20 Instagram Holiday Marketing Ideas for Small Business Owners

Are you looking for new, creative ways to promote your company on Instagram through the holidays? Instagram is a terrific tool for connecting with potential consumers and growing your reach because it has over 1 billion active monthly users. This blog post is full of helpful advice on how to make the most of your Instagram presence through the season and ensure that your company stands out from the competition.

These ideas will help you increase your reach, further define your brand, and provide high-value content to your audience that will have them coming back for more! Let us help take some of the creative pressure off during a busy time by trying one or more of these 20 helpful ideas to elevate your marketing on Instagram this holiday season.

1. Offer exclusive discounts and promotions to followers

A great way  thank devoted customers and followers is to offer exclusive discounts and promotions. Your small business can boost client loyalty and entice more customers to follow your brand by providing special discounts and promotions. In addition to helping businesses raise revenue and brand recognition, this can help you to develop better relationships with your customers. Special and especially unique deals can help your business stand out from the crowd and draw new eyes to your products.

2. Run an Instagram-exclusive giveaway or contest

Running an Instagram-exclusive giveaway or contest is a great way for your small business to increase your visibility, reach, and engagement on the platform. This type of promotion helps to draw attention from Instagram users who may not have seen or interacted with your business otherwise. It can also help you build a loyal follower base and create a sense of community amongst your business’s audience. You can also use a contest as an opportunity to generate user-generated content which can be used to help promote the business even further over time!

3. Post festive product photos to create a feeling of holiday cheer

Your small companies can spread holiday cheer by publishing festive product photos during the holidays. It can assist to evoke the spirit of the occasion, which can enhance customer loyalty and make them feel good about your company. The Christmas season is a fantastic time to promote distinctive and targeted uses for your

4. Feature customers wearing or using your products in holiday photos

Posting customers wearing or using your products in holiday photos can be a great way for your small business to show off different products and create an engaging visual for their followers. This type of content can be fun and creative and help to create a strong connection between your business and instagram community; followers seeing customers using your products can help encourage sales and increase brand awareness.

5. Create an Instagram Story highlighting holiday gift ideas

Creating an Instagram Story highlighting holiday gift ideas is a great way for your small business to promote products and services. This type of content is especially impactful during the holiday season when people are looking for unique gifts for their loved ones – make it easy for them! The content should be quick and easy for your followers to consume. Using a graphic tool like Canva that has story templates can help make it easy and save you time. Stories can be a great way to encourage followers to take action and make a purchase. 

6. Create holiday-themed content to engage with customers

It’s valuable to your business to spread cheer! Holiday-themed content is a great way for your small business to build engagement on Instagram through the season. This type of content can make customers feel special and shows that your business is taking the time to create content that resonates with them. Fun holiday-themed content will give your followers a reason to return to your page and keep up on what is happening with your business.

7. Partner with other businesses to create joint holiday promotions

It is worthwhile to team up with other local businesses to increase your reach and visibility, especially during the holidays. It can cross promote your products and services to new audiences who likely have a crossover if not similar interests of supporting small businesses, handmade products, unique gift ideas, etc. Joint holiday promotions such as story takeovers, giveaways, product bundles, or exclusive deals can help to drive traffic to both businesses, boosting both account’s sales and social visibility.

If you are looking for more specific ideas on how to collaborate with fellow small businesses, read our blog post: Four Ways to Collaborate with Other Small Businesses

8. Host an Instagram Live session to answer customer questions

Hosting an Instagram Live Session can help your followers to ask questions in real time and receive personalized responses from an expert, you! This type of interaction can help your followers feel more connected to the business, and build trust. A Live Session also creates an opportunity followers and new customers to get to know the person or team behind your business. The transparency can help the live audience feel more connected to you and better about spending their hard earned dollars on your products and services.

9. Run a holiday hashtag campaign to boost engagement

Hashtags are a great way to increase UGC (user generated content) for your business. It also makes it easy for your business to find and engage with the content your followers post! 

To do this, try picking a hashtag that is unique and relevant to your business and encourage your following to use it when sharing images, videos, reels, and stories that include content that is relevant to your business. 

For example, for us at BC Shop Local we encourage small businesses to use #bcshoplocal and #bcloveslocal when posting content of local products and services. For the holidays, we could choose to create a campaign with a more holiday specific hashtag, such as #santashopslocalbc 

10. Post holiday-themed videos to promote products and services

Holiday-themed videos can be used to highlight specific products or services that customers may not be aware of. Especially seasonal offers like gift baskets or product bundles. Reels have a higher probability to reach more accounts than a static post would so it is worth hitting record instead of taking a photo.

