Hey there podcast family, welcome to episode 45 of the Small Business Made Simple Podcast.
Thank you for lending me your ears today – I know you have lots of choices, so I sincerely appreciate me being one of them!
If you’re a first-time listener, super super welcome, I am so pleased to have you here. I am your host Jenn Donovan, and, as you’ll learn along the way, I pretty much live, breathe, dream marketing and social media!
Today’s episode is brought to you by my brand new, course Facebook Ads for Beginners. It’s been many hours in the making, but it’s here and I’m more excited than a cat when the Christmas tree goes up!
I love talking about Facebook Ads. I believe they have the power to make a massive difference in my business and in yours. So go check out my course at www.socialmediaandmarketing.com.au/facebook
Today, I am going to have a chat to you all about Christmas marketing. Yep – it’s almost that time of the year and whether your business is Christmas orientated, you believe in Christmas or whatever, there’s no denying that for many business owners summer peak season is coming!
And, I have to say, and STRESS THIS A LOT, now is not the time to getting too busy for marketing! Top of mind marketing is so so important when it comes to Christmas or peak season time.
If you’re not marketing to your audience, I guarantee you, your competition is, and they are winning the business. Not because your customer aren’t loyal or they don’t love you and your products and/or services, but because they have simply been targeted and remarketed too so often by someone else that it seems like the natural choice.
So today I’m going to give you some practical tips and tricks on how to stay top of mind when you’re going out of your mind with busyness!
But first, our Discovery of the Week.
THIS WEEK’S DISCOVERY!
My latest little app discovery is Layout. It’s the one that Instagram recommends when you go to post in Instagram and want to have several pictures “laid out” as one. So, in other words a photo grid.
It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s simple – so yay – after all that’s the goal of the podcast!
If you are you wanting to use several photos but in a grid rather than individual photos, when have a look at Layout.
If you go to post in Instagram and click Layout (so second button in – first one boomerang, second Layout, third, multiple pictures) when you’ll need this app.
Handy little app to have on your photo for creating awesome graphics for socials – not just Instagram!
As always, just a little disclaimer, my discoveries are just that and I am in no way affiliated with any of them but promise to tell you if I ever am. I just love them and from the response of my listeners, you guys, you are loving them too!
Hey and if you have a little discovery, or something you use in your business that you’d like to share, please do so. Email me at email@example.com or tag me @smallbusinessmadesimple. I really love to know what tools you use to help make your life simpler!
CHRISTMAS/PEAK SEASON MARKETING
Like I said before, now is not the time to be taking your foot off the accelerator with your marketing. Being busy cannot be your excuse for letting marketing go by the wayside.
Yes, absolutely, it matters what marketing you do in the 9 months leading up to the bat crap crazy season, but if you let it go now, you WILL miss out on market share.
There’s a drought happening which I am sure you are all very well aware of. Therefore, there’s not as much cash around and things have been tight.
But rightly or wrongly, people still find money to purchase Christmas presents, so if you’re not marketing to get your share of this, then your competitors will be.
Harsh, I know but I’ve seen it too many times before. Last week in November hits and I hear nothing from the stores I love, from the businesses I’ve followed all year, because they are busy being busy.
And I get it. Don’t you worry, I SO get it. I’ve been in retail. I know what busy looks like, but I also know that a little planning goes a long way.
So, here’ some tips on marketing when you’re busy.
- PLAN, PLAN and PLAN
Bit obvious I know. But when I was in retail, I planned, and I planned some more, especially in November for December.
I dedicated a whole day out of my calendar in mid-November, planned out our Christmas marketing and got together all the assets I needed, and I scheduled my little heart out with any marketing I could.
I know every business is different, but here’s an example of what I did coming into retail. You need to listen and then think how it relates to your business and make it work!
First thing I did was worked out what marketing we were doing in December. Most of this was already in the pipeline well before I took this day out in November – but planning day was about bringing all my marketing assets together.
