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Welcome back! This time of year, digital marketing departments across the world are dotting the I’s and Crossing the T’s on their holiday marketing campaigns. But most businesses in the world don’t have a crazy marketing budget and sometimes struggle to know what to do during the holiday season. Based on my own client’s data, I have found that businesses that don’t offer holiday promotions drastically underperform their competitors, sometimes by up to 50% fewer conversions if you don’t offer a holiday promotion. That being said, a great holiday marketing campaign doesn’t have to be crazy expensive. So for today’s article, I am highlighting 10 easy holiday marketing campaigns that you can run no matter what your business looks like.

1. Countdown to Christmas: Creating Holiday Anticipation and Excitement

Countdown Clock

Remember being a kid on Christmas, so excited to open your presents that you could barely contain it? What if you could deliver this feeling to our customers? That’s why one of my favorite holiday marketing promotions you can run is countdowns to Christmas.  Whether it’s Christmas, New Year’s, Thanksgiving, or any other major holiday, businesses can capitalize on the heightened consumer interest and purchasing power with a countdown.

It also gives you a legitimate reason to post to your socials every day which has been found to be a solid method for improving ROI. Daily posting also allows your businesses to stand out from their competitors by offering unique deals and promotions that align with the spirit of the season. These campaigns not only create a sense of urgency among consumers but also foster a positive emotional connection with their brand.

Countdowns are especially valuable for improving middle and bottom-of-funnel marketing numbers.

However, what makes this holiday marketing strategy a solid strategy is in addition to the ability to boost sales and increase brand visibility, holiday marketing campaigns also help in cultivating long-term customer relationships. By offering personalized promotions or exclusive discounts during this time, businesses can reward loyal customers while attracting new ones. This not only encourages repeat purchases but also builds brand loyalty that extends beyond just the holiday season.

Just be careful to run too many promotions during this time because it can overwhelm or confuse your customer base. As always, remember the 80/20 rule of social media posting.

2. Giveaways and Contests that Spread Holiday Cheer

Holiday Giveaway Sign

Giveaways and contests are a great way to increase engagement and increase visibility. This is a top-of-funnel strategy so be aware that what you are measuring in this strategy is not necessarily purchases or leads, but awareness of brand. Small businesses are infamous for having the small top-of-funnel, but they want the highest conversion rates so make sure you understand that giveaways and contests are meant to improve the amount of people who know about you, not people who purchase from you.

Why Giveaways and Contests are a solid Holiday Marketing Offer

That being said, holiday giveaways have become a popular promotional strategy for businesses, because they increase the top-of-funnel awareness of your brand.

Social Media

One effective way to promote these giveaways is through social media contests. With the widespread use of platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, businesses can reach a larger audience and generate buzz around their holiday promotions. By encouraging participants to like, share, or comment on the contest post, companies can increase their brand visibility and attract new followers.

Gift Cards

Gift card giveaways are another popular option during the holiday season. These versatile prizes allow winners to choose something they truly desire from a variety of retailers. Whether it’s a shopping spree at their favorite store or an indulgent meal at a local restaurant, gift cards provide flexibility while still spreading holiday cheer.

Contests that incorporate elements of fun and creativity can also capture the attention of participants. From photo contests showcasing festive decorations or outfits to caption contests that inspire witty responses, these interactive promotions encourage user-generated content while fostering engagement with your brand.

3. Festive Discounts and Special Offers for Early Bird Shoppers

Holiday Sale

As with many holiday promotions, getting your information out early can have an exponential impact on the ROI of your holiday ads. Running ads early allows businesses to cater to different holiday timings and reach a broader audience. It also helps to optimize ad performance, as the formula for successful marketing ads is Consistency + Time / Quality Content.

Why Festive Discounts and Special Offers for Early Bird Shoppers are extremely valuable Holiday Promotions for small businesses.

One of the key benefits of festive discounts is that they help small businesses improve their return on ad investment. By strategically promoting these offers through various advertising channels such as social media, email marketing, or targeted online ads, small businesses can attract more customers while optimizing their advertising budget. This not only increases brand visibility but also drives sales during a time when consumers are actively looking for deals.

