This past week we had the pleasure of conducting a virtual workshop with the Lawson Chamber of Commerce helping small businesses build a holiday marketing plan. We have a recording of that workshop below for you to watch, if interested. We have also broken down the steps and offered some resources to help, as well. Please let us know if there is anything that we can help you with in your online marketing efforts.
1. Mark Your Calendar
Having a calendar is essential when planning a marketing campaign. Whether you use a printed calendar or digital, marking the targeted dates is key. To help, I’ve put together this year’s November and December monthly calendars already marked with these dates for you to digitally download and print! I usually work backwards starting with the date of the event and then marking key communication goals for each day leading up to that day. For instance: 2 days away, 1 week away, 2 weeks away, etc.
2. Set a Goal
It’s important that you set a goal for yourself to work toward. Be realistic, though. If you have previous years to look back on, see if you can improve on what you did before. Don’t set an expectation that you don’t think you can reach, though. Whatever you set should be attainable. Use the SMART goals method: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.
3. Create Your Offer
Once you have set your goal, create an offer that leads back to the action item that you want your audience to take. Provide something to entice your audience in to the space that you’re wanting to capture their attention. Maybe you offer a giveaway or contest, collecting email addresses, which builds your audience and helps you reach your goal. Maybe you offer an e-coupon that someone can print and bring in to your place of business for a discount. Be creative but don’t put something out that you’re going to lose revenue on. Consider offers that you are already providing.
4. Use Your Tools
Think about all the tools that you have at your disposal to use in getting out the word of your campaign. If you have a website, consider writing blogs. It’s a great way to pull your audience into your e-commerce space.
Think about all the social media outlets that you currently use. How can you communicate your marketing through those channels to meet your goal? I wouldn’t recommend adding channels, but instead give good focus on the ones where you already have a presence. In our area, the top social media outlets used are Facebook and Instagram.
Direct Email Marketing is one of the most effective ways to lead your audience to sales. If you don’t already have a mailing list, I would encourage that you start one. It can be as easy as putting out a notebook for sign ups at your register or creating a Google form signup that you can send out digitally. Building a direct audience by emailing is key in building your business.
Think about the memberships and partnerships that you already have in place. Are you a Chamber member? What benefits are offered to members that you could take advantage of in meeting your holiday marketing goals? Maybe you attend a Chamber luncheon and make an announcement, offer tickets, or provide a door raffle item that links to your campaign.
When I think of old school marketing, I think of print marketing, word of mouth, and medias not related to the online world (radio, ad inserts, flyers, brochures, etc.). Print newspapers still work for the rural parts of our area. You can reach a large amount of people that aren’t on social media and continue to use more traditional ways of communication. Think about newspapers, classifieds, radio, and tv ads.
Sponsorships are also another great way of getting in front of an audience in a non-traditional but effective way. Consider supporting a local popular event or even volunteering. It can be a great genuine way of gaining support.