A business is as good as how it portrays itself. It might have the best product on the market, but how it packages that product determines how it will fare. Here is how to properly use PR and SEO to amplify marketing results.
What is Your Consumer Appeal?
With the advent of technology, firms are increasingly becoming competitive to match the supply of goods and services from competitors. Revamping online presence features prominently in communication strategy as companies angle out their consumer appeal.
PR and SEO handle the same segment, but their approach is different. PR is creating desirable content that resonates with consumers, while SEO customizes the content to rank among the competition.
If these two components of the corporate communication link, they form an integrated communication approach that works both offline and online. Let’s take a look at a few tips on how to use SEO and PR to conquer online marketing.
Capture the Attention of More People
You are capturing more people’s attention if you are using SEO to find your clients and improve your image. SEO brings you to the top of search rankings even if the customer was not looking for your business specifically. If nothing else, the customer will continue to see your business represented in search results.
Over time, it will become clear to the customer that you are an expert in the industry. After all, your website continues to appear in their search results. Potential customers will remember your name, and they will associate your brand with a certain industry. You have branded yourself as a useful resource, and customers will start searching for your company alone in the future.
SEO Keyword Lists to Grow Your Audience
However, you must use SEO keyword lists to grow your audience. If you have just one or two keywords, you are only capturing a fraction of the attention that you deserve. Think bigger. Use SEO keyword lists to highlight everything you do and every location you serve.
For example, you should not list the services you provide. It would help if you used industry keywords that mix with these services. A company that offers pressure washing might add the name of an industrial device it uses.
It would be best if you listed everything you pressure wash. Therefore, you will have keywords for pressure washing driveways, sidewalks, homes, offices, commercial buildings, and industrial buildings.
Where Are You Located?
Take the next step by adding locations to your keywords. You have positioned yourself as a company that can provide customers with the service they need, but they might not know where you are located. Adding every location you service and the surrounding towns or cities makes your SEO more effective.
At the same time, you are adding these locations to your branding. You now have a reputation for serving people in every city you have listed.
When people live and work in your area, they often drive by convenient locations that are far from home. Someone who drops the kids off at school might realize that you are close to the school. You have become a convenient option. If you are close to someone’s office, you are convenient.
Finally, you must add keywords that make you look like a family business. You want to talk about helping families, helping local businesses, or helping local students. When you speak to your customers using friendly language, they are more likely to shop with you.
Adding SEO keywords to your content helps more people find you, and you have successfully integrated PR with SEO.
Increase Brand Awareness
The main aim of marketing is to make products known to the public. Brand awareness entails detailing the component and benefits of the product and its utility to the consumer. Clients choose a product based on how well they know it. Crafting a product description is part of public relations where the producer paints a picture of the product.
SEO brings in the online search patterns which the possible consumer uses to get information. Infusing the keywords into the product description and forming a desirable word combination increase product visibility on search engines. The impact of SEO amplifies the PR of the brand.
Enhance Content Development
As you develop content, you want to be as specific as possible. You are educating your customers when they are reading what your business does. You have branded your business such that you work in every city in the area.
By doing so, you have proven to customers that you can help them even if you do not have the same zip code as them. Additionally, it would be best to talk about specific issues that customers in that area have.
Creating a post on an issue, product or statement needs systematic wording. Content development is more than putting words together to explain. Whereas the formulation of the statement drives the meaning, how it sounds, and the target market informs its development. PR ensures formations while SEO customizes it to reach the target market.
How do You Better Serve Your Customer?
If you work in the pressure washing business, you should talk to customers about how you can solve their problems with salt on the roads in the winter, debris on their homes, and other specific items to that town. You can even reference local landmarks that show you have worked in the area.
You are not just an expert in your industry. You are proving to your customers that you are an expert in their hometown. These customers are more likely to trust you, and your brand looks more trustworthy because you have spoken directly to the customer.
What About Vids?
While you can say that you serve everyone in the area, many customers will not believe you until you reference the place where they live. Each new article should educate the customer on something new, and you can do the same thing with videos.
More potential customers will see videos with titles that include locations. Plus, customers can see you working in their area and might even recognize the background. As these videos progress, customers realize that you can come to their location to offer the same service. They trust you because they have seen you at work, and they understand that you can respond quickly.