Moreover, offering festive discounts and special offers demonstrates that a small business values its customers and wants to reward them for their loyalty. This builds trust and strengthens customer relationships, which is crucial for long-term success in today’s competitive market.

Additionally, these promotions allow small businesses to differentiate themselves from larger competitors who may not be able to offer personalized or exclusive deals due to their size or operational constraints. By tailoring promotions specifically for early bird shoppers, smaller enterprises can create a sense of exclusivity that resonates with their target audience.

4. Collaborations with Influencers to Reach a Wider Audience

Influencer Marketing symbols

Collaborating with influencers can mean a lot of different things depending on your business, but the truth is that influencers are a primary driving force of commerce in modern markets.

Best Places to Look for Influencers for Holiday Marketing

When you think of Influencers, you may be thinking of the traditional Instagram, Facebook or YouTube influencers like Mr. Beast or Kim Kardashian. But for smaller businesses, there are influencers everywhere that could be very valuable for your holiday marketing strategies. My favorite places to look for influencers are:

Small Podcasts

Podcasts are one of my favorite places to find niche influencers who are willing to do ad deals for smaller budgets. For a client of mine, we currently looking for smaller podcasters who are willing to do ad reads for their audience.

Live Streamers:

When you think of live streaming, you may think of big names like Mr. Beast or Pokimane, but smaller Twitch, Youtube, or even TikTok streamers can offer businesses a solid ROI for their holiday marketing promotional material

Tik Tok

Tik Tok is a new platform but is a solid platform for businesses marketing to Gen Z. Older Gen Z is starting to hit adulthood and if you can find the right influencer, I have heard amazing things in the industry (like 10x ROAS) in terms of ROI for Tik Tok creators.

5. Creating Gift Guides to Simplify Shopping Decisions for Customers

Example Gift Guide for an Adventerous Person

This holiday marketing strategy is an absolute must for businesses that find themselves as “Innovators” in their space. As a new small business, it’s important to have a well-thought-out marketing strategy that not only captures the attention of your target audience but also simplifies the shopping process for your customers. One effective way to achieve this is by creating a gift guide.

Why Gift Guides are Important Holiday Promotional Material for New Innovative Businesses

In the present, social media marketing is hard and you will very likely get lost in the sea of holiday marketing material. So offering and promoting a holiday gift guide can be a solid way to help your business stand out.

A gift guide serves as a curated collection of products or services that are tailored specifically for the holiday season. By creating a gift guide, you provide your customers with a convenient and stress-free shopping experience, making it easier for them to find the perfect gifts for their loved ones.

Not only does a gift guide simplify the shopping process, but it also helps improve your return on ad investment. By promoting your gift guide through targeted advertising campaigns, you can effectively reach potential customers who are actively searching for holiday gift ideas. This increases the likelihood of converting those leads into sales and maximizing your return on investment.

Furthermore, creating a gift guide showcases your expertise and knowledge in your industry. It positions you as an authority and trusted source of recommendations, building credibility with your customers. This can lead to increased brand loyalty and repeat business in the long run.

6. Interactive Social Media Campaigns That Engage with Customers

Interactive Social Media Campaign with Live Stream video

Sorry to all the marketing managers who were planning on using a Canva template to create a quick social media post and hope for the best. This simply is not enough anymore and if you are going to post on social media, you need to create engaging content.

Engaging social media content ideas?

In my experience, this will vary and will require you to get a little creative. That being said, you should be aiming to make the following types of social media content:

  1. Holiday Themed Polls
  2. Quizzes (Think early 2016 Buzzfeed)
  3. Video Content
  4. Live Streams (a solid option for giveaways)
  5. Behind the Scenes of Your Business
  6. Unique & Relatable Blog Posts
  7. Podcasting

I share these with the recommendation that you cannot just simply create these and hope for the best. Engaging content requires thought. To get in the right space, ask yourself “What kind of content would I actually engage with?” and start there.

