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5 Small business marketing ideas to ring in the new year

Illuminated happy new year sign and a smile sign at a flower shop during holidays.
Jan 13, 2023 7:30:03 AM
Written by Nextdoor Editorial Team
Jan 13, 2023 7:30:03 AM | Written by Nextdoor Editorial Team

The end of each year presents many opportunities for small business owners to drive sales and grow their businesses. But the end-of-year push doesn’t have to stop with holiday marketing. Get your customers excited about visiting your business in the future by developing a strong new year marketing plan. 

Here are five New Year marketing ideas to help you reach your customers in new ways.

1. Host a New Year-themed promotion

If you can tie one of your products to one of the many popular New Year's resolutions, consider launching New Year promotions for that product. Take the fitness industry, for example. One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions includes improving physical fitness and health through diet and/or exercise. This resolution is a big opportunity for businesses in this industry. In fact, one survey found that nearly 11 percent of gym membership sales take place in January. By being able to tie a promotion to resolutions like this, you are meeting potential customers at the moment and maximising an opportunity for business growth. 

Other popular New Year’s resolutions include:

  • Improving physical fitness and health through diet and/or exercise
  • Quitting bad habits like smoking
  • Improving finances 
  • Getting organised
  • Improving their quality of life by learning a new skill, spending more time with friends, traveling more, and/or reading more

If an aspect of your business ties into one of these areas, consider running a New Year’s promotion or paid advertising campaign, like a Local Deal, to help show potential customers your business is the solution to helping them reach their goals.

For example, one business shared a post prompting potential customers to win a month of free guitar lessons (and fulfil their resolution of learning to play the guitar) by sharing the post below:

The New Year is coming up — why not take your resolution to learn guitar seriously? We’re offering one month of free lessons to get you started. To enter is easy:

  1. Share this post to help get the word out
  2. Tag someone who you think needs lessons or tag yourself

That’s it. In only two simple steps, you can start the New Year right, and reach new heights on the guitar.

2. Draw customers with an in-person event

While online sales have surged in the past few years, many customers have returned to shopping in person when possible. 

Some of the benefits of shopping in person include:

  • The opportunity to test the merchandise in person
  • The fun of socialising with other people
  • The ability to save on shipping fees and other costs tied to shopping online

Hosting an in-person event to kick off the New Year can help local businesses with a physical presence in the community to stand out against big chains and online shopping alternatives.

Consider drawing people in with: 

  • A sale - A New Year’s sale can prove an excellent way to draw new price-sensitive customers in, especially on big-ticket items. 
  • A free sample - For businesses built around customers coming back multiple times a month and making smaller purchases, consider offering a free sample day. This can also work well for businesses that offer regular classes to their customers, e.g. invite new customers to try a class for free.
  • A class – Some potential customers may feel intimidated by your product because they don’t know how to use it. Whether you’re selling organic yarn or specialised software, hosting a class where you teach customers how to use your product can promote interest and help them to build a positive relationship with your business.

If you’re on the fence about what event would draw people in for the New Year, consider asking. Consider sharing a Business Post and asking your customers about possible events that can generate excitement and give you more data with which to make your decision.

3. Activate word of mouth

Some marketing experts claim word-of-mouth marketing — your customers telling others about how much they love your product — is the most valuable and persuasive form of marketing. Research suggests 92% of consumers trust recommendations from family and friends more than any other form of advertising. 

While you can’t control word-of-mouth marketing, you can give it a gentle nudge. 

To help build buzz for your business this New Year, consider:

  • Prompting customers to leave a review online after purchasing their product. 
  • Offering special promotions to existing customers who share information about your product with a friend.
  • Using social media to connect and build relationships with those who feel truly passionate about your product.

Lastly, try your best to give them something worth talking about. One athleisurewear company built buzz by giving a round of leggings away when they were first launching. It was successful because enough customers loved the product. An ingenious New Year’s marketing idea can go so much farther when you’ve taken the time to make your product as amazing as possible.

4. Improve your online presence

Over 9 billion Google searches happen every day. Some of those searches were people searching for products and businesses like yours. That’s why polishing up your digital presence for the New Year can help you put your best foot forward, minute by minute.

Running through this checklist can help you evaluate whether there’s an area online you could spiff up to better reach your customers:

  • Website - A website with a responsive design that works equally well on smartphones and desktop computers can help you reach as many customers as possible. These days, over 50% of web traffic comes from smartphones, so it makes sense to optimise your website for both types of devices. Is the look, layout, and wording of your website helping your customers understand and interact with your brand? 
  • Social media – Social media can prove a wonderful way to connect with your customers—or it can feel like shouting into the void. To use your energy efficiently, try to pay attention to things like which social media platforms your ideal customers gather on, which type of posts draw the most interaction and engagement, and which platforms and post types fit the best with your team’s workflow.
  • Digital advertising – If you’re not already doing so, you might want to consider an advertising campaign using social media, a popular search engine, or a custom campaign designed by a digital advertising agency. There’s a wide range of advertising options that can help small businesses find an option that fits their budget.
  • Content strategy – Whether you’re creating a website, a blog, a social media post, a video, try to take the opportunity to back up and look at the content you’re creating from a higher level. How could it provide more value for your customers? How could it better support your brand’s core message? How could it better convert customer attention into sales? 
  • Mailing list – A quality digital mailing list can prove a cost-efficient way to connect with customers and drive sales. You can grow your mailing list by inviting people to enter a fun giveaway when they sign up or partnering with another local business to reach each other’s customers. You can also purge your mailing list of people who never open your emails and emails that no longer work to avoid wasting your resources.

Remember, you don’t have to maximise every digital marketing opportunity at once. Try to pick one digital marketing strategy that excites you and fits your business model, give it your best shot, and see where it takes you into the New Year.

5. Access local customers with Nextdoor’s local business features

For many local businesses, their most valuable customers are those who live nearby — their neighbours. When planning your New Year marketing, consider using Nextdoor to reach out to the potential customer base in your local community. 

As a small business, use Nextdoor to:

  • Connect to neighbours and establish a local online presence with a free Business Page and sharing  Business Posts
  • Promote special deals and offers while connecting with with potential customers through Local Deals
  • Build a positive community reputation by gathering recommendations and Faves from neighbours

Whether you’re just launching your online presence or taking your digital marketing efforts to the next level, Nextdoor is a simple, adaptable, geographically focused way to promote your business to the surrounding community.

Build your buzz in the new year with Nextdoor

The New Year is the perfect time to revamp your business’s marketing efforts. If reaching your local customer base and growing in your community is top on your resolutions list, Nextdoor is the place to start.

Ultimately, marketing is about building trust with your customers and sharing your enthusiasm for your business. Nextdoor neighbours have already shared over 55 million business recommendations. 

The next one could be recommending you.

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