Content development is popular in blogging, especially for companies offering social services. It helps create a narrative that appeals to a specific cluster of people. Business websites use SEO and PR to style their content to score a particular business goal.
Improve Brand Confidence and Consistency
Every business strives to come out in the best way possible. The product might be exemplary, but its communication decides how it will fare in the market. Consumers relate more with a known brand than a newcomer. They trust their ability since they have little information on the competitor.
However, the difference between brand awareness and brand confidence is how steady and consistent it is, both as a product and its quality. The authority fit commands is in how it communicates and interacts with its customers. The feedback mechanism sparked by the description improves its visibility and implore the producers to standardize the product. Trust builds brands, while confidence breeds authority.
When you are using PR and SEO together, you can be much more consistent with your brand message. A list of keywords will keep you on-task, and you can write in the same style every time you release an ad or write an article. Consistency makes businesses much more profitable, and you want to get as much help being consistent as you can.
Improve Your Brands Reputation
When you want to improve your brand reputation in a certain area, you can start using those keywords more than others. For example, a company that offers plumbing and electrical services might have just started offering its customers electrical services. Start talking more about electrical work to show that you are an expert in the industry.
You can do the same with any other product or service that you offer. If you have been thinking about your approach to these issues, it is much easier for you to brand yourself as an expert in new fields. Customers will see the same brand message in many locations, and they will feel as though they can trust you.
How May I Contact You?
You must also remember that customers can interact with you if you are posting articles online, writing in your blog, or using social media. You can use a script to talk to all these customers so that they always get the same message. This is vital to your success because it shows customers that you have taken the time to give them the best experience.
Share Ideas and Grow as Business Partners
You can share ideas more easily when you have a positive brand image. As you share your message and brand your company as an expert in a certain field, other companies will want to work with you. These partnerships can be profitable and increase your level of productivity. Social media is one place where people often share ideas and meet new partners.
When you are on social media, you can engage in witty banter with other businesses. These businesses might want to work with you, and your chat logs might even go viral. You can share ideas with these businesses, and you can even ask your customers for ideas. This is a very important step in the process because you want your customers to feel involved in what it is that you do.
Do You Convert Your Keywords to Hashtags?
You can convert all your keywords into hashtags. This means that you can share PR-style ads and slogans with the public, but you can use all your SEO keywords to reach more customers. These keywords are not just used in searches.
Social media companies have designed algorithms that find new people for customers to follow. When someone has searched for a company like yours, you will be recommended if you are close to their location.
Many of your most loyal customers might come to you because they found you on social media. Plus, they can check out your pictures or videos, leave comments, and even recommend your business to others. These people can even share your posts via a messenger app.
Social Media Apps
Social media apps also allow your customers to share your posts on their feeds. When customers really like your business, they will advertise for you. You can even create contests that ask customers to post your images or videos on their feeds. When they do this, they might win a prize. While these customers are excited to win something for free, they tell all their friends, family, and followers that you are trustworthy.
You might even go so far as hiring influencers who will advertise for you on social media. Tell the influencer all the hashtags you want to use, and they can add more credibility to your brand by posting about you a few times a week. Each of these steps, then, ensures that your brand image is improving while also driving web traffic to your site.
Social media has become a business tool for all budding enterprises, thanks to the following it attracts. Companies invoke social connotations to explore new markets and reach a wider audience. They customize their posts to rank higher with social circles. It spreads faster and relays messages in socially acceptable wordings.
Sharing a post or an advert personalizes the message and reaches as many people as possible. Websites are customizing posts to bring out the intended message before the reader fully opens it. Transmission is faster and conversion significant. This digital marketing strategy opens up companies to infinite possibilities.
When you want to improve your public relations and your overall brand image, SEO is a good place to start. You might think that these two things are completely unrelated, but they are not. Many people do not know anything about your business, and they have never been exposed to a marketing campaign of yours in the past.
As you read through these tips, imagine how much your brand can improve when using the proper keywords and strategy.
Are You Trustworthy?
