If you’re a business owner and you’ve gotta get some sales to offset the downturn over the summer (yeah, we’ve all been there), then you know that just about every retail business is going to be hitting it hard this holiday season.
Brick and morter stores that were once happy with their word-of-mouth advertising method are now treading new territories as they hussle to learn the new language of digital advertising, especially if they’re on the cusp of closing their doors.
Making up for lost sales is going to drive some serious advertising traffic all over the web. You may even see media sites bombarded with sales ads. You might even see a freebie offer here and there. Yeah, things are getting desperate.
Big national chains have already started their holiday promotional campaigns. You’ll see familiar teasers to warm up the market before the big promos hit the consumer’s feeds. But fear not! It’s not too late to get into the game.
We’re going to go over a few easy DIY things you can do to stay in the game and keep up with the big brands.
GET YOURSELF ON GOOGLE
One of the most important steps that businesses forget to do when they open is to set up a Google My Business listing, also known as a GMB listing. This is the absolute most important thing you can do as a local business.
Google My Business is a map-based listing that shows your business on the map. This is important when people are looking at Google Maps for directions or when searching for local businesses.
Your GMB should have your business info, such as your business name (obviously), address, hours of operation, photos and maybe a video if you want to OCD it.
Your GMB not only lets consumers know where you are and what you’re about, it also gives consumers the opportunity to leave “reviews”.
Reviews are the lifeblood of most local businesses, because it determines whether buyers are going to visit you or your consumer.
GMB is a simple process. You simply go on Google Business and create a listing. You’ll be taken through a series of prompts to which you should do your best to fill out, and your listing is created. You won’t get listed just yet. Google has to know that you’re legit, so they’ll probably want to send you a postcard with a special code you need to verify before they let you play on their GMB platform.
What can be more simple than that?
For more information on GMB, take a look at this article on Google My Business.
GET ONLINE, GET A WEBSITE
You’ve heard it before and I’m sure you’ve probably thought that your business did fine without a website all these years, why would it need one now? The obvious answer is that everyone is online now. With social distancing being the new norm, that’s where you’ll find your consumers.
Your website isn’t just a distraction for those waiting at the dentist office, it’s your online storefront. It tells people about your business, your services, and your products.
According to KPMG:
55% of people will search online for reviews and recommendations before making a purchase, with 47% visiting the company website, 26% checking out the physical store, and 23% of people talking with friends and family
Without going into more details (which you can find in this article), you can see how the internet is changing the consumer landscape.
Make sure your website is compliant to whatever area you serve, and be sure to take compliance issues seriously if you want to advertise on platforms such as Google and Facebook.
What does that mean?
- Disclaimer at the footer that ads running to this site/page is not associated with the advertising platform (e.g. Facebook).
- GDPR compliance checkmarks for countries that require that
- properly tagged images
Compliance is especially important during the promo season. There’s nothing worse than to have your ad taken down in the middle of your sales campaign just because the ad platform deems it unworthy.
Landing Pages & Funnels
More important than a website is a landing page. Sometimes these are referred to as a Funnel, even though there’s a lot more going on with a funnel…but let’s keep it simple for now. For an in-depth dive into what a funnel is, you can read about it in this article about funnels.
Landing pages are especially important when driving traffic to an offer. What this means is that if a consumer sees your ad, clicks on it, and lands on your homepage. They’re not going to take the time to find that offer from the ad. They’re probably just going to leave.
You want your ads to link to a specific offer for which that ad was created.
A simple one-page with nice graphics and well-written sales copy would go great with that ad.
Tracking & Pixels
If you’re going to spend all that money on advertising and marketing, you may as well make the most of it by using tracking pixels. Google Analytics and Facebook Pixels are your friends…or at least they can be if you play nice with them.
Tracking codes and pixels play an important part in marketing — they save you moolah. Lots and lots of moola. We’re not going to go details into it because one of our writers did a great write-up of this thing called “Retargeting”. You can find the retargeting article here.
They’re free tools you can get from Google and Facebook Business. Install these on your site where you’re expecting your visitors to land. Heck, just install it on every single page!
COVER YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA WITH COVER IMAGES
What are cover images? Well, you see…they’re those ginormous graphics you see at the top of Facebook pages, Instagram pages, Twitter profiles, GMB listings, LinkedIn pages…you get the picture.
Nothing brings a smile on an audience more than a seasonal cover image when they land on your social media page. There is no such thing as “nothing’s in season”. There’s always a holiday, event, or circumstances where a sale would spark up some cheer.
They’re easy to make and they can be free to make if you want to DIY it. Just get some simple graphics, overlay that with your sales message and BAM! Your sales promo done in less than 5 minutes.
You can do this in Google Slides, Windows Paint, or simple online tools like Canva.
Do it, you’ll be glad you did.
IS THAT ALL IT TAKES?
Did we cover everything? Probably not, but hopefully we did give you some pretty good starting points to get you ready for the sales season. The sooner you get started, the better.
Read the referenced articles to learn more and be better equipped to do your own marketing for your business.
If all else fails, just hire a group like us 🙂 (Shameless plug, huh?)
Seriously, you can do all this yourself if you have just a few hours a week. We have loads of resources that you can take advantage of to give yourself a head start. All free to our readers (and anyone who happens to land on our site, really).