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As Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday are now behind us, ensuring that your in-house marketing strategy is effective in order to close out the year on a high note can be an intimidating task. However, modifications to an organization’s approach when it comes to interacting with consumers and marketing products or services should account for long-term company success.
We’ve provided a few tips below for your local business to finish out the holiday shopping season strong. We encourage creativity to both find and provide cheer during the season and ~sleigh~ your revenue goals.
If words of affirmation are not your love language, communicating to your customer base with meaning and compassion could be a challenge. However, during a year where individuals and businesses alike are feeling the strain of the pandemic, going out of your way to thank your loyal customers and new customers alike is extremely impactful and beneficial.
As the holidays draw closer, people feel more pressure to purchase gifts and purchase them as quickly as possible. Online giants such as Amazon are tempting solutions for procrastinators. However, for those who understand and value the importance of shopping local and supporting communities, leaving their homes to shop in brick-and-mortar stores or to pick up items purchased online or via phone call is a version of an act of service. These people are following through on an action that helps individuals, rather than simply talking the (shop local) talk.
As a business owner, communicating and showing your appreciation for their efforts is crucial. A couple options for creative thank you’s include:
Does your business sell unique articles of clothing? Marketing such products in a fresh, creative fashion can often be difficult. However, one of the easiest ways to connect with and acknowledge customers is utilizing original content they have created. User-generated content creates excitement while also validating the value in the purchase. People appreciate being acknowledged and your effort in thoughtfully reflecting on their use of a product or service.
As many consumers have inflexible budgets this year, the value of gift giving and therefore shopping has morphed. The gesture of giving a gift demonstrates that the recipient is seen and prized. As such, businesses can do the same by exemplifying how a good or service meets a customer’s needs, not the company’s needs.
If you can make life a bit easier this year, don’t be afraid to show and tell the community. Educating your target audience will help your company stay top of mind as they remember your assistance in getting them exactly what they wanted or exactly where they wanted to go. Not to mention that educating is a very empathic move.
Email marketing has withstood the test of time in the world of marketing. This is largely due to the fact that email marketing can be utilized within any vertical and benefits any company that needs to boost brand awareness and traffic (in-person and digitally).
An email marketing strategy increases brand visibility, adds another touch point in the consumer buying journey (remember, 6-8 touches before a sale is made), drives quality prospects to your company’s website and perhaps above all, is an invaluable communication tool to announce new deals and new products or services.
However, we would be remiss not to mention the fact that during the holiday shopping season (especially one marked by a dramatic increase in digital customer engagement), emails are being sent to consumers at significantly higher volumes. While the major in-person and online shopping days (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday) have passed, there are lesser known “holidays” that have the potential to both perfectly align with your brand and grab the attention of consumers.
Here are a few special days around which a creative marketing campaign can be built:
December 4 – National Cookie Day
Who doesn’t love cookies?! For bakeries, using National Cookie Day to your advantage can be a major win. As people are traveling less to see loved one, perhaps you can suggest via an email campaign that some delicious treats sent along to their families will lessen the emotional blow.
December 9 – National Llama Day
Yup, it’s a real thing. Are you a retailer who specializes in crafting llama wool into fabrics or rugs? Then this holiday has your name written all over it!
December 14 – National Free Shipping Day (+ Green Monday)
We talked about making your customers’ lives easier this holiday season. In order to make their decision to shop local easier, consider highlighting National Free Shipping Day and participating in this holiday. This may remove the low barrier that has been preventing them from buying from your business.
Devising new ways to connect with consumers during this time is critical. However, as people turn to social media channels to spread some holiday cheer and connect with long-distance relatives, utilizing social platforms to get in front of your audience is key.
We suggest creating new content and publishing often. You don’t need to have a large marketing budget in order to execute social media marketing campaigns well. Using social media as a discussion board around products, as comedic relief during tense times and as a means to interact one-on-one with customers doesn’t have to cost more than your time (which, we know, is extremely valuable).
During the season of gift giving, Pinterest is a valuable social media platform that often gets overlooked (we’re guilty of that ourselves!) We live in a world where people are drawn in by visually appealing and interactive platforms. Utilized by 300 million active users, Pinterest is a way in which your business can tap into both a massive user base, but also an engaged user base. According to eMarketer, 47% of social media users view Pinterest as their desired platform to discover and shop for products – more than three times higher than those who use Facebook or Instagram in a similar fashion. Furthermore, Pinterest is largely utilized by women (more than two thirds). Of those women located within the US, more than 80% are between the age of 18 and 64 with children. If you are a brand interested in reaching a highly engaged audience of mothers, seriously considering Pinterest is a must.
In addition, and specifically geared towards holiday marketing efforts, organizations can build out Pinterest boards that align with seasonal marketing goals. For example, Pinterest can assist your organization in educating the community (84% of Pinners say that Pinterest helps them learn new things), an empathetic action as discussed earlier that can embed your brand into the minds of consumers. There is also a great deal of data that suggests that Pinterest users use the platform to discover occasion-related content. Remember National Cookie Day? Creating a marketing strategy that utilizes two platforms in tandem to promote your business enhances productivity and produces better results. Sending an email with a cookie and product catalogue while simultaneously publishing content on Pinterest sharing cookie recipes and baking tips is a way to optimize your efforts.
This year, striving for compassion, clarity and creativity is a best bet for organizations. When struggling to determine next steps in your marketing strategy, simplify things and consider what your customers need and work to communicate authentically.
As always, we are here to help work through any and all problems your business encounters now and throughout the months ahead!