December is almost here! The Starbucks holiday cups have been released, we’re preparing to stuff our bellies with turkey and pie, and we’re gearing up for winter holidays and the start of a new year.
While December brings fun, family, and food, it can also leave business owners and marketers feeling pressed for time—and resources. But, with the right strategies and promotions, you can make your December marketing a breeze and spend more time relaxing with your loved ones.
The holidays put us in a giving mood, so in this post we’re giving you:
- December holidays and observances for your business to celebrate and participate in to connect with your audience.
- Promotion ideas that will make your audience shout with glee.
- Simple and effective marketing ideas that will help you close out the year strong.
We hope this post inspires you and leaves you feeling a little less stressed during December.
Merry marketing ideas around December holidays and observances
1. Join in on Free Shipping Day
Free shipping is a big deal to customers. A LOCALiQ consumer survey found that only 20% of people will pay for shipping. If you have an e-commerce business, consider joining in on Free Shipping Day on December 14 by offering free shipping on all purchases.
Don’t forget the #freeshippingday hashtag on all your social posts promoting your offer!
2. Dress Up for Ugly Sweater Day
There’s nothing that attracts customers like a fun attitude, so take advantage of the festive spirit! Embrace the ugly sweaters on Ugly Sweater Day—this year on December 20.
Here are some dress up ideas for your business this month:
- Grab some reindeer antlers or wear Christmas pajamas if it’s appropriate for your business.
- Daycare centers can have fun dressing up and encourage a pajama day for students!
- Business professionals can have fun with a holiday-colored tie or socks to get in the holiday spirit.
- Post pictures of you and your employees in your ugly sweaters and offer a discount to anyone who visits in their ugly sweater.
Of course, don’t forget to post on social media with the appropriate holiday hashtag.
3. Show Off Your Gingerbread House
Did you know December 12 is National Gingerbread House day? Participate in this fun and festive day—here are a few different ways:
- Hold a gingerbread house decorating contest with your employees. Post the finished products on your social sites and have your audience vote for their favorites.
- Ask your audience to share pictures of their gingerbread houses to their social sites and tag you. Choose a winner to receive a special holiday promotion.
- Create a gingerbread display at your business for people to (safely) take pictures in front of.
- Share healthy alternatives for gingerbread houses if you’re a healthcare business or dentist.
- If you’re a bakery, create a build-your-own gingerbread house kit for people to buy.
No matter how you participate, make sure to use the #nationalgingerbreadday hashtag!
4. Participate in National Flu Vaccination Week
Healthcare professionals are urging people to get their flu shots this year. What better way to get the word out than to participate in National Flu Vaccination Week from December 6-12!?
Here are some ways your business can get involved:
- Share information on where people in your community can receive a free flu shot.
- Post pictures of you and your team members getting your flu shots or after your flu shots (extra points for a fun and festive bandaid!).
- Reshare resources from reputable organizations about the importance of the flu shot.
- Healthcare businesses can share videos from their professionals about the flu shot.
By participating in this awareness week, you can show your community that you care about their well-being. And, it’s a great reminder to get your flu shot, too!
5. Celebrate the First Day of Winter
While it seems like it’s been cold for the last couple of months, the first day of winter actually falls on December 21. Celebrate with a simple picture on your social media pages, a winter promotion, or with some special treats—to go—at your business location to celebrate.
6. Don’t Forget Hanukkah!
Many businesses focus all their December marketing energy on Christmas and New Year’s and leave out a very important holiday: Hanukkah! Make your holiday marketing inclusive by adding Hanukkah decorations to your location, running special promotions that target your customers who celebrate Hanukkah, and by wishing them a happy holiday on your social pages.
December promotion ideas to gift your audience
7. Host a (Socially-Distant or Virtual) Party & Giveaway
Events are a great way to market your business during the holidays. Have an open house and extend your business hours one evening. Invite local customers and other businesses to stop by and mingle. Serve some food and drinks or get them donated by another local business! A party or open house is a great way to ignite some word-of-mouth marketing and build solid partnerships.
