It’s time to deck the halls! Or, in this case, your web marketing platforms!
As a small business, it’s easy to think you’re “too small” to go big during the holiday season. After all, most companies go all out with festive decor, events and sales. And those large-scale businesses have more space, money and time to make something extravagant come to life. I’m
Is it possible for a small business to capture shoppers’ attention even amid the holiday buzz?
Of course! And you don’t need a huge budget or a massive space to make that happen.
In this article, we help small business owners create their winter wonderland - online!
Ready to deck your small business in some holiday fun? Let’s start by creating your Christmas web marketing strategy!
If you own a business, you know how important it is to both,
It’s why you’ve invested time and effort into learning new platforms and creating one-of-a-kind content! It’s also the reason you installed TikTok, created your first Real and started blogging.
And, in all honesty, it’s the reason you’re here, reading this article, too!
You want to learn HOW to tell your story - how to put yourself out there, engage in the 2022 marketing era and make your mark.
Well, you’re on the right track!
Holiday marketing is not a new concept, as you well know. But staying in tune with your audience and creating content that speaks directly to them in each season? That’s never a stagnant thing to begin with!
Your audience is constantly looking for fresh ideas, new sales and an incredible shopping experience.
And what better time to do that, than at Christmas time?
During the holiday season, shoppers are on the hunt for more than the perfect gift. They’re looking for the best deals, bonuses and experiences. All in hopes of making their Christmas season PERFECT.
This tension to create the perfect Christmas experience is one of the main reasons why holiday web marketing is so effective.
Demand. Urgency. And a willingness to buy.
Customers aren’t simply window-shopping or leaving empty carts in your e-commerce platform anymore. Their buying behaviour has switched from passive to active - increasing their urgency and their willingness to buy.
This increase in demand presents you with the perfect opportunity! The opportunity to create new, holiday-themed content that catches your consumers’ eye.
So get creative this holiday season with your holiday marketing!
Before you start throwing tinsel around, you need a plan of action. Or, to be more precise, a Christmas web marketing strategy.
Grab a scrap piece of wrapping paper and your jolliest pen - it’s time to start planning!
There’s a reason we launched this article earlier than planned.
While the phrase, “better late than never, " sometimes works, we don’t recommend it as a philosophy for your holiday marketing.
We wanted to get this information to you as early in the season as possible! So you have the time you need to collect your resources, get a plan in motion and start executing - before the holiday buzz hits.
And, to be honest, it’s already begun!
The 2021 report by the Retail Council of Canada (RCC) stated that 30% of Canadians planned to start Christmas shopping in late October. And 36% said they planned to begin in early November.
Rumour has it, this year is no different!
With stats like that, it’s crucial to have your holiday marketing ready to go as early as possible!
What are your business goals this holiday season? While many businesses go for the typical increase in sales or foot traffic, your goals might look different.
And don’t forget! While you’re setting your goals, remember to make them SMART - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
Whether you have one target demographic or many, learning how to target your holiday marketing to them specifically is vital.
Once you decide WHO you’re targeting, you’ll be able to decide WHERE to launch your efforts and HOW to reach this demographic most effectively.
Start by asking yourself some questions:
Where are your ideal customers?
What are their consumer behaviours?
How can you best connect these answers to launch a campaign that meets your customer exactly where they are - physically and emotionally?
Now that you have a plan, it’s time to get cracking on your holiday web marketing!
Below is a list of easy and effective Christmas marketing ideas. Some of these are tactics we’ve done ourselves, some we've worked on with clients, and others we've seen trending in the market.
Which ones speak to your business, clientele, budget and resources?
While it may not be realistic or in your best interest to do them all, we recommend selecting at least a handful of them. And there are lots of options to choose from that are both affordable and effective!
Contests are a great way to generate buzz for your business, especially when prizes are involved!
Try hosting one of the below Christmas-themed contests on your social media:
Giveaways are a fantastic web marketing tactic to use over the holiday season! They can help you reach new customers, spread the word faster and encourage a sense of community on your platform.
When planning your giveaway, we encourage you to also collaborate with other local small business owners. This can help expand your reach to other potential customers and improve your brand reputation.
Do you run an e-commerce business with no physical store location? If so, try this!
While you have no halls, racks or storefronts to decorate, you do have your online store. And there’s no reason why you can’t spread some holiday cheer on your site!
Here are some simple holiday website decor ideas you can put in place:
And while you’re at it, get seasonal on your socials too!
Start by customizing your cover and profile photos, Then branch out into festive social content, graphics, videos etc.
Incorporate holiday jargon into your captions and ensure your content is as seasonal as you can make it.
