By Jay Bemis | Advertising Systems Inc.
Thanks to inflationary concerns that dominated the second half of 2022, bosses who traditionally tighten their belts in January just to see how a new year might unfold are tautening those budgetary straps even more as 2023 arrives.
What’s a small business marketer like you to do? You could try “something new,” as in new to you but a practice that other marketers have already tried and found to be successful. It’s something borrowed, yes, but it is something new to you and your company and it may lead to a better bottom line by the time the new year draws to a close.
Here are a few “something new” ideas that you could put in place for your early 2023 marketing, for example:
- Engage more on social media platforms, particularly with other small businesses within your community.
As we noted here last December, such websites as National Day Calendar and Foodimentary make dropping the name of another small business in your community a snap.
During National Pizza Week, which begins the second Sunday of January, for example, you could tease that longtime pizzeria that sits down the block, via your social media channels, for a free slice of its spicy-flavored pie. Who knows, maybe the cajoling will convince the pizzeria to give away free slices to everybody by the time the commemorative week ends, and you’ll suddenly become a local pizza hero.
There not only are special weeks but special days that you could highlight on social media. It’s only fitting, for example, that National Bloody Mary Day and National Hangover Day both occur on Jan. 1, which is a time to raise a toast to a local sports bar or brunch spot, perhaps.
The first of January also is a day that the bravest — or craziest — in our society take part in Polar Bear Plunge Day at local waterfronts. Test your marketing skills by joining other bears at your local fete and writing a first-person account about your chilling experience on the company blog.
- Speaking of blogs, January also is a good time to recycle and update old content and perhaps give that website a refresh. Concentrate on “above the fold,” an old, front-page newspaper term now used by web designers, to make the top of your website attractive and inviting to read and peruse.
If you haven’t redesigned your website in the past year or two, it’s time to do so, as we recommended back in August when inflationary concerns began to swell. Your site is a key component to your brand image, so a website with an old look and outdated information will not help you stand out among your competitors.
Consider the last time you’ve added a web page, updated your products and services lists, or added a blog post to your site to boost your content marketing efforts. You may just find that it’s time to replace images, gifs or memes with newer ones.
- Conduct a business-card drawing. This is a marketing idea that started before the worldwide web ever arrived, but it’s one that’s still used and is easy to promote on social media.
Is your burger joint a popular lunchtime spot? Feature a fishbowl near your cashier station with a sign that invites customers to drop their business cards for a chance to win a free lunch. Then, announce the name of the free-lunch winner, once drawn, on your restaurant’s social channels.
Restaurants and retail stores that feature fishbowl drawings can catch an added bonus. At the end of the week or month that your bowl has gathered all of those business cards, you can use the email addresses listed on them. Let customers know via email that though they haven’t won this time, they can join your newsletter list to learn more about future giveaways and special offers.
- In these days of smartphones that include smart video capabilities, create a simple video testimonial of 30 seconds or so from a longtime customer, perhaps one who has won something from your fishbowl, and feature it on your website and social channels.
Short videos that can add some zest to both your site and social presence run the gamut, from new employees to favorite office pets to the newest company product, the latter perhaps featuring your boss unboxing it.
The best part about the few “something new” ideas we’ve presented here? They cost little or no money, just some time and effort.
And that’s something bosses will appreciate as they approach an even-tighter-than-usual January in 2023.