PR is the act of making your brand look more trustworthy. You want everyone who interacts with your brand to believe that you are the best company for the job. SEO helps you find the newest customers. Mixing these two things makes sense when you are running a business in any industry.
Moreover, companies rely on the internet to push their brand beyond its confines and research on emerging trends. However, its marketing results determine its sales conversion and product customization moving forward. As companies develop their communication strategies, a combination of SEO and PR should be their primary focus.
Image Credit: Jopwell; Pexels
How to Write Blogs your Clients will Actually Read
Blogging is the best strategy when marketing your products or services to a niche audience for whom you customize your content. As discussed, some flawless writing skills exist to captivate such audiences and improve your website visibility.
4 Ways to Write Blogs your Clients will Read
Millions of blogs with daily content releases reach the target audiences intending to relay particular information daily. However, such blogs face glaring setbacks evident in the competition from similar bloggers in the same niches offering superior content. It is, therefore, commonplace to find them struggling to fight for a share of the scarce attention afforded by the audience.
We outline strategies one can employ to emerge as the leading source of readable content clients want to see on their screens. But first, we examine a client’s thought process from the time they see a blog post to the time they finish reading.
What is a Client’s Thought Process when Encountering Blogs?
Many readers go through the ‘AIDA’ experience whenever they encounter a blog touching on a particular topic. The acronym stands for ‘attention,’ ‘interest,’ ‘desire,’ and ‘action.’ These four steps in the prospect’s mind define the major attack points you can use to make your audience glued to your content. Let’s break each one down individually:
- Attention: the prospect comes across a blog whose headline captures the attention of their gaze.
- Interest: the individual notices relatable words or phrases that interest them.
- Desire: the internet user becomes captivated by the blog’s content, making them read through the article.
- Action: the client follows through with the blog’s call-to-action elements, effectively fulfilling the blogger’s desire.
Despite the millions of blogs online users encounter, adherence to the blogging best practice requirements will take your readers through these steps. Understanding how to summon your writing prowess for each of the four pieces of the puzzle to fall in place is essential. The following pointers will help impose your content onto the audience without appearing needy and boring:
How to grab the attention of the audience
Simple: People like what they see. If you want to captivate an audience, the question is, “what will the clients think when they scan the article?”
Simply put, audiences want to encounter an easily scannable blog; an easy read is always welcome. This is also crucial when you’re starting a blog – you need to get it right from the get-go, so you don’t end up having to fix certain issues once your blog starts growing.
The following details will help you better your chances of making the blog easy to scan:
Create a consistent article structure
The structure of your piece will make you the best-read blog in no time. The audience will sense careful organization in your work, making it easy to pick out the critical parts quickly. People have short attention spans when on their devices because there are other distractions like messages, calls, and phone notifications. Additionally, they have a constant urge to visit social media sites and see what is happening worldwide. Social media has become an obsession for many people, and social media listening is one way to track this activity.
However, creating blogs with simple formats will make them less anxious to look away because they can quickly scan captivating parts of your content. You can consider these points when designing your blog outline:
- Use titles, subtitles, headings, and subheadings to break your content into small readable parts. The user can quickly identify the content under each section without reading everything there.
- Write brief and straightforward sentences. Leave out any fluff which will make your sentences overly lengthy and tedious.
- Write short paragraphs with up to five short sentences. Long sentences will discourage your readers and divert their attention to other less stressful content.
- Use numbered lists to break down the paragraphs and highlight important points. You can alternate with bullet points for diversity.
Use appropriate images
Images can capture user attention better than words can manage. Prospects scanning your pieces notice the imagery and graphics in your article before they notice the detail of the terms. However, it is essential to use images appropriate to the context of your article content to avoid misleading readers. Images also have a few rules of best practice, including:
- Ensure the pictures are clear and contain insights into the textual content.
- Always label the images using descriptive words for instant context creation.
- Use alt text when uploading images to your blogs to make them appear in search results when users type in the keywords.
- Always indicate image sources to avoid copyright infringement reports that will limit visibility.
Relevant topic headlines
Your titles and headings must contain relevant topic keywords. Users will quickly identify and appreciate the relevance of your headlines to what they desire to read.
