You need an Autumn Marketing Campaign. If you own a business, you know that this is a must for everyone.
A campaign is necessary every time there is a turn of the season. But when the fall season comes around, the need for it is greater than ever. After the dry sales of the Summer season, you want to take advantage of all the sales that you are bound to have this Autumn.
But what if you still do not have a marketing campaign?
Do not panic. Just read through this guide and you should be alright, even if it is a last-minute effort on your part.
What happens to local businesses during the fall season?
The period between September to November is a great time for a lot of retailers. You have the Labor day weekend, Patriot’s Day, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. Of course, the favorite of all shoppers – Black Friday and Cyber Monday. All of this scream sales! Sales! SALES!
According to statistics, consumers spend billions of dollars every Thanksgiving. This is mostly due to the fact that it is squeezed between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Add to that the fact that people start buying gifts for the Holidays and you know just how much profit you can get from this season alone. Consumer reports also reveal that holiday purchases start to happen as early as October. In fact, 2 out of 10 shoppers begin earlier than October. That means your business should be ready to meet the holiday demand as early as September.
Of course, the question remains – how can you do this?
Well, we have five specific steps for you to follow so you can come up with a last-minute Autumn marketing campaign. It does not matter what type of business you are in. These are something that you can apply in your marketing initiatives. Regardless of how late you already are, one thing is for certain – you need to make a commitment to act on this NOW!
With these 5 steps as your guide, you should be able to come up with a quick and effective marketing campaign that will put your business in the limelight during the fall season:
Step 1: Know your goals for the Autumn season
It is always a good idea to start with your goals. Regardless of what you are trying to do, having a goal will give any project clarity and direction. The same is true for your marketing campaign. You need to ask yourself: what are you trying to achieve during the Autumn season? In retrospect, you need to ask yourself how you want the campaign to help you achieve your business goals.
Obviously, your goal for the season is to increase your profit – at least compared to last year’s sales. You need to think of a campaign that will allow you to achieve that target. Take note that your seasonal targets, in this case, your Autumn goals, should still be aligned with your overall goals. To be specific, it should be aligned with your digital marketing goals. This will help influence any goals that you may have for the whole quarter.
So how can you define your goals? You may want to ask yourself the following questions:
1. Are you trying to create awareness for a specific event in your business that will happen during the Autumn season? (e.g. Thanksgiving special, Cyber Monday, Black Friday)?
2. Generate more awareness?
3. Do you want to highlight a holiday during this season? (e.g. Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc)?
4 Are you trying to compete with local competitors or on a more global scale?
5. Is there a new promotion that you want to hype?
These questions, once answered, should help you shape the goals of the seasonal campaign.
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Step 2: Create timely campaigns for Autumn
If you really want to create a buzz for your business, you need to create timely promotions that are influenced by the local holiday and events of the season.
. It helps make your campaigns relatable. At the same time, it taps into any emotional attachments that consumers have towards the specific holiday.
For instance, you can use the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday to your advantage!
If you know that your consumers belong to a particular religion, race, or culture, you can also tap into their respective holidays!
For instance, let us assume that a lot of your patrons are Jewish. You can tap into the many Jewish celebrations that happen in the month of October like Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. Or you can make it location specific.
Step 3: Do your research and make sure the campaign is realistic
The craziest campaigns do not always work. Your idea might seem unique and off the charts. However, if you fall short in your research and in making it realistic, the campaign might just fall flat. No pun intended.
So what can you do to keep this from happening?
First of all, you have to spy on what your competitors are doing. Do they have the same idea as yours? Having the same campaign is usually not a good idea – unless you are collaborating with them. But if not, you want to make sure that your campaign will outshine theirs. Not only that, you want to separate your business with theirs. If you cannot compete with what they are offering, you can go a different route. If you cannot give as much discount, you can concentrate on giving out freebies.
There are 3 important factors to running promotions to your local market:
2. Urgency and exclusivity
Finally, your promotion might fall flat if it’s not created for your ideal audience. Check that your campaign aligns with your local business’ buyer personas, or if you don’t have buyer personas yet, make them!
What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is defined by HubSpot as a “a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.”Need help creating yours? Click here for a free digital strategy session,
where we’ll help you define your personas and understand exactly how to tailor your local business’ marketing to each for best results.
Step 4: Start involving your website.
