The holiday season is upon us. And it provides many unique opportunities for all different types of businesses to market to customers in new and unique ways. Whether you own an online business, a local store, or even a B2B company, there are ways you can promote your business throughout the coming months. Here are some ideas you can use to market your business this holiday season.
2016 Holiday Marketing Ideas
Include Coupons With Purchases
The holiday season is a great time to garner some repeat business. And you can do that by including a coupon  or special offer in each purchase so that customers can take advantage at a later date.
Cross-Promote With Other Businesses
You can also use a similar strategy to attract customers from other local businesses. Just exchange coupons or go in on a special offer and give those items to shoppers at each store.
Host a Thank You Dinner
If you have some really loyal customers or clients, you can say a special thank you at the holidays by taking them out to a lunch or dinner.
Partner With a Local Charity
You might also want to do some charity work  during the holidays. If you have a local business, you can invite representatives from a local charity to collect money or share their message at your location for a day.
Donate Money to a Cause
Or you could simply choose to donate a portion of your profits throughout the holidays to a particular group or cause.
Invite Santa Claus
People love visiting Santa Claus  around Christmas time. So you can invite him to your store or business to attract some families who are out shopping.
Exhibit at Holiday Shows
You can also get your products in front of more eyes by showcasing them at special shows or events throughout the holiday season.
Offer Gift Wrapping
Whether you sell products in a retail store or online, your customers are likely to want some of their purchases gift wrapped. So you can offer that as an extra service or even as a complementary add-on.
Publicize Your Returns Policy
When people purchase gifts, they want to know that they can be returned if by chance it doesn’t work out. So you can create a flyer for your store or display your policy prominently on your website so customers know what to expect.
Hand Out Hot Chocolate
For local businesses, handing out hot chocolate or other seasonal beverages can be a great way to spread some cheer and attract passersby.
Create a Fun Lights Display
You can also show off your spirit by creating a festive lights display that people will go out of their way to visit.
Create Holiday Window Dislays to Attract Customers
Or you could use your store windows  to create a festive environment that also showcases some of your popular holiday products.
Let Kids Decorate Cookies
You can also get the kids involved in the holiday festivities. Host a cookie decorating party or give them a similar activity they can do while their parents shop.
Have a Party for Another Holiday
Holiday parties are incredibly popular around Christmas. But you could make yours stand out by celebrating a different holiday, like Bake Cookies Day on December 18 or Bacon Day on December 30.
Send Early Cards
If you plan on sending out holiday cards  to customers or clients, you can also make those stand out by sending them out early.
Contact Bloggers Who Make Gift Guides
If you have products that could make great gifts, you can get them in front of more potential buyers by getting in touch with bloggers and asking them to feature your items in their holiday gift guides.
Give Away Free Samples
For those businesses that sell food items or anything that customers might want to try out before buying, giving away free samples can be a good strategy to encourage more sales and get more people through the door.
Have a Pampering Station
Holiday shopping can be stressful. So if you want to create a great experience for stressed out shoppers, you could offer some kind of pampering activity, like massages or guided meditation.
Hold a 12 Days of Christmas Sale
To keep people shopping throughout the holiday season, you can host a special sale where people can get specific products or deals for twelve days leading up to Christmas. You can even throw in some fun themed days to really get people into the spirit.
Give Away Stocking Stuffers
For those shoppers who are trying to finish off their holiday shopping, little stocking stuffers can be a real attraction. So you can give them away with each purchase or offer them at a discounted rate for people who spend a specific amount on other items.
Put Up Stockings for Customers
You could also help customers feel more connected to your store or business by displaying stockings or similar items with their names on them. Even little paper stockings can help you decorate your business and reward customers for shopping with you.
Play Christmas Music
You can’t create a festive environment without a little holiday music. Create a custom playlist or find a radio station with holiday music that really sets the perfect mood for your customers.
Decorate Your Website
Even if you only do business online, you can still show off your holiday spirit. Add some holiday inspired elements to your website , like snowflakes, a flying Santa, ornaments and more.
Send Out Festive Emails
You can also cater your email marketing efforts specifically to the holiday season. Add festive titles and touches that will appeal to those in the holiday spirit.
Display Holiday Themed Art
For local businesses, you can dress up your store and support local artists by displaying holiday themed art at your location. You can even offer it for sale to help those local artists find buyers.
