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Does Your Marketing Strategy Help Your Holiday Sales?

November 21, 2014 by Ed Becker

As we prepare to enter the Holiday season, small businesses are striving to keep up with the large multimillion dollar companies. Many hope that their marketing throughout the year has built strong brand awareness and customers are inclined to buy locally from small businesses. Events like “Small Business Saturday” are gaining traction and “Buy Local” is encouraged to help boost the economy in your own community. But if you have not marketed properly, you may not be able to reap the benefits of these trends trends this holiday shopping season.

Marketing for the holiday season does not begin in November or October; it starts with long term brand recognition that is meant to attract new leads that later turn into customers. Then, you cultivate those customers into long term, repeat buyers, along with new leads and referrals. Traditional marketing strategies are no longer as effective, therefore it is important to begin new marketing strategies now. This will also give you a jumpstart for next year’s holiday season.

Inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing

Traditional outbound marketing was interruptive and more of a hit and miss, using blanket ads and email campaigns to reach as many people as possible. It was/is very hard to calculate ROI with this type of marketing. There are very few and extremely broad analytics to find out what works and what does not.

In this technological age where we use our smartphones constantly, use apps to block banner ads and stream music without commercials, it is nearly impossible to reach the high numbers of potential customers to get a decent return on investment.

Outbound marketing takes a different approach that strives to draw in your potential customers. You do this by putting out useful, engaging content or curate existing content of experts in your industry. The content builds trust in your subject matter expertise, making people want to learn more about your small business. Once they come to your website or landing page, you can convert them with something else useful in exchange for their contact information. Once you have converted leads, you cultivate them with more expert content or more in depth information. Once they develop a trust in your brand, they are willing to buy from you and you now have a customer.

Keeping a customer and turning them into a repeat customer is your focus at this point. It is much easier and cheaper to cultivate a repeat customer than it is to cultivate a new one. How do you do this? By exceeding their expectations. Offer the highest quality service, keep them in the loop of your brand, and up to date with what is going on with your business. You can do this with a mixture of emails and social media. Follow your customers’ social media, and glean information that allows you to get to know them better so you can serve them better. Your best marketing referrals come from happy customers!

Using the proper marketing to build your brand awareness and set yourself up as a subject matter expert is the perfect way to build up to the holiday shopping season. But these things will not happen overnight– if you are not already blogging and doing social media, it can take a few months before you see a conversion. But it is the best marketing strategy-companies that blog see over 50% increase in leads! Being able to keep detailed analytics and ROI numbers will make your life much easier and may even reduce your marketing budget.

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