If work tails off at this time of year, and you’re in any way like me, it’s tempting just to spin around in your office chair, share out chocolate brazil nuts and hum along to Christmas tunes on Last FM. No one starts anything new this week, right?
But not so fast!
This quiet spell provides the perfect opportunity to get ahead with your marketing for the next 12 months. It’s amazing how creative you can become once relieved of your usual deadlines and duties.
While your competitors take Quality Street-induced naps, here are ten ideas for low-cost marketing projects you could start working on today. Even just scribbling your thoughts down on a cracker hat could prove to be very profitable …
01. Plan a series of press releases
Now’s a good time to think about PR. Have you got an event coming up? Launching a new product? You can often generate great news stories by running a survey and sharing the results.
02. Streamline your social media
Are you getting the best out of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn et al? If your social media activity is sporadic or non-existent, you could make a plan of action for the new year.
03. Create a blogging calendar
Blogging helps you engage with customers, show your expertise and boost your website’s search-engine rankings. It’s less of a chore when you have a schedule of content and ideas.
04. Start producing a brochure
You may need to hire a designer for your brochure, but the more copy and images you can produce in advance, the cheaper the process is likely to be. E-brochures save on print costs too.
05. Plan an email campaign
How often do you email your customers? Whether it’s weekly, monthly, quarterly or less frequently, this is a great time to dream up timely and well-targeted messages.
06. Devise a direct mailshot
This doesn’t mean spam or junk mail. What could you send that’s useful to your existing and potential customers? A money-off voucher, a postcard of tips, a buying guide, perhaps?
07. Start a newsletter
Newsletters are brilliant for showing the world what you’re doing. As with brochures, the more content and ideas you can supply yourself, the cheaper your design costs are likely to be.
08. Tweak your website copy
Upload testimonials, sharpen keywords, rewrite phrases that bug you. Look at your traffic analytics, if possible, and see where people are leaving your site. Improve those pages.
09. Write a script
Video content is becoming increasingly important for search engines. You might not have the time or finances to commission a video yet, but it’s a project worth considering for 2012.
10. Work on a leaflet
Are you exhibiting at a trade show soon? While you’re less busy than usual, try to boil your company’s offerings and best features into a few key points.
Now’s an ideal time to brief a copywriter or designer on your next project. They’ll have the Christmas holidays to mull over your ideas and can return fresh and mince pie-fuelled in a few weeks’ time, ready to help make 2012 your best year yet.
[Image courtesy of Ambro.]