So, we had a catalogue, which we built ourselves – side note – so if you’re in small business and not part of a buying group or franchise, this is something you CAN do. It took lots of planning and effort, but it was SO worth it. It was one of our biggest print marketing strategies for the year.
Our catalogue had 4 main sections, Kris Kringle presents, Gifts Under $20 & $50, Christmas essentials (like cutlery, plates etc – we were a kitchen shop) and Wish List.
These 4 sections formed a massive part of our 4-week marketing strategy headed into Christmas – so from last week in November.
1 section per week is what we concentrated on in our socials and email marketing. Hint, we definitely did email marketing – it was a MASSIVE part of our sales strategy and it really really worked! It’s definitely something you should be looking at in your business.
We also ran campaigns daily around “Gifts for Him”, “Gifts for Her”, “Gifts for Them”, and “Gifts for the Impossible Person”.
All these strategies were taken offline into our bricks and mortar as well. So, what you saw online matched what you saw when you walked in store.
- SCHEDULE WHAT YOU CAN
Once I mapped out my 4-5-week campaign, I scheduled everything I could. I used a third-party app to schedule everything, at the time I used Buffer.com but now I use Meet Edgar – there’s plenty out there or you can simply use Facebook Content Creator if you only use Facebook and Instagram.
I wrote all my emails and scheduled when they were to be sent.
We absolutely still did off the cuff marketing – but I knew at any stage if we got busy being busy that something would still be going out on social media or via email that day/week.
- GO LIVE
If you just sunk in your seat at the thought of going live on social media – start now. Start today. Start getting used to how you sound and show up on live. Because I can tell you it will change your world when it comes to marketing when you are busy.
To have the ability to quickly go live and showcase a new product or a new arrival in store, and do it in less than a minute most times, is going to make you mega happy rather than trying to do a post, find an image, think of an engaging caption and wonder which hashtags you should be using for maximum traction!
If you go live on Facebook or Instagram every day in December, and you have an engaged audience, I guarantee you, you will see the benefits financially.
Top of mind marketing – what’s the best way to stay top of mind, show up live!
So, there’s my hints for getting marketing done when you’re busy being busy. But here’s some tips for making December sales even better:
- Corporate Christmas Gift Giving
One of the best things we did to drive sales in our business at this time of the year was to offer corporate business an “easy out” when it came to buying for their staff and partners.
We said we’d do it for them!
If you’ve never done any corporate Christmas marketing before, when have a think about the “big” businesses in your area, probably more so private big business, and find your best “in” with them. Do you know someone from golf or tennis or from your local networking group and reach out to them with a really well written letter and idea for Christmas?
We were all about making it simple for them. We offered personalised gift vouchers (printed Christmas message of their choice, their logo etc) or gifts to the value of x.
This strategy alone bought us around $20-$30 extra thousand into our business – yep – not kidding!
If this is something you’d like some help with – email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send you my templates that we used – just might help you get started.
- Align yourself with a Charity or start one!
This has less to do with making money and more to do with being a citizen in your town or suburb.
We actually created our own little charity called “Pay it Forward” and it worked like the Wishing Trees that you see in Kmart etc. But we didn’t have anything like that locally for us. Where we guaranteed the gifts would go to our most vulnerable in our towns.
So, we aligned ourselves with the local hospital, became the drop off point for people who wanted to leave a gift under our “Pay it Forward” tree, the local hospital staff collected the gifts and distributed to the people in our towns who needed them most.
Just with this one, I have to tell you a story. When I was growing up (I grew up in the town I still live in – yes I’ve moved away and then moved home again) and at my catholic school there was a “poor” family. You know the ones, the kids who never really had proper uniform, didn’t shower as often as they should and well, were just poor.
So, you can image the well of tears in my eyes, when one of those “poor” children from my childhood, all grown up as an adult now, came into my store and put under the Pay it Forward tree, 2 bikes, 2 scooters and 4 helmets. I cried. I’m teary now telling you.