How to write content that captures user interest
After capturing the audience’s attention, the second point of focus is to cultivate their interest in reading through your articles. Here, you must be keen on the detail of the text in the body, which will inform the users’ interest. Every reader is looking for a few indicators of an exciting piece, as detailed below.
Use simple language
Simplicity, as stated, is the best way to captivate readers. The people going through your blog want to get the scope of your writing immediately after they begin going through your work. Please ensure the words are simple to understand without needing to digest or refer to other sources to understand meanings.
The flow of the story should also be flawless, with transitions between sentences and paragraphs allowing for instant follow-up. Avoid using jargon that will put off the audience by confusing them without revealing the actual context of your content.
Use authoritative phrases
Be simple but authoritative with your writing if you must keep readers interested in your work. They must know that you understand your facts and can relay the same without appearing uninformed. It would help to employ scientific, niche-specific, and descriptive language whenever needed to stir your readers’ minds.
Avoid overcomplicating things using such words and phrases with reasonable breaks between instances. You can use Google to identify the correct use of some word constructions concerning the topic.
Be keen on grammar
Grammar is key in keeping audiences hooked on your piece long enough to follow your drift. Many readers will instantly close your blog post and find other relevant material if they encounter regular mistakes in your work.
Material that strictly adheres to grammar rules indicates professionalism which people admire and respect. The readers will readily exhaust the entirety of your piece if they see consistent, grammatically correct sentences and phrases. You can use free or subscription-based tools to check and correct any grammar issues. Examples include Grammarly, QuillBot, etc.
How to make the audience desire to read your pieces
Capturing the audience’s desire means you are deeper into the client’s mind with your blog post. Many writers fail to reach this level of client engagement because the two previous steps contain glaring mistakes that discourage readership. However, if you make it this far, the rest is almost child’s play: the reader is already willing to go all the way. Read on to learn how.
The following aspects will be forthcoming in shifting client desire in your favor:
Employ a conversational tone
A blog is an educative and informative piece aimed at a large audience accessing your website at convenience. Therefore, ensure your material engages as if in conversation with an eager student searching for knowledge. Tailor your content to make the audience appreciate your knowledge base and yearn to read on for more.
The best way is to use language that implores them to continue reading to discover what you have in store. You should be convincing and create a vocabulary that reflects a tone people are comfortable reading. Be sure to employ the active voice instead of the passive one because the audience will quickly see interest.
Understand your niche
The subject and tone of your article rely on the topic you are covering. Your delivery will also depend on understanding the niche you decide to cover with the content. Consequently, it is necessary to research extensively to know what, why, and for who you write. The niche also defines the characteristics of the audience your work targets. The following questions will help you understand the place and define the topic and tone of the content:
What content am I advertising? It enables you to define the nature of your product or service.
Who is the target audience? It helps define the characteristics of your audience. Your tone must align with the people reading your work. Are they adults? Children? Women? Men?
Why am I advertising this content? The point defines the solutions you are offering to the audience. It helps you figure out the type of language suitable for the context.
Use real-life examples
Readers will always relate to real-life situations which reflect on their lives or provide relatable contexts. Ensure to include the most relatable examples and case studies in your blog if you address particular product details. For example, when advertising a product, you can quote previous situations where it was helpful to a different audience. Your audience will quickly develop a connection to the item if they have a relatable problem.
Use statistics to back your statements.
Statistics are always helpful when you want to display your knowledge about the effectiveness and reliability of a product or service. The end game is to make the readers interested in understanding the implications of a service or product based on quoted metrics. Such insights also help in decision-making steps if readers want to take action. Thus, always provide authoritative links to said statistics so that they can confirm the truth of your words. They will be willing to try out the item on offer after that.
State and answer FAQs
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) offer the perfect chance to address additional client concerns. The readers will see the questions touching on relatable topics and quickly read on to see how you responded. They will then get the desire to discover more about your writings and what you offer outside the blog, cementing the purchase intent.
How to make the audience take action
The best way to ensure that your readers take action after exhausting the detail of your written content is to tell them how. At this point, readers already understand your intention, your solutions, and the benefits they stand to gain. Therefore, you must direct their next steps so they can follow up to buy, receive updates, or discover more content. The following call-to-action (CAT) moves are ideal:
Ask the reader to engage with the blog post.
