Last updated 1 year ago
The holiday season is a favorite for many people, and for small business owners like you, this busy time of year can either be an amazing boost to your business or a big headache. But with some simple holiday marketing strategies to showcase your holiday promotions, you can attract the right audience and reach consumers who are searching online for products and services like yours. In order to make sure your local business is prepared to take advantage of the great opportunities this holiday season, here are five holiday marketing mistakes you should avoid and tips to keep you on the “Nice” list with consumers this year.
1. Playing the Role of Mr. Scrooge
The holidays are a great time to give your online brand some sparkle and shine. When it comes to building a Web presence, your image is an important factor. So, don’t be a Scrooge – add some holiday twinkle to your social media pages, landing pages, blog, emails, newsletters, videos, or any other content potential customers may see to show them that you are excited about the holidays. By adding engaging images or videos of holiday decorations or activities around your office to your website, blog, and social profiles, you can drive engagement and take your Web presence from fall to holiday festive!
2. Being Stingy with Your Holiday Offers
Consumers are in a bargain-hunting mode during the holiday seasons, so give them a reason to choose your holiday deals over your competitors. Create offers that are enticing and that generate excitement beyond the typical “Tuesday special.” By offering big deals, like “Buy one, get one free!” or major discounts on certain items, you can set your business apart from local competitors. A great way to determine unbeatable offers is to research what your competitors are offering during the holidays. Also, consider what would get your attention as a consumer, and what kind of offers you would redeem.
3. Hiding Your Holiday Promotions
Consumers shouldn’t have to search for your holiday promotions, and you should want to show them off! Making your holiday offers hard to find is one marketing mistake that can easily cost you business, as more than half of consumers this year will use coupons to make holiday-related purchases. To ensure that consumers can easily access your holiday offer, you should create a designated landing page on your website that highlights your specials, highlight a callout on your website homepage that drives visitors to your holiday promotions page, and promote your offers on your social media profiles. It’s also important to give clear information about your offers, so provide as much detail as possible about where and how consumers can redeem your holiday specials, as well as any restrictions, limitations, or expiration dates, so that they know exactly what they will be getting.
4. Ignoring the Cornucopia of Online Advertising
You’ve gone the extra mile to create great holiday deals for consumers, so don’t make the mistake of leaving your online advertising in the cold. You should amp up your online advertising during the holidays to get more exposure and to generate more return from your holiday deals. Holiday-related display ads, paid search ads, and Facebook ads are a few ways to share your offers with consumers looking for products and services like yours. Plus, by measuring and tracking the performance of these online ads, you can determine what tactics work best and optimize your campaigns to get better ROI.
5. Forgetting about Your Local Community
The holidays are also known as the “giving season,” so take this time to give back to your community and generate brand awareness and customer loyalty. For instance, by collaborating with an organization like Toys for Tots or a local shelter and volunteering your business as a designated drop-off spot for toys, winter coats, and non-perishable canned foods, you can build awareness of your business while giving back to your community. Or, you can participate in timely events that matter to you. For example, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, you could work with the American Red Cross or other organizations to help with relief efforts. One way to raise funds is by publicizing that proceeds of each sale will go to organization to provide aid to those in need. Another donation idea is to match a percentage of each dollar customers donate. There are several creative ways to inspire others to give during the holiday season, so find what works for your business and become an example of generosity!
As a business owner, you know what kind of holiday offers work best for your current customers while attracting new ones to your business. And, by incorporating these holiday marketing tips, you can make the most of the holiday season.
Are you making any of these holiday marketing mistakes? What else are you doing during the holiday season to promote your special offers? Let us know in a comment!
About the Author
Jillian Chopin is a Senior Web Presence Professional for ReachCast. Leading a team of WPP’s who focus on cosmetic and medical campaigns, Jillian is passionate about her career and about serving as a Web presence expert and “go-to-girl” for her clients.
Last updated 1 year ago
Getting people to discover you on a search engine depends on a variety of factors, but chances are only a small percentage of searchers will actually click on your organic or paid search result and visit your site. With search retargeting, a type of display advertising, you can put your business back in front of those same people to encourage site visits and conversions. Here are three ways search retargeting works to boost your business online.
1. It’s a Second Chance to Make a First Impression
Even if you’re already investing in search advertising or search engine optimization, you may not be getting the clickthroughs or conversions you want from people searching for your types of products or services. So, by putting your display ad in front of those searchers, you help these prospects discover your business for the first time. And, because your display ad is shown to these prospects as they surf the Web, you are no longer competing with other businesses that are bidding on the same keywords and vying for the exact same click as you were on the search results page. Instead, your business has an opportunity to grab that prospect’s attention with an eye-catching design, prominent business name or logo, and direct call to action that helps your ad stand out from the crowd.
