Staying Connected With Your ConsumersJames Cox
The holiday shopping season has concluded and for many businesses, sales numbers are about to decline. There’s little you can do to stop it as most consumers are done shopping for your products in high volumes and are now going to be buying based on need rather than promotion. It’s a time when most businesses scale back their marketing budget because they know that consumers will have less motivation to buy but should you stop your marketing completely?
One of the biggest mistake’s businesses make at this time is that they drastically slow down their marketing efforts. You’ve spent months and a large amount of money to put your brand and promotion in front of an audience. Now you’re going to disappear for the next 3-5 months and have to start all over again? That’s not a smart strategy because next year it may be even harder to get their business back. The trick is to make sure that you stay in touch with the consumer without having an aggressive budget. Cost-effective, multichannel marketing is the key to staying connected with an audience and making sure that they are thinking about your brand the next time they need to buy the products or services you offer.
These are the most cost-effective ways to remain connected with the consumer:
- Email marketing: A great way to reach millions of consumers for pennies on the dollar compared to other methods. Email marketing can help you send newsletters, updates on new promotions and more to frequently used devices of the consumer. They see your brand and your message before they even open the content. You can also take your current audience or list of consumers and use that data to create an ideal target audience that you can reach via a secondary email campaign.
- Social media marketing: The average social media user spends around four hours each day on these platforms. Sites and apps for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn get the users attention and have great power when it comes to branding and raising awareness for a promotion. You can also upload an email list to these platforms to reach the same audience again. It’s a great way to keep customers engaged as well and if they engage your content it will be introduce to their family and friends as well.
- Display banner advertising: We tune out commercials, but they are still there because the more times we see them, the more a brand will stick with us. The same approach works with banner advertising. We may not notice these display ads at first as we browse websites and apps, but we start to remember them the more times we see them. Because these ads are based on impressions, you can get millions of views on your ads for a very low price and keep your brand in front of consumers on thousands of websites and apps.
- Retargeting: Whether it’s email marketing, social media, display banner ads or something else, you are working hard to generate traffic to your site. What happens to that traffic once it leaves your site? Retargeting is a great tool because it puts the same ad or a new one in the view of the visitor, months after they’ve left your site. This reminds them of who you are and why they visited you in the first place. Think of getting a consumer to your site with a 10% discount in an email campaign. Then, after they leave your site, they see an ad a few days later for a 15% discount on one of the products they were looking at. Think that will get them back to your site?
While you may not be looking forward to the drop in sales that comes with the new year, think of it more as an opportunity. The consumers are less engaged with ads from your competitors because they are also cutting back on their marketing. That means you can get better reach for less money and either introduce yourself to new consumers or reintroduce yourself to ones who have seen your ads, visited your site or have even purchased a service or product from you. This time is an opportunity to improve your marketing efforts and get in front of a larger audience. The more effort you put into this January-July, the better the ROI will be on your efforts for the rest of the year.