Make sure your party adheres to state and local mandates. If it’s not safe to host an in-person party, you can always take the show to Zoom and connect with your community through a virtual party.
Encourage everyone to pour a glass of their favorite beverage and award some prizes for those who attend.
8. Send Holiday Cards (with a Promotion!)
There’s nothing more fun than getting mail around the holidays. Gather your contact list and send out holiday or New Year’s cards from your business to them. You can create a traditional holiday card with a picture of your employees and a simple greeting along with a promotional code to encourage them to visit your business during the holidays.
Customers like to be appreciated, and a holiday card can keep your business on the radar of customers—new or loyal—so that your business comes to mind when they need your services. (More sales promotion ideas here!)
9. Run a Holiday Instagram Giveaway
Instagram giveaways are popular throughout the year, but they can give you a real boost in December around the holidays. Think about the goal for your Instagram holiday giveaway—are you trying to get more followers, increase awareness for a specific product or service, or just spread some cheer to peoples’ feeds? From there, determine the right giveaway for your business.
Here are some holiday Instagram giveaway ideas to help you get started.
10. Host or Participate in a Toy Drive
The holiday season is the perfect time to give back to those in your community. Host or participate in a toy drive and encourage your customers to do the same.
Here are some ideas for your toy drive:
- Set out a large box for customers and community members to drop toys in.
- Offer a promotion for customers who donate to your toy drive—you can give them a coupon for their next visit, a percent off a purchase, or a stamp on their customer loyalty card.
- Partner with other local businesses in your area to get the word out about your toy drive and encourage them to leave a box out at their business.
- Share photos of your participation on social media and tag the charity you’re working with.
If you’re looking to participate in a toy drive as a business rather than host one, you can still take pictures to share on social so you’re getting the word out about how to help children this holiday season.
For a list of toy drives, check here.
11. Create a Photo Opportunity with Santa or a Winter Wonderland
You’re busy during the holidays. Save time and money with user-generated content during the month of December. One easy way to do this? Stage a photo opportunity at your location (or outside of your location) by inviting Santa to come or by setting up a winter wonderland for customers to post in front of.
Everyone wants a picture with a gigantic polar bear, so give customers the opportunity to market your business for you by having something fun to take pictures with!
Pick up some props like Santa hats or tinsel garlands and let customers go to town. Make sure to include a hashtag with your company and share, retweet, or regram customers’ photos on social media.
December marketing ideas to close out your year stronger than your Aunt’s eggnog
12. Update Your Google My Business Listing
Holiday shoppers are going to be turning to Google for all of their holiday needs, whether for gift ideas, home cleaning, appliance repair, travel, safety, and more. Make sure your business information is up to date so you can get found on search.
Be sure to:
- Verify your contact information
- Update your holiday hours
- Upload photos of your seasonal products and services
- Create Offer and Event posts
There are many ways to optimize your Google business profile to stand out in search and attract customers—and no better time than now to do it!
13. Don’t Be Shy—Get Personal on Social!
Your business is built by real people, and your customers want to connect with you! By sharing a glimpse into the lives of your employees and yourself, you can help build a connection with your audience.
Share pictures or stories of your family and holiday celebrations on your blog and social media profiles. Do you have a favorite holiday memory that inspired you to open your business? What about a family recipe or tradition? Share yours and ask your followers what theirs are.
Here are some ideas for personal stories you can share on social media or your business blog:
- Bakers can share a video or recipe on their blogs.
- Photographers can post their family Christmas pictures on Instagram or Facebook and encourage others to do the same.
- Personal trainers should encourage clients and potential clients to join them on holiday road races through social media.
- Makers can share the inspiration behind a specific product.
Sharing this type of content through your social channels and on your website will help you build engagement—and it’s a fun way to connect during the holidays!
