Icing on the end-of-year cake

Breezy fall temperatures are dipping low each night and the crunch of orange, crackly leaves are tickling the soles of our shoes.

What does this mean? It’s fall! But what does this really mean? It’s time to set a few extra year-end marketing goals!

Here are three of my favorite “add-on” strategies to get a bonus lift by year’s end:

  1. Host a charity event that appeals to the media:

What a heartbreaking year. From fires to floods to shootings, devastation surrounds us. Bring your customers together by hosting a charity event at your business. Host a donation drive for victims of the California fires or donate a portion of a week’s profit to hurricane relief efforts.

If possible, tie your charitable endeavors to your business in a specific way. For example, you could donate all profits from a certain product to a cause for a one week period. Maybe you might even be inspired to create a special product where profits go to charity.

Make sure to send a press release about the charitable event to your local media outlets and your generosity could be rewarded with some earned media.

You might even consider capping off the charitable promotion with a small celebration where the total amount raised is announced–both in person and over social media. This could also be fodder for a follow up press release.

  1. Plan a promotion for one product or service:

Because promotions are time limited (scarcity is the leading marketing conversion tool second only to word-of-mouth), they are a great way to move customers into purchasing a service or item that they’ve been thinking about buying. They are also a great way to attract first time customers to your business.

When running a promotion, it helps to set a goal for your campaign: Are you hoping to introduce customers to a new product line or to boost your business during slow hours? Do you want lapsed customers to give your business another chance? Are you hoping for your customers to buy your product more frequently?

Be sure to publicize your promotions on social media. Monetize a few ads and beta test some audiences to fill out the top of your sales funnel, too!

Are you a nonprofit organization? This strategy is great for year-end appeals. How do you make the opportunity to donate feel time-limited if there is no discount? Maybe there is a special type of recognition that donors get if they donate within a certain time frame.

  1. Spice up your usual holiday activities.

Do you normally send a holiday card to your customers? Think about sending a video holiday greeting to all of your customers on Facebook and through email. Well-executed holiday videos are more personal and memorable than cards. Plus, videos have been hailed the future of content marketing. Adding video to marketing emails can boast click-through rates by 200-300% and a third of all the time that people spend on the internet is dedicated to watching videos. (Just be sure to hold your phone horizontally for a more sophisticated look, you pro!)

Another great way to boost the reach of your Facebook posts is to engage your customers online. Share what you are grateful for (hint, your wonderful customers and year’s achievements) and ask them what they are grateful for. Then ask them to make a comment.

A parting word about social media (Facebook and Instagram):

If you are going to invest in one social media channel, I always recommend Facebook and the majority of my tips revolve around Facebook for that reason. Study after study shows that the majority of consumers (over 60%) make their purchase decisions on Facebook compared to any other channel. However, it is compelling to note that while only about 15% of consumers make purchase decisions on Instagram, when they do, they spend an average of $10 more than they do on Facebook. What does this mean for your business? You need to find out! Instagram’s audience is in general younger and more visual than Facebook’s audience so it will play out a little differently for your business.

Instagram tips for beginners:

  1. To experiment with Instagram, take your most visual Facebook posts (or that video we talked about) and test it out on Instagram. Do this consistently and see which types of posts get you more followers.
  2. Search for relevant hashtags. If you are posting about a holiday tradition at your company, you may think that #holidaycheer, #holidaytraditions, or #tistheseason are good hashtags to use along with a hashtag of your company name. Don’t just assume though, search the hashtag. The ability to search for Hashtags and see which are trending is unique (and awesome) to Instagram. I suggest finding hashtags that have over 200,000 posts. If they don’t, don’t bother.

#holidaycheer: 278,600, #holidaytraditions:  39,576, #tistheseason:  3,853,136

Based on this information I would drop #holidaytraditions. If your post is about thanking customers around the holidays or doing something charitable, I would add #gratitude (9,139,110 posts) instead. You would be amazed at how many people search for products, photos, recipes, etc. by hashtag. Make sure you use the right ones.

Is all this Instagram stuff making your head spin? Not to worry… ours did at first too, but it’s not as tough to implement as you think. Call us and we’ll get you up and running in no time!