One of the recommendations we give our clients at OSM is to book a holiday photoshoot! This can help spice up your content and give your customers something fresh and seasonal to enjoy on your account!
This one is a no-brainer. Who doesn’t LOVE a good holiday discount?
If you’re looking for a way to increase your sales, clear out your inventory or launch a new product, a discount is definitely the way to go.
Examples of Holiday Discounts:
Want to promote new or existing products? Try highlighting these products in a Christmas Gift Guide!
Gift guides are easy to make. And they simplify your customers’ shopping experience as well!
Step 1: Title your gift guide.
Step 2: Select appropriate products.
Step 3: Include photos and links to these products.
Step 4: Launch!
Once you’ve completed the list, you can launch it on almost any platform.
We recommend sharing your gift guide on visual and shareable platforms - like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and even your blog!
Celebrate the holiday season with your newsletter subscribers! Your newsletter can help you engage with your online community, share festive content and attract people to your website.
There are many ways for you to interact with your newsletter subscribers over the Christmas season. That could be sharing a holiday campaign, thanking your customers for their support over the year, or simply sharing a festive video of your team!
At OSM, we typically share a final Happy Holidays message with our newsletter subscribers before we go on holiday ourselves. It’s an incredible way for our team to thank our customers for their support and wish them a Merry Christmas!
Which of the above Christmas web marketing ideas will you put into action?
As a small business, you have the incredible opportunity to capture your unique customers' attention. And it doesn’t require a large budget or a storefront! All you have to do is harness your creativity, make a plan and get to it.
Need help putting together your holiday marketing materials? Our team at OSM is happy to help!
Our affordable digital marketing services help your small business gain the traction it needs - even during the holiday buzz!
As a small business owner, integrated campaigns can seem daunting and out of reach.
After all, they involve a series of media platforms, web marketing tactics, social media efforts etc.
If multiple third-party companies run your marketing department, it can be especially challenging to organize a consistent message across your channels.
However, though the concept may seem intimidating, it’s 100% doable - even for a small business!
Launching and running a successful integrated campaign is simple as long as you have the right tools, resources, and know-how.
We break down the necessary factors of a small business integrated campaign below. Keep reading to learn how to put together your own multichannel campaign!
Before we get into the 5 steps of creating a successful campaign, let’s first learn what integrated campaigns are and why they are beneficial.
In short, integrated campaigns present a consistent message across all your marketing communication channels.
Companies use them to reach a larger audience, increase brand awareness, build excitement etc.
Typically, integrated campaigns use the same principles as branding, including similar visual aesthetics, wording, tone etc. This ensures a unified look across all platforms - increasing brand recognition and improving communication efforts.
As a small business, we understand that your time, money and resources are especially valuable and limited. And we don’t take that knowledge lightly.
In fact, that knowledge is what fuels our desire to provide these free marketing tips and tricks!
So, how can an integrated campaign boost your web marketing success? Is it really worth it?
Let’s go over some of the benefits below!
Benefits of Launching An Integrated Campaign As a Small Business:
Now that you know what integrated campaigns are and how they benefit small businesses, let’s learn how to create one!
The first and most important step is to get everyone on the same page.
As a small business owner, you likely have multiple companies/freelancers making up your team. You have a company for your email campaigns, another for your social media coordination, another for your web hosting etc.
While this can be a great way to delegate your business responsibilities, it does make campaign creation slightly harder. And it's why you must always ensure each team member is aware of the campaign scope, given the proper materials/instructions and follows through with the plan correctly.
This is how you ensure your message is consistent, clear and accurate. And that all marketing schedules properly align with your plan.
Otherwise, your social media team might understand things differently from your web marketing team, and so on. Leaving your audience with a muddled message.
So, gather your team for a quick huddle and make sure everyone is aware, involved and prepared.
The second step in creating your campaign is to think about your audience.
A lot of companies choose to focus on their brand messaging before selecting their target audience. But at OSM, we believe the customer always comes first.
So identifying WHO your customer is, WHAT they’re looking for, and HOW you can meet their needs has to be your top priority.
Note: It is possible to have more than one ideal target audience to focus on. That’s the benefit of a multichannel campaign! You can target a variety of people at once with the same message.
Once you’ve nailed down your target audience, it’s time to craft your message.
This message can be in the form of written content, graphics, video creation or even photography.
Campaign messaging typically surrounds a special, promotion, discount or feature. However, you can create a campaign for pretty much anything!
As your creating this message, keep in mind these 3 key factors:
We already mentioned the importance of your target audience. But as you create your message, always remember to circle back and ensure your content serves their interests first.
