With the holiday buzz come and gone in the blink of an eye, the family time, celebrations, and revenues seem like a blur of 2017. Let’s face it, as entrepreneurs, some of our greatest holiday cheer comes from the intense revenue tied to the holiday season. Unfortunately, that rush comes with a slowdown, and we’re just starting the Q1 blues. Thankfully, though, there are a number of marketing tactics and social media strategies that can soften the blow. We’ve compiled a list of seven key tactics that will help carry you through the new year and start it off right.
1. Keep the activity up
First and foremost, do not slow down your marketing efforts. This is especially true for social media. This time of year, everyone is recovering from food comas and spending sprees alike, and it's easy to let some things slip through the cracks. Most people (aka your competition) do! So while everyone else is laying back and getting quiet, it's time for you to keep up the work and make yourself known. Similarly, if you’re sitting on a new idea or product, the new year can serve as a great time to introduce it into your lineup, especially if it helps cater to popular resolutions. New Year, new you, new offerings!
2. Social media responses and in-app messaging
We cannot stress the vitality in not only posting on your social media, but also responding to customers who engage. Social media is two sided; a conversation that focuses on building a brand-customer relationship over all else. One great way to do this is leverage the in-app message feature that’s built into virtually every social media platform. Enabling customers to reach out directly through an app is both easy for them and encourages spur-of-the moment comments and questions. Asking a customer to email you requires them to open a different app. While a simple task, this extra step can discourage potential customers from reaching out and talking to you.
3. Look back and study up.
The crazy holiday rush came with a lot more than just revenue- it also brought big data and new customers. All those holiday customers should have come with a new stack of email addresses for your digital campaigns, but that’s just the beginning. If you look carefully at all the customer service inquiries, purchase trends, and social media engagement from Q4, you will find a goldmine of data for what your customers are asking for- right now. First, take all your new found data and design an on-trend, ultra-current marketing strategy tailored specifically to your customers’ recent needs. Then show off all that new content through all of your social channels and, yes, those emails burning a hole in your database. The best way to get the most out of your social media is by providing the content that your customers want to see. It sounds simple, but it's an art form in its own right. The holiday rush makes it a bit easier, and also helps you develop some research best practices for the rest of the year.
4. Create customer loyalty programs.
A fantastic way to capitalize on new and repeat holiday customers alike is through a customer loyalty program. Effective for all business models, a customer loyalty program can keep customers coming back, even after the holiday buzz has settled down. People in general, and especially customers, need to feel valued and important. Rewarding or thanking them for their continued patronage is a fast-track for building genuine brand relationships. Those relationships make repeat customers, who turn into word of mouth advertisers, who bring new customers…the value is endless.
5. Leverage New Year’s Resolutions.
Everyone makes new year’s resolutions, and most people are intently focused on keeping those resolutions in the month of January- so help them! If your business has any product or service that help your customers keep to their resolutions, now is the ideal time to tell them about it. If you need some ideas or inspiration, turn to the nearest person and ask them about their resolutions. Most people can rattle off a few and help get the juices flowing. Furthermore, you can use popular resolutions (think “get healthy,” “save more,” etc.) for a major bump in your keyword strategy. Use the keywords to get in front of customers and be sure to show them content that helps them work on those resolutions- you’ll be their go-to brand in no time.
6. Keep the incentives flowing
Sure, the holiday season is synonymous with markdowns, and keeping them up might sound a bit painful, but it keeps your customers in your inbox and on the phones. The markdowns do not have to be as generous as the holiday seasons’, and it serves as an irresistible pull back to your website and inventory. Another idea is to offer these discounts exclusively to customers on your email list. This type of tactic bankrolls customer loyalty and, again, works towards those invaluable brand relationships.
If you used this time to launch a new product or service, the sales can drive traffic to your webpage and increase exposure to your new offerings. When planned well, it can be simple to springboard a sale into lucrative growth opportunities, and the new year is an excellent time to deploy those tactics.
7. Incentivized returns
For product based businesses, returns can result in heavy losses. A great way to capitalize on those returns is to incentivize them, such as offering a discount on purchases made at the same time as the return. This simple tactic can minimize return losses, while also producing great opportunities for new customers. Gift recipients may not have purchased the return, but keeping them within your brand with an exchange, even if its discounted, is an excellent first step to a brand relationship.
The post holiday lul can be a difficult and daunting time of year, but the power of social media and digital marketing can turn that holiday momentum into a tidal wave of a year. Above is a short list of tactics we think every business should be looking into, but this is just the beginning (you can check out what Forbes has to say about the subject here). The world of social media comes with loads of opportunity to experiment and try new things. Do you have any tips we did not mention? Drop us a reply and share. Just like you, we’re always learning and looking for new ideas.
VP @ MRQT Ideation, LLC.