Thanksgiving is the kick off of one of the busiest times of the year, both personally and otherwise, and especially if you’re in marketing.  Aside from all of the holiday planning, shopping, cooking, parties, and events we all look forward to, it’s the time of year when businesses should really take a step back and express their gratitude for all of those who have supported their brand and venture throughout the year.  After all, a brand couldn’t exist without its customers and audience. So, show a little appreciation this holiday season, while putting a bump in your sales, with these last-minute Thanksgiving marketing ideas for small businesses:

  • Black Friday – It’s not too late to offer your customers pre-Thanksgiving deals.  To really have them make a splash with your audience, set them on par with whatever Black Friday discounts you may be offering.  For example, if you have an online store or offer online services, offer free shipping or a discounted price for first-time buyers.  However you decide to gift your customers (and your bottom line), make it enticing, something that will set your business apart from your competitors’.  This will put you in a top position once holiday shopping season really comes around.
  • Retail Therapy – With all of the stress the holidays can bring, from family gatherings to spending, your customers deserve a break, so give them a reason to take one.  Offer retail therapy. Create a special, limited social media campaign to drive online sales or tell people to come into your store for a refresh. If you have a standing location, give them incentive to purchase a certain amount to receive their own special gift, like a visit to the spa, a free lunch, or a discounted service that can help make their lives easier.  They’ll be much more inclined to buy from or into your brand when they’re relaxed and there’s a promise of a stress-free moment to themselves on the horizon.
  • After-Hours Events – In the midst of all the chaos the holidays bring, with people zooming around trying to get everything ready in time to celebrate, regular business hours aren’t always convenient for holiday customers.  So, plan an event or two to host after-hours specials. This will greatly set you apart from your competition as you steer away from the typical dawn-busting Black Friday events that everyone else will be throwing.  Instead, extend your hours in the evenings when it’s more convenient for shoppers, and host a special night-owl holiday party. In fact, if you really want to draw a crowd, you could actually turn it into a party complete with the always crowd-pleasing photo booth, music and, of course, discounts on your products or services.   
  • Email Lists – Thanksgiving is all about reflection and sharing your gratitude, and that includes sharing it with all of your loyal customers.  So, take a look at those email lists, and reach out using targeted messages and special offers that will entice them to come back and make a purchase this holiday season.
  • Emphasize Giving – It’s always good to give back, especially during a time of year when we actually stop to give thanks and put our best selves forward.  So, this season, put the emphasis on others, not just your brand. If your business isn’t already teamed up with a local charity, ‘tis the season to initiate charitable partnerships.  For small businesses, it’s absolutely essential to have ties to the community you represent, and customers will feel good knowing they’re patronizing a company that gives back.

Tis the season for giving.  So, don’t forget to give your customers a little something extra this season that will keep them coming back for more all year long.