‘Tis the season.
Whether you’re in retail or working B2B, chances are you’ve been pretty busy over Q4. With 2018 forecasted to be the strongest holiday shopping season since 2005, our customers have money to spend and they’re (hopefully) using it to support our businesses.
However, all good things must come to an end, and that end is also known as “Q1”. Once the holiday season is over and All I Want For Christmas Is You is no longer on repeat, everyone puts away their credit cards and recovers from their collective cookie-and-consumerism hangovers.
In other words, your uptick in sales due to the holidays won’t last forever. But that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.
While it’s difficult to keep up Q4’s level of sales for an entire year or more, there are ways you can turn your newfound holiday shoppers into loyal customers. It just takes a little bit of strategy and dedication. Here are a few ways to do just that:
1. Stay Engaged Beyond The Holidays
The holidays are a great time to catch up with old friends, spend time with family, and gain new and valuable customers. Between the parties, events, cards, and deals, it seems like everyone is reaching for everyone else’s attention the entire month of December.
So when things quiet down in January, one of the best ways to stand out is to stay engaged.
You can do this through email newsletters where you keep your customers informed about things going on in your business, deals extending beyond the holidays, and anything else that would be of value.
Many people believe email marketing is going out of style. We all know what it’s like to hit the “unsubscribe” button the minute we get annoyed by sales messages that are no longer relevant to us. But the thing is, email can still work really well…if you do it right.
Here are a few tips to a successful newsletter:
- Keep your information valuable and relevant
- Don’t include anything unrelated to your business (when it comes time to sell, they’ll hit that “unsubscribe” faster than you can blink!)
- Stand out by sharing your personal stories and experiences
- Keep your writing consistent and cohesive with your brand personality
Email newsletters aren’t the only way to stay engaged with your customers. Other ways you can stay in touch include:
- Live videos on social media – Show them the behind-the-scenes and/or give them valuable information
- Personal emails or texts – One of my favorite ways to stay engaged with previous customers and even just friends in my network is by sending a quick personal email to see how they’re doing. Do what you can to support them and it will go a long way toward making that true connection
- A phone call – I don’t know about you, but I am not a fan of talking on the phone. But, no matter how much you may dread it (or, you might actually love it), it’s still one of the best ways to quickly and effectively connect with someone.
- Direct Mail – We’ve all heard about holiday cards, but what about post-holiday cards? Once all the holiday sales are over and done with, why not send a “Thank you” card thanking all those who supported your business?
Have any other ideas? Include them in the comments below!
2. Provide Valuable Content to Keep Them Coming Back
Content marketing is an incredible tool – there’s a reason why it’s gotten so popular over the years. Great content proves your value to current and potential customers and keeps you top of mind both on search engines and in your customers’ minds.
The thing is, not all content marketing works well for this. Because of all the hype, many businesses have started looking for easy ways to churn out keyword-ridden content, resulting in the same regurgitated information over and over again. It’s boring, it doesn’t say anything new, it doesn’t provide value, and it simply wastes time.
Instead, look at ways you can create content that’s interesting and engaging to your customers. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Think about what your business has to offer (i.e. a family photographer offers photographs for families). Then, brainstorm some topics that might be interesting to your audience. Search for them online and look at ways you can improve upon or take a new angle on what’s already been published.
- Keep a list of questions your current and potential customers ask. Write up those answers and turn them into pieces of content you can share across your platforms.
- Incorporate your personal story and/or experiences for a truly fresh take. Do you have a special experience from a photo session you’d like to share? Is there something that can be gleaned from it?
Once you have your content ready, share it with your customers when it seems personal to them. For example, if you had a photography client share they wish they knew how to take better iPhone photos in between photo sessions, send them a link to your article explaining how to do just that.
This way, you’ve gone above and beyond your customers’ expectations and they’ll be sure to remember you the next time they’re asked for a photographer referral.
3. Get Them Invested
When you come up with a great idea, you want to see it through to the end, right? That’s because you’re invested in it; it’s your idea. You have some stake in it. So, you want to stay engaged throughout the process.
Once the holiday season is over, think about ways you can get your customers invested in future opportunities to engage with you. What this looks like may vary depending on your industry and what you do, but the idea is simple: get your customers to take a stake in something you’re doing, and they’ll want to stay connected.
An example of this would be an interactive campaign where your customers submit photos of themselves using your product in new and unique ways. Another idea would be to ask them to share their story with you so you can use it as content.
There’s no limit to what you can do. So be creative. The key here is to keep your shoppers invested so they’re interested in staying connected and ultimately becoming loyal customers.
Are you interested in creating content that’s actually valuable to your customers instead of wasting their time? Are you curious as to whether your content is doing that currently?
I specialize in a strategic approach to creating content for female entrepreneurs. We’ll start with looking at what you already have and identify opportunities where you may be losing out in valuable website traffic and conversions. Then, I’ll create a strategy for you that ensures your content is exactly what your customers are looking for.
So, what are you waiting for? Schedule a consultation and start turning those holiday shoppers into loyal customers.