Category: Business

Preparing for the 2019 Christmas: Tips You Need To Implement To Have A Succesful Holiday Season

With just around 60 days left, If you’re a retailer, you know this only means one thing: You need to start planning your holiday specials and marketing

Christmas season is one of the biggest shopping events of the year, and for many merchants, holiday sales can account up to 30% of their annual revenue.

Most retailers will try to maximize the holiday season by ramping up their marketing efforts, so you need to work twice as hard to compete.
To succeed during the holiday season you need to have a plan to prepare for the upcoming seasonal rush.

We’ve put together several tips you should do before the Christmas season.

Pair Charity Donations with a Sale

The holiday season is all about doing the right thing and giving donations to those in need. Take advantage of this as a small business owner. When people are in the holiday spirit, add a charitable element to your promotions. For example, you could donate a small portion of holiday proceeds to a charity close to your business or community.

This way, you’ll get customers while helping less fortunate people during the holiday season.

Reach out to local influencers for holiday gift guides

It’s relatively easy to get listed on holiday gift guides from influencers, even if you’re a small business. Most big companies would go after influencers with millions of followers but as a small business owner what you should be doing is contacting the so-called micro-influencers in your industry.

A recent study shows that micro-influencers produces better conversion compared to influencers with millions of followers.

You can either give them a free sample of your product. Or, if you’re in the service industry, offer free admission to a training or a free consultation! the goal is to test out your product so they might add it to a round-up of their favourite products for 2019.

Here’s a quick example of a YouTuber creating a 2018 gift guide with almost 200k views. now imagine if your product is in one of those videos and 200 thousand people will see your product.

The Good Ol’ Giveaway

Social Media giveaways and contents can generate a ton of traffic and engagement for your business, especially during the scramble to find the perfect gift. There’s a reason why big companies like amazon is doing it every single year. simply because it works.

Use your social media and email channels to launch giveaway content and invite people to participate.

Make sure you carefully explain the terms and conditions of the contest or the giveaway for legal purposes.

Crowdsource content from your community

User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful way to attract a buzz around your business. So, use it to your advantage. Create a challenge or contest and solicit submissions from your network of your social media followers. Keep it fun, lighthearted, and creative; and make sure to come up with a plan before launching the campaign to ensure it goes off without a hitch.

for example:

A great campaign that relied on user-generated content is Starbucks’ #redcupchallenge. With this contest, they invited followers to post holiday-inspired photos that incorporated that year’s “red cup” design. This is one of the best Christmas campaigns of all time because it engaged the community, promoted social sharing, and produced some unique coffee cup designs!

Dress up your website and social media channels

“Even if you only do business online, you can still show off your holiday spirit,” says Small Biz Trends contributor Annie Pilon. Dress up your social media properties and website with some holiday-inspired elements and colours. Why? Most people love to get in the holiday spirit, plus it shows a little brand personality, which consumers like.

Don’t forget holiday email marketing

If you collect email addresses from your customers (as you should), leverage your email list to send out a holiday gift guide highlighting the best products or services you have to offer.

To extend the life of the content, you can break the guides into different categories like “Gifts for [INSERT PERSON],” “Stocking Stuffers Under $[DOLLAR AMOUNT],” or “Last-Minute Gift Ideas for the Procrastinating Gift Giver.”

Your email list is already primed to your brand, so give them an extra nudge by offering some gift ideas for them!

Example:

Offer incentives to buy

During the holiday shopping season, customers are accustomed to deals like free shipping and gift wrap, guaranteed delivery dates, and other discounts. While a seemingly easy tactic on the expansive list of holiday campaign ideas, incentives are a great way to draw customers in.

Story tell like Santa

“Storytelling still works,” says American Marketing Association contributor Christine Birkner. Some small businesses during the holidays should focus on public relations as much as sales. Shine a spotlight on the inner workings of your business by showcasing employees on social media, sharing the behind-the-scenes of your business, or posting pictures of employees during their holiday time off.

Doing this makes your brand more relatable to consumers, and in turn, they will be more likely to buy from you.

Example:

Global consultancy PwC closes doors between Christmas and the New Year, and during this time promotes the effort as #PwCTakesABreak. By using this hashtag, employees can tell stories of how they use their downtime on social media. It also shows the public a powerful message: that the company cares about employees, which makes potential clients say, “This is a firm that I want to work with.” In the meantime, it promotes working for the company, too!

Create a seasonal lead magnet

Now is the time to create fresh and new content, wrap it in some seasonal branding, and launch a limited-time-only lead magnet. You can create a lead magnet to attract high-quality, build trust by helping your prospects navigate a problem, or offer a useful resource. Creating a holiday-inspired lead magnet can help grow an email list and nurture leads into sales, as well! Just make sure the lead magnet tackles the following:

  • It’s action-driven. To generate interested leads, it’s important to give away free goodies.
  • It offers a benefit. Lead magnets should provide useful information your audience can apply.
  • It’s relevant. It solves your target audience’s main problems.

Optimize for local search

If you are a small business who relies on local foot traffic, consider it time to optimize your local search presence. This means making sure that your business and all of its details (name, location, website, and business information) is listed on local search sites like Google My Business, Yelp, Better Business Bureau, Yellow Pages, and Company.com.

Local search optimization can help lure local shoppers who are looking for specific types of businesses, this holiday season is a great time to make sure your local search listings are up to date and filled out!

Final Thoughts

Marketing holidays can be tricky, but it’s for sure doable with the above tips. Pay attention to the deals and plan ahead, as the holiday season is just around the corner. In fact, don’t wait until the last minute… It takes time to create a well-executed holiday marketing campaign. Start your journey at least a month out so you have time to cross your T’s and dot your I’s!

