Every small business marketer wants to be intentional about their marketing — ideally, marketers should have a marketing calendar. Truth is, many organizations do not.
It’s 60 days before the end of the year. There’s still time to take steps to close out the year strong. The following ideas work around any time of year, but help when they are tied to significant dates or celebrations. Your results may vary, but most of these are fairly easy to do. If you pick 1 or 2 of these, and do them well, it could change how your business finishes the year.
- Plan a year-end webinar series. Record the webinar, and sell both the live event and the replays. Or consider using it as a lead capture tool to bring people into your marketing funnel in exchange for free access to the webinar replay.
- Gather and share a compelling customer case study. This can be shared with new prospects, or those who just haven’t made a decision yet. Be aware of updated FTC guidelines especially as it relates to testimonials, endorsements, and disclosing any compensation. (I am not lawyer, and this is not legal advice. It is something to consider before investing in a case study.)
- Issue a press release highlighting the case study. Or issue a press release on anything that would be classified as newsworthy of your company for your market. There are both paid and free online press release services. Consider PRWeb.com or OpenPR.com.
- Set a goal to contact your top 25 customers over the next 30 days. Show your appreciation. Ask them what they’d like to see from your company in the coming year — and see if there are any needs you can meet in their business by end of year. Take this opportunity to also connect with them on any social networks they may be on (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.). Lastly, ask for a referral.
- Prepare a Thanksgiving email message, expressing what it is you are grateful for. Include your customers and why. And make a special offer to them.
- Celebrate “Black Friday” with a “Black Friday” themed campaign of your own. Since “Black Friday” is for retail businesses who are becoming profitable for the first time in the calendar year (going from red ink into the ‘black’), talk about how your product has helped customers be profitable from day one, or within NN days of purchase. Build a story around the success customers have had with the product. Refer to a case study (#2 above).
- Consider a marketing campaign themed off of the 12 Days of Christmas. Perhaps build a tip list of the 12 essential tools necessary to get the job done. Some of these tools can be ones you sell, but don’t make it all about buying from you (yet). Offer value.
- Cap off the 12 days campaign with a special 3 day sale of your tools. Done right, the campaign should help them understand how your product or service would benefit them, and an enticing offer to cap it off will help them make a decision (to buy).
- Tell your marketplace of your most successful product, or business activity so far this year. Then offer a special sale to commemorate the accomplishment. Use email marketing or social media — or both — to communicate this event.
- CRITICAL: Set goals and objectives for whatever marketing activities you engage in for the next 60 days. This not only helps understand the results, but often yields better results (see Hawthorne Effect). It will also serve as a guide to future marketing activities, as you learn what your market responds to.
Bonus Tip: When these customers purchase from you, be sure to ask them “why” they did. This can be done in a simple email. When they reply with their answer, respond by asking them if you can have permission to quote them. If they agree, use their quotes in your New Year’s kickoff campaign and marketing literature. This can give you great feedback, while building a bank of quotes for future marketing initiatives.
Other Ideas/Feedback? This conversation is incomplete without you :) Let’s talk! Chime in with your questions, insights, and ideas below.
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About the Author: Travis Campbell is a professional online marketer who teaches people how to make the most of their online marketing without all the hype. The Marketers FAQ report is a compilation of his lessons learned marketing online and is available to those who join the site Marketing Professor.