holiday-list-2018

Important Holidays to Keep an Eye On in 2018

For marketing professionals, the word ‘holiday’ is packed both with promise, and a sense of tension.

The potential for bigger and better sales, more customers, leads, and a general interest in your product increases exponentially if framed and promoted properly around the year’s many holidays. Now, cue every other marketer in the known universe blasting off email reminders and creating festive landing pages, and you have yourself a healthy dose of competition.

And how does one rise above the pack? While this is a subject that deserves its own article, trust in this: choose your holidays wisely. In the realm 24/7 social media engagement and activity, there is no shortage of holidays to capitalize on. Every day seems to celebrate something; whether it be hugs, entire countries, or pie. Your job is to filter out the holidays that are most relevant to your business, in order to ensure maximum levels of audience engagement.

Jan. 1st: New Years Day

The start date for grand resolutions, New Years Day (and the eve before) mark a time of hope and new beginnings. Take advantage of a day where most people are off work scrolling through newsfeeds and nursing a hangover.

Feb. 4: Super Bowl Sunday

While the actual date varies from year to year, the ceremonial ending of the NFL season takes place on the first Sunday of February. With coveted ad spots at the halftime shows averaging at $4-million for 30 seconds, it’s a great day to celebrate competition, and the strength and reach of good advertisements.

Feb. 14: Valentine’s Day

The annual day of buying things for those you love; Valentine’s Day is the ideal time to share a bit of sweet sentimentality. [Read our latest Valentine’s Day article] for in-depth information on how to make the most of this billion-dollar holiday.

Feb. 16: Chinese New Year

With approximately 1.3 billion consumers celebrating the New Year in February rather than January 1st, the Chinese New Year is an important holiday that tends to slip by unnoticed. Marked by themes of luck and celebration, the New Year takes place on a different day each year according to the new moon—which comes between 21st of January and the 20th of February.

Feb. 19: Family Day

Family Day is a statutory holiday occurring on a Monday in February. In the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island (PEI) and Saskatchewan. In Alberta it is observed on the third Monday of February.

March 3: World Wildlife Day

The celebration of the world’s fauna is an excellent excuse to post a photo of a cute, cuddly, or ferocious member of an endangered or vulnerable species.

March 8: International Women’s Day

A day celebrating half of the world’s population, International Women’s day is the best time of the year to promote female inclusivity, gender equality, and fundamental human rights. And in a year marked by #MeeToo and a number of other revelations, the day’s importance should be emphasized.

March 17: St. Patrick’s Day

A celebration of Irish culture in all of its facets, St. Patrick’s Day has morphed into a celebration of fun, luck, festivities, and parades showered in all things green. Capitalize on the infectious fun.

April 1: Easter

One of the only religious holidays on our list, Easter is both a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus and a day famed for the Easter Bunny. And while the date varies from year to year, think chocolates, think fun, and think Spring sales.

May 13: Mother’s Day

Held on the second Sunday of May, Mother’s Day is a great opportunity to evoke feelings of warmth and kindness towards mothers, sisters, grandmothers, etc. as their significant others set out to buy flowers (specifically), and a bevy of other gifts.

May 21: Victoria Day

Victoria Day is a federal Canadian public holiday celebrated on the last Monday preceding May 25, in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday. The holiday has been observed in Canada since at least 1845, originally falling on Victoria’s actual birthday (24 May 1819).

June 17: Father’s Day

Celebrating dads, grandfathers, and brothers everywhere, the lead up to Father’s Day is lined with sales. Take advantage of a day championing togetherness and gift-giving.

July 1: Canada Day

Canada Day is the national day of Canada. A federal statutory holiday, it celebrates the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the Constitution Act, 1867 (then called the British North America Act, 1867), which united the three separate colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick into a single Dominion within the British Empire called Canada. Originally called Dominion Day, the holiday was renamed in 1982, the year the Canada Act was passed.

