January and February can be slow months for many businesses as consumers tighten their belts following the holidays. It's important to utilize this relatively quiet time to assess your marketing strategy, not only to boost foot traffic through the second half of winter, but also to position your business for success through the entirety of 2019. Here's how to assess what was working for you in 2018 and 4 tips for creating a winning marketing strategy in 2019.
Assess Your 2018 Marketing Success
Before you make grand plans for 2019, it’s important to see which marketing campaigns were successful for you in 2018 and which weren’t. First, assess how active you were creating marketing campaigns.
- How many marketing emails did you send out?
- Did you grow your customer email list?
- How often did you create social media campaigns?
- Did you frequently create and share deals?
- Did you stay on top of responding to negative reviews on sites like Facebook, Yelp, and TripAdvisor?
- If you have a loyalty program, did you actively create new rewards throughout the year, particularly seasonal rewards?
Once you have a good idea of what you actually did on the marketing front, take a look at which types of marketing campaigns garnered the best customer engagement for you. Did you build a huge following on one of your social media platforms, for example? Was one of your deals or rewards super popular? If you’re using SpotOn, it’s easy to scan through the analytics on your main dashboard to see what was working and what wasn’t—emails, social campaigns, deals, reviews, and rewards.
With all this information at your fingertips, you should be able to get a clear sense of what types of marketing campaigns are effective for your business, and what you can do a better job of executing on the marketing end.
Get 2019 off to a Good Start by Sending out a Deal Across all Platforms
As we mentioned in the introduction, January and February can be slow. The best way to get customers in the door is to give them good incentive to do so.
Recent studies show that customers who redeem a deal or discount spend 24% more than regular shoppers, and 65% of consumers are willing to spend more than they planned in order to redeem a deal.
Based on your assessment of your 2018 campaigns, come up with a good discount or deal—maybe it’s something that was a proven success in 2018, or maybe it’s something new and seasonal to help ward off the winter chill. Whatever you pick, make sure to distribute the deal widely via email and all your social media platforms. If you use your SpotOn dashboard to send out the deal, you’ll not only save time, but your deal will also be sent out to the tens of thousands of people who use the SpotOn consumer mobile app.
Create a Marketing Calendar
Sending out a deal right now, will get things rolling, but for 2019 to be a year-long-success, you need to plan accordingly. Putting together a marketing calendar is a great way to do just that. Read our blog post, “5 Steps to a Killer marketing Calendar for Small Businesses” to get started.
Create and Share a Video Story
Social media is getting more and more competitive by the year, but one social media trend you can take advantage of is the uprise of online video consumption. Particularly if this is a slow time of the year for you, take advantage of the downtime and create a new video “business story.” It doesn’t need to be a professionally-produced video—you can even film it on your mobile phone if you want—but definitely make sure to put thought and effort into the video. The idea is to showcase what your business is all about and give your followers a sense of your business’s identity.
Once you've created your video, make sure to upload it on all your social media platforms. For some ideas on how to create a good business story video, check out our blog post on using IGTV.
Commit to Growing Your Customer Email List
Despite the popularity of social media, study after study continues to show that marketing emails are still the most effective way to engage your customers.
61 percent of people want to hear from brands through email rather than other types of messaging such as direct mail, phone calls, and text messages.
Marketing emails are only as good as your customer email list, though. If you only have a handful of customers, or if all the customers on your list are from years ago, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. To do it right, make sure you have a method for collecting email addresses, preferably right at the point of sale. With SpotOn, it’s easy to do just that in a variety of ways:
- When customers request a digital receipt on SpotOn Poynt or SpotOn Register
- When customers redeem a deal
- When customers enroll for your loyalty program
- When customers discover your business on the SpotOn consumer mobile app
The first three methods here require training or at least a refresher with your staff. Your employees needs to ask customers if they would like an email receipt, and they need to prompt customers to enroll for your marketing or loyalty program, with something like, “If you’d like to get a free enrollment deal, just sign up with your email address on the screen.”
It’s as simple as that. Prompt your customers on a regular basis and you’ll continually grow your email list and see increasingly better results when you send out marketing deals and rewards.
Managing a marketing strategy is a lot of work, but with the right tools you can save time and boost the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Get your free SpotOn demo to see how we can help you take your business to the next level.