Your Small Business Battle Plan

The 2020 holiday shopping season is right around the corner. How are you going to share and promote your business this year? In this blog, we’ll discuss some tips for building your small business battle plan for this holiday shopping season.

Focus on Digital Marketing

Compared with traditional methods of advertising, digital marketing is extremely cost-effective. Digital marketing also gives you an incredible ability to target your message to your ideal audience and in most cases, look at the results of how well your campaigns perform.

Focusing your efforts online also helps create an organic long-term presence. This helps build brand recognition and trust with your potential customers as an authority in your industry.

Update Your Search Engine Listings

Search engine listings help prospective customers find your business. Depending on the device and web browser your prospect is using, there are three primary listings every business needs to add their business on: Google, Bing and Apple Maps.

Check that your business profile is complete and that all of your information is correct. Add tags for the products or services you provide. For businesses that don’t have a location your customers visit, you do not have to display your address. When you serve customers at their location, you can set a service area.

Make sure that you add special hours for holidays and other days that your hours of operation are different from your regular business hours.

Other directories such as Yelp and Tripadvisor may be helpful for your business, too.

Give Your Website an Upgrade

Your website is your 24/7 sales team. Not only should your website have SSL and look great on any device, it has to walk your prospect through the process of becoming a customer.

If you aren’t already selling your products online, you should be. Selling your products online helps engage both the customers who would normally could come to your store and new customers who couldn’t come to you in-person.

Connect your website with Google Analytics to see how many visitors your website gets, how many pages they view and what pages of your website create the most value for your business. Understanding how visitors use your website will help you improve it to increase visits and new sales.

Also keep load time a priority for developing your website. Images look great and help give your website a great visual experience but make sure they’re optimized for mobile viewing. You could optimize your website loading time even further by choosing a website host with all solid-state disk storage.

Build Your Social Media Presence

Don’t try to maintain a presence on every social media network, focus on the two or three networks that have the largest share of users who fit your customer profile.

When setting up each profile, choose the same username on each network for brand consistency. Your profile on each network should the same contact information, bio and consistent graphics.

Using an automation app such as Hootsuite and IFTTT helps by automatically sharing new content from your website via RSS feed and by giving you the ability to schedule posts in advance.

Engage Your Customers with Email Marketing

Email marketing has an insane Return On Investment (ROI) at over 3,000%. Email works because its a non-threatening method of communication. There is no need to immediately read or respond and more inportantly, there isn’t pressure to make an immediate purchase decision. Email is all around a great way to communicate with customers and prospects alike.

Some emails such as welcome messages, new blogs, and follow-up emails can be automated. Automating parts of your email marketing will help make sure that your brand stays on top of your customer’s mind when it comes time to make a purchase decision. This is also an opportunity to make sure you’re asking your customers to review your business online, which will do even more to help promote your business.

To help keep your email out of the spam folder, keep your email template simple without excessive images or HTML. Avoid sales-y words and phrases. Also keep in mind that most free email services such as Gmail look for patterns and similarities in email. If you send the exact same message over a long period of time to a large number of recipients, your email will almost certainly go to the spam folder.

Remember, most consumers check their email on their phone, so compose your email messages with that usability in mind. A good practice is to keep your subject line under 50 characters so it fits onto the display of most devices.

Remember, it is not recommended to purchase email lists. Purchased email lists lack the personal connection to your business that your customers and prospective customers who have opted into your email marketing have. While you may be able to convert a few of those purchased names into customers, you’ll do more harm than good. Many users who receive unsolicited emails flag them as spam. As mentioned earlier, email hosts track these patterns and it could lead to all of your email going to spam.

It’s also important to respect every unsubscribe request. Every email message you send through your chosen email marketing platform must include a way to unsubscribe.

Announce Your Holiday Sales Early

A common practice of retailers in recent years has been to ‘leak’ holiday shopping specials way in advance of the date the sale begins. This gives your customers the chance to make their shopping choices before they even walk into your store or go to your website. Be sure to announce your holiday special offers weeks before the sale begins.

Get Help Building Your Battle Plan

Planning a successful marketing strategy isn’t easy, especially planning for this holiday shopping season. If you’re looking for new ideas to build your Small Business Battle Plan, let’s schedule a call! You can book your complementary call here.

Open In Indiana