14. Create a Gift Guide
A gift guide is a great way to get your name out there and provide a helpful service to your community. We know that people will be searching for holiday gifts online this year more than ever, so write a blog post or social post about gifts for moms, dads, kids, and friends!
The gift guide can include some of your products, but the best way to sell your business is not to sell it at all. Instead, showcase items that are related to your industry:
- Gift Guide for Accountants (tech gadgets, ties, fancy pen)
- Gift Guide for the Home Decorator (Christmas pillow covers, gold candlesticks, electric candles)
- Gift Guide for the Fitness Enthusiast (ice cleats for running outside, winter hat with Bluetooth headphones, Epsom salts for tired muscles)
People are always looking for gift ideas, so show potential customers how helpful you can be!
Take inspiration from the 12 Days of Christmas and feature a tip or product of the day on your blog or social media feed.
Here are some ideas to get started:
- Fitness-related businesses like personal trainers or health centers can give an exercise of the day to fight off gaining holiday weight.
- Flower shops can feature a wreath or bouquet of the day featuring different holiday colors or flowers.
- Restaurants and bars can showcase a cocktail of the day for the holidays.
You could also run a different deal or offer for each of the 12 days. This will keep people coming back to your social sites each day, which can increase engagement on your pages.
16. Decorate Your Location for the Holidays
Nothing gets people in the holiday spirit like some festive décor. Take some time to string some lights inside and outside of your location, hang some garland, and out up a tree and menorah. If your location is in an area with a lot of foot traffic, you can also create an eye-catching holiday window display to get people to slow down and check out your location or come inside.
Now is the time to have a little fun and make your business a welcoming place during the busy holiday season.
17. Take Customers Behind the Scenes
Show customers what your business is like during the holidays with video marketing! Are you a busy baker who is making cakes and cookies? Take customers into the kitchen with a video of preparations for the holidays.
People are curious by nature and giving them a sneak peek of new products or behind-the-scenes action will set you apart from your competitors!
18. Stay Top-of-Mind with Email Marketing
During the holidays, people get busy. Remind them about your business with email marketing. Your email communications can include special promotions you’re running, a round-up of local holiday events in your community, or just a simple reminder to visit your business in the New Year. Make sure your holiday email subject line stands out so people will click your email!
Here are some ideas for your December email marketing:
- Dentists can send an email about the best and worst holiday treats for your teeth.
- Fitness businesses can send an email about ways to stay healthy during this busy month.
- Mental health professionals can send an email about ways to de-stress during the holidays.
- Restaurants can send an email about special catering options they have available for family dinners.
People are looking in their emails during the holidays—in fact, 75% look at their email specifically to find deals and discounts. So, take advantage of that this month by emailing your holiday promotions.
19. Refresh Your Online Reputation & Get More Reviews
A good reputation is important for your business year-round, but this might be an ideal time to put a little extra focus on getting reviews for your business.
Take some time to ask your customers for reviews, respond to all your reviews, and make sure you’re managing the most relevant places where customers are reviewing your business—including Yelp, Google My Business, and Facebook.
20. Finalize Your Q1 2021 Marketing Plan
Once the holidays are over, January will come quick—make sure your marketing is prepared by taking a look at your marketing plan for 2021, or at least for January. Outline any business goals and objectives you want to accomplish next year and determine what’s needed to help you reach those goals.
Here are some questions to keep in mind:
- What marketing strategies do you absolutely need to run throughout the year to help you maintain business or grow? Think: your website, SEO, PPC, and more.
- What marketing strategies do you want to try to reach new audiences or engage with your current audience?
- Are there any gaps in your marketing plan that you need to fill—like a channel your audience frequents that your business isn’t marketing on?
- How will you measure success for your marketing in 2021?
These questions will help you solidify your marketing plan as you look ahead to the next year.
The month of December can be stressful for business owners and marketers, but with a few creative and simple ideas, like the ones listed above, you can maximize your business’s exposure, connect with your audience, and set your business up for success in the new year.