2. It Builds Awareness With People Who Are Interested in Your Business
Unlike some forms of display advertising, search retargeting specifically targets people who have already expressed interest in your types of products and services. This means they may be more receptive to your brand message or call to action. And, if they see your message at the right time, they may be more likely to click your display ad, conduct a search for your business name, or remember you when they are ready to buy.
3. It Lifts the Results of Your Search Advertising
There’s no denying that there’s a relationship between display advertising and search marketing; research shows display advertising has a positive impact on the results of a search advertising campaign, lifting search conversions by up to 59%. So, how does display advertising increase your search advertising results? It generates recognition and interest. For instance, seeing a display ad could trigger a search for a specific business, product, or service; in fact, 27% of consumers conduct a search after seeing a display ad. In addition, recalling a brand from their display advertising could encourage a prospect to click on the business’ text ad.
ReachLocal combines search retargeting with site retargeting in one powerful solution called ReachRetargeting. To learn more about this unique solution, visit the ReachRetargeting web page or check out our video.
How does search retargeting fit into your online marketing strategy? What other benefits have you seen from this display advertising tactic? Let us know in the comments.
About the Author
Tamara Weintraub helps equip small business owners with information about local online advertising, social media, and content marketing as a writer for the ReachLocal blog.
Last updated 1 year ago
This year, we at ReachLocal have plenty to be thankful for, from new team members to new products to new opportunities to help local businesses. Here is a short list of some of our most memorable happenings.
Launching the New Corporate Website
Truly a team effort, we are thankful for the dedication and hard work of all those who helped with the new ReachLocal corporate website
. Many late nights and long hours were spent on this project to present the full suite of services and the teams that get the results our clients want. Plus, an additional “Thank You” goes out to the teams and employees who volunteered to be the faces of ReachLocal. You bring life to our company and are better than any stock photography.
Generating New eBooks
There are plenty of projects on everyone’s plates, but we are thankful for the ability to provide new and useful ebooks and guides
to our small business owner prospects and clients. These ebooks not only provide helpful information but really showcase our thought leadership in online marketing. If you have any topic ideas for an ebook, let us know in a comment!
Creating the "Local Marketing Minute" Newsletter
Another team effort project we are thankful for this year is the creation and distribution of the “Local Marketing Minute” newsletter. This newsletter delivers the latest ReachLocal articles, exclusive content, and news from other industry experts directly to your inbox. If you’d like to receive the Local Marketing Minute every month, sign up for it today
Launching the Official ReachLocal App
We know how big of an impact mobile has on the way people access the Web today, including small business owners. So, we are thankful for the creation of the ReachLocal App
. This app connects our clients to their online marketing results when they are on the go. From new leads to recorded phone calls to detailed performance reports, the ReachLocal App is great tool for local business owners.
Announcing ReachRetargeting for SMBs
This year, we released ReachRetargeting
, a powerful online marketing tool that features two forms retargeting: site retargeting and search retargeting. With this product, local businesses can reach consumers online at the exact time their ready to buy.
Working with Amazing People
This year we chose a second ReachLocal Star Award
recipient. This award recognizes one individual who represents the company and inspires others both professionally and personally. We received hundreds of nominations from offices across the globe, and in the end, awarded Ken Leicester
the award for his work and service to his Australian teams. In addition to the star award, ReachLocal received lots of excellent reviews from employees, and great reviews about employees from many of our clients. All of this reminds us of how thankful we are to work with talented and generous people.
Having Great Readers, Fans & Followers
Last, but not least, we are grateful for all of those who read, comment, like, and share our content. And we look forward to continuing to provide you with more information and resources about online marketing!
Last updated 1 year ago
As a small business competing against retail giants during the holiday season, you may be tempted to play the “Who can shout louder?” game. Not only is this hard on a small business’ time and budget, but it could also potentially alienate the loyal customers you’ve worked so hard to get. So, what can you do this holiday season to market your small business and get heard in spite of larger competitors? Follow the path to success on our Small Business Saturday infographic and try these five tips to promote your local offers during Small Business Saturday and the holiday season.
Create Great, Tailored Content
When developing a content marketing strategy, it’s important to understand the different platforms you are using and create quality content that is specific to your small business for each. Consumers use the Web for many different activities, and tailoring your holiday messages to each can help you stand out. For example, your messages for social media posts on Twitter should include trending hashtags, like #BlackFriday, #SmallBizSat, or #CyberMonday and should be different from your Facebook messages that ask fans to “Like,” comment or share your post. If you are leveraging seasonal online advertising or email marketing, they should contain a coupon or special offer, related imagery, and a strong, effective call to action.