7. Hosting Virtual Events or Webinars to Educate and Entertain

people interacting on a zoom call event

For B2B Holiday marketing — why not give virtual events, webinars, and networking Zoom calls a try? As any B2B small business marketer will know, B2B is all about creating and cultivating relationships. If your business has never created or managed a networking/training event for your target demographic, you are missing out on some solid potential.

Networking events are also valuable for B2C businesses as they can help connect you to your audience and find more potential pain points to target for the future. it can also be a great way to find emails of people in your demographic which can then be used for Facebook ads as a “Like audience.”

8. Charity Partnerships that Spread Joy and Support a Cause

Charity Event

Look, the holiday season is hard for a lot of people. The changing of the season, less sunlight, and less socialization can be hard on a lot of people. That’s why charity partnerships can be so valuable as a holiday marketing strategy. These events show that you not only care about making money but that you are willing to give back to your community.

Local businesses live and die on the back of their community, so by organizing or participating in a charity event, you can demonstrate your business’s ability to give back.

If you are hesitant about this strategy, I get it. The marketing department is famous for being a “Black Hole” of budgeting. You put money in and it’s usually impossible to track money out. If that’s how you view marketing, I recommend checking out this guide from allbusiness that shows how to measure Holiday Charity ROI

9. Personalized Email Marketing Campaigns that Connect with Customers

klaviyo email marketing app for shopifyIf you aren’t already doing holiday marketing with email as a primary channel, it might be worth reconsidering. Did you know the most opened app on almost every phone in the US is the Email app? Thats right. More than TikTok, Spotify, Facebook, or Instagram. In my personal opinion, Email marketing is one of the best ROI channels for a relatively low ad spend.

How Personalized Email Marketing Campaigns Help with ROI over the Holidays:

Email marketing deserves it’s a blog post all by itself, but for now here are some email marketing ideas to help start your holiday email marketing campaign:

  1. Product Recommendations: Leverage data on previous purchases or browsing behavior to provide personalized product recommendations. Suggesting items that align with the recipient’s interests increases the likelihood of conversions.
  2. Engagement-based Reward Emails: Analyze customer engagement data to send personalized emails to different segments of your audience. For highly engaged customers, express gratitude and offer exclusive rewards, while less engaged customers may receive re-engagement incentives.
  3. Localization and Time Sensitivity: Personalize your emails based on the recipient’s location and time zone. This ensures that your messages are timely and relevant, especially when promoting events, sales, or limited-time offers during the holiday season.
  4. Customer Loyalty Programs: Encourage customer loyalty by sending personalized emails that highlight the benefits and rewards of your loyalty program. Acknowledge and reward loyal customers with exclusive perks.
  5. Post-Purchase Follow-ups: Send personalized follow-up emails to customers after a purchase, expressing gratitude and recommending related products or accessories. This helps foster a positive post-purchase experience.

10. Creating a Sense of Urgency with Limited Stock or Limited Time Offers

Limited Time Coaching Offer

Last but certainly not least, time sensitivity is huge in helping increase conversion rates. Buyers have a lot of options and psychologically speaking, you need to make sure that when they land on your website, they convert. By creating a sense of limited availability, you increase the likelihood of people purchasing, converting or becoming a lead.

Examples of Increasing Urgency in Holiday Marketing

Flash Sale: “Hurry! Our Cyber Monday Sale Ends at Midnight!”

Limited Stock Alert: “Low Stock Alert! Grab Your Holiday Gifts Before They Sell Out!”

Exclusive Early Access: “VIP Members Get First Dibs! Shop Our Exclusive Holiday Collection Now!” great when paired with an email marketing strategy 

Free Shipping Cut Off: “Order Today for Free Shipping and Guaranteed Holiday Delivery!”

B2B Urgency: “take advantage of my 10% off discount on all SEO services – Ending December 15th at midnight.

That last one is my own personal offer I am giving to business owners and digital marketers. Starting today, my SEO services come with a 10% discount that I will honor as long as you stay a customer. To get started, please fill out the form below.

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