November 03, 2020 I The Marketing Guru I by Tracy Hoeft

Holiday Fine-Tuning

Since 2020 has been a year of constant adjustment, your retail success this holiday season will be no different. Now is the time to make some changes to wrap up 2020 with increased sales. Is your store in the best position to reach your potential customers? Consumers have had a challenging year, and they are looking for ways to make their holiday shopping easier than ever.

Mindful Messaging A key to marketing success in 2020 will be speaking to customers in a way that connects with their current mindset. That will mean telling them specifically how you will make shopping easy for them and showcasing a modern product mix that matches the times. Also, make sure to mention how you are keeping your store safe. If you offer extras like curbside pickup or home delivery, highlight that in your marketing.

You can end this challenging year on a high note!

Music making has proven to be a great release for many people during this stressful year. You will want to adjust your marketing messaging to specifically position the products that you offer to emotionally connect with your potential buyers. You have instruments that will appeal to kids and students who are spending more time at home. You also have products that are great for the play-at-home trend. Showcase those and tell that story.

Go Tell It on the e-Mountain Once you fine-tune your holiday marketing messaging, you need to spread the word. Do you have an email list of your past customers? Make sure to start your marketing right there. The restrictions of 2020 have broken historic connections and habits. Some of your long-time, loyal customers might not have visited your store all year. It is imperative that you rebuild those connections and shopping habits. Start by featuring a simple accessory in your marketing or a sincere we’ve-missed-you message. Then, use email marketing regularly to reach back out to those same customers. Share your holiday offerings and let them know that you can be their gift headquarters.

Reach More Customers Now that you have reached out to your previous customers, it’s time to search for some new ones. The most cost-effective marketing channels to reach new customers this holiday season are still Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The capabilities to target your priority customers and the various ways that you can deliver your message make social media an ideal marketing tool. Here are a few tips for holiday ad success on social media:

Tightly target: If you are trying to increase in-store business, focus on people within five miles of your store. Consider which age demographics each of your ads will best speak to and narrow your efforts to those groups. Use interest targeting to find musicians, parents or other groups.

Try video ads: Use creative and informative videos for your ads to increase your ROI. These do not need to be highly produced videos, but rather can be shot on a phone. You and your team are the local experts in gifts for music makers, so create a video that shows some of the best ways to give the gift of music this year. Show three or four options that would appeal to your target audience and let them know you have many others and that you are making holiday shopping safe and easy.

Be clear: With each ad that you run, make sure you get across to your prospect customers the message that you have the perfect gifts for them and that you will make their holiday shopping as stress free as possible.

Make posts, not ads: When you create an ad for social media, you want it to look and feel like it belongs on your target’s feed. It will be side by side with posts from your prospects’ friends and family. If it looks like an uninvited, intrusive ad, your prospect will just keep scrolling. Be a friend, post like a friend and focus on conveying how you can help them and make the ad look like a native post — meaning little or no text in the image and a conversational caption.

Connect with consumers and adjust for holiday 2020, and you can end this challenging year on a high note. MI

Tracy Hoeft is the president of Amplify 11, a marketing firm specializing in the musical instrument industry.

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