The holiday season is a favorite for many people, and for small business owners like you, this busy time of year can either be an amazing boost to your business or a big headache. But with some simple holiday marketing strategies to showcase your holiday promotions, you can attract the right audience and reach consumers who are searching online for products and services like yours. In order to make sure your local business is prepared to take advantage of the great opportunities this holiday season, here are five holiday marketing mistakes you should avoid and tips to keep you on the “Nice” list with consumers this year.

1. Playing the Role of Mr. Scrooge

The holidays are a great time to give your online brand some sparkle and shine. Went it comes to building a Web presence, your image is an important factor. So, don’t be a Scrooge – add some holiday twinkle to your social media pages, landing pages, blog, emails, newsletters, videos, or any other content potential customers may see to show them that you are excited about the holidays. By adding engaging images or videos of holiday decorations or activities around your office to your website, blog, and social profiles, you can drive engagement and take your Web presence from fall to holiday festive!

2. Being Stingy with Your Holiday Offers

Consumers are in a bargain-hunting mode during the holiday seasons, so give them a reason to choose your holiday deals over your competitors. Create offers that are enticing and that generate excitement beyond the typical “Tuesday special.” By offering big deals, like “Buy one, get one free!” or major discounts on certain items, you can set your business apart from local competitors. A great way to determine unbeatable offers is to research what your competitors are offering during the holidays. Also, consider what would get your attention as a consumer, and what kind of offers you would redeem.

3. Hiding Your Holiday Promotions

Consumers shouldn’t have to search for your holiday promotions, and you should want to show them off! Making your holiday offers hard to find is one marketing mistake that can easily cost you business, as more than half of consumers this year will use coupons to make holiday-related purchases. To ensure that consumers can easily access your holiday offer, you should create a designated landing page on your website that highlights your specials, highlight a callout on your website homepage that drives visitors to your holiday promotions page, and promote your offers on your social media profiles. It’s also important to give clear information about your offers, so provide as much detail as possible about where and how consumers can redeem your holiday specials, as well as any restrictions, limitations, or expiration dates, so that they know exactly what they will be getting.

4. Ignoring the Cornucopia of Online Advertising

You’ve gone the extra mile to create great holiday deals for consumers, so don’t make the mistake of leaving your online advertising in the cold. You should amp up your online advertising during the holidays to get more exposure and to generate more return from your holiday deals. Holiday-related display ads, paid search ads, and Facebook ads are a few ways to share your offers with consumers looking for products and services like yours. Plus, by measuring and tracking the performance of these online ads, you can determine what tactics work best and optimize your campaigns to get better ROI.

5. Forgetting about Your Local Community

The holidays are also known as the “giving season,” so take this time to give back to your community and generate brand awareness and customer loyalty. For instance, by collaborating with an organization like Toys for Tots or a local shelter and volunteering your business as a designated drop-off spot for toys, winter coats, and non-perishable canned foods, you can build awareness of your business while giving back to your community. Or, you can participate in timely events that matter to you. For example, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, you could work with the American Red Cross or other organizations to help with relief efforts. One way to raise funds is by publicizing that proceeds of each sale will go to organization to provide aid to those in need. Another donation idea is to match a percentage of each dollar customers donate. There are several creative ways to inspire others to give during the holiday season, so find what works for your business and become an example of generosity!

As a business owner, you know what kind of holiday offers work best for your current customers while attracting new ones to your business. And, by incorporating these holiday marketing tips, you can make the most of the holiday season.

Are you making any of these holiday marketing mistakes? What else are you doing during the holiday season to promote your special offers? Let us know in a comment!