When the holidays arrive, it seems like every small business owner is increasing their marketing budget to get the word out about special holiday promotions and increase traffic to their website and storefront. Though the holiday shopping season is certainly a great time to launch new marketing campaigns to increase reach and promote holiday specials, it is important to maintain consistent marketing throughout the year to help build brand recognition and nurture positive relationships with your current customers year-round.
Marketing during the holidays may be vital to increasing purchases during this time of the year, but developing effective marketing campaigns that can be implemented year-round is important to encouraging repeat business and building life-long brand advocates. Here are 5 marketing tactics that you can use all year to help your brand gain further exposure in your target market and increase sales while also nurturing established relationships with your current customers:
Blogging is one of the best ways to make a real connection with your target consumers and offer them something of value. Through your company blog, you can educate and entertain your customers and leads on topics that are relevant to their interests. This can be blog posts on trends in your industry, content that explains how your product works or what problems your brand solves, helpful posts that address your consumers’ biggest challenges, or any other topic that your readers would find interesting or worthwhile. Not is blogging a great way to make connections with leads and nurture current customers, but it can also help improve your search engine optimization (SEO), which helps your brand’s website become more visible on the search engines.
2. Customer Referral Program
Word-of-mouth is one of the most effective and cost-efficient marketing tactics for the small business owner. However, most businesses do not have much control over what their customers are saying or who they tell about your brand. In order to get the most out of word-of-mouth marketing, small business owners should encourage customer referrals. One survey shows that 62% of small business owners surveyed cite customer referrals as one of their top 3 marketing strategies. One way to promote customer referrals is by offering rewards, special promotions, or discounts to current customers who recommend your brand, products, or services to friends and colleagues. Once those who have been referred make a purchase from your business, you can then reward the customer who referred them.
3. Customer Loyalty Program
A customer loyalty program shows your current customers that you appreciate their business by offering them rewards or special promotions throughout the year. A customer loyalty or rewards program is one of the most effective ways to encourage repeat business and foster positive relationships with your current customers. A customer loyalty program may even help you attract new customers. Consumers prefer to purchase from brands that they can build a relationship with. Not to mention, every consumer likes feeling appreciated and receiving special rewards or promotions for their loyalty.
4. Community Sponsorship
If you are a small local business, sponsoring a community organization or event is a great way for your brand to increase visibility while also giving back to the local community. Though sponsorship requires an investment of time, money, or resources, this unique marketing tactic helps you build brand recognition in the community while also fostering a positive company image. Not to mention, event or organization sponsorship can open up big opportunities for networking with other businesses, vendors, and individuals within the community who may one day need your products or services.
Marketing is an important part of year-round business growth. It is not just something you should do during the holidays. However, when business is slow, it can sometimes be difficult to get together the money that you need to adequately invest in your marketing. Though it may be tempting to just forgo marketing while sales are slow, this can end up costing you more in the long run because you are passing by the opportunity to introduce your brand to new consumers who may be interested in what your brand offers.
As a business owner, you can take out a loan to help you fund your business marketing campaigns throughout the year even when sales slow down in the off-season You can use these funds to hire a freelance marketing professional, create marketing materials like flyers or videos, run online ads through search or social media sites, and even update or redesign your website. Overall, any investment you make in your marketing will pay off in the end as increasing your exposure and reach is a vital part of helping your brand grow and thrive.