Offer Gift Cards
Gift cards are very popular around the holidays . So you can offer them to your customers and make sure to display them prominently around the checkout area so even last minute shoppers know they’re an option.
Include Gift Card Bonuses
If you do sell gift cards, you can make it an even more intriguing option by offering bonuses. For example, you might include a $5 gift card with the purchase of a $20 gift card.
Create a YouTube Video
Video marketing is a great way to attract new customers throughout the year. And the holidays are no different. You can even create a themed video that shows off your holiday spirit with a song or a spoof of some popular holiday stories.
Host a Twitter Chat
For B2B or online businesses, you can get more customers involved around the holidays by hosting a special Twitter chat on a holiday related topic.
Have a Photo Contest on Facebook
On Facebook, you can encourage your followers to get involved by asking them to share their favorite holiday photos. You can even make it into a contest to give them an incentive to participate.
Create an Instagram Hashtag
If you want to increase engagement on Instagram throughout the holidays, you can create a specific hashtag that people can use to show off how they use your products in holiday gifts, recipes, parties and more.
Update Your Logo
Your logo can offer you a really simple way of showing off your holiday spirit. Just add some holiday themed elements  or even just change it to a holiday color scheme just for the season.
Offer Extended Shopping Hours
During the holidays, you’re likely to do more business than you normally would the rest of the year, so it might be a good idea to extend your store hours on some popular shopping days just to offer a better experience for some customers.
Include Free Shipping
For online stores, free shipping can also be a very effective way to get more customers to actually purchase from you during the holiday season.
Sponsor a Holiday Event
For local businesses, look for local events like parades, races or other popular destinations and see if they accept local business sponsors. This can be a great way to get your business in front of more potential customers.
Offer a Grab Bag of Gifts
Some holiday shoppers just aren’t sure what to buy. But you can help them out and offer a sort of fun experience by offering grab bags or surprise gift items that they can purchase at a discounted rate and unwrap to reveal later.
Put Together Gift Baskets
You can also potentially sell more of your products by bundling or creating gift baskets that include multiple items in one.
Create a Holiday App
For mobile businesses, you can create a holiday specific app that’s catered to holiday shoppers or offers a holiday-specific experience.
Offer Gift Delivery
Even for local businesses that don’t normally ship products, you can offer to ship or personally deliver gifts for busy customers around the holidays as an extra service or offering.
Change Product Names
Whether you have a product based business or even a restaurant with specific menu items, you can show off some festive spirit by changing the names of your products to something that works with the holiday theme.
Have an Ugly Sweater Contest
Ugly sweaters are a big part of the holiday season for many consumers. So you could have a fun contest in your store or online to reward the customer with the ugliest one.
Create Holiday DIY Projects or Recipes
The holidays are a big time for people to get creative with homemade gifts, recipes and more. So if any of your products might work in those types of projects, you can create a tutorial and post it online.
Launch a Local Search Campaign
Local search is also very important when it comes to attracting local shoppers  who are looking for specific types of businesses. So it can be a great time to run a local search advertising campaign.
Suggest Product Combinations
For people who are looking to make multiple purchases but aren’t necessarily sure exactly what they want to buy, you can make suggestions based on the items they’ve browsed or the items in their online cart.
Start a Remarketing Campaign
You can also target past customers or people who have browsed products on your site already by taking advantage of remarketing  options.
Create a Holiday Themed Landing Page
For any holiday marketing campaigns, it can also be a good idea to set up a special holiday landing page . This can show off any themed promotions and also help you measure the effectiveness of those campaigns.
Have a Secret Online Sale
To reward your email subscribers or best customers, you can have a secret sale that you don’t publish anywhere else. This can make them feel important and give them the opportunity to get a really great deal.
Launch a Holiday Blog Campaign
If you have a blog for your business, you can also create themed blog posts to show off gift ideas, recipes and more.
Make a Downloadable Holiday Resource
You could also make a downloadable resource, like a shopping guide, recipes or even an ebook that customers can access on your website or through email.
Give Client Gifts
And finally, giving gifts  to your best clients, customers and colleagues throughout the holiday season can be a great way to show your appreciation and create a great experience for all.
Snow Globe  Photo via Shutterstock