11. Create a series of Instagram posts about your holiday hours

It’s important to ensure your customers have the right information about when, where, and how to buy from you.

Be sure to post in all the ways you can over time (story, picture post/graphic, and reel/video) so that the most amount of followers will come across the details.

Pro tip: if you can be proactive and ask yourself what you might want to know about another small business during the holiday season and answer those questions in your content. It will save you from dealing with a lot of direct messages with questions so you can focus on other aspects of your business. 

12. Share holiday-themed customer reviews and shoutouts

By posting sincere testimonials during the season, you can improve the standing of your small business. It might be the deciding factor that encourages potential clients to make their first purchase of your goods or services. If you can get specific feedback recommending how great of a gift your offering makes – that would be ideal!

13. Create festive stories about your company culture

During the busy holiday season, create content that focuses on the culture and procedures of your company to update your followers on your activities. Use this chance to connect with your audience on a new level by telling your story in a festive manner.

Our 60 Reel Ideas for Small Business Owners post contains a ton of great ideas to help get you started! 

14. Offer free shipping or delivery for holiday purchases

There is nothing more frustrating for a consumer than to add exciting items for others to their cart only to discover that shipping will cost you an additional $15 plus dollars.

Free shipping is a terrific method to increase your sales. Customers will buy more because they won’t have to worry about paying additional money towards receiving their products. Knowing they have a dependable and affordable option to acquire their goods will foster consumer loyalty and confidence. It can also provide your company a significant competitive advantage over businesses that are not making shipping affordable during the season.

15. Share holiday recipes or gift ideas related to your products

Not every post you make to your Instagram feed has to be directly about your goods and services. By offering holiday-related recipes, activities, or gift-wrapping suggestions that align with the interests of your target audience, you can give your followers value-based material and draw in new viewers.

16. Host a Story Q&A session to answer customer questions

Using Instagram story Q&A stickers are a great easy way to connect with your audience and answer any questions that are holding them back from making purchases. They are also great because you can batch your time and answer all of the questions at once instead of managing them in an ongoing capacity like you need to with direct messages. 

Pro tip: Put all the stories with your Q&A responses into a dedicated highlight on your profile after they have been published.  You can then direct your followers to read through the answers instead of needing to explain yourself over and over again. 

17. Make holiday-themed graphics and GIFs to post

Custom graphics and GIFS help your business stand out amongst the many stories your followers flip through day after day. Letting them see your products, face, or logo in motion will add to the quality and professionalism of your branding and show your followers you are willing to go the extra mile for your business.

Check out this video that shares how to create your own custom GIFs to add to your Instagram stories with Canva!

18. Create festive Instagram ads to promote products and services

If you have the budget to do so, properly targeted ads and boosted posts on Instagram can draw in new audiences to your account and lead to an increase in sales over the holiday season. It is important to conduct research to understand your business’ demographic (if you haven’t already) to define the needs of your customer.

Ask yourself: What problems do my followers have that my product or service can solve? Then use your answers to craft engaging content that answers those problems in a festive way. 

19. Use instagram to promote a LIVE Virtual Holiday Shopping Party

Let your followers join in a festive evening without leaving the comfort of their home by hosting a shopping part over Instagram LIVE. You can answer questions, show off product features, and provide limited-time-only promotions to encourage your audience to finish up their holiday shopping by making a purchase from you. 

If you think your followers might enjoy this but are at a loss for how to actually execute a Virtual Holiday Shopping Party, try following these tips: 

  1. Promote the event in advance across all social media platforms 
  2.  Create a festive atmosphere to host the LIVE – whether it be a decorated table or backdrop 
  3.  Do a bit of research by watching the selling techniques used on other lives or the Shopping Network to prepare
  4. Ensure it is easy for customers to check out on their own during the LIVE so you aren’t distracted managing customer service questions

20. Run a holiday scavenger hunt to boost engagement and reward customers

If you are a local small business that mainly services customers or clients that are physically close to you, a fun and unique way to connect with them over the holidays is to host a Scavenger Hunt. Similarly to a giveaway, you can provide exciting incentives for your audience like free products, discounts, or samples to boost eyes on your page. 

Take your followers on a journey by posting hints of where you hid prizes in your city or neighbourhood. Then encourage your local audience to find the prize and post about their findings on Instagram.

This sort of fun, hands on marketing will build comrade with your following and get them excited about what is to come next for your page and business! 

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