GoDaddy’s Marketing Planner Helps SMBs Prepare for Holidays
The holidays are still months away, but GoDaddy is betting that more small and mid-size businesses will be taking a proactive approach and starting their seasonal marketing campaigns earlier this year than in the past. The company recently launched a new marketing planner designed to make it easier for businesses to keep track of holidays and promotional opportunities.
While there’s rarely a bad time for small business owners to connect with customers online, GoDaddy’s Marketing Planner is based on the idea that certain dates are more special than others. Businesses using the planner will now be able to connect social media posts to specific holidays, changes of season, or other special days as a way to make their brands more relevant and more engaging to followers online.
“Holidays are an extremely busy time for small businesses owners, online and offline. Nearly a third of sales in 2020 happened around the holidays, with online sales growing more than 25%,” says Geoff Clawson, Vice President of Product, Websites, and Marketing at GoDaddy. “Not only is Marketing Planner a social media marketing tool for small businesses to stand out during this year’s holiday shopping season with creative and relevant content, it also allows them to be more efficient and purposeful with where they invest their time.”
The Marketing Planner is being offered as a free feature for GoDaddy’s website and marketing customers. It offers a four-week view, which means small business owners can create social media posts and schedule them in advance ahead of major events, so they aren’t left scrambling at the last minute. Marketing Planner also offers creative suggestions and built-in templates. Once their timed posts are published, business owners can track engagement using GoDaddy’s metrics dashboard to see the impact that well-timed promotions have on engagement and conversions.
“It’s crucial to be able to measure the impact of all marketing activities to understand what products and services are being well received by consumers as well as what type of content (messaging and imagery) drives the most engagement,” says Clawson. “It also helps business owners create informed business plans, allowing them to prepare their inventory and adjust operations ahead of potential sales.”
Outlook for the holidays
The outlook for the 2021 holiday season remains bright, with industry analysts predicting sales will be 7% higher than 2020. That’s nearly double the retail industry’s historical annual growth. However, widespread product shortages and higher prices for popular holiday gifts could throw a wrench in what would otherwise be a successful season. Another challenge seems to be the inability of small businesses to find workers to fill open positions and the latest supply chain snags caused by the surging Delta variant. According to the National Federation of Independent Business’ 2021 Small Business Economic Trends report, small business optimism fell by 2.8 points in July, reversing gains made earlier in the year.
Achieving the holiday sales targets that industry analysts have predicted will rely on the ability of retailers to continue offering last-mile delivery options, including buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS), curbside pickup, and buy in-store with home delivery. Larger retailers are generally better prepared to offer these types of technology-intensive shopping solutions, putting smaller businesses at a disadvantage.
Clawson says the challenges of the past year and a half have led more entrepreneurs to see the power of social media and take better advantage of the opportunities available to promote and grow their small businesses online. Email marketing continues to be an important channel, particularly for established businesses with an existing customer base. Additionally, with brick-and-mortar businesses opening back up, customers will now expect business owners who pivoted online in 2020 to manage both with little effort.
“We know that on average it is six times more expensive to gain a new customer than to retain an existing one,” Clawson says. “With the launch of Marketing Planner, small business owners now have an easier way to harness the power of social media marketing by planning for and creating compelling content on their schedule, even up to four weeks in advance.”
Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.