You can implement various CAT buttons on your page to direct the client to engage with the blog post as desired. First, you can have buttons for sharing, commenting, and liking your post after reading its entirety. It helps expose the content to a bigger audience since the individual helps spread it to friends and followers.
Ask the audience for feedback.
You can ask the audience to give feedback about the post or make suggestions about future posts. Here, you get to understand their perspective of the blog post or needs you did not address. It helps you prepare your following content.
Ask the prospect to subscribe.
You can request the prospect to click and subscribe to your content notifications for future posts. Here, subscribers indicate serious interest and become targets for new content before everyone else gets access.
The piece explores the different strategies that can strengthen your reach by enabling optimal engagements on your blogs. The avenues explored ensure audience satisfaction by ensuring that your content reflects positively on the audience. You will find that the ideas are simple yet effective in helping build a brand with loyal readers who follow your work religiously. The trick is to keep them engaged every step of the way through content that reveals your attention to their needs.
Images, sentence structures, keywords, tone, and grammar are some pointers that will inform audience interest. However, the article explains their application in a way that underscores the effort by successful bloggers to win over a loyal audience. Careful application of the details herein opens your blog to new followers who will make you a popular destination in your niche.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Suzy Hazelwood; Pexels; Thank you!
How to Nail the Art of Visual Email Marketing
Interesting subject line ✅
Engaging and relevant copy ✅
Actionable CTA ✅
All these make up a high-converting email. But there’s one more thing that helps in getting maximum ROI from your emails. That’s attractive visuals. Vennage has revealed that 49% of marketers rate visual marketing as “very important” for their marketing strategy. Three days later, people will probably remember only 10% of the information they hear but 65% of the information if it is presented with a suitable image.
So, if you want your emails to make a difference and prompt the subscribers to take action, using visuals is a must.
That said, let’s take a look at all the different types of visuals and rich media you can use to enhance the email’s aesthetic appeal.
Static images come first, as they are a basic yet compelling part of visual email marketing. Whether you want to display your product with a pretty picture or break down the content with vectors, images come in handy. If you want to pull the plug on lengthy text, use relevant images along with a crisp copy.
Take a look at this email by Touch of Modern. They have nailed the art of product photography and included the perfect image that would attract shoppers.
Illustrations can be used as a powerful storytelling tool in emails. According to a survey, illustrations and infographics are performing better than many other visual elements when it comes to yielding engagement. Rather than using stock images, you can use meaningful illustrations that add more value to the emails.
Here’s an email by Harry’s that uses an illustration to depict the awesomeness of their face wash packs.
3. 3D Images
3D images originated in the 1970s. They established their identity in web designing and gradually made their way to emails. These images add depth to the flat email design and bring freshness to the subscriber’s inbox.
Burberry has incorporated a nice 3D image to promote their open spaces in the email.
Let me take you back to the earliest usage of GIFs in emails.
In the year 2007, Lake Champlain Chocolates incorporated GIFs in their emails, and to their sheer surprise, it brought 49% higher conversions.
Then, in 2014, Dell drove 109% revenue (marketingsherpa) with the help of an animated laptop image in email.
Animated GIFs prove to be extremely beneficial in various use cases, as discussed below:
- Displaying the huge range of products available in your eCommerce store
- Inspiring wanderlust in the readers with enticing images of the destinations
- Demonstrating the usage of your products
- Promoting a new show released on your OTT platform
- Executing occasion-based email marketing
- Animating the typography to draw attention to an important message
Anthropologie has used action-packed animation to show its products. It portrays comfort and aesthetics and lures the readers to buy.
5. 3D Animations
3D animations are a step above GIFs. If you want to further enhance the user experience, use 3D GIFs as Lyft has done.
6. Animated Illustrations
Illustrations with animations are a visual treat. They help in telling a story to the subscribers. If you go by the “Show, don’t tell” adage, try using animated illustrations in your emails.
Grammarly sets the perfect example of using animated illustrations in their email promoting the midnight sale. The animated owl and clock form a great combination to convey the message.