Your campaign will lack direction and purpose if it doesn't have a set goal or objective. So before you start creating your messaging, decide on your campaign goals and KPIs (key performance indicators).
A few common campaign goals include:
The third factor to keep in mind is how adaptable your message is.
Since an integrated campaign involves multiple channels, your messaging has to be able to adjust to each one accordingly.
For example, if you record a video podcast, what are some ways you can repurpose that content for other channels?
Planning your content creation with this in mind will ensure you have the opportunity to share your campaign across multiple platforms.
Now that you have your message, it’s time to strategize where and when you will launch it. Since you’ve purposely crafted your message to be adaptable for most channels, you have lots of options to work with!
As you strategize, don't forget to circle back to step 2 and ensure you choose the best channels for your specific audience.
Is your audience browsing the internet? Or scrolling their Facebook feed?
In this case, which is more effective - Google Ads or Facebook Ads?
Understanding which is more effective and realistic, considering your messaging, can help you strategize a successful campaign placement.
Common Advertising Channels For Small Businesses:
Once you’ve narrowed down which channels best suit your audience and messaging, the next step is to find the perfect time(s) to launch!
For this, you’ll need some insight into when your ideal audience is most active on your channels. From there, you can better estimate the best posting time for your content!
Ready to launch?
Once your campaign goes live, have your team monitor it daily. We recommend having your team on standby, ready to respond to incoming messages, inquiries, or hiccups as they come up.
Finally, the final step in your campaign journey is to measure its success. In this step, you’ll analyze your campaign results with the goals you created at the start of the process.
Did your campaign meet your goals? Why or why not?
One of the best things about a campaign is that you can use the knowledge you gained from previous results to better guide future campaigns!
Are you ready to give integrated campaigns a shot? Our web marketing team at OSM is here to put your message into action!
Our digital marketing services offer:
And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to not miss our next blog post!
How many hats are you wearing today - Social Media Manager, SEO Specialist, Content Writer, Financial Advisor, Bookkeeper? Your closet must be brimming with the many titles you wear each day.
But hey, if you run your own small business, juggling hats is just one of the perks. Right?
Or is that just what everyone has told you?
You’ve got your hands in every aspect of your business, but are you slowly losing sight of the reason you started it in the first place?
Are you tired, burnt out, unmotivated and losing the passion that got you here?
Are you running out of time in the day to do the things that really bring you joy?
If so, there’s no doubt about it - you need help.
There are many tell-tale signs for needing to hire a marketing agency.
On one hand, your business could be excelling in the market - exceeding your expectations and creating more work than you have time for.
On the other hand, you could be grasping at straws - unable to find good leads in today’s changing digital landscape.
Whether flourishing or struggling, one thing is obvious - you can’t keep doing it all on your own.
And thankfully, you don’t have to!
Hiring a marketing agency can:
Still not sure whether a marketing agency is something you need to invest in? Keep reading! Below are 5 reasons why hiring a marketing agency might be the best decision for your business right now.
Not being able to keep up with increasing demand can be a good thing! It means your business is growing. But it also means that it’s time for you to grow with it.
Have you noticed a lack of internal resources recently? Not having the available time or manpower is a dead giveaway that you need some help.
A Marketing Agency Can Help You:
It’s easy for marketing to go on the backburner when you’re trying to keep up with things that offer immediate ROI (return on investment). But if you don't work on things like brand reputation, lead generation and website traffic, your business can quickly lose momentum.
Hiring a team of marketing experts can help keep marketing a top priority while freeing up your own time to do the things you love!
Are your results failing to match up with your projected progress? Have your marketing efforts fallen flat?
Marketing is constantly evolving, especially in the last two years. Small businesses have had to continually pivot just to keep up with the changing marketing landscape.
Has your business made the necessary changes to adapt to the changing landscape?
A Marketing Agency Will:
The result? Measurable and actionable results!
Is your sales team coming back to you less-than-impressed? Your marketing efforts may have gotten the traction you wanted, but if it’s with the wrong people, you’re wasting both your sales team’s time and your marketing dollars.
Instead of taking a shot in the dark with your marketing, you should know:
A Marketing Agency Will Work With You In Creating:
Imposter syndrome or unqualified?
You may have become a true “jack of all trades”, but as we’ve all heard, a jack of all trades is typically a master of none. You don’t need to do everything yourself!
As an entrepreneur, you hear the term ‘imposter syndrome’ quite a bit. Those feelings of inadequacy are all too common for big dreamers and doers. But, there is a difference between having imposter syndrome and not having the necessary expertise to do a job well.
Are you amazing at photography, but lack the skills needed to build a high-traffic website?
