A Marketing Refresh Before the Holidays Hit? You Still Have Time!
The days and weeks before Thanksgiving present a brief opportunity to realign your marketing before the holidays hit. What would you do to improve things for the festive season and heading into the New Year? We find a lot of small business owners struggle to find time to refresh their marketing initiatives. Many have a lot to prepare for as the year comes to a close and holiday preparation takes hold. Even so, a marketing refresh can be as simple as taking a step back to look at what's working for your small business brand and which areas need a tune-up.
Incremental Marketing Improvements: Where Should I Start?Any step back requires some inspiration on where to step back in. Some of the projects you could consider before the holidays hit include:
- develop your social media presence,
- letting go of time-intensive or underperforming campaigns
- take care of those niggling promotional gaps that you've been meaning to address all year
- refine your website to make it more mobile-friendly
- encourage your marketing team to take a day to flex their creative muscles.
Enhance Your Social ExperienceUse your social networks to get closer to customers. Even customers who enjoyed your service may not continue to buy from you if you don't stay in touch. Most businesses have more and more competition out there every day, so it's crucial to learn why different customers love your business and continue to emphasize those qualities to others. For extra credit, try to build customer persona profiles based on the information you gain from social media and other sources. Social networks are a rich source of customer feedback, which can, in turn, help you to develop marketing 2018 campaigns that speak to the very specific needs and desires of those groups.
Drop Poor PerformersOctober is an excellent time to drop campaigns that have failed to perform over the course of the first three-quarters. You gave them time and space to prove themselves but there's no room for baggage heading into the holiday season, which is critical for many businesses. Ask your marketing team to pull numbers for the first nine months of the year and identify promotions that simply didn't pull their weight. This includes specific marketing channels, such as social networks and ad spaces, that haven't worked out. Along with the other suggestions in this article, your holiday campaigns will be all the stronger for not having to carry underperforming promotions and platforms.
More Mobile-FriendlyIn terms of online marketing, mobile-friendly sites and visual branding are a priority right now. Google has an algorithm shift scheduled for the fall that will put a "mobile-first" emphasis on search results, so we're seeing many small business marketers prepare their sites for that change. Visual marketing on channels like Instagram and Facebook Live is also increasingly important, as social networks transition to video content in its many forms.
Plug Promotional GapsIn terms of marketing tools, we always recommend that business owners take a step back to make sure their core assets are memorable and align with current marketing campaigns. Does your logo stand out? Is your website link short and easy to type? Is your phone number easy to remember? All of these things seem simple but can be easily overlooked with so many marketing channels out there. Why not use spring cleaning as an opportunity to make sure they're all pulling in the same direction and delivering the leads your business needs? [search-tag]
A Creative Time-OutHBR recently uncovered that as high as 80% of US/UK workers feel they are burdened with productivity over creativity. While in some positions that could be understandable, in marketing it can kill the success of your promotional campaigns. Before the holidays hit, take time out to break away from the daily grind with your marketing team. Use what you've learned in the poor performers and promotional gaps section above to find creative ways to replace and renew those areas of your business. Most employees have an abundance of ideas tucked away but rarely find the time and space to unleash them. Tapping this overlooked marketing resource could be your key to unlocking more successful campaigns in 2018.
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