Believe it or not, another holiday season is already upon us – probably the busiest time of year for small business owners (SBOs).
And despite economic crosscurrents, the holiday spirit is contagious, and it’s projected to drive consumer spending to new heights. In fact, Deloitte estimates that 2023 holiday retail spending in the US will rise between 3.5% and 4.6%, totaling holiday sales between $1.54 to $1.56 trillion.
As an SBO yourself, you might be wondering what you need to do claim your slice of that impressive spending pie. The holidays are peak season for SBOs, but it also brings with it a surge of competition. And while it’s always important for small businesses to stand out from the crowd, it’s even more crucial this time of year.
The truth is, capturing customers’ attention during the holiday season doesn’t have to be difficult. From print collateral to social media tactics, there are several affordable and impactful ways to keep your brand top of mind and increase your return on investment.
The countdown is on, so start planning now and check out these simple holiday marketing ideas that cut through the festive noise.
Get your brand in the holiday spirit
When it comes to holiday packaging, what’s on the outside is just as special as what’s on the inside.
Whether you sell in-store or online, seasonal branding is a great way to tap into holiday nostalgia and establish emotional connections with your customers. In fact, a little touch of holiday magic can leave a long-lasting impression.
Adding festive flair to your packaging or shopping bags, whether that’s through holiday-themed designs or messaging, is a reliable way to help your brand stand out and enhance the customer experience. But regardless of how creative you choose to get, ensure your packaging reminds your customers who they shopped with and why they should return in the future.
If custom packaging isn’t in the cards this season, you might consider more cost-effective but memorable print marketing solutions. Designing custom retail tags, for example, is an easy way to add cheer to almost any product. Make a special batch (maybe with gold foil for a little shimmer) and give your customers the option to use the backside as a gift tag. Branded stickers or custom packaging tape can also let customers know you’re willing to go the extra mile. Even with a single sticker, you can add a special touch and keep your brand top-of-mind as your product is unwrapped.
Consider applying this same seasonal design approach with complementary refreshes to your signage, promotional materials, website or logo, as well.
Give your social media accounts a seasonal makeover
Another way to get your customers in the holiday shopping spirit is to deck out your social accounts with festive designs and content.
The best part about social media for SBOs in 2023 is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to get noticed. Even without a professional designer on-staff, you can create unique content using customizable social media templates to design eye-catching cover photos, ads, posts or stories. Once you find a template that works for you, make room within your content calendar to showcase new products or holiday promotions and happenings to drum up interest and excitement.
Beyond seasonal happenings, get creative with festive social content. Film a packaging video to show off your custom packaging, take your followers on a behind-the-scenes warehouse tour or create a gift guide to help shoppers find the perfect gifts for everyone on their list.
Just remember to stay true to your brand’s personality and keep your content consistent across all your platforms – including your website.
Don’t discount the tried-and-true
Despite the naysayers, print marketing has its advantages. It’s tangible, it’s memorable, it’s cost-effective, and during the holiday season, print marketing can draw new customers in or bring existing ones back.
Branded mailers or postcards are one example of a great promotional outlet. Use them to introduce seasonal shoppers to new holiday products or services, or tease incentives like discount codes and gift-wrapping services.
On the flipside, print marketing can also spread cheer after the holiday season is over by encouraging one-off customers to come back. Consider ordering flyers to promote an enticing bounce-back offer that’s valid after the holiday rush. Display them prominently throughout the season and send one home with every customer who walks through the door or places an online order.
The countdown to Black Friday and Cyber Monday is on, and now is the time for SBOs to act. By infusing a touch of holiday spirit into their marketing activities, SBOs can not only drive sales, but foster brand loyalty well into the New Year.
Here’s to a prosperous holiday season. We hope you shine and spread warmth and cheer in your communities!
Erin Shea is the Senior Director of North America Marketing at VistaPrint, the design and marketing partner to millions of small businesses around the world.