Sept.: Back to School

While the day varies for each academic level and school board between late August and early September, make sure to capitalize on the fact that everyone is buying brand new things to last a whole year of study.

Sept. 3: Labor Day

It’s the federal holiday that celebrates kicking back and doing as little work as possible. Keep the sales flowing since most will be spending their time at home and online.

Oct 8: Thanksgiving

Get your turkey feast on! As families gather together for a dinner celebrating the harvest and overeating in equal measure, make sure to promote feelings of community and friendship.

Oct. 31: Halloween

The spookiest of the holidays, Halloween is the day when little ghouls and goblins take to the streets for some well-earned trick-or-treating. With scary movies in the theaters, ghost stories told around the fire, and jack-o’-lanterns appearing on doorsteps everywhere, Halloween is a day for lots of laughs and plenty of scares.

Nov. 11: Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day (sometimes known informally as Poppy Day) is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth of Nations member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. Following a tradition inaugurated by King George V in 1919, the day is also marked by war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November in most countries to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month”, in accordance with the armistice signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente between 5:12 and 5:20 that morning. (“At the 11th hour” refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11:00 am.) The First World War officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919.

Nov. 24: Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday® – a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities. Please join in supporting your local small business by shopping at a small business.
First observed in the United States on November 27, 2010, it is a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which feature big box retail and e-commerce stores respectively. By contrast, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local.
The Twitter hashtag #SmallBusinessSaturday has existed since early 2010 and was used to promote small businesses on any Saturday (not solely that Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday).

Dec. 25: Christmas

With Christmas sales taking place throughout the month, the corporate-minded holiday celebrates all things warm, cozy, and jolly. Makes sure to promote that gift-giving spirit.

Dec. 26: Boxing Day

The day that sets off a week-long sales bonanza, Boxing Day is the last time of the year to liquidate stock and to cash in on those with Christmas gift money lining their pockets.

Important!

While the holidays you promote should depend on your line of business, take this handy guide and plug it into your marketing calendar. Don’t be left behind when sales opportunities arise. For an in-depth look at all possible holidays from around the world, head on over to Google Calendars, and make sure to save the dates for each of the holidays above.

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5 Ways Business Owners Can Prepare for Facebook’s News Feed Changes

Continue to encourage Facebook engagement

Regardless of whatever the news feed changes bring, you do not want to give up on a community you built. Continue to post and engage your active Facebook fans. Let them be your bridge to their networks.
Another idea is to warn your followers of the changes and ask them to click the “see posts first in news feed” on your page, especially if they worry about missing something from you.

Focus on building your email subscribers

Every digital marketer knows that the most effective strategy is in email. An opted-in customer is a valuable customer.  Email lets you reach your audience directly in their inboxes.

Remain active on other social media channels

Facebook is not the end-all, be-all of social. A smart social media strategy looks at the full picture and decides which communities are right for its business.
Are you a news organization pushing out lots of timely content? Invest in Twitter. Are you a cooking blog that posts scores of pictures? Get on Pinterest.

Don’t forget about SEO

It’s easy to get caught up in social and forget about its less sexy counterpart, SEO. But search is still one of the most important discoverability tools on the web.
If you’re not paying attention to keywords, SERPs (search engine page results), and all the other key aspects of a good search strategy, you are missing out on a huge opportunity.

Pay attention to other trends and plan for them

Things move fast on the web and it’s in a marketer’s best interest to stay ahead of the curve. Be sure you plug into what is new and changing in your industry and are ready to make moves accordingly.

Note: Text Message Marketing (SMS) is the BEST Way to Get In Front Of Your Clientele!

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Proximity Marketing

Provide real-time push notifications and promotions automatically to customers who pass a physical Beacon at your  business location. Think of beacons as “buttons or links to the physical world around you”.

1. Attract new customers – Implement a pull strategy

With our beacons deployed at your storefront, you can directly communicate with your consