Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. In the minds of many consumers, it represents the official start of the holiday shopping season. The somewhat comedic, somewhat alarming frenzy of consumers often makes headlines, and this year will be no different. However, once the chaos subsides, there are two more big shopping days to follow.
Small Business Saturday comes after Black Friday. In recent years, this annual display of support for small businesses around the country has been anything but small. More than 50% of Americans spent money at local galleries, boutiques, and other shops in 2020, totaling $19.8 billion in purchases. That’s a record for Small Business Saturday, but the shopping spree doesn’t end there.
The weekend concludes with Cyber Monday, which became the biggest online shopping day in history in 2020. This gave small businesses and large retailers something to celebrate in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. It set the tone for a holiday shopping season that saw a 32.2% surge in online spending when all was said and done.
The most wonderful time of the year
It’s hard to overstate what the holidays mean to many businesses. This period might account for as much as 25% of brands’ annual revenue, and it provides opportunities to gain future traction with customers and earn lasting loyalty.
With this in mind, it’s important for business leaders to have a plan heading into November. Hopefully, you’ve already started developing yours. But if you need some inspiration, consider these three tips for capturing more business at the end of the year.
1. Incorporate audio and video into your engagement strategy.
Modern consumers crave authenticity from brands, and videos fulfill that craving as no other content can. They appeal to consumers’ eyes and ears. Video has become one of the most effective mediums for driving customer engagement, especially on social platforms. In fact, data from HubSpot reveals that four of the top six channels consumers use to watch videos are social channels.
Sadly, not all businesses are capitalizing on this. Many marketers assume creating effective videos requires a lot of time and money. This isn’t true. Many modern phones shoot in 4K video, and there are a lot of affordable tools that can improve the quality of your content.
David Ciccarelli, founder and CEO of Voices, recommends investing in a decent microphone. “Even options under $50 can make a significant impact, and your entire audience will be able to hear the difference,” he says. “If you’re making ads or producing creative content, you can also purchase prerecorded sound effects or music to instantly boost the audio quality of your videos. These will sound better than the ambient noises you record while filming.”
2. Amplify social engagement with paid media.
In recent years, social media has played a major role in driving increased traffic to stores on Black Friday and other major shopping days. However, the algorithms that affect visibility on platforms are constantly changing. It’s hard to stand out with organic content alone.
This is where paid social ads come into play. Blogger and national speaker Tim Asimos believe that paid ads are now necessary to reach audiences on Facebook, Instagram, and other popular social channels. “Paid social allows you to display advertisements on social platforms or to promote your own social content so that it reaches more people, targeting the demographics you’d like to reach,” Asimos says.
All major social platforms offer features that make it easy to get your ads in front of additional audiences. Facebook’s boosted posts allow you to promote content to target audiences that you can select based on a wide range of criteria, including interests, location, age, and behavior. This pay-per-click option can help you maximize your reach without blowing your marketing budget. You can also push boosted posts to Instagram.
Facebook can be especially useful for collecting first-party customer data to inform future advertising efforts. Use lead form ads to collect prospects’ email addresses. Then, add them to your email marketing list so you can share exclusive offers and promotions with new audiences.
Read Also: how to write a convincing email
3. Ask for referrals.
Word-of-mouth marketing—in the form of an endorsement from someone who has already made a purchase from you—is still the best way to secure high-quality leads. Author, speaker, and executive coach Nick Leighton advises brands not to underestimate the impact these endorsements can have on businesses.
“Customer referrals can make a huge difference in your return on investment and your bottom line,” he says. “Referrals from customers tend to be more loyal and more likely to refer other customers themselves if they have a great experience, too.”
There are a number of ways to drive referrals. To start, you can monitor your social platforms and look for people who regularly engage. Positive comments, likes, shares, and other interactions indicate happy customers who are already willing to promote your brand publicly. Reach out to these individuals with direct messages thanking them for their loyalty and encouraging them to refer your products to others—with a referral link or exclusive promotion as an incentive.
You could also identify potential brand ambassadors through customer satisfaction surveys or personalized emails asking for quick feedback. Even better, you could send personalized messages to customers who have recently made a purchase to show your gratitude and differentiate yourself from competitors. Lastly, by including a prominent referral button in your email outreach, you can make it even easier for happy customers to spread the word about your brand.
One of the most anticipated holiday shopping seasons is just around the corner. With the COVID-19 pandemic finally showing signs of dissipating, it’s clear that consumers are ready. Follow the tips above, and you will be, too.
Source by www.forbes.com
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