Top tips on planning for Q4 of 2015
For many businesses, the bulk of sales come at the end of the year, so planning your PR and marketing for Quarter 4 is really important.
Here at Dragonfly PR, we are working hard to help our clients in the manufacturing and constructionindustries to plan exciting new campaigns and here we share our top tips to help you maximise awareness and generate sales at this crucial time of year.
Tip 1) Review your customer engagement activity
Consider how do you engage with customers at the moment and is it working effectively? What response rate do you typically expect from newsletters or e-mailshots? Should you be considering other avenues of communicating with them, such as SMS text, Twitter, Linkedin Groups or Youtube? Reviewing your customer engagement now and trialling some or all of the new methods could help to attract new customers in these important few months. If you need advice on maximising results from social media, e-newsletters, SMS or other methods, please contact our team on 01709 300130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tip 2) Focus on your top customers
Based on what you find out from your review of who’s opening, clicking, sharing and responding to your communications, you should be able to separate your database into three categories – VIPs, active and inactive customers. It’s a good idea to segment your market so you offer the VIP set even better incentives, such as inviting them to private events, letting them know they are part of an elite club and offering them reward points on purchases. Active customers should also be thanked and rewarded with incentives. Customers who have been inactive for some time should be taken off mailing lists and unfollowed from your social media accounts. Focusing on your engaged customers will yield much better results.
Tip 3) Target very carefully
Q4 is a good time to review your target markets and analyse figures and forecasts for your industry. If you sell into the construction industry, for example, this is a time when many projects push architects to draw up plans, so it’s vital to keep up a high profile to ensure your products are specified. For manufacturers, many major projects are put up for tender in Q4, which can then be reviewed and decisions made in the new financial year, so maximising PR for manufacturing is vitally important at this time of year.
Tip 4) Build your network
It’s a great time to build your referrals. Look to offer incentives to existing customers for recommending you to others. Should a new customer be referred, make sure they have an outstanding experience with you and give them a reason to return. Make sure that you engage with any new customers or prospects on social media and add to e-newsletter correspondence to keep them aware of new developments.
Tip 5) Run a competition in the lead up to Christmas
This is a popular time for competitions and, even for business to business clients, running competitions either via Facebook or through company newsletters can be a great idea to generate interest. Quality, not quantity is most important and creating a memorable competition where, for example, a window company gives away a conservatory or a training company gives away a series of courses, can help to raise awareness, generate interest and is great for follow up PR opportunities afterwards.
Tip 6) Maximise your presence at events
You will find that many events take place in Q4 particular for the construction and manufacturing industries. This year it includes Construction Week, the Build Show and Digital construction week as well as for the manufacturing sector, exhibitions such as PPMA and Gastech. Exhibiting at these shows, or attending relevant exhibitions of this type can help to build industry awareness, generate new sales leads and shape your PR and marketing strategy for the year ahead.
Tip 7) Enter industry and business awards
The last quarter of the year is the one when most industry and regional business awards are held, particularly for the manufacturing and construction sector. Awards add credibility to a business and the events can also present some great PR and networking opportunities. Dragonfly PR can assist with award writing as we have a high level of success of having clients shortlisted and winning industry and regional and national awards. For more information, drop us a line at email@example.com.
Tip 8) Review/commit to a blog
Take a look at your company’s recent blog posts, consider whether they are just becoming a dumping ground for company propaganda, or are they a truly reliable and informative hub of information? The best read blogs are those which offer unbiased expert opinion, hints and tips and impartial advice. ‘Did you know’ blogs are very important in the construction and manufacturing industries, as are ‘how to’ blogs giving practical and authoritiative advice on how to complete a project. Look at your blog schedule for the months ahead and review it if necessary. Introduce a chief executive’s blog wherever possible, even if it’s just bi-monthly, as this adds credibility and helps to build up a following.
Tip 9) Spend more on content, less on advertising
Q4 is a good time to review your Adwords and other online advertising. Review how well has your online advertising performed in the last nine months? Has it generated more business than has come to your website through organic search? It’s always a good idea to have a 70% 30% split for Organic search v spend on Adwords. If your spend on Adwords is more than this, then it may be worth reviewing the results. With latest Google Algorithm changes, such as Panda 4.2, which rank websites according to high quality content, investing more in blog and news writing for your website could certainly pay off in both the short and longer term.
Tip 10) Build your social media audiences and engage more
Twitter and Facebook are still the most popular social networks at the moment, but there are plenty of other platforms out there where you can reach potential customers. Do you have Pinterest and YouTube accounts? If not, you may want to consider signing up. You should also be looking to grow your Twitter followers to over 2,000 if you haven’t already, which will give you greater flexibility with how many people you can follow. We manage a number of social media accounts where we are targeted to increase followers by a certain level and also to increase engagement and the number of direct mentions from other sources. The starting point is often for us to work with clients to review their social media platforms and make recommendations for how we can grow followers and generate more engagement.
If you would like a free review of your social media accounts and recommendations for PR and digital marketing campaigns for Q4 or the year ahead, please contact us on 01709 300130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.