GIFs are snippets taken from a video or an animation played on a loop. On the other hand, cinemagraphs are sophisticated animations with a seamlessly endless loop that take the subscriber back to a past moment.
Here’s an email example by Detour Coffee Roasters showing the use of cinematography in their welcome email.
Like GIFs, you can use cinemagraphs in the telecommunications industry and add visual oomph to your emails. It will pique the subscriber’s curiosity and make them buy an OTT subscription to watch the show.
You can add videos in emails in two ways.
- Place a video thumbnail with the play button and take the reader to the landing page.
- Embed the video in the email itself and let it play therein.
The first option is pretty straightforward in that you just have to embed a static image in the email that emulates a video thumbnail.
Here’s an example.
The second option requires some coding expertise. You have to consider email client support too, if you want to use embedded videos in email.
Take a look at this email template to experience an embedded video in it.
Some Additional Ideas to Make Emails Stand Out
- You can use a monochrome design layout with a single color in the emails.
- Add gradients to reinforce visual hierarchy and get the emails read till the end. You can even experiment with innovative CTA buttons with gradients.
- The key to using visuals effectively is to follow the principles of visual hierarchy. Arrange the email components in a Z or F-shaped pattern to guide the readers. Also, adhere to the accessibility best practices.
Pro-tips for Adding Visuals in Emails
- The text-to-image ratio should be maintained at 80:20.
- As email clients block images by default, add a suitable alt-text with every image. This will also be useful if the subscriber views the email with images turned off. It is an important accessibility best practice and aids the screen readers in conveying the message to subscribers with visual impairment.
- Don’t add important information and CTA in the images.
- An all-image email will trigger spam filters and hamper your email deliverability rate.
- Avoid stock photos at all costs. Real photographs work better if you want to leave a lasting impact on the subscriber’s mind.
- Animations should not flash between 2 to 55 Hz; otherwise, it will aggravate the condition of photosensitive epilepsy.
- Keep close tabs on the email file size to ensure fast loading. It will prevent cutting into the user’s Internet bandwidth.
- While adding GIFs and embedded videos, include a suitable fallback to curb rendering issues.
- Use images judiciously without getting over the board.
- Test the emails so that they render well across all the major email clients and devices.
Remember those times when it seemed impossible to format emails with anything more than an image? And now, we have so many different options to explore and make our emails more fun and entertaining. Besides visuals, you can even use interactivity to add to the visual appeal. Test and see what works best for you.
Put your creative hats on to create email designs that resonate with your email subscribers. It will, in turn, bring you unmatched results in terms of open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, and ROI.
Featured Image Credit: Provided by the Author; Thank you!
6 Ways to Prepare Your Business for the Upcoming Holidays
The holiday season can be incredibly disruptive, especially for small businesses and their customers. You could either be in a very slow season looking for things to accomplish or so overwhelmed by business that you feel like you got run over by a reindeer. If you haven’t started making preparations yet, you need to start today.
Simple adjustments can help you gain more business or handle a heavy influx of holiday patrons. Here are several ideas you can consider implementing to end the year on a high note:
1. Decorate With Holiday Spirit
Any customer that enters your business will feel the holiday spirit if you’ve got the right decorations in place. You don’t have to go overboard with inflatable pumpkins or flashing Christmas tree lights, but some well-placed decorative touches can really bring the place together. Plus, this makes the workspace festive for your employees as well.
You can choose to highlight the general themes of the seasons or focus on specific holidays. For example, autumn leaves and fall colors can get you well into November. You could also mix things up by putting up ghosts and jack-o’-lanterns for Halloween and switching them out for turkeys and pilgrims for Thanksgiving.
The same can be done for winter. Snowflakes and snowmen will work for the entire season. If you want to get specific, you have Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s decorations to consider.
2. Work Out Employee Vacation Times
Everyone wants to take time off during the holidays, and for good reason. This is one of the best times of year to gather with family and enjoy life together. Unfortunately, some businesses can’t afford to have all of their employees taking time off simultaneously. Your job is to make sure everyone is getting fair time off while still staffing important dates around the holiday season.
How you approach this task is up to you and how you think your team will respond best. You might think it’s fair to let the most tenured employees select their days off first. You could also develop a rotation so that the same people don’t hog the same days off every year. Even a first-come, first-served approach could be considered if you think your team will be OK with it.
