Five ways to freshen up your marketing this spring

Forget giving your home or life a spring clean. This spring time, focus your energies on your marketing! Here are five ways you can freshen it up to encourage more customers and sales. 

As a small business owner you know the importance of keeping your business strategy fresh, and evolving when necessary. But how often do you review your marketing?

A marketing plan you came up with a year ago, or even when you first launched your business, may have been fit for purpose then, but is it still working as well as it can do for you now?

Have technology or marketing trends moved on since then? Has how your customers interact with social media changed? Or have you really tested your marketing strategies to check they’re working as well as you’d hoped? Perhaps there are tweaks you can make to increase results?

The truth is that you should always be measuring, reviewing, testing and tweaking your marketing to ensure that its delivering the best possible results. And to make sure you stay on top of customer and marketing trends. 

Five ways to freshen up your marketing this spring

But that said, we understand that as a business owner you have so many things you should be doing. And there may only be one of you!

That’s why spring is a great opportunity to review your marketing and give it a freshen up. With the hectic chaos of Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s Day behind us, we have a short breather before Easter… giving us all the chance to assess plans, test ideas, and check that our marketing is as sharp as it can be for the months ahead.

So, with that in mind, here are five ways you can freshen up your marketing this spring.

1) Play with user-generated content

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have long been considered effective marketing tools for connecting with customers. And, according to the State of Social 2018 Report, engagement is the number one way companies measure ROI with their social media efforts. 

One way to freshen up your social media marketing this spring, and encourage more engagement, is to play with user-generated content.

This means using content from customers featuring your product or service. This type of content allows you to authentically connect with followers and use social proof to drive more sales. Want to see an example? Check out how Hydroflask does this on Instagram.

An easy way to get started with user-generated content is to find photos or mentions of your products being used and re-share them on your platforms, tagging the customer to drive engagement. If you don’t have any user-generated content, record customer videos or ask for images and videos from your customers.

2) Personalise your email marketing

Email marketing enables you to maintain your relationship (and hopefully grow your sales) with your customers and people who have signed up to your list at a low cost. According to Smart Insight’s report, The State of Email Marketing 2017, 23% of marketers say generating more leads is the biggest benefit of email marketing.

To make the most of email marketing, you need to get as personal as possible with you communications. If your email platform is connected with your ecommerce platform, for example, you can use data about browsing or purchase history, recent clicks and buying behaviors to personalise emails with recommendations and ideas that are specific to each customer.

If you don’t sell products, you can still personalise your emails by dynamically inserting personal information, like their personal or company name, into the subject line or intro. This feature is available with most email platforms, making it easy to do with every single message you send.

Or simply finding ways to separate your list into different categories can help. People who have bought from you can receive different emails to people who haven’t made a purchase yet, for example. And maybe you can look at where subscribers came from to give you a clue about their interests, or which previous emails they have opened or links they’ve clicked on.

The more you know about your subscribers, the more you can personally tailor your emails to them. And the more personal your communications feel to them, the more they’ll engage with them – and feel that you really know and care about them.

3) Track URLs with print marketing

It’s easy to assume, thanks to the advances in digital technology, that print marketing is dead. But that assumption is very, very wrong. In fact, a 2018 FedEx survey found that 85% of consumers are more likely to shop with a small business who has custom or professionally printed materials, including business cards, signs, flyers and banners.

The challenge for many small business owners is tracking leads, sales or contacts from printed marketing. However, there is a solution to this. And, according to the guide 8 Ideas for Tracking the Performance of Your Print Efforts, it’s by creating custom URLs.

As the guide explains, “Create a custom URL that links to a unique page on your own site and use a platform such as Google Analytics to monitor site traffic during the dates of the print campaign.” (To ensure your link looks good, shorten it with Bitly or another tool.)

If you don’t use online tools, you can still track the success of your print materials by turning a portion of it into a tangible coupon. As the guide suggests, “Designate a brochure fold, a flyer corner, or just a portion of a postcard to be cut out and presented with a purchase.” The code is then entered into your system, allowing you to track sales.

4) Test video creation

Did you know that nearly 50% of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store?

Now is a great time to add video to your overall marketing strategy, especially if you’re selling a complex product or business solution. It allows you to take complicated information and turn it into something more digestible for users.

Videos also tend to be more engaging, shareable, and trustworthy compared to other types of digital media. You can add them to your site, blog posts, YouTube and all other social media platforms, as well as sending them out via email to previous customers or potential leads.

According to Tubular Insights, 64% of consumers make a purchase after watching branded social video content. So start by experimenting with short product tutorials. Here’s how to make them watchable and here are eight mistakes you need to avoid when making videos. 

Again, if you don’t sell products, create customer testimonial videos instead, or even branded thought leadership videos that feature you or someone on your team.

5) Sponsor or host events 

Holding events is a great way to build personal relationships with your customers, while allowing them to interact first-hand with your product or business.

If you have a physical location, you can host a customer happy hour or new customer weekend event. Service providers can host local workshops, renting space, using their office, or working with local co-working spaces, which often allow businesses to host events like this for free.

A learning type of event is especially valuable for branding because you give something to potential customers without asking for anything in return.

If you don’t have the capacity for an in-person event, consider an online event. This could be in the form of a live-stream or webinar, allowing you to reach potential customers, without having to be in a physical space together. As a national brand, or a business that’s not location dependent, this may be the best way to cast a wide net.

How can you freshen up your marketing?

How many of these ideas can you use to freshen up your marketing this spring? Or have they inspired you to consider other ways you can give your marketing a mini makeover?

If you’d like some more ideas to start revamping your marketing, we recommend reading these articles:

Photo by Tim de Groot