The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for many businesses. Consumers are primed to spend, and whether or not they choose your business over another might be determined by the effectiveness of your holiday marketing campaign.

Of course, it’s best to get started on holiday marketing at least a couple months in advance, but if you’ve let the season get away from you until now, there are still some last-minute tips that will help direct consumer attention your way.seasons greetings

1. Promote easy last-minute purchases

We’ve all been there. Perhaps that perfect online purchase won’t show up in time for Christmas, or a distant relative unexpectedly shows up for the holidays. Last-minute gift purchases are common, and making them as convenient as possible for your customers will help give your business a holiday boost.

2. Use social media

It might be too late to send notifications in the mail, but the immediacy of social media allows you to reach out to your customers with last-minute deals or notifications. Make it fun by engaging with your customers, announcing a holiday countdown or asking customers to post fun holiday pictures or memories on your page. The more your posts are “liked” or shared, the more exposure you’ll gain.

3. Develop an email campaign

Not everyone is active on social media, so make sure you cover all your bases by sending out email notifications or newsletters. This is a great way to keep your customers informed of last-minute special offers or events, and an email leaves room to provide more in-depth information than a social media post.

4. Consider charity work

The holidays are a time for giving, and customers love to buy with a purpose. Organizing a fundraiser or donating to a local charity will go a long way in helping your business with networking and positive public relations. Consider putting together a food drive, volunteering to deliver donations or advertising that a portion of your holiday profits will be donated to a local charity.

When you do engage in these activities, be sure to write about it in your blog content, through press releases and on social media. These acts may even garner some free press — a moment in the spotlight that can make all the difference for a small business.

5. Think ahead to the New Year

If you’ve started your holiday marketing campaign a little late, try offering promotional deals on items or services that can be used for New Year’s celebrations, too. This will give your marketing strategies an extra week’s worth of much-needed circulation time.

If the holiday season has come upon your business too fast, don’t worry — there are still steps you can take to market yourself during this busy time. Consider these tips when engaging in last-minute marketing before the holidays.