For many small businesses, fall is a critical time of year to ensure revenue goals are met and important seasonal customers are retained. At the same time, this is a busy time of year for customers, so cutting through the noise and ensuring that your brand is top of mind is difficult. Undoubtedly, your competition will be ramping up their ad spend, which can blow through ad budgets quickly with less return on your investment.
As you enter the autumn season, you’ll need to think outside the box to ensure your company is positioned for success. Give your marketing strategies a revamp with these eight creative small business marketing ideas for the fall
1. Offer Season-Based Promotions
In many cases, the fall is the perfect time to attract both new and old customers with seasonal promotions. These promotions will help meet the specific needs of your customers during the autumn season and can help answer common questions your clients might have as they get ready for cooler weather.
Examples of season-based promotions for various small businesses:
- Automotive shops: Offer customers a discount on services to get their car winter-ready. Pair your promotion with content geared toward answering common questions about winter readiness. For example, you could create blog content that discusses the top ten things you need to do to get your car ready for cooler weather. Then, run your ad campaign alongside publishing fresh new fall content.
- HVAC companies: Fall is essential for customers to schedule a furnace tune-up. Provide a discount for returning customers and offer specials on new furnace installation. You can also use this time to create videos highlighting common issues with furnaces. This will help answer your customers’ questions about their furnace, establishing you as a reliable source of important information.
- Plumbers: With the holidays quickly approaching, many of your customers will welcome extra guests into their homes. Offer a promotion on clearing out drains or repairing leaky faucets and toilets. Remind your customers that now is the time to prepare for their extra guests and consider running a segment of social media posts with quick tips geared toward getting your home ready for family and friends.
Not only will these promotions offer your customers a quality deal on work they already need to have done, but you can use these promotions to boost your website’s organic presence. The content you create should specifically target the keywords with the highest search based on the season.
Pro Tip: Make sure that when you have a promotional landing page designed, it is optimized for Google search. For starters, this page should include critical keywords that will indicate to Google what your page is about. Secondly, your promotional landing page should not be embedded via an Iframe. This will prevent the copy from being searched. If you aren’t sure if your page is SEO ready, don’t hesitate to ask our team! We are more than happy to help you assess the performance of your landing page.
2. Tailor Your Messaging
The fall is the perfect time to test a few new ad campaigns that offer tailored messaging for the fall season. Get creative with your ad copy and revamp your ad designs with fall themes. For example, during the fall, many of your customers probably think about their children returning to school. Running ads that offer a deal titled “Back to School Special!” is more eye-catching than using the same ads from the summer.
Other ideas include the following:
- Update your social media channels with fall-themed imagery.
- Create content centered around fall topics. Try to answer questions that your customers are likely to have as the season changes.
- Send out Happy Halloween cards with a special promotion.
3. Participate In and Market For Small Business Saturday
Every fall, businesses, and customers around the country participate in Small Business Saturday. The goal of Small Business Saturday is to promote local shopping and fuel the community’s economy. This year, Small Business Saturday lands on November 26. During October, promote your brand and consider offering a special deal for local customers for Small Business Saturday. This is a great time to not only ensure that you retain your existing customers but also an excellent time to attract new customers. As you run these ads and post them to social media, be sure to create compelling copy that highlights the fact that you are a local business. Look for creative ways you can also give back to the community. For example, you might pledge to donate a percentage of every scheduled service on Small Business Saturday to a local charity. This helps to connect your brand with your community’s values.
4. Highlight Customers and Employees
One of the biggest holidays during the fall is Thanksgiving. This year, consider using this holiday to highlight customers and employees. In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, showcase hardworking employees via social media. A quick post with a photo, a little bit of info about your employees, and why you are grateful for their work is a great way to personalize your brand.
Additionally, consider sending out personalized thank-you notes to your loyal customer base. A short note thanking your customers for their business is a simple but effective way to connect with your clients on a deeper level. You can even include a special promotion as a way of saying thanks.
5. Host a Canned Goods Drive
As people head into the holiday season, a lot of people will be looking for ways to give back to those in the community who need it the most. Help out your community by hosting a canned goods drive. For customers who bring in a specified number of canned goods or non-perishables, offer a discount on their services. With an increasing number of consumers stating that they will choose a brand based on values, aligning yourself with your local food bank or shelter is a great way to showcase that your company is about more than profits.
6. Send Out a Fall Newsletter
Email is a powerful tool when it comes to reaching customers. During the fall, be sure to compile a newsletter that is geared toward the season. You can use this newsletter to reinforce promotions you are running via ad campaigns and promote the content you are creating for the fall season. For example, if you are an HVAC business and you are running an ad promotion for free furnace installation with the purchase of a new unit, and you created specific blogs and videos to help answer customers’ common questions about furnace issues, use your newsletter to showcase all of this in one spot.
Your newsletter could start with a personalized fall greeting. From here, you could ask, “Is your furnace making a strange noise? Do you know when it is time to replace your furnace?”. Next, you could embed your video and share a link to your blog post that answers these questions. Finally, be sure your promotion for a free furnace installation links out to your online scheduling tool. This is just one example of how you can use a fall newsletter to repurpose the content you are already creating for the fall.
7. Encourage Customers to Beat the Holiday Rush
Once the holiday season is in full swing, your customers will struggle to find the time to schedule the services they need. At the beginning of the fall season, make sure to remind your customers that now is the best time to beat the holiday rush.
This is a great example of how you can create messaging that presents a problem your customer has and offers up the right solution.
8. Start Thinking About the New Year
As we head into the final quarter of the year, it is the ideal time to begin thinking about your marketing strategy for 2023. While the new year might feel like it’s a ways off, the hectic holiday season will soon have 2023 knocking on your door. Use the following checklist throughout the fall months to make sure you are geared up and ready to go once the New Year’s Eve ball drops:
- Do an audit: Take a deep dive into the data in the final months of the year. Pull analytics on all the ad campaigns you ran throughout the year and take a look at how well your website is performing. This is a good time to look for patterns and trends. What channels performed well during 2022? What keywords is your website ranking for organically? Look for what areas you need to improve upon in 2023 and create a list of priorities for the new year. When you are running these reports — or requesting them from the agency you work with — it might also bring to light that you aren’t doing a good job of tracking lead attribution and other key metrics. If so, make it a priority in 2023 to do a better job of understanding where your marketing spend is going and how much revenue it is earning.
- Set a budget: There are a variety of ways to set your marketing budget for 2023. For many small businesses, choosing a percentage of projected revenue is a good method. Run the numbers from 2022 and determine an estimate for your 2023 marketing budget. This can help you to understand where you will allocate your spend.
- Consider hiring help: Often, small business owners try to handle all of their own marketing but are truthfully swamped with other critical work. The result is that you can actually waste money on poorly performing marketing strategies. This fall, consider hiring outside help for 2023. This could include hiring a dedicated marketing manager for your company, or, to help keep overhead lower, you might simply want to outsource a lot of your marketing management to an agency. Either way, taking marketing off of your plate can help you focus on running your business while ensuring that what you spend on marketing provides you the highest return.
Get Ready for Fall with J&L Marketing
If you are looking for creative ways to reach more customers this fall, reach out to the team at J&L Marketing. We work with small businesses to think outside the box and to ensure that the marketing strategies we put into place offer the highest return on investment. Reach out for a consultation and get ready for a busy fall.