Business, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Strategy
December 2, 2021
Last Minute Holiday Marketing How-To
Last Minute Holiday Marketing How-To

By Felicia Guthrie

OK, we’re not going to lie to you, it’s definitely a little late to the game in terms of creating a dynamic holiday marketing campaign BUT if you do want to do something for the holidays, you may still have time to do so (or you can at least get a few ideas for next year).

The good news? Since the beginning of the pandemic, many consumers began seeking out small businesses and the outpouring support for small and local businesses is going to continue further into the holiday season. In fact, a survey found that a whopping 78% feel it is important to shop locally.

We may have just passed Black Friday and Cyber Monday and it is already December, so many consumers have started (and may even be wrapping up) their holiday shopping… but it’s not too late. There are always some last-minute shoppers!

So, if you’re a small business owner looking for some last-minute holiday marketing tips, listen up!

Host a virtual event

Hosting a virtual event is a great way to showcase your products, services, and all your holiday offerings. MAC Cosmetics, for example, has been hosting virtual events (typically a tutorial) over the last several weeks. These events will cover trending looks, holiday collections, and more. They’ve even incorporated contests into their events by giving away prize packs to attendees. There are several platforms you can use, such as Instagram Live or even Zoom! Need some more ideas? If you’re in the food or beverage industry, you can create an event around holiday entertaining, meals, or treats.

To get the word out, you can start from your newsletter or customer email list and your social media accounts, such as Instagram. Instagram actually has a great feature that allows you to add a countdown on your Instagram Stories and we think it’s great for a couple of reasons. 1) It can help you drum up excitement about your event and 2) users can click the countdown to receive a reminder about the event.

Now, if you want to take this a step further, like MAC Cosmetics, you can also offer another incentive. For example, you may have a giveaway at the end of the event (this can be a product, service, or prize pack) or you can offer something like a special discount code for everyone who attends.

Sweeten the deal

A recent survey found that holiday sales and promotions (50%) and free shipping (49%) have the most influence on where Canadians will choose to shop. As we mentioned earlier and as we all know to be true, there are always last-minute shoppers, so there’s still time to sweeten the deal for those who are shopping in December. Whipping up a holiday sale, promo, or free shipping, is something you can do fairly quickly and easily, so it’s definitely something to have in your back pocket. If you want to make it festive, you can try something like creating a holiday discount code, I.e. “HOHOHO” for 30% off or “12DaysofXmas” for 12% off. What you offer is really up to you!

Let someone else do the talking for you

Word of mouth, reviews, testimonials, and other social proof is powerful, don’t underestimate it! There are a few ways you can approach this, let’s take a look:

User Generated Content

Brands like Go Pro utilize user generated content (content created by consumers) to showcase their products all the time and so can you! Making your customers the heroes or main characters is a great way to share your story.

Work with influencers

If you haven’t worked with influencers yet, I’d caution against sending out something hastily just because you want something out there. Working with influencers is something that involves a lot of care or thought – or at least it should! However, if you do have a relationship with select influencers already, working with them for the holidays is certainly something you can consider.

This can look several different ways, for example, you may work with them on a few sponsored posts, simply gift them something for the holidays, offer them a referral or discount code for their followers, or something else along those lines.

Think inside the Box(ing Day)

When we think of our holiday marketing, we might think of Christmas and other celebrations first, but you can still take advantage of Boxing Day. A survey showed that 34% (vs 32% in 2020) of consumers surveyed plan to shop on Boxing Day. You have plenty of time to create a fantastic and enticing deal for your audience.

Create a memorable experience

We all love when brands and businesses go that extra little step to create a memorable experience and there’s still time to do that for your customers, and it’s something you can take online or offline.

Here are a few examples:


Creating a welcoming and memorable in store experience can have a few different aspects, it’s about making people feel good, making them feel important and it’s about being attentive. Creating a memorable shopping experience for your consumers may include things such as gift wrapping, personalization, personal shopping or even offering bonus items (I.e. sample sized products to try or a small free gift). You can even have a special shopping event for select customers wherein you may open at a specific time only to customers with an appointment, offer them a 1 on 1 shopping experience, and even serve festive drinks or snacks. I’ve seen shops do these events and offer everything from macarons, to chocolate, cheese, sparkling water, and champagne! It’s really up to you! It could be a great opportunity to really sit with select customers and curate the perfect gifts for others as well as themselves, of course.


This may look a little different to offline but it can still include many of the same things, such as including gift wrapping or boxes for those who are buying gifts. One major suggestion we have for a pleasant online shopping experience: make sure your website is up and running well, mobile friendly is certainly a bonus! You can also create a memorable and festive package for consumers to unwrap, here’s an example.

We ho ho hope this last-minute holiday how-to was helpful and if you’d like even more marketing tips and guides, we invite you to check out our other blog articles! Oh, and did we mention we have a new blog dropping weekly? That’s right!

Happy Holidays!

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