Silly season is upon us and there are simply not enough hours in December to get everything done before Christmas. Running your own business gets particularly tough at this time of year. Whether you're finalising and fulfilling orders, attending to your clients, planning your team Christmas lunch or simply trying to keep your head above water juggling your workload with family pressures, a social life not to mention present buying.
Whilst I might not be able to help you with buying gifts for your loved ones I can offer some help with how to keep your marketing on track through the festive season. The easy option is to stop all marketing activity altogether, let the social media posts dry up - in contrast to one's liver! This knee jerk reaction might seem like a good idea at the time, but come January you'll have further to climb to get back in the marketing swing, you'll be spending longer trying to re-build engagement with customers - how likely is it that they stopped looking at their Instagram feed during December?
Is it wise to let your marketing and lead generation slip as you head into the buying frenzy that is December or for that matter the potentially slowest month of the year in January - unless you own a gym of course!
It is possible to keep your marketing and communication efforts to the bare minimum this month and still see results. With a bit of planning and foresight you'll be up and running come January when your competitors are still crawling out from under their duvets!
Focus on your key activities. Stick to what you know will drive sales and produce leads. These are the bed rock of what you do. Stick to 3 or 4 of them and break the tasks down into bite size achievable chunks. These smaller tasks can be done over several days, baby steps will stop the overwhelm.
Diarise tasks. Whereas you might, say, write a blog when the mood takes you, now you need to schedule it into your diary. Allow longer than you think you'll need, you're bound to get distracted by the mince pies being passed around or watching re-runs of your favourite Yuletide ad. Pass the hankies... It takes time to find the right image or schedule the post, make sure you allow for this. Broken down over the several days it's not as daunting and saves the stress of creating and delivering content in one stretch plus it's more likely to get done this way.
Check your social profiles. Update if necessary and include some festive fun, add in links to your Christmas offers and promotions. Embrace the Christmas cheer.
Use content you already have. You spent the rest of the year creating the perfect content, now's the time to get the most from it by repurposing it. A little bit of editing, updating of images, a tweak here and there if it's necessary then it's good to go. Have a look at your analytics to see which posts performed the best and start with those.
Make the most of guest blogs. It's not too late to approach your contacts, they'll be flattered to share their knowledge and information as a guest blogger on your site. Get tweeting and ask for help - you may be surprised how many bloggers will be happy to help. Assuming you have the right fit it's exposure for them and fresh content for you and that's just for starters.
Use relevant case studies. If you have a Christmas or 'seasonal' story to tell now is the time to make the most of it. Was there an above and beyond good-will story from last year you could share or a customer you could contact to write about the Christmas conundrum you resolved for them.
Continue to engage. You'll still need to engage with your customers, but don't worry if it takes slightly longer to do so. Put aside time to do this and bulk your replies. Don't get distracted by that picture of the white sandy beach with the empty hammock that has your name on it. You're on your feed to reply and engage with your customers. Obviously you can't reply with the same comment, prioritise those that fit your ideal customer most closely. Continue the conversation with them and refrain from any 'quick sale' comments, customers can smell these a mile away. Customer loyalty will continue long after the batteries in your Christmas gifts have drained.
Get your team involved. Make them brand ambassadors and encourage them to post and share on social media. Make it easy for them by giving them suitable links or promotions they can share. Get them involved in your communications efforts, discuss your marketing themes or current blog topics.
Get specific. Target specific people and direct message them through LinkedIn or Instagram or wherever your ideal customers hang out. You could make this a daily task, it shouldn't take long, try putting aside 10 mins every day - what potential customers doesn't appreciate some one on one love from their ideal brand?
Update your email signature. Include links to your latest blog or promotion. Add a call to action to start a conversation. Check your social media links still work. Use video, put some sparkle on your logo find a mince pie meme.
Get festive, stay sane, have fun and still keep your marketing and communications efforts on track. With these tips saving you time and effort you'll have no excuse for one more egg nog or an early night and a good book ....
Piggy Goes To Market are there to help you through this manic period and beyond. Let us take the pressure off your marketing efforts with a long term strategy to see you well into 2020.