Many of our readers have asked for effective season planning tips so this week the column breaks down four must-haves for any business’s advertising promotions.
First things first. Let us just get this out of the way. If you are a manager or business owner and you focus entirely on season, this is why you go into a slump in May.
With 320,000 year round residents in Collier County, it is imperative to target advertising to both residents and visitors. Both audiences are equally important. Planning for our seasonal visitors has become unique. For service industry organizations such as restaurants, art studios and other destination-type shops, making friends with local concierges is critical.
The top tip is for all business owners to designate a staff member to drop by promotional information and a monthly gift to hotel concierge’s who host your target audience. You cannot drop by every hotel in Naples, but you certainly can make the easy drive right on Marco Island. If you sell cupcakes, drop off cupcakes to the concierge or give him or her their favorite candy or free tickets to say a comedy show at our favorite Marco Island comedy club. Make the connection genuine.
Second, during season advertising must be frequent and should include call to action statements placed prominently with promotional discounts exclusive to each ad. This makes promotions easy to track and encourages consumers to look for the next ad with the next promotion.
Third, advertising must be focused. Too many small businesses both on and off Marco Island make the mistake of buying in four newspapers for examples but buying too little in each publication in order to meet the minimum ad frequency reach of three times for consumers. Running fewer ads less frequently in more publications actually harms your campaign.
Finally, do not assume because there are more people in town you can forget about publicity. Make sure to send professionally written, typo free press releases with strong lead sentences telling the media why your news is a story.
Local media outlets with fewer writers today are always looking for newsworthy content. Next, month I will outline what makes news newsworthy.
Collect client names and emails no matter how small or big your business is and create an e-promotion newsletter using a platform like MailChimp or Constant Contact. Remember, email lists are opt-in, you must ask to add a customer to an email list.
Make this season successful by connecting with key concierge staff at hotels, targeting advertising buys, adding stronger promotions in ads, and focusing on publicity.
Camden Smith, owner of DREAMFly Marketing LLC, has more than eight years expertise in branding and marketing strategy and 13 years in public relations. Formerly a WINK-TV reporter, Smith is an award-winning PR strategist and lives in Naples with her husband. Visit Smith at dreamflymarketing.com