Are you an exceptional baker, but lack the knowledge needed to showcase your talents on social media?
Are you a trained massage therapist, but lack the education needed to write and optimize high-converting content?
You started a business so that you could do the thing you love. The thing you’re really, really good at. But to make a successful business, there are many shoes that you need to fill.
A Marketing Agency Has:
All of which are going to give you:
a) The freedom you need to do the things you’re good at, and
b) Peace of mind knowing that the rest is in good hands.
Have your sales come to a grinding halt, regardless of booming interest in your product? Are you unknowingly using outdated marketing tactics, selling to the wrong people or using the wrong platform(s) to showcase your product?
A Marketing Agency Brings:
This boost of fresh creativity, knowledge and experience can launch your business forward!
As a small business ourselves, we understand both burnout and growing pains. It’s these moments of discomfort that encourage us to lean into the next season of our business. Without them, we would miss out on some incredible opportunities!
Are you looking for a local marketing team in the Quinte region to help grow your business this year? Get in touch with our team at OSM!
You can reach us at 613-969-0626 or learn about our Digital Marketing Services HERE!
MYTH: You need to be an established content creator in order to start your own podcast.
TRUTH: As long as you have a voice and something to say, you have the power to launch an incredibly successful podcast!
Did you know that more than 8 million Canadian adults listen to podcasts at least once a month? It’s incredible how quickly podcasts have grown and become such a prominent piece of our daily education, advertising and entertainment. In fact, “what podcast are you listening to lately?” is almost as common a question as “what Netflix show are you watching lately?”.
Podcasting is the multitasker’s best friend
Podcasting is an easy and convenient way to absorb information
Podcasting is a great way to engage with, communicate and amplify your message
Podcasting = Brand Personality 101
Podcasting is FREE for listeners - meaning ANYONE can access ANY podcast!
Podcasts are an incredible tool for small businesses and here’s just a few reasons why!
During the pandemic especially, people are looking for connection and relationship - someone they relate to, trust and can have a good old fashioned conversation with! This is where your podcast comes in! What better way to share your brand personality and voice with the world than to TALK ABOUT IT. Your podcast is your opportunity to share your life, your passion and your authenticity with someone who honestly wants to hear it!
Podcasting is such a great way to build a natural connection with your audience. You can read every single one of our blogs and social media posts, but do you know what we sound like when we laugh? Probably not (unless you’re watching us on TikTok or our recent Instagram Live!).
Podcasting is your key to building that personal connection! It gives you the opportunity to build on running jokes or themes, to engage with what’s happening in your life in the moment, to connect with other people in your area of focus and to really SHOW UP for your audience.
Remember when you thought you could only start a podcast if you were an established content creator? NEWSFLASH! If you run a business and are, in fact, the voice and passion behind that business. You are a content creator! All you have to do now is get that content out to the right people.
Do you ever find yourself saying, “Oh I could talk about that for hours! Just hand me a mic!”?
DING DING DING - this is your chance!
Podcasting is a great strategy to use when identifying yourself as an expert in a given topic or industry by providing real, authentic content on that given topic.
Did you hear our recent podcast episode with @fourcornerscollective where we talked about Being A Mom & An Entrepreneur at the same time? It’s GOLD! And the best part? We got to network with an AWESOME brand doing AWESOME work in a similar industry as us! This, my friends, is called networking - and we love it!
Podcasting presents an opportunity for you to connect with other people in your genius zone and start to have those impactful conversations that leave you, and your audience, feeling inspired!
Create a vision for your podcast and understand the audience you want to reach/impact.
Create 5-8 themed questions to ask each guest.
Choose the platform(s) you want your podcast episodes to be accessible on (Youtube, Spotify, etc.)
Utilize tools like Zoom for recording your episodes.
Have fun with your podcast and use it to have the conversations that are really meaningful to you!
So what are you waiting for? If you’re looking for a social media platform that gives you the freedom to show up authentically, to increase brand awareness and connect with your audience all at once - this is the answer!
Record your episode on Zoom.
Download the recording to your computer and move it to your phone using a USB cable.
Download the video editing app Powerdirector.
Edit your video and export as MP4.
Upload MP4 to YouTube (or other streaming platform) and add a thumbnail cover!
It doesn’t have to be elaborate with perfect video or sound quality. It doesn’t have to be planned down to the second. And it doesn’t have to be the best thing you’ve ever created.
In fact, it can be awkward, a little choppy and a lot uncomfortable when you first start - ours was!
But that’s the beauty of it. Because people aren’t looking for perfection, they’re looking for connection.
So start sharing your authentic, passionate, REAL life...