By Jessica Moretti
Your boarding pass is printed. Your luggage is in-hand. You run through a mental checklist to make sure everything for your home and your store is in order. The cat has plenty of food; the dog is with the neighbor; children with the in-laws. Your store manager is fully prepared to run the shop while you are out, but you worry if she will run into any trouble closing the register at night, or if one of the new hires will give her any trouble about working a few extra hours this week. Luckily, because you are reading this article, there is at least one thing you know will be taken care of: your marketing campaigns.
Whether you are traveling for tradeshows or you’re taking off for a much deserved summer vacation, there are three simple steps to put your marketing on autopilot and keep your store’s foot traffic up, even while you are away. Try out these tips, even if you are not traveling to see how a little preparation can make your marketing easier than ever before.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but planning ahead can be difficult. With a to-do list a mile long, who has time to plan ahead? Set a goal for yourself to come up with a plan of action at least three weeks before you are set to leave. Your action plan should include important details such as what campaigns will be running while you are gone, how many emails should be deployed, what type of content should be posted to your social networks, and how often. Be sure to include any other marketing efforts that may be going on, like newspaper, TV or radio ads. Once you have your plan of action together, share it with your employees, and if appropriate, assign various tasks to each employee.
Create a posting schedule
With your action plan and calendar in-hand, sit down and plot dates against each item. Knowing when to send an email or post a Facebook ad makes setting deadlines so much easier, and eliminates any confusion among you and your staff. Set yourself a goal to have your posting schedule complete two weeks before you travel.
Knowing what type of content to share on social media can be difficult, especially if you are handing the reins over to someone else. SnapRetail created a Facebook posting rule based on years of research and work with independent retailers. It is called the 60/30/10 rule, in which 60 percent of your content provides added value to your customers, 30 percent features your unique store and products, and 10 percent should include newsworthy topics or local community events. You can learn more about this posting rule by visiting http://bit.ly/FBPostingRule.
Set it and forget it til home
With one week to go until your departure, it is time to put your marketing on autopilot. Like SnapRetail, most email marketing platforms allow you to schedule your emails to send at a later date. This is the perfect way to communicate with your customers, even if you are traveling. SnapRetail’s calendar feature also allows you to schedule your social media posts in advance, too. Other tools are available for scheduling social posts like Hootsuite and LaterBro. It is important to look at all of the tools at your disposal, and find one that best suits your needs, but do not wait until you are about to jet-set. You will want to have enough time to research without feeling pressured.