Remember that you deserve to take some time off as well. Being an entrepreneur is incredibly demanding and time-consuming. Taking even a couple of days off to enjoy the holidays with family can help you recover mentally and physically.
3. Encourage Calendar Collaboration Among Team Members
To ensure everyone on your team is on the same page with project deadlines, essential meetings and events, and client needs, it’s essential to collaborate on a team calendar. Most calendar software today offers team calendars.
Make sure everyone on your team has access to one another’s calendar so they are aware of when they are available. Then, team members can collaborate to help each other take on things that could otherwise be missed.
Thankfully, there are many collaborative calendar integrations available for teams to utilize in order to maximize their time. By utilizing these tools, teams can work more efficiently together. Therefore, they can minimize the chances of missing deadlines, missing meetings, or making clients unhappy.
4. Make Holiday Business Hours Known
Your customers also deserve to know how your business will operate throughout the upcoming holidays. You should communicate in advance the days you plan on being closed. This way, customers and clients won’t be disappointed when they try to visit, and nobody is there to receive them.
This is extremely important for schedule-based businesses. The sooner you block off certain days, the less likely you will have to reschedule a meeting or appointment that was booked in advance. Clients who have their end-of-year scheduled meetings rearranged or moved at the last minute will not be happy.
Consider sending out an email that details your holiday hours to any customers who have provided contact information to you. Additionally, you could also consider adding a note on your email signature that states when your business will be closed. You could implement this early on, especially for the winter holidays. At the very least, put up a notice on your front door and website that makes the revised schedule known and accessible.
5. Plan Marketing and Promotions
The holiday season is for family and friends, of course, but it’s also a commercial opportunity for businesses. (There’s a reason they call the day after Thanksgiving “Black Friday.”) While you shouldn’t lose sight of what’s most important, your business should be thinking about some promotions to run. The right marketing campaign at the right time can dramatically boost your revenue.
Marketing plans practically write themselves this time of year. Black Friday and Christmas sales are common and desirable. A salon could run cut-price haircut specials on Black Friday for those who want to escape the shopping fray. A mani-pedi promotion could capture the attention of those primping for holiday parties. Put your business’s personal twist on the season, and you’re likely to see sales increase.
What’s most important to prepare for is the increase in business during a holiday promotion. Make sure you are appropriately staffed for busy days with numerous consumers cashing in on holiday deals. If you’re not prepared to handle the business you’ve attracted, you’ll have a blue Christmas.
6. Consider Getting Extra Help
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the business coming your way over the holidays, consider contracting some extra help. Plenty of businesses hire seasonal workers to lend them a hand for a couple of months. Your business doesn’t have to be an exception.
The great thing about seasonal workers is that there’s no long-term commitment. You can get an extra receptionist, hair stylist, or stockroom organizer for just as long as you need. These workers are looking for some extra holiday cash and simply want the additional hours before life returns to normal.
You may even consider contracting some digital help. A webmaster can help you keep your website up and running even with double the online traffic. Your clever marketing strategy could be implemented by a third party so you can focus more fully on your customers.
Of all the above steps, the most important common denominator is to be sure your clients and customers are aware of when your business will be out, so they can plan ahead as well. This will help your business avoid the inconvenience and disappointment the unavailability may cause. Be sure to encourage in-house collaboration on important dates, in addition to collaborating externally with your clients and customers.
Keep your business on the nice list by being prepared for every upcoming holiday, whether it’s the longer holiday breaks in the winter or the shorter holidays throughout the year. With the above holiday preparation planning tips, your business can plan well ahead for this holiday season so nothing slips through the cracks.
Though it’s an extremely busy time for everyone, the holiday season doesn’t have to get stressful. There are so many ways to avoid all of the stress by planning well. The better you work together to prepare, the jollier the holiday season can be for your business and your customers as we head into the 2023 new year.
You might not feel entirely ready for 2023 just yet, and that’s fine. But by taking steps to prepare for the new year now, you’ll position your business to succeed beyond your expectations.
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Featured Image Credit: Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh; Pexels; Thank you!