Q: I am a small retailer and I’m just starting to plan for the holiday season. I just can’t compete with the large retailers. What can I do this holiday season to help my business stand out?

A: For most retailers, the holidays are the most successful and profitable time of year. Many large retailers across the nation have been planning their holiday marketing campaigns for months. These are the companies with the big marketing budget and resources you don’t have. But, don’t fret. With a little brainstorming and some hard work – you can still plan a kick ass holiday marketing campaign.

As a small retailer you have an advantage the large retailers don’t: the local community around you. What do I mean by this? People innately want to support local business. If you can create a campaign that evokes emotion from your customers, chances are they’ll be willing to do their holiday shopping at your shop. Here is an example of what I am talking about:

The holidays are a time of giving. Everyone knows that. This season, connect with a local non-profit and develop a holiday campaign surrounded around giving. The general idea could be as simple as donating a percentage of holiday proceeds to the charity. But, you need to get creative with it.

Get your customers involved in the giving by offering donations in exchange for social shares and newsletter sign ups, run contests on social media, keep your customers in the loop with emails, host a party when you reach your goals. The opportunities are endless.

By creating an altruistic holiday campaign, you can gain some great PR for your business while having a lot of fun and making a difference in your community. The more creative you get, the more exposure the campaign will get.