If you walk into any big box store at the end of September or beginning of October, holiday decorations are already up and for sale. Doesn’t it ruin the anticipation and the build up for the season? As a consumer, I hate it, but as a marketer, I know it is the way of the world AND people are buying now. And if you are a retailer in South Florida, you MUST capitalize on the holidays since it is not only one of the largest shopping times of the year but also it is part of your “in season” opportunity.
Whether you are a retail store or a service driven business, you must be clear on your company marketing goals. If you are a retail store or restaurant, you probably want to do more business during this holiday season. If you are a service industry, perhaps you want to acknowledge and thank your existing and past clientele. Or do you want to associate your brand image with the giving of your time and resources? The following 7 Tips will help you create success this holiday season!
- Be Clear on Your Goals: Like all marketing campaigns, it is necessary to have a plan before moving forward. What do you want to achieve? What are your customers looking for? What does your ideal client want? Remember this is not about you but about your clients. As we get closer to the coveted Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, what are your goals? Do you understand the best use of your time and resources in getting your message out to your potential customer? What have been your best marketing campaigns in past holiday seasons? What are you using to track this? These are all questions that a good marketing campaign should be able to answer.
- Plan Early: It is not a mistake that we see the big box stores come out with holiday offerings so early. They have been planning these campaigns for months. As a small business or entrepreneur, this is the time when you must have your campaigns in place to capitalize on the upcoming holiday season.
- Think Mobile: Regardless of whether you are a storefront or a service driven company, you must have an online presence. More and more people are looking for solutions to their consumer or service needs by searching Google. Even more are searching via their cell phone or tablet. You MUST have a Responsive Website at the very least. A responsive website allows your website to be viewed on multiple platforms with an optimal viewing experience. If you don’t have one, it is a MUST! If you are a retailer or restaurant, consider having a mobile website or mobile app. But if you don’t have these in place yet, plan for the future but still focus on your goals for this holiday season.
- Create Your Social Media Campaigns: Have you determined how and where people find information on your business? Often a business’ Social Media sites will come up higher than their website. More and more businesses recognize that you must use social media to help with your company’s SEO yet some businesses still do not take that seriously. It is crucial to be on social media and engage your followers. More importantly during the holiday times, create unique posts that help build your marketing campaign through content and images.
- Keep Your Brand and Content within your Campaigns Consistent: Remember that consistency in your brand and your marketing campaigns builds confidence and creates allegiance to your company. So often, we see inconsistent branding across platforms and that brings brand confusion. Instead, keep your brand consistent and more importantly keep the content that you are using consistent. Do your research on what keywords work for your particular industry. In other words, what are people searching for on Google to find your product or service?
- Don’t forget the PR: Many businesses don’t think of Public Relations as an opportunity for marketing their business. It is an opportunity to stay in front of a larger audience while promoting your business and brand at the same time. While I certainly do not recommend you implement this yourself, I do recommend that you consider hiring a PR company. Since this is one piece of the marketing mix, be clear on your overall goals and create a budget. Again, if you don’t have a PR presence already in place and are unable to do it this year, consider adding it to your marketing mix for next year.
- Have processes in place to collect this year’s data: You want to be able to capitalize on this year’s holiday marketing campaign next year. The more data you have, the easier it is to create the campaign and know exactly the best ROI in getting your message to your target market.
The holidays are inevitable. Whether you are a retailer looking to gain more customers or a service industry wanting to thank your existing customers or you want your brand to be linked to goodwill this holiday season, you must start in advance, be clear on your marketing goals, be consistent with your message and brand, and capitalize on the world wide web and social media opportunities.
Why Content and Social Media Marketing are the New SEO. (2014, July 22). http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lee-traupel-/why-content-and-social-me_b_5556734.html
9 Steps to Prepare Your Website Marketing for the Holiday Shopping Season. (2014, September 4). http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshsteimle/2014/09/04/9-steps-to-prepare-your-website-marketing-for-the-holiday-shopping-season/