And stay focused on a single key objective so you can connect a clever concept to real business results. The best approach is considering what your business needs in the final quarter of the year: a boost in awareness, a fresh batch of high-quality leads, an influx of revenue, or a dose of customer loyalty.

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Why You Shouldn’t Rely On Word of Mouth for your Business

Majority of traditional business loves word of mouth. It’s one of the most powerful forms of marketing and if a word of mouth referral contacts your business it’s almost a guaranteed sale. That being said if your only marketing strategy is just word-of-mouth then it’s going to be an uphill battle for your business.

 

Every time we meet a business client the majority of them will always say that they are only relying on word-of-mouth marketing to generate leads and sales.

 

Stop crossing your fingers and hoping one of your customers will refer your business

 

If you have a well-established business, those word-of-mouth quality leads might be coming in. And you should be loving every one of them. And they might be coming in for a solid month or two. But what happens when that pipeline dries up? What happens when the word-of-mouth stops?

 

That’s right, nothing.

 

No leads, no business, no incoming money.

 

Then the panic sets in. Hard. 

 

And that’s what we have seen for a lot of businesses this year. We have seen countless business owners (Electricians, Plumbers, Restaurant Owners, etc) all saying that they are receiving fewer leads (and fewer bookings) than years prior.

 

And it wasn’t until we started having real-world conversations with each one of these business owners that had these same complaints that we found a commonality.

The common item was that they were relying heavily on word-of-mouth, referrals, being on some form of preferred vendor list, or something similar. They’re just crossing their fingers hoping that something comes in because they weren’t actively going out and doing what’s necessary to be omnipresent with those potential customers.

 

Slow & Steady

 

One of the biggest issue with word of mouth marketing is the fact that it takes a really long time to kick in. First of all, you need to provide such a great service that your customers will actually want to tell their friends about it.

 

More often than not word of mouth marketing is a slow draining process. Sometimes it can have a great effect and it can spark interest on new customers, and other times it will just die out.

 

The Digital way of word-of-mouth

 

With increasing access to technology and with so much information available online. Customers can simply research and look at several businesses online. You might have the service or product that they need, but on the other hand, another business is offering a discount or a newer product or additional services than what you are offering.

 

And even if one of your customers recommends your business to their friends, family or colleague they are still going to do quick online research about your business before doing business with you. They can do this in a matter of 1-2minutes by simply typing your business in search engines like Google or even Facebook, so if your website doesn’t show up, if you have a terrible looking website or if you have negative reviews online, it may make them a bit sceptical of your business.

 

Another factor why your businesses who are relying on word of mouth is struggling is because of online reviews. Online reviews show the experience of other customers about your business and not just the person who recommended your business. In a recent survey done by Brightlocal 90% of consumers today read at least 6 reviews before deciding if they will be dealing with your business. 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from a family, friend or colleagues.

 

No Data to work with

 

Understanding your data is one of the most critical parts of growing and scaling your business. Tracking the activity of potential customers with various marketing strategy such as Social Media, Paid Google Ads, or Google SEO.

 

With all the data in hand, it allows you to change your marketing strategy to be more effective. And with word-of-mouth referrals you do not have this data, making it extremely difficult to understand what your customers want and what aspects of your business needs adjustments or improvements.

 

Without the data, You don’t have a strategy and without a strategy, it is almost impossible to make the right decisions to scale your business.

 

The choice is yours!

 

You now have two options you can either.

 

  1. Keep crossing your fingers and hoping a need customer will call you, you can also hope that someone happens to pass by your storefront and decide to check the business out.
  2. Or you can proactively go after potential customers by implementing a great marketing strategy.

Creating an Effective Marketing Plan

 

The problem with businesses today is they don’t know how to leverage the positive experience of their customers to influence cold buyers who never heard about your business. We suggest starting with simple steps to get the most out of your word-of-mouth referrals and turn them into ways of actively promoting your business.

 

  1. Highlight some of your biggest client’s testimonials or feedback on your website. This should be easy to find either on the first page of your website. You can also take it a step further and create a blog about how you solved their problem and what’s their experience doing business with you.
  2. Use online advertising. Yes, we understand most small-businesses don’t have a lot of money to spend on online advertising but paid advertising has been a huge reason why there are businesses out there who are smashing their sales targets. And yes, it can be quite expensive. But you are a business owner. And you have to think of these as investments to your business and not just an expense.
  3. If you are not sure where to start your online advertising efforts. We suggest understanding your audience demographics and where do they spend most of their time online. For example, if you are selling fashionable clothes then you should be going for Instagram. You need to understand your audience’s online behaviour so you can create a marketing message specifically for them. Because if you simply create a message just saying we are having a 30% discount then your message will just get lost!
  4. Talk to your audience. One of the reasons why some of the biggest brands hire a dedicated social media manager is so they can talk to their audience and understand what exactly what they want. Ask them a question. ask them for feedback about the recent product or service they bought from you.

Final Thoughts

 

Word of mouth marketing is one of the most powerful types of marketing. The aim is to get your existing customers to talk about positive experiences about your business.

 

We now live in a world where consumers don’t necessarily need to ask their friends or family for recommendations or referrals. Instead, you can just go on Google and type that product or service you are looking for and judge the businesses’ service or credibility by what they saw online through your website, social media or online reviews. This is why businesses who rely purely on word of mouth marketing struggle to find new customers.

 

The best option is to use a variety of marketing techniques such as SEO, Social Media Ads, Email Marketing and Content Creation to ensure your business has a great chance of being seen by new customers.

To learn how you can take control of your company’s lead generation strategy or discuss options for your specific needs. Contact our team. We’ll help create a plan specific to your business, no matter what stage you are in scaling your business.

 

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