2023 Holiday Marketing Checklist for Small Businesses

Don't let the pressure of the holidays get in the way of your success. We're giving you the gift of effective marketing this season with our 2023 Holiday Marketing Checklist.
Written by
Emily Fairchild
Published on
December 1, 2023

Santa and small businesses have a lot in common, tirelessly working behind the scenes to bring others joy. But the most striking similarity? Pressure to perform during the holiday season. With holiday deadlines quickly approaching, we’ve got a gift for you! Stay on track with our holiday marketing checklist to meet your goals and have the happiest season yet. Be sure to check it twice! 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Ascend search engine rankings and get on Google’s nice list this year with Summit’s search engine optimization best practices.

  • Update Holiday Hours: Time is precious, and your customers will appreciate knowing when and where to shop. Update special hours on your website, Google Business Profile, Bing, Yelp, Yahoo, and any other directories associated with your business.
  • Include Relevant Information: Share holiday open houses, events, and more on your Google Business Profile to allow those searching for your business, products, or services a quick glimpse of your offerings. Be transparent about the not-so-jolly information, too. If shipping and lead times are running long, let your customers know.
  • Make Sure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly: In 2022, nearly half of all online holiday shopping was done on a mobile device. Gift your customers a seamless user experience from desktop to mobile shopping.  
  • Create Keyword-Rich Holiday Content: Capitalize on the holiday craze with keyword-rich content like gift guides and holiday FAQs. Timely keywords like “2023 Holiday Trends” or “The Best Gifts for Her in 2023” will show Google your efforts to create new website content and boost organic traffic to your site. 
  • Refresh Your Site With Holiday Banners: Create holiday hero images and banners to push your biggest holiday deals and guide your customers to take action. Banners can be a resource to inform customers of other relevant information, such as shipping delays.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

Free up some space in your holiday budget and boost ROI with the cost-effective practice of PPC advertising.

  • Craft a Holiday Retargeting Campaign: Get festive with holiday retargeting using creative ad copy! The holidays are a second shot to convert people who previously engaged with your business and a well-crafted holiday hook can seal the deal for cautious customers or check a box for someone on their list.
  • Use Clear Messaging: We love a good holiday pun as much as the next small business, but don’t let your message get lost in the shuffle. Utilize clear, actionable messaging to convert more customers this holiday season. Too many bells and whistles can weigh down your marketing efforts as much as they weigh down Santa’s sleigh.
  • Re-Evaluate Ad Budgets: The end of the year is the perfect time to re-evaluate spending. If your budget allows, consider boosting ad spend during peak shopping times to increase reach. 
  • Create a Sense of Urgency: This season always flies by, doesn’t it? Underpin your ads with a sense of urgency to incite immediate action from your customers. Countdown timers in ads and pressing phrases like “limited time only” light a fire under your audience. 

Social Media and Email Marketing

Done right, social media and email marketing can be the gifts that keep on giving. 

  • Engage Your Audience on Social Media: Search engines aren’t the only place customers do their holiday shopping. Engage and expand your audience on social media with consistent posting, contests, and giveaways to drive traffic to your site. 
  • Build an Email List Throughout the Year: To maximize your reach in November and December, you have to build and nurture your email lists throughout the year. Pay attention to how you segment existing customers, website visitors, and prospects to avoid cross-contaminating your audiences. 
  • Be Nice to Naughty Customers: As a small business owner, you deal with your fair share of unhappy customers. Approach the inevitable scrooges with patience, responding to positive AND negative reviews. Engaging with the good and the bad on social media and Google will pay dividends for how your audience perceives you. As for the “nice” customers,” be sure to amplify their positive words and testimonials to your advantage! 
  • Have a Post-Holiday Plan: Ah, the post-holiday slump. Don’t wait around in limbo after your holiday campaigns are finished. Instead, start thinking about your goals for the new year! Use data and analytics from this year to inform your 2024 digital marketing plan.
  • Align Email + Social Strategies: Keep overall themes and messaging consistent across channels, but don’t be afraid to mix up content as needed. When customers see unique elements on your channels, they’ll recognize the effort and thought behind your campaign (and may resonate with one message over another).

Download our Checklist

Is more reach and revenue on your list this year? Download our comprehensive holiday marketing checklist to make sure you get everything you want this holiday season and get a FREE digital marketing proposal today.

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