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Southern Ocean Chamber Holiday Hallmarks are meant to provide resources to businesses throughout the LBI region during the holiday season. The series will offer tips and tricks on how to standout as well as innovative marketing strategies, and will remind residents and visitors the importance of supporting local businesses.
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Don’t wait until you’re midway through the year or experience a sales slump to put together a marketing plan. Strategize for 2020 and set yourself up for success! We’ve outlined five tips below to help ensure you get a head start on your strategy for a new decade of achievements!

  1. Create a Budget
    This could be $500 or $5,000. Either way, figure out what you’re able to dedicate to your marketing budget in advance. This way you will be able to focus on a few different strategies and analyze your return on investment during the course of the year. Generally, the rule of thumb is to devote around 10% of your gross annual revenue to your company’s marketing and public relations efforts.
  2. Determine Your Goals
    What do you want to accomplish in 2020? Try to narrow this down to a few concrete goals such as: grow social media following, increase traffic on your website, open a second business location, etc. Make sure to create attainable and measurable goals so that you are able to track their success, such as: grow social media following by 5,000 on Facebook. Once you’ve established your goals, you can begin to evaluate which marketing strategies will help you get there and where your budget should go.
  3. Define Your Brand Style Guide
    It’s imperative to create a consistent voice and aesthetic for your company. This will help you to appear more professional, appealing and reliable. Once you implement a brand guideline, it’s much easier to maintain the quality and integrity of your image, especially if you are outsourcing any of your marketing. Key elements include defining your: tone of voice, color palette, fonts, keywords (associated with your mission), logo use, etc.
  4. Create a Calendar
    Create a calendar of forecasted events, deals you will be offering, holidays (including relevant nationally celebrated micro-holidays, like National Cat Day), major shopping days (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Memorial Day) and anything else you’d want to promote. This will help you when planning out your social media, blog posts and e-blasts schedules. Not everything needs to be scheduled in advance, but it’s important to have a loose idea of when and what you need to promote.
  5. Utilize Social Media
    First, determine which platforms you want to be active on; most businesses do NOT need to utilize all social media channels. Figure out which demographic(s) you are trying to reach and hone in on specific channels where you’re more likely to reach them. For example, if you are trying to reach a younger international audience, you should definitely be utilizing Instagram. Try focusing on two or three channels, posting regular content. Your posts should vary from channel to channel in order to best capture each audience.

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We hope this blog helps you to kick off 2020 with a bang! Our State of the Chamber meeting will be on January 15 at 8 a.m. at The Mainland Holiday Inn in Manahawkin. Managers from NJ Department Of Transportation will discuss details on the final phases of the Causeway Bridge Project in Long Beach Island. Representatives from our Downtown Driven Municipalities will also be presenting on what is happening in the boroughs of Ship Bottom, Beach Haven, Stafford, Barnegat, Little Egg Harbor and Tuckerton. Learn about new chamber programs as well as our strategic planning schedule to direct our business community through the next decade. To attend, please RSVP to info@sochamber.com.