Cyber Monday falls on Dec. 2 this year, and online shoppers are already working on their shopping list. How about you, small business owner? Are you ready for the busiest sales day of the year? You better be, or you’ll be missing out on sales. Here’s a check list to help you get your ducks in a row:
- 1) Your website - How easily found is your website? Think about it, the busiest sales day of the year revolves around the internet, so your website is your store and it should be looking splendid (yes, decorate it, too!). Big brands have been working for months now to make sure they show up on the top of search engine page results (SERPs), their best sellers are easily found, and their conversion process is easily completed in just a couple of clicks. If your site is clunky and not easily found, spend some time on it right now (yesterday would have been better) to improve your content, navigation and SEO. Also, it’s a good idea to spend some money on Google AdWords to help you generate more traffic to your website. Trust me, people shop online for a reason – convenience. They really don’t want to work hard to buy from you.
- 2) Stock and delivery - If you did well last year on Cyber Monday, you should expect an increase this year as consumers get more adept at using their mobile devices to shop anytime, anywhere. In fact, retailers are expecting sales growth on Thanksgiving Day (while some nap after dinner, others watch football, and many shop!), Black Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Cyber Monday and Tuesday. That’s right, six days of sales paradise! Shoppers are armed with their credit cards and primed to buy, but if you run out of stock or fail to deliver on time, your brand will suffer dramatically, so make sure you’re ready to shine!
- 3) Have a sales plan - Shoppers will be looking for the best deals they can get, so spend some time to figure out how you can be competitive. Here’s an example of a six-day promotion to consider:
The holiday season means a spike in sales for most businesses. At the same time, though, honesty is never a more powerful marketing tactic. Customers often value a comfortable experience, with a brand they can trust, more than they do product features – especially when they’re already rushed during a busy shopping season.
How can honesty improve your marketing strategy?
I get really disappointed when I hear a professional (especially someone with a marketing function) tell me that they don’t understand or care for search, social media and mobile marketing. Let’s face it, whether you like it or not, search, social, and mobile marketing are here to stay and can’t be ignored for a simple reason – that’s how Millennials roll!
It seems like just yesterday that I was listening to my Paula Abdul record (and if you’re with me, I bet you’re humming “straight up now tell me”), trying my best to keep my bangs as high as possible with cheap hair spray (diligently contributing to the world’s ozone layer problem) and killing my brain cells watching music videos on MTV and VH1. Meanwhile, babies were coming into this world left and right. These babies, born between 1980 and 2000, now comprise the largest generation by number, 79 million people, with a purchasing power of over $170 billion per year, according to MarketingProfs. Do I have your attention now, or are you still humming Paula Abdul’s greatest hit?
For a lot of business-to-consumer companies, holiday season is the time of year they rely on to get them through some of the slower months. With just a week separating us from the first day of autumn, now is the perfect time to prepare your employees for your upcoming busy season. Here are three ways your employees should be helping you increase sales this fall:
With most people turning to online resources for information on products and services, your web presence is more important than ever. If your website is looking clunky and unprofessional, though, you may be turning customers away. While a complete redesign might be out of your budget, there are still a few ways to modify your website and give it a professional touch without going deep into your pockets. Here are five easy ways to professionalize your website:
Update content often.
Years ago (not to date myself), marketers could use the same content over and over for a year or two. A set of great case studies would serve a sales team for a few years – in fact, during my MBA program, we learned from case studies that were five years old and still relevant to the topics being covered in class.
Those days, however, are long gone. With the explosion of digital technology in recent years, consumers have become tech-savvy. They can gather information at a glance, switch from one venue to another with the touch of a button and tune out anything that doesn’t interest them. Marketers must now strive to keep pace with the constant demand for pertinent, up-to-date content. In fact, content creation has become one of our biggest challenges – which may explain why many marketers still struggle with the task.
While YouTube is not often the most talked about marketing tactic for a brand, it can greatly complement your marketing efforts by giving your audience an additional channel to absorb your information. In fact, video marketing may become an even greater channel for your brand as online video users are expected to double to 1.5 billion in 2016, according to The Hayzlett Group. Statistics show that over 1 billion users spend more than 4 billion hours watching YouTube videos each month, which means that maybe now is the time to enhance your brand’s YouTube presentation. Here are a few ideas to get your video marketing rolling on YouTube:
Share big news. Delight your followers by giving them insight with video announcements of new store openings, new products, awards or other happenings in your business. Sometimes a video is the best way to give details without requiring too much of your audience’s time.
While YouTube is not often the most talked-about marketing tactic for a brand, it can greatly complement your marketing efforts by giving your audience an additional channel to absorb your information. In fact, video marketing may become an even greater channel for your brand as online video users are expected to double to 1.5 billion in 2016, according to The Hayzlett Group. Statistics show that over 1 billion users spend more than 4 billion hours watching YouTube videos each month, which means that maybe now is the time to enhance your brand’s YouTube presentation. Here are a few ideas to get your video marketing rolling on YouTube.
Share big news
Remarketing has been around for a while now, but many small businesses have been leery to try this somewhat advanced online marketing strategy. Now that Facebook has rolled out its own version of remarketing, though, you don’t have to be a Google AdWords pro to reach your recent website visitors. In fact, Facebook has made it pretty easy to get information from your website about recent Facebook users’ interactions with your website. Below are three simple steps to begin taking advantage of this new tool:
Step One: Go to Ads Manager in Facebook and click on Audiences on the left side of the page. A form may pop up, but if not, simply select the green Create Audience button and choose Custom Audience from the drop down. Next, choose the type of audience you want to create on Facebook. In this case, you’ll want to choose Custom Audience from your Website. Here you can select which of your website pages you want to gather the audience from. You can choose to record anyone who visits your website, or you can track those that visit specific pages. For instance, do you want to target people who have viewed a certain product on your page but didn’t purchase it? You are able to define those parameters here.
There are plenty of examples of businesses going above and beyond to make their customers feel special — mostly because when this happens, the results go viral. Customers love feeling appreciated, and when they are hit with a random act of kindness, they are more willing to spread the word. While businesses should always be appreciative of their customers, it’s not always easy to show it. Here are four easy ways that you can show customer appreciation to your most loyal patrons.
Send a thank you note
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