This was the essence of what paying it forward was all about. People who have been helped now paying it forward.
It is a moment in my life I’ll never forget.
But back to business – did we make more money because we did this? Not directly. But I can tell you that we had people come into our shop that had never been in before and they came back. We had radio, newspaper, social media and television coverage for our brand that we wouldn’t have had without this initiative.
Swings and roundabouts.
Then, like know, one of my core business values is give, give, give, ask.
Maybe you can’t do anything as elaborate as this, but do you offer gift wrapping for free? Well perhaps you could have a box and ask for gold coin donations instead of free and give that money to a local charity?
Maybe you could offer 10% of sales on a particular day to a local charity instead.
Aligning yourself with a charity at this time of the year, just makes you feel good.
- Collaborative marketing
If you’re not aligning yourself with other businesses at this time of the year, then you are missing out big time baby!
Whole street sales, VIP nights and so forth – fabulous ways of growing your business.
If you align yourself with other businesses, even those with similar products or services, you can share in marketing costs for an event, share client lists/databases, share social audiences – umm winning!
If you can reach a different audience you haven’t been able to reach, get them in store or to purchase online from you, and therefore be able to remarket to them in not so crazy times, this is GOLD, business owners, gold I say!
Our December VIP night was our best trading day, except for Christmas Eve, for the whole year! Yes, it was a lot of work because my fellow business owner Michelle and I did most of the work, but it was SO worth it.
Collaborative marketing in December is like printing money!
My hint to you though – if you are going to organise something like this – collaborate with like-minded business owners who are also go-getters and proactive – because those slacko ones will suck your energy and probably never pay – well that’s my experience anyway.
There’s a lot to think about yes.
Maybe you’re thinking none of this relates to me. I’m in a service-based business – not selling products and you’re wondering how all this relates.
I guess it relates as much as you can see it does.
Because as far as I see it, you’re still selling something – perhaps not a physical product, but definitely something – so regardless don’t take your foot off the marketing pedal.
I see so many service providers have the worst January which is a direct correlation to taking your foot off the pedal in December and not marketing or booking in appointments.
If you want a good January, keep working at it in December.
So, these are my tips for marketing coming into the end of the year. I hope you can see some gold or some wisdom in them.
A couple of things before I go.
As you may or may not know, I’m a girl of the land. My better half and I run a farm in rural NSW and, well, it’s tough. Tougher than some, not as bad as others in this drought we are having.
So, I’ve set up a group on Facebook called #buyfromthebush
If you’re rural too, join the group and pitch your products for more sales leading into Christmas. If you’re not from the bush, consider joining and purchasing from a small rural business this Christmas rather than a multi-national.
The link is in the show notes.
Finally, before I go, if you’re interested in my brand-new Facebook Ads for Beginners course, I’d love to be the person to teach you.
I take your hand and I walk you through, step by step, not only on the actual Facebook Ads platform, but also goal setting, starting with the end in mind, your client avatar and SO MUCH MORE.
This is truly a labour of love.
My mission is to help as many small business owners as I can. This course is purely built on that core value. I am so tired to small business owners not using the platform because they don’t know how.
THAT ALL ENDS TODAY MY PEEPS, today!
To find out all the details about my course, go to www.socialmediaandmarketing.com.au/facebook
You’ll have lifetime access. As the platform changes, this course will update too, and you will have access to those updates, and I have an exclusive Facebook Group for my students of course so they can slip in there and have their questions answered by me or get help from fellow students as well.
It’s almost the end of the year, so if learning Facebook Ads was one of your goals, then perhaps this is just what you need to tick that off your list!
I’ll be back next Thursday with some more marketing know-how and another discovery of course.
But that is all for Episode 45. I’d love to connect with you all on social – so let’s get social on social – I’m on all the good platforms, so let’s do that!
…….. and remember small business peeps, as my opening song says, there’s no point in dreaming small!