‘Tis the Season: How Giving Leads to Growing

‘Tis the season of giving, but for your small business, that might be easier said than done. After all, if you’re intent on growing your business, you need to save all the money you can, right? Actually, in some cases, this may not be the best maneuver.

Turns out, being philanthropic with your business can actually lend itself quite nicely to promoting your brand and growing your consumer base. And how? Check out these quick tips on how giving back this holiday season can actually grow your business later on.

Giving showcases your brand.
First and foremost, giving to local charities in your community showcases your business brand in a positive light. Whether it’s sponsoring a local sporting event, donating to a nonprofit organization or volunteering your time, giving allows your business to give back while showing off… just a little.

When your business is out and involved in the community in a positive way, it draws consumers to your image, and shows them you’re a company that cares. Consider giving as a significant return on investment. Your business invests in helping others, and you get free publicity in return. Sounds like a great deal to grow your brand name.

Giving is tax deductible.
That’s right, supporting a charity is often a tax deductible endeavor for your business. Donations which are often tax deductible include sponsorships of local charities or events, inventory or services donations and of course, cash donations.

Generally, your business can benefit from deductions on charitable donations of up to 50% of your Adjusted Gross Income. Of course, before jumping into the giving season, be sure to check on what is tax deductible in your community and how this would fit into your business tax plan.

Giving motivates employees.
If your business wants to boost employee morale and encourage involvement, try giving back to the community. In the last few years, employee perks have escalated to new heights, and community involvement is often something the most qualified employees look for in their company search.

By offering volunteering opportunities and encouraging giving as part of your business mission statement, your company will be able to attract the right employees who not only work hard, but have giving hearts. Gain and retain more employees by giving back in your community.

Giving gains customers.
Most importantly, customers are more attracted to companies who show they care for the community. Your business can do some research in the local community to find what causes are most attractive to the population, then show your involvement by giving back. Not only will customers like your philanthropic side, but they’ll feel more comfortable trusting an organization they’ve already seen in the community. Giving not only builds stronger relationships with current customers, but it helps attract new customers as well.

This holiday season, get your business in on the action by giving back to charitable efforts in your community. Plant the seed for your small business now and watch as it grows your company even more later on.

Mobile Marketing: 2017 Business Trends

When it comes to marketing for your small business, it pays to be ahead of the curve. 2016 is coming to a close, and 2017 is just around the corner. The holiday season will soon be here and gone, and you need to be prepared for the next step in your marketing campaign.

How can your company get a jump start on the New Year? Check out these mobile marketing trends for 2017 that your small business can take advantage of today.

Responsive is where it’s at.
The greatest marketing trend of 2017: a responsive website design. Responsiveness means a site automatically adjusts its viewing options to fit the screen it’s on; for example, a computer screen versus a cell phone screen. A responsive website will shrink down its content automatically to easily be viewed and managed on whatever source it’s being viewed on.

For your small business moving in to 2017, be sure your website and online marketing materials are all responsive and mobile-friendly. Now more than ever consumers are viewing, researching and purchasing materials from their cellular devices.

In addition, the search platform Google is implementing favorable searches geared towards those websites with responsive design; meaning, if your website is responsive, the more likely you are to show up at the top of a search engine list. Keep your small business at the top of consumers’ lists by going responsive.

Pay online and skip the line.
With an online responsive design comes integrated online payments for your small business website. More than ever, consumers are feeling more comfortable using online payment options. For your marketing efforts, an integral part is ensuring customers don’t have to leave your site to purchase any of your services or products. With an integrated online payment system, consumers will be able to access it directly from their mobile phone, lending to a more user-friendly experience, and increasing the likelihood of a returning customer.

There’s an app for that.
If your business really wants to get ahead of the curve for 2017 marketing trends, consider investing in an app for your company. Customers will be able to download the app to their mobile devices and access your business quickly and easily, without having to navigate the Internet. An app lends itself nicely to an even more direct line between you and potential clients. A business app increases engagement with your audience, provides important customer data and grows awareness for your brand.

Don’t forget to text.
While you’re creating an app for your small business, why not consider reaching out to customers directly via text? Create a database of potential or current clients and their phone numbers that are willing to be reached. Then, reach out to them personally by sending text promotions, current business news or special deals. Texting shows personal engagement with your customers and is an easy way to promote your brand directly to specific audience members.

This holiday season, set your small business up for success in the New Year. Get ahead of the curve by checking out these successful marketing trends for 2017, then watch as your business goes from the giving season to the growing season.

4 Happy Holiday Marketing Tips

It’s no secret that the holiday season is the greatest spending time of the year, and for many businesses—both large and small—it’s a time with the most financial growth. However, customers don’t often just walk into a store out of chance.

More often than not, they come pre-decided on what they need and what they want to look for… all based on how your business reached out to them. This holiday season, don’t let your business miss out on the biggest spending time of the year. Stand out from the crowd by trying these four happy holiday marketing tips.

1. Start now and start quickly.
The best thing to do for your holiday marketing campaign is to start now and start quickly. If your business doesn’t have a plan in place yet, put one in place as soon as possible—the sooner the better. That way, you’re ready to launch whenever the time is right for shoppers.

Your goals can always be adjusted later on, but organizing for the holidays earlier sets up an outline your business can easily follow and adhere to when promoting its brand. Even though Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, your company can still continue to share its product or service throughout the rest of the holiday season.

2. Get creative.
Let’s be honest, holiday ads tend to be a little… repetitive. Ad fatigue happens when consumers have been exposed to the same type of message too many times and no longer “see” the ad. But that doesn’t have to be the case for your business! Avoid the holiday fatigue this season by putting some creativity into your marketing and advertising efforts.

Update your public promotions with new messages, colors, borders, images or buttons. If necessary, try hiring outside work to help get the creative juices flowing for your business. When you stand out amid the crowd, consumers won’t feel exposed to ad fatigue, and will be much more likely to engage with your company.

3. Be social this season.
One of the greatest marketing tools your business should take advantage of this season (and every season, for that matter): social networking platforms! Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are no longer just about brand awareness—they drive real, measurable sales right up to your doorstep.

Take advantage this holiday season by sharing your promotions and holiday sales through your social networking platforms. Engage with audience members through challenges, hashtags and surveys. Be careful though; if your small business doesn’t yet have social media, don’t use this time as a trial run. Only take advantage of social networking if you truly plan on continuing use of it post-holiday season.

4. Share some sales.
Finally, don’t forget to host and share all your promotions or sales this holiday season. Get in the spirit of giving by offering deals customers can take advantage of, then promote those through local advertisements, social media and targeted marketing. Take advantage of personalized messages through email marketing, or go old-school with direct-mail postcards and flyers.

Advertise your sales on a consistent basis so consumers are exposed throughout the holiday season; don’t drench your audience with advertisements all at one time, only to be left with a weak marketing campaign later on. Outline your marketing and advertising campaign to have a clearly organized message of your sales during the season.

This holiday season, be sure your small business stays on the forefront of consumers’ minds by following these four sage marketing tips. Not only will your business succeed for the holidays, but you can continue that growth on into the New Year.