At this point, you have a clear definition of your goals and you have a concrete campaign in place. It is now time to start telling the work about it.
One of the best ways to do this is to involve your website in the Autumn campaign. Create a landing page that is dedicated to the campaign. There are a couple of things that you need to have on your landing page.
1. A form – There’s no sense having a landing page with the intent to capture leads if you don’t have way to collect those leads! Create a form with a specific call-to-action, like “Request Your Quote” or “View Product Specs.” (If you don’t have lead form capabilities, you can point all inquiries to your local business’ phone number or email address, but we highly recommend a form.)
PRO TIP: When you build your form, be sure to add copy within the form that reiterates the exclusivity or urgency terms you defined in Step 2.
2. No way out – The key to landing pages (or squeeze pages) is that they have ONE call-to-action, ONE focus, and ONE purpose. Your page’s single purpose should be to convert traffic on your Autumn promo lead form. There should be zero links to other pages – the less distractions, the better.
3. A gateway from the homepage – Once you‘ve created your page, place a slider image, site-wide banner, featured image, or prominent link on your website’s homepage that announces your Autumn promo to all of your website visitors.
Want help designing your landing page or website?
Click here for help
Step 5: Spread The Word On Social
Now, for the fun part:
Let’s drive some traffic to your website and more customers to your local business.
Use the power of social media!
Plan your Facebook content strategy to include a balance of organic posts (what you post to your Business Page) and paid ads (posts created in Ads Manager so that your followers can’t see, but your ideal audience can).
Your organic posts should be entertaining, fun, and either business-culture or locallyvdriven, occasionally pointing to your Autumn promotion without being overly salesy.
For your paid advertising, stick with either Reach/Local Awareness or Engagement/Event Responses campaign objectives to reach more people around your business or generate excitement around your limited-time offer.
Pick *ONE* other social channel and flood that, too
If your local business is already present across multiple social media channels like YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc., GREAT!
But unless you have a full-fledged social media team and content schedule, trust me:
Just pick *ONE* other channel in addition to Facebook to broadcast your Autumn promotion on.
Otherwise, you’ll risk social media overload, or worse, duplicating content across social channels rather than optimizing it for each channels’ specific audience and media type.
Choose your additional channel according to each social media channel’s “flavor” and audience. Check out the image below for a quick overview:
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM FOR YOUR BUSINESS
For example, if you’re a business that tends to take a lot of beautiful and artistic photographs like a pool contractor, your best bet might be Instagram.
On the other hand, if your business is more B2B, LinkedIn might be your go-to.
Wrap Up – Your Local Business’ Guide To Autumn Marketing 2017
It is best to concentrate on providing organic posts. These should be locally-driven, fun, and entertaining too. Make sure it provides information about the campaign without making it look like a sales pitch. For instance, your campaign involves an offer for the Thanksgiving holiday. Create an article about the holiday – like tips on how to save on costs when preparing a Thanksgiving feast. In one of the tips, encourage the readers to look for discounts and then mention that your business is offering a huge discount in time for Thanksgiving.
If you do not have enough manpower to monitor your social media posts, you should choose one platform and focus on that. While going across a lot of social media platforms is beneficial, if you cannot track everything, then do not spread your resources too thinly. It is better to have one successful social media campaign than have multiple ones that are failing. In choosing a social media platform, consider the resources that you have. Which of the platforms can easily highlight your business? Instagram is great for businesses who have a lot of beautiful photos in the campaign. If you have a B2B business, then LinkedIn is the best platform to use.
On a final note…
Although everything that you are doing right now is at the last-minute, you should not rush into things. We have simplified the process that you have to go through so you will not feel overwhelmed. But even so, it is important that you take your time and do you force the campaign if it is half-baked. You might end up with a flop and lose potential clients in the process.
So what are you waiting for? Start working on that Autumn campaign! And make sure you set up everything so you can track the progress of your campaign and how your investments are paying out.
If you need help with campaign tracking, give us a call. We at Suncoast Interactive offer a free strategy session to help kick-start your marketing efforts.
Who knows? If the results are awesome, you may want to something similar for the dreary winter months…
Campaign tracking is essential for any local businesses.
If you need help setting up or understanding Google Analytics to track and
measure your digital campaigns effectiveness,click here to start your free strategy session
and let Suncoast Interactive guide you through the chaos.