10 FREE Ways to Market Your Business This Christmas
Do you want to make your business sparkle this Christmas but don't have the budget for ads. Here are 10 budget-friendly ways to market your products and services that could give your business that extra boost of Christmas magic.
The first step is to spend some time thinking about what you want to achieve with your Christmas marketing. Having an idea of what the objective is to start with makes it easier to plan your marketing and create content. Here are some ideas, I would suggest picking one or two depending on your capacity and budget:
New customer acquisition
Increase in sales from new clients
Increase in sales from repeat business
Increase in sales volume (per customer)
We know this Christmas, like last year, will see many people buying online so it's essential that your website is up to date with the latest products and offers, ensure it's easy to navigate and of course mobile-friendly.
1. Get Some Festive Spirit
If you maintain your own website then this is easy to do. Add a little Christmas cheer to your website, snowflakes, Christmas trees etc. Don’t overdo it, subtlety is best. Create social media banners to reflect the Christmas period. These can be done easily in Canva and Picmonkey and you can use these next year so it’s worth spending the time creating them.
2. Personalised Cards
I know it's not very sustainable but I love to send and receive cards. Mine are all handwritten and designed by me and are a great way to make your business stand out and remind people you appreciate their support over the past year. There are now no end of companies that offer design and printing services including Vista Print, HelloPrint, and Snapfish. They all offer great deals on cards and you can either upload your own design or use a template.
3. Email campaign
If you have an email list then Christmas is a great opportunity for you. There are so many options with email marketing so think back to your objectives and what you want to achieve.
You could create a Christmas themed email campaign highlighting key products and promotions. Maybe “12 deals of Christmas”. Don’t make your emails just about promoting your products, why not add other Christmas-related content such as unusual customs, recipes, interesting Christmas articles etc. Every family has a Christmas quirk – share yours or others you have heard of.
The holidays are a great time to leverage the power of your email list. Create an exclusive “Loyal Customer” deal which is time-sensitive. And this is also a good opportunity to update your customers with your Christmas opening hours over the festive period and thanking them for their business.
4. Social Media
The big one! There is so much you can do in terms of social media promotion this time of year, but try and remember to not bombard people with your promotions, otherwise, they will simply unlike your page. Share Christmas themed content which is relevant to your audience such as time-saving guides, DIY gift ideas, recipes, gift guides etc. Create videos of your products; GIFS are easy to do and here’s a great how-to guide.
Publish behind the scenes pictures of your Christmas office or Christmas jumpers, create social media graphics showcasing your products, all with a Christmas theme. If you’re on Pinterest why not create a Christmas inspiration board that includes your products. I’ve also noticed this year an increasing number of Facebook group pages promoting online gift guides and posts – if you’re quick, you can add your own products.
Create a Christmas marketing campaign - could you do a #ChristmasCountdown. I think it's key to have a plan for your social media marketing at this time of year as it can be so busy, not just for businesses but at home, children etc. Knowing what you are going to post in advance, creating the content and scheduling it will save you time leaving you free to focus on eating those mince pies...
5. User-Generated Content - Starbucks
Whether you like or loathe them there's no doubt Starbucks packs a punch at Christmas with their marketing. Their cute Christmas themed cups are oozing with Christmas spirit and it's something that everyone can be part of. They also, of course, provide the obligatory Christmas beverage that might even get the tea-drinking obsessives such as myself to sample an alternative. Well, it is Christmas after all.
But the most impressive thing about their Christmas marketing is the buzz created with their user-generated content on Instagram. This is where people take photos of themselves with a Starbucks product and share on Instagram tagging Starbucks in. Starbucks can then choose to "regram" the photo. This means they get lots of free content. Is this something you could do, could you incentivise your purchasers to post pictures of your products which they have purchased from you?
Don't forget to have a look at Instagram, Facebook and Google's festive season guides. These are packed full of marketing stats, ideas and info which can be utilised for your business especially if you are thinking PPC advertising this season.
6. Join forces
Covid has opened up new opportunities for local businesses with many people buying locally, including myself. Is their an opportunity for you to collaborate with other business owners who complement your own business. Why not create a combined offer. Double the social media promotion and increased visibility.
7. Gift cards
Create an attractive gift card that people would be happy to give and receive.
Write a Christmas themed blog. Ideas include Christmas hair trends, top festive party looks, local days out, seasonal recipes, top 10 toys, favourite festive cocktails, Christmas markets, top 10 Christmas films...Who doesn't love a catchy blog title? Christmas Presents - No ideer? Or how about No Time Like The Presents? I'll leave it there.
9. Don't forget the Hashtag
Use key holiday-themed hashtags and keywords. Find out what's trending for this year in your niche and your platform. Hashtags are huge on Instagram so if you can spend a little time researching this. Some platforms like Flick offer a 7 day free trial. Twitter has also published "Top 10 festive holiday hashtags to use on Twitter" which is useful.
10. Small Business Saturday
This event runs on a specific day each year and this year it's the 4th of December and it's not too late to register your business. There's loads of info on their website including a marketing pack and a nationwide bus tour so check it out. Many high streets now incorporate Small Business Saturday into their marketing with lots of independent shops participating by offering deals and discounts. If it's too late for your business to take part this year why not add it to your list for marketing activities next year.
Christmas is a great time to be a bit more adventurous with your marketing and have a bit of fun. And don’t think you need to do all of the above, maybe pick a couple of the ideas to focus on. Don't forget to analyse what has worked or hasn't you can then use this information to inform marketing decisions for next year, so you can be bigger, better, and bolder in your 2022 Christmas marketing.
Now, where did I stash the mince pies...