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Retailer’s and Solopreneur’s Guide to Holiday Physical and Digital Marketing

The holidays are quickly approaching and retailers are preparing for the busiest, most lucrative season of the year. 2018’s total holiday spending amounted to about $707.5 billion, and it’s safe to say retailers can expect a similar number (or higher) for this year.

If you want your business to earn a share of the revenue, you’ll have to get serious about your holiday marketing efforts. Of course, this can be difficult for small-to-midsize retailers with smaller budgets.

To bring in customers this season, all you have to do is get creative. Here are a few ideas for marketing and design to try during the holidays.

Tis’ the season for holiday branding

The holidays are a special time, so why not give your business a special look? Everyone from the post office to Disneyland puts up festive decorations, but this is just the beginning.

Plenty of well-known brands change their designs during the holidays, usually to positive results. Retailers may update their mailers, shopping bags, packaging, and other materials (like wrapping paper) with festive designs during the holidays.

Starbucks is one of the most popular users of this technique with their seasonal cups. The fun, holiday-themed designs get consumers in the holiday spirit, and they make great subjects for social media posts, too.

Because you’ll be experiencing a higher volume of business during the holidays, don’t be afraid to go premium. You can stand out from other brands by offering materials that make a real impression.

For example, try handing out special business cards in Christmas colors or ordering ones made from wood, foil, or laser-cut with fun holiday designs. These can become cool artifacts that you hand out each year, and you can use them as part of your store decorations.

Launch a giving campaign

As the holidays are the season of giving, launching a giving campaign is a great move to connect with customers, build brand awareness, and support a good cause.

Your campaign may look like inviting shoppers to make a donation and then matching their amount, or even making a donation on their behalf when they make a purchase.

In the past, many companies have come up with amazing giving campaigns that helped both people and the planet, effectively boosting their public image and building long-lasting brand awareness.

For example, Patagonia received acclaim after deciding to donate 100% of their global Black Friday sales to nonprofits working to save the environment. The campaign gained such popularity that the brand actually beat their initial goal of $2 million in sales and brought in $10 million in donations.

You can also take your giving campaign beyond purchase incentives. Social media is an excellent vehicle for promoting charitable giving while also building brand awareness. Take a page from outdoor retailer REI, who launched #OptOutside in 2015. The campaign is all about REI’s decision to close their stores on Black Friday and pay their employees to hang out with friends and family outdoors instead.

Need more ideas for your giving campaign? You can also join the Giving Tuesday movement this December with thousands of individuals and organizations nationwide.

Create an eye-catching catalog

With social media, online stores, and tons of devices to do all your shopping on, it seems like catalogs should be a thing of the past. The truth is that holiday catalogs are ubiquitous, and remain a great way to advertise your business’ holiday deals.

Small retailers can offer their own catalogs and stand out from the crowd with creative design and messaging. Create your catalog with premium materials and experiment with unique shapes and sizes to make it eye-catching.

When it comes to messaging, talk about your deals but be sure to keep things simple. Overwhelming consumers with unnecessary information is the best way to get them to put your catalog down.

To tie your holiday catalog in with the rest of the year, consider combining it with a magazine. This way you can create a “special holiday issue” while still advertising your wider inventory.

Wrapping up…

The holidays are just around the corner and prep time is short. Luckily, these ideas won’t take a long time to implement. These tips for digital marketing and holiday designs for retail will help your brand to attract customers, bringing in a decent chunk of this year’s holiday revenue.