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A small business’s guide to being more inclusive this holiday season

Looking to add some diversity to your holiday marketing? Here’s how you can be more inclusive as a small business this holiday season.

As a small business owner, you probably often spend your time looking for ways to appeal to a wider audience. And as the holiday season approaches, it gives you the perfect opportunity to play around with your marketing strategy and see what helps you build better relationships with your customers. 

Everyone loves a good Christmas sale and Thanksgiving promotion, but these aren’t the only ways to attract your customers. You need to make sure your business promotion strategies inclusive enough to attract a more diverse audience. 

Inclusive marketing is key to succeeding as a small business. And the holidays give you the perfect opportunity to try it out. Here are some foolproof ways to be more inclusive with your marketing this holiday season. 

1. Do your research 

If you’re planning to show your customers how inclusive you are as a small business, the first thing you need to do is gather your information and stay up to date with every celebration taking place during the season. 

This means a lot of heavy and qualitative research on your part. Keep in mind that your job isn’t limited to just finding out what’s celebrated and what isn’t. You also need to be mindful of how certain celebrations are conducted. Don’t limit your research to basic mainstream information off of the internet. Also avoid making assumptions about certain target groups or believing stereotypes about certain holidays, celebrations, or campaigns. 

It’s important for you to not look like you’re trying to profit off of a certain holiday or movement. The infamous Pepsi ad starring Kendall Jenner received extreme backlash for this very reason when it attempted to use a Black Lives Matter protest as the backdrop for promoting its drink. The ad was criticized heavily for indulging in tokenism and making light of a serious movement. 

As a growing small business, this is exactly the kind of negative attention you should avoid. Be thorough with your research and collect as much authentic, diverse information as you can before you embark on your journey to be a more inclusive brand. 

2. Create a holiday calendar to help you stay on track

Plan out and create a holiday calendar for internal use where you can add in all important dates, holidays, celebrations, and campaigns to be followed. Make sure you’re adding in holidays that matter to the majority of your audience, instead of just those that cater to a certain target group. 

One fun way to let customers know of your efforts to stay aware is by creating a more polished version of your calendar to send out to your customers through an email campaign. You can highlight all important holidays and celebrations in this calendar and add in all the special offers and deals you’ve planned for each one. This will not only ensure that you will have something of interest for everyone, but will also keep customers excited about what your business has to offer.

3. Diversify your holiday content

One of the most important aspects of a holiday marketing strategy is an active and engaging social media campaign. Your goal is to make sure you’re active on all major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. Make sure to come up with regular fun ideas to keep your online audience interested. 

However, keep in mind that the content you create needs to be relatable and inclusive of all the demographics you aim to reach. This means that you need to avoid focusing too much on a single holiday or seasonal celebration, and instead try to incorporate multiple beliefs and celebrations into your marketing strategy. 

For instance, it might make the most sense to center your promotions around the Christmas season, but keep in mind that not all of your followers will be celebrating Christmas. Here are some seasonal celebrations you can include in your promotions:

  1. Hanukkah
  2. Nicholas Day
  3. Winter Solstice 
  4. Kwanzaa 

4. Stay neutral with your holiday messaging

The way you phrase your message to your audience is integral to how they perceive your attempts to be inclusive. For years, holiday marketing messages have been focused on the larger holidays. They have sidelined minorities who do not truly relate to those specific holidays. 

Of course, it can be difficult to conjure up a bunch of messages for different audiences, especially on a budget. One solution is to make sure you use neutral language in your promotional messages that appeal to everyone. 

Try focusing on common values instead of religious or cultural phrases. You can do this by focusing on values like giving back to the community or spending time with family, instead of using rhetoric that is exclusive to a singular target audience. 

A great example is Target’s recent holiday campaign that focuses on a more relatable theme of budget-friendly celebrations. Their tagline is “What we value more shouldn’t cost more”. This focus on a more common theme rather than one focused on a specific holiday makes more customers feel included and encourages them to pay more attention to the business. 

5. Partner up with other inclusive small businesses

If you’re trying to convince your audience that you’re an inclusive brand that caters to all beliefs, cultures, and people, a good step to take is to establish your credibility as a trustworthy brand first. One great way to do this is by approaching other small businesses that encourage inclusivity for possible partnerships. 

It may seem strange to share the spotlight with another brand. However, remember that strategic partnerships are key to diversifying your own audience. Look for brands that endorse the kind of messages you want to share with your audience, and ask them to partner up. 

Target, once again, is a good example of this as they made sure to partner up with women-owned production companies in their most recent holiday campaign, and made sure to let their audience know of their inclusive efforts. 

Make sure your audience knows about your new partnerships by promoting them through vibrant and engaging small business flyers. PosterMyWall has a fabulous range of templates that you can choose from, customize according to your preferences, and save, publish to social media, or print out as you please. 

Create the perfect flyer by adding the following details:

  1. Your brand logo along with the brand logo of the business you’re partnering with
  2. A catchy yet neutral slogan for your caa smalmpaign
  3. A bunch of fun holiday illustrations, stickers, and images to make your flyer pop
  4. A QR code in one corner of your flyer to lead customers to extra information on your collaboration

Final thoughts

The holiday season can be a tough one to navigate. Sure, you have lots of opportunities to promote your brand and gain recognition. But with those opportunities comes a lot of responsibility to ensure you’re representing all your customers’ needs. To do this, you first need to establish a sense of trust between yourself and your audience. 

Follow these tips to add a fresh twist to your holiday campaigns, use small business flyers to forward promotions and rebrand yourself as a business that cares.