Optimize Your Pages for Organic Search
Did you know that 85% of consumers have used search engines to find a local business? That means you should be doing everything you can to ensure that they can find you when they search for holiday deals. By optimizing content on your website, blog, and social media profiles to show up in local search results, you can improve your rank and make it easier for holiday shoppers to find your business. Also, optimize your local listings like Google+ Local and Yelp by making sure that your basic information – phone number, address, hours of operation, and business description – is accurate and updated to reflect special holiday hours and holiday-related products or services, images, videos, and promotions.
Use Social Media as an Outlet, Not a Podium
Social media can be the best or worst way to promote your holiday deals online. It all depends on how you use it. For many local businesses, social media marketing can help get the word out about offers and specials, especially during the holiday season. But if you turn your social media profiles into a promotion-heavy soapbox, you could potentially lose the fans and followers you’ve worked hard to acquire. Instead, use your social media sites wisely by sharing photos of your staff participating in holiday events or outreach in your community, posting entertaining holiday videos, seasonal products or services, and of course, promoting special deals exclusively for social fans and followers. For example, a Twitter offer like “Mention ‘Small Business Saturday’ at checkout and get 20% off your purchase! #SmallBizSat" can engage followers and entice visits.
Make Your Web Presence Mobile
In 2011, Black Friday mobile traffic increased to 14.3%, up over 150% from 2010. This growth, coupled with the fact that over half of U.S. mobile users own a Smartphone, signifies the importance to have a mobile Web presence. Having a mobile-friendly website is a great way to show holiday shoppers on the go what you have to offer. And if not an entire site, you should create and drive all your mobile advertisements to mobile-friendly holiday landing page. Holiday bargain hunters have no time to waste, so giving them access to quick, informational content with easy conversion paths can help you turn them into customers.
Invest in Multiple Types of Marketing
Holiday shoppers are searching for products and services online, but they’re not all looking in the same place. By using multiple online advertising platforms to promote your holiday deals, you can reach more consumers in more places across the Web. Search, display, mobile, social media, and email marketing are all effective ways to reaching consumers who are ready to purchase. There are different best practices for each of these, but in general, your holiday campaigns should include specific phrases, like “Only on Small Business Saturday”, have a direct call to action, and lead shoppers to a conversion-optimized landing page to capture even more of your prospective customers during the holidays.
What other strategies are you using to promote your small business this holiday season? Let us know in a comment!
About the Author
Tara Banda writes about how local businesses can reach more customers online with helpful tips about online advertising, social media marketing, and Web presence optimization tips on the ReachLocal Blog.
Last updated 1 year ago
This article was originally published on Mediapost.com.
The Shop Small movement is back again this year, encouraging consumers and small business owners to get involved with Small Business Saturday on November 24. With national TV commercials and extensive online awareness campaigns, your local business is bound to benefit. But make sure to do your part by adhering to these four tips to help get the most out this well-publicized event.
Socialize your involvement early on.
Prior to Small Business Saturday, let your community know via Twitter, Facebook, in-store promotions, newsletters and other social channels to stay tuned for compelling offers and sales that you will make available to customers on that Saturday. If you are on Twitter, let everyone know you are participating and add the #ShopSmall
hashtags to your tweets.
Offer a compelling deal for the day.
To compete with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, get creative with an offer that will drive in-store visits and sales. Highly compelling offers such as “Buy One, Get One Free” on select items, or 30%-50% off purchases will help you compete in a very competitive shopping season. By sharing your offer with the Amex Small Business Facebook page
, you may also be included in their city guides in select markets.
Create a video to personalize your business and explain why Small Business Saturday matters to you.
There are more than 27 million small businesses in the U.S. that make up 60-80% of all new jobs created (Small Business Association
), so let your community know why it's important to shop local! Video is an authentic way to let your customers know why shopping local is vital to the community and what your business has to offer. Personal assistance, unique products and knowledge of your customer base can make that personal touch that much more powerful.
Leverage the creative materials created by American Express.
This year it's easier than ever for small businesses to participate, thanks to the wealth of marketing materials
that American Express has created for local businesses to promote their participation. From in-store signage and e-marketing tools to free Facebook ads, local businesses can leverage these turnkey materials to bring awareness to their products and services.
What are some other good ideas you have to take advantage of this event? Would love to see your ideas in the comments.
About the Author
is Director of Content and Vertical Marketing at ReachLocal. He writes about social media, online marketing, and technology. Mike is founder and Chairman of the Social Media Club of Dallas.