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Holiday marketing ideas for businesses on a low budget

A small business owner setting up holiday decorations.

Holiday marketing strategies can do wonders for your business. They can help you capture shoppers’ attention, build excitement about your holiday offerings, and push people to buy that gift they’ve had their eye on. 

In light of inflation, supply chain issues, and nationwide staff shortages, many small businesses have had to tighten their marketing budgets. So, how does one promote their business on a smaller budget this holiday season? Fret not, we have the answers. 

7 holiday marketing ideas for businesses on small budgets

Here are some strategies you can use to step up your low-budget marketing game this holiday season.

1. Take advantage of digital marketing

Digital marketing is the most budget-friendly way to get potential customers through the door. Dedicate a section of your website to holiday offerings. Promote holiday events and specials on your social channels. Email your customers Pinterest boards to help them shop for everyone on their list. These channels are the best and cheapest ways to cultivate excitement and spread the word about your holiday deals.  

2. Partner with a local charity

A great way to get into the giving spirit is by joining forces with a local charity. It’s a surefire way to guarantee you’ll both feel good and increase brand visibility. Share your charity work across your social channels. Showcase your commitment to local causes while building brand exposure along the way. You can lend a helping hand to local charities by volunteering your time, donating items, or offering your expertise. It’s a win-win for all involved. 

3. Host a giveaway on social media

Giveaways are a cost-effective strategy to engage your user base, excite potential customers, and earn new followers. Be sure to offer an appealing prize that aligns with your brand. This way, you’ll generate higher participation levels and users will get a taste of what you have to offer. All you need to do is promote your holiday giveaway on social media, and perhaps send out a couple of emails. Pro tip: It’s wise to align your giveaway with existing shopping days like Black Friday or Small Business Saturday so you can leverage popular conversations on social media to increase engagement. 

4. Offer special holiday deals

The holiday season is a great time to give back to your customers while doing business in return. Whether you’re offering exclusive holiday sales, free shipping, reward points, a referral program, or discount codes, you’re giving customers greater incentive to buy from you. It must be noted that special holiday offers have proven to significantly boost sales. A 2019 survey revealed that promotions are a “holiday shopping tradition”, a quintessential part of the holiday customer experience—with 81% of respondents sharing that promotions positively influence their buying decisions.

5. Get creative with your packing!

Incorporating holiday designs into your packaging can make anything gift-worthy. This is a great way to increase brand recognition and entice customers on the hunt for that perfect gift. Although a simple gesture, this effort will go a long way. You can also offer free, festive gift wrapping with every purchase. Shoppers always seek out extra services that make their lives easier. And if there’s one thing we can say for certain, it’s that every detail in a shopping experience truly matters.

6. Publish a holiday gift guide

Online gift guides offer customers a quick and easy way to find the perfect gift. They’re extra convenient for people who are short on time but have lots of gifts to buy for loved ones. A popular way to organize gift guides is by personality type or by interests. So instead of simply sharing a long list of your products, consider breaking down offerings into unique categories that will keep customers interested and help them find what they’re looking for. 

7. Use a countdown timer

Using a virtual countdown timer creates a sense of urgency that prompts your customers to take action right away. While such timers were once only used on landing pages, they’ve now found their way to checkout pages and social media channels as well. Timers help boost sales, generate curiosity, and can be used to keep customers interested in coming back before deals expire. 

Ready for 2022 holiday marketing?

Another great way to stick to a tight budget when running a small business is by managing your business payments online so you can save time and money. When using payment platforms like Melio, you can make, track, and manage all payments in one place, pay how you want including by credit card even where credit cards aren’t usually accepted,* and keep vendor relationships strong by ensuring your vendor gets paid the way they want.  

All that said, it’s important to maintain a strong, budget-friendly holiday marketing strategy, particularly during these uncertain times. The good news is that there are loads of marketing ideas, like the ones above, that can have a big impact with little to no money spent. It’s time to draw a big crowd and make a splash this holiday season!

*Subject to card issuer limitations.

*This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as financial advice.
**Melio does not provide legal, tax or accounting advice, and you should consult with a professional advisor before making any financial decisions.