Sadly, summer is practically over. The days people can spend at the beach are winding down. Vacations are ending and children are starting to go back to school. For many people, the end of summer is a sign that the fun they experience during the year is over. In New England, it’s even a sign to start taking the winter jackets and snow shovels out of storage.
But to a business owner, fall is the perfect time to sit down with your calendar and start planning out promotional campaigns through the holidays. There are a number of upcoming holidays and seasonal events that will bring people out shopping and you should start of thinking of ways to convince them to shop locally. Here are some marketing options available to you.
Advertising With Community News Organizations
Local communities turn to their local newspaper for local news. They also find local businesses that way. In 2014, the National Newspaper Association reported that 67% of small town residents read their community newspaper. That’s practically 2/3’s of the market that will have immediate access to your printed ad.
Look at what days you think will be the busiest, and figure out the best times to start advertising your business and if you want to build interest for an upcoming promotion. Work with your sales representative to try and build the best message for your budget. Also, see if you can turn that print ad you’ve designed into a digital ad for the newspaper’s website.
Advertising on Social Media
A few months ago we outlined some of the best ways for your business to advertise on social media. Now is the time to look at some of those models and see which one would fit best with the goals of your business.
Maybe you want to find new customers in surrounding areas and promote a huge fall sale? Use Facebook’s geographic locator and select the area and the type of customer you want your ad to reach.
Do you want to connect with just your current followers? Build a special offer that will be promoted across Facebook and offer customers an exclusive deal.
Example: Start promoting the annual #SmallBusinessSaturday movement in October. Use social media as a way to educate your followers about the national campaign to support small businesses. Perhaps come out with five reasons why people should shop local, and every week, for the five weeks prior to Small Business Saturday share that reason. See if you can find images to accompany your “Top Five Reasons to Shop Small” campaign.
According to one study, 66% of people purchased an item because of an email they received from a business. Create an email that you can send to your existing customers. Thank them for their patronage and update them about monthly promotions and new items.
Also, create an email for new customers and introduce them to your store. Where is your business located? What does it specialize in? Highlight products and services that other customers recommend. Create interest in your business. Maybe even offer a new customer discount for visiting.
Example: If you own a hardware store or a landscaping community, send emails that showcases your tools and services during the fall and winter months. Highlight new rakes, shovels, leaf and snow blowers on the market that will help homeowners get the job done.
Advise them on the proper way to dispose of dead leaves and branches and what type of ice melt will work and is safe for pets. Offer your services to those who don’t want to hurt themselves or who want to spend time with their family and friends instead of working outdoors.
By planning out the last four months of the year now, you can focus on stocking shelves, training employees and being prepared for some of the busiest shopping days of the year.
Nick Pizzolato is the Marketing Content Manager at Wicked Local Media Solutions. For questions, topics for future blogs, or to share your favorite moment from the film “Back to the Future,” email him at email@example.com.
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