by granting two tickets to the V101 Holiday Jam (featuring Ludacris, Ja Rule, Ashanti, DMX, and Digital Underground) to a random recipient out of a pool of people that spends a minimum amount at their store.

That being said, if you DO have the budget to put on a holiday event – either for your customers or your staff – we highly recommend it!

Throwing an event for your customers will promote brand awareness, give opportunities for data collection, and give you a chance to get to know your customers directly.

And throwing events for your staff is great for company morale, culture, and for promoting positivity and camaraderie in the workplace.

And what a better time to celebrate than during the holiday season!

7. Get gifts for your clients.

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For those of us running businesses that provide more services than products, when we say “awesome client”, who comes to mind?

You probably have quite a few (and so do we!), so we recommend showing a little extra appreciation and support by getting your favorite clients small gifts for the holidays.

While this doesn’t exactly fall under the category of holiday marketing ideas, this is still such a great idea to implement during the holidays.

The relationships you forge in the early days of your business are so important. So when you have a client that you really respect and love to work with, show it!

It’s people like these that will ultimately make running your business not just worth it in a financial sense, but worth it in a more meaningful sense.

While we should always act toward showing appreciation to those in our lives that inspire and delight us, we think that gift-giving to clients and important people in our lives during the holidays is the perfect time to do it.

8. Get emotional.

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Whether you have fond memories of the holidays growing up, or something about them makes you a little blue, the holidays tend to make people a bit more emotional for different reasons.

While it may be easier to keep things light and cheerful during the holidays, your customers may appreciate the authenticity and the shared experience of an ad that tugs on the heartstrings.

Share your own feelings about the holidays, good or bad, and invite your customers to share with you.

Open your heart and your customers will relate to you. Not only will you gain brand loyalty, but you’ll be putting a kind of positivity out into the world that is scarce these days.

And if you’re brave enough to be vulnerable and share your stories, however emotional they may be for you, you have true power to inspire joy, empathy, and friendliness in your customers, colleagues, and friends.

So this holiday season, one of our biggest holiday marketing ideas is to inspire a healthy flow of feelings from one person to the next. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable.

9. Get social.

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If you’re going to utilize social media marketing at any time of this year, the time is NOW!

(And really, any other time too, but I digress).

We’re talking nostalgic imagery, using the right hashtags, the right copy, all of the above.

However, if you’re a cannabis business, be careful!

Since the holidays are a time to bring families together, a lot of holiday marketing imagery and concepts are based around child-friendly ideas.

For example, any photos of Santa, cookies, gingerbread houses, or anything else that can be misconstrued as marketing to children should not be used.

We’re as passionate about seeing a legitimate and normalized cannabis industry as you are.

And as much as we love all of that festive stuff, you have to think twice about using it in your holiday marketing campaigns.

Instead, we recommend playing it safe with more age-appropriate imagery.

Are you a cannabis brand? How do you get around the marketing pitfalls that other industries don’t have to deal with? Let us know in the comments section below and we can compare notes.

10. Look at data from last year’s holiday season.

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If your company is old enough that you can look at last year’s data, use it!

But listen to us carefully on this one – there is a difference between using it and relying on it.

If you’re just repeating the same things you did last year without making any adjustments, chances are you won’t get the same results.

Marketing is constantly changing because people are always changing.

So even if last year’s holiday marketing ideas were a huge success, that doesn’t always mean that they’re going to work this year.

That being said, don’t just ignore last year’s data.

Refer to it when it comes to the performance of your social media campaigns, email newsletter success rate, campaign conversion data, and so on.

And for our poetic closing statement on this point: Take a little bit of the past and bring it with you into the present, but don’t rely on it for the future.

This holiday season, don’t forget to take care of yourself.

We know that running a business isn’t easy, but don’t just see this as a time to work extra hard.

You probably wear so many hats in your business that you just have to roll your eyes at us telling you to take it easy, and we get it.

But if there’s anything we can do to help lighten the load, all while putting your favorite holiday marketing ideas into action, don’t hesitate to reach out.

What are some holiday marketing ideas that we didn’t list here that you’re thinking about putting into action? Let us know in the comments section below!

Happy holidays, and a happy (almost!) new year!