12 Days of Christmas: Holiday Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

holiday marketing

Ah, the holidays…

The happiest time of year filled with fun, family, friends, food… and stress. And let’s face it: the stress is only magnified for small business owners like you. If the past few months are any indication, everyone will still be buttoning up their plans just weeks (and final hours!) leading up to the kickoff of their big holiday promotions.

So why not prepare in advance? There’s no better time than now to start your holiday marketing campaigns — plus, preparing early will set you up for success (and decrease the likelihood of a stressful mad rush at the end).

COVID-19 has accelerated incredible growth in e-commerce, digital presence in all channels, and across categories. Omnichannel services are even more relevant to incorporate into your holiday marketing strategy. People are spending more time at home and the products they’re buying reflect that.

Holiday shoppers plan to shop online. Shoppers are also looking at going into stores, too, but are preparing for their in-store trip by using online research. When shoppers head into the store, the expectation is a seamless transaction. Be sure to include curb side pick-up as an option.

Marketing Strategies to Consider This Holiday Season:

  • Plan early and plan more than you think.
  • Err on the side of simplicity.
  • Be ready to react and adapt quickly.
  • Use a more content-driven approach.
  • Be prepared for more competition than ever.
  • Consider an influencer strategy.
  • Avoid false urgency. Create a real reason to buy.
  • And most importantly, don’t forget about your existing customers. Get them involved.

Here are 12 Days of Christmas proven holiday marketing tips for small businesses:

1. Run holiday ad campaigns and time-sensitive deals.

It’s highly recommended that you create a dedicated landing page for your ad campaign. This helps increase ad campaigns’ effectiveness and can easily track and measure each ad’s performance. 

2. Implement charitable marketing.

What’s better than a win-win opportunity for both a charity and your business? Be sure that the reason for the partnership is altruistic and is a real passion for your business. Consumers recognize insincerity and that can reflect poorly on your business. Choose something that makes sense for your business and that you’re proud to represent.

3. Run a giveaway/contest on social media.

There are many ways to implement a contest on social media, including:

  • Like and/or comment to win.
  • Photo caption contest.
  • Tag a friend to win.
  • Share a story to win.
  • Video contest.
  • Scavenger hunt contest.

4. Dress up your website and social media channels in a holiday style.

  • Update your logo with holiday elements like a snowman or Christmas hat.
  • Create a holiday banner featuring promotions or sales, a gift guide, or special products.
  • Get creative with animation like snowball effects to get your web visitors in the festive mood.
  • Do not limit yourself to green and red for your web design. Play around with other colours as long they harmonize with your brand colors. 
  • Update social assets like Facebook covers, Instagram stories, hero images, landing pages, email pop-ups and alert bars.

5. January savings if you buy in December.

Say thank you to your holiday sales customers by giving them a discount code for future use (like January). This helps encourage customers to come back to your store after the holiday season.

6. Don’t forget holiday email marketing.

Include power words like Sale, Free, % Off, BOGO, Exciting, Exclusive, Secret in your email subject lines. Personalize emails by adding recipients’ names in email subjects to increase the chance of your emails being opened. If you have a lot of offers, show them in the email. Highlight your greatest deal to entice recipients to explore further.

7. Offer incentives to buy.

There are several ways to use incentives to encourage customers to buy. You can offer a coupon code, a discount, a gift, free shipping, free gift wrapping, free consultations, or anything that you know your prospects will be happy to receive.

8. Host a Facebook Live Event.

This is a great opportunity to showcase your brand personality through some holiday cheer. Use the Facebook Live feature to livestream a virtual office party or customer appreciation party. Invite your friends, colleagues, customers and prospects to attend. During the event you can give away fun prizes, play games, and host a Q&A where questions are asked and answered in real-time. You can even offer an exclusive discount on your products for those in attendance during the livestream.

9. Create exclusive holiday gifting bundles.

Identify 2-3 of your best-selling products and wrap them in a beautiful holiday package (digitally or physically). Inform your customers that these bundles are available for a limited time only to create a sense of exclusivity.

10. Run gift card promotions.

Canadians plan to give more gift cards and personal luxuries than in previous years. A gift card is safe and can be used for retail items or a service. They’re easy to send, arrive on time and help businesses lock in revenue, even if they’re facing inventory constraints. Offer promotions on your gift cards to encourage future business with your company.

11. Think beyond the holidays.

Shoppers are always looking for a good deal. Throw in a gift with purchase of your product. Set out your winter clearance after Boxing Day. Offer bulk purchase discounts. Launch new products after the holidays to maintain a steady flow of business after the holiday excitement dies down.

12. Partner with bloggers/influencers for holiday gift guides.

As humans, we tend to trust our peers, friends, and people we admire or know over salespersons. We constantly seek out internet recommendations to feel confident in our choices. Influencer marketing takes advantage of these psychological effects through tactics like word-of-mouth marketing and social proof, which involves soft sales strategies, not a hard-sell approach. Your business should consider working with influencers that align with your brand and target audience. That influencer can promote your product or service to their audience, who already trusts their opinion.


This 2022 Holiday season doesn’t need to be stressful. Plan your strategies in advance and implement the tips that make sense for your business. Don’t be afraid to try something new. The holidays are a time of wonder and excitement, and new is exciting!

December is right around the corner, so now is the best time to start planning and executing your holiday marketing strategy. Looking for a qualified, experienced marketing agency to handle this task? Book a consultation with Wingman Direct Marketing today. We got your back!