As a small business owner the holiday season can be a time that can make or break your business. Over the years the concept of “Black Friday” has been popularized and swarms of consumers can be seen rushing to the big chain stores following their Thanksgiving day. The concept of “Cyber Monday” may be fairly new, but according to an IBM report, total sales reached $1.98 billion on Cyber Monday in 2012, a 17% increase from 2011. These statistics may be daunting for a small business owner, but there is something that can place small businesses on a similar playing field as the big chain stores and online outlets. “Small Business Saturday” is a concept popularized in 2010 by American Express during an advertising campaign. According to American Express consumers spent an estimated $5.5 billion at small business retailers and restaurants in 2012.
All businesses should begin to reach out to their email contacts by sending out one email a week mentioning whatever promotions and sales your business will have on that Saturday. To build your email list it is important to obtain the email addresses from all the consumers that shop at your store. It is important to keep in mind that this is time consuming so expediting the email collection process can be advantageous. Make it enticing for a consumer to give their email address by offering a discount at the register. Aside from email your business should take full advantage of its social media networks and schedule tweets and Facebook posts regarding your Saturday specials. Another way to spark interest would be to run a Facebook contest where user activity is rewarded. Businesses can visit https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/Shop-Small/marketing-materials for customizable banners that they can add to their social media sites that will let users know that the business is participating in this year’s Small Business Saturday event. You can also encourage consumers to shop at your establishment by re-investing a portion of the sales to a local need.
Make sure whatever promotional route you take is posted on all your social media networks and sent to consumers via an email blast. Utilize fliers and banners outside your storefront as well; it is important to let consumers passing by know about your sale as well as your participation in Small Business Saturday. If your business hasn’t already you can register for discounts and get additional information about Small Business Saturday here: http://www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/service/2473/small-business-saturday
The holiday season is in full effect and this can be a great time for your business to take advantage of a holiday marketing campaign. With Thanksgiving around the corner many consumers will be looking for holiday discounts as well as gift shopping. More consumers are realizing that this can be a hectic time to shop and are opting to shift their holiday shopping from brick-and-mortar to a more online approach. An online storefront is a great asset for a business to have especially around this time, but how can you differentiate your storefront from the other sites? There are a few things to consider when following an online approach.
The best way to bring consumers inside of a a physical storefront is to create an appealing environment, so the same should be done with a website. Consider decorating your website with a holiday theme, it doesn’t have to extravagant, simple things such as changing the background, implementing snow and animated Santa’s and other holiday themes; this will show the consumer that you are participating in a holiday special and therefore they will be more inclined to look at your website as opposed to one that has kept the same theme throughout the seasons. By not updating your website to reflect certain events such as holidays or specials it gives the consumer the impression that your business is inactive and they will be less inclined to follow through with a purchase.
Another thing that your business can consider is implementing a free shipping campaign. This can be one of the most effective ways at reaching a customer and getting a purchase. The holiday season is a time where consumers are rushing for last minute gift buying with limited time and money. Come up with a time frame that would be feasible and be sure to let your audience know about your offer through your social network accounts, your email subscriber list, and participating in other blogs that are relevant to your customer base. An optimal time to begin letting people know about your offer is before the peak shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There is a national initiative called Free Shipping Day – check it out here.
Search Engine Marketing is another tool that your business can use to stand out for the holiday season. Be sure to link your business with holiday relevant terms such as “Cyber Monday deals” and “holiday sale.” Utilizing retargeting advertisements are also a good way to reach out to your existing customer base and letting them know about the holiday specials that your business is offering. A
retargeting advertisement will place a banner advertisement for your website throughout the web, but will only be visible to users who have visited your website in the past.
Another way to maintain your current customer base during the holidays is offer existing customers a special sale or an exclusive. Depending on your businesses social media presence, a social media contest can do a lot to help a business gain exposure during the holidays. Utilizing clever hashtags and holiday themed contests would be a great way to engage customers and create a buzz. Being that the holidays are a time for giving it would also make sense for your business to participate in some charitable causes such as toy’s for tots. Charitable causes will help build your brand and will result in positive press. Be sure to take pictures and videos of your business participating in these events so that you can upload them to your social media networks. With these tools and holiday ideas your business should find it’s way onto plenty of customers holiday wish list.
If you need us to develop a holiday marketing campaign for your business, contact us today at email@example.com or 347-460-8179.
Small Businesses are becoming more aware of the benefits of using social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Promotion is the obvious way in which a social network presence can help a small business succeed. Increasing the amount of “likes” and building a large enough following is a great way to create a strong brand.
The benefits of social networking go beyond the amount of promotion received. Using a site like Facebook enables brands to have direct access to both the demographics and the psycho-graphics of their consumer base. For example a small business that has developed enough of a following can use the information of their followers to pick up on any trends and similarities in habits. These similarities can then be used to properly allocate resources in a more efficient way to target consumers.
It is known that it is more cost effective to retain current customer relations as opposed to acquiring new customers. The more active a business is on social media the more potential it has for retaining a customer base. A successful business will closely monitor any comments left by their customers and respond to any suggestions and complaints. Social media offers consumers a way to express their experience with certain businesses, and also offers an opportunity for these businesses to use this information at their disposal.
Chances are your competitors also have a social media presence. The easiest way to see what your competitor has planned is to check their social media pages. More than often businesses will post promotional deals to get more customers. A successful business will take note of ideas that worked and be sure to avoid ideas that failed. By observing the social network activity of your competitors you will be able to act accordingly and understand the state of your industry.
So next time your business considers a marketing tool, be sure that you’ve taken advantage of social media and all of its benefits.
While most businesses can now agree that social media can be beneficial to their bottom line, they still struggle with the most effective ways to market themselves on social media. Below are 6 more tips to follow up our last post on social media marketing (Social Media Tips – Part 1) to utilize to make your brand connect with your customers on the various platforms.
- To save time and be more efficient in the long run, create a monthly social media calendar and content outline.
- Do you engage in twitter chats? If not, you should start now. You get to connect with potential clients or partners and also learn a lot about different subjects in the process.
- Don’t get hung up on the number of likes you have on Facebook or followers on Twitter. It’s more important to connect with a smaller amount of the right audience than a larger amount of the wrong audience.
- There are more effective social media networks to help you grow your business than just Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Research to see if there are any specific to your industry or field and get involved with them.
- Advertising on Facebook can be the magic key to getting your product or services in front of the right audience. Contact them to see if you can get a credit to try it out for a limited time. The beauty of Facebook advertising is how niched you can set your target market parameters.
- Insight information is very key when it comes to determining what type of content to continue to post. Make sure you check your social media analytics at least monthly to help guide what future content to share.
While most businesses can now agree that social media can be beneficial to their bottom line, they still struggle with the most effective ways to market themselves on social media. Below are some tips to utilize to make your brand connect with your customers on the various platforms.
- Visuals get more attention than text on social media so when you can, post an image or video to illustrate your content.
- When posting content, think about your audience and share what you feel they will find beneficial. Every so often ask them if there is anything specific they’d like to see.
- To keep managing your pages an interesting experience, choose a persona for your page. It should represent your brand culture and have a distinctive voice. This persona should be used in your email marketing as well.
- Social media is not all about posting information from your brand. It’s also about engaging with other brands and seeing what fruitful connections you can make.
- Know your audience and where they convene. For example, a social media network like LinkedIn is great for B2B companies as it as a network centered on connecting professionals.
Branding Essentials Workshop
Join us for an interactive Branding Essentials workshop where you will learn about different facets of marketing to effectively implement in your business! Registration will be limited to 20 participants in order to keep the workshop as hands-on and interactive, as possible.
Agenda: How to Successfully Brand or Rebrand Your Company | Grow Your Biz With E-mail & Social Media| What defines “PR”?| Make a Splash with Special Events| Q&A
Also there will be a Continental Breakfast, Working Lunch & Q&A
Each attendee will receive a complimentary consultation!
When: June 27, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Where: BNY Mellon, 101 Barclay Street, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10007
RSVP at 212-693-5050 or firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s always interesting and helpful to identify what demographics are using social media – from Facebook to Twitter to Pinterest to Instagram and more. We found a cool infographic online from the Pew Research Center that breaks down who is on what platform according to their surveys (Market research- very important!).
In the order of most used to least used by adults, here is the list:
For the original article it was featured in on Mashable.com, click here.
When it comes to life, people have different ways they choose to experience it. Some people prefer to jump in and see what happens, others prefer to create a plan before proceeding, and some people like to combine the two. No matter people’s preferences- when it comes to business, it’s always great to have some type of strategy before moving forward on any initiative, especially when it comes to your marketing. We wanted to get you started on the right path if you’re not doing so already, so below we’ve shared an overview of how to hit your marketing goals by creating a strategy first.
- Determine your goal
- If you don’t know the goal you’re trying to reach, you most likely will never reach it. Whether it is to increase brand awareness, double last quarter’s sales or retain more customers this month, you need to identify the goal you’re ultimately trying to accomplish.
- Create a plan
- Once you have determined your goal, the next thing to do is figure out how you’re going to accomplish it. At this point, you should map out an overall plan detailing your target market, what your messaging will say, promotional platforms to use, and how you will convey your brand’s USP (Unique Selling Proposition) consistently and clearly.
- Decide on the marketing platforms you’re going to use
- When deciding which marketing platforms to use, you have to consider your resource level from the following perspectives: financially, support, and time. A budget, no matter how small, must be set. The size of your team and time you have available will determine how long it will take you to execute your marketing goals. There are a variety of marketing platforms to choose from: Advertising, Social Media, Partnerships, Direct Marketing, Promotions, (and the list goes on) so there is always some type of marketing your business can do no matter its’ level.
- Establish a timeline
- A lot of businesses don’t understand how imperative this step is when creating its marketing strategy. When you start to note dates down on paper, it gives you a benchmark to work again to ensure you’re staying on track with the execution of your activities. As you cross deliverables off your list, you’ll begin to see the progress that is being made, even if you’re not seeing results right away.
- While this is the most logical step of marketing strategy, this is where we find most businesses fall. They put a lot of time and energy into creating a great strategy, and then they drop the ball when it comes to execution. Many great marketing plans have sat on the bookshelf collecting dust because a business simply didn’t have time to execute it or make it a priority to execute their marketing plan. Basically they had the winning lotto ticket in their hands, but never cashed it in!
So if you are looking to develop your marketing strategy for second quarter, consider all of these options. While you may have been getting by OK so far with the current marketing activities that you are (or are not) doing, imagine if you actually established a goal to hit, a plan how to get there, and then executed it! You’ll find that you’ll get to that pot of gold at the end of rainbow much quicker and with fewer detours! And if the concept of developing a marketing strategy sounds great to you, but you don’t have enough time or interest to do it yourself, contact us at email@example.com so we can discuss how we can help you.
Check out this business plan competition being held by the Harlem Business Alliance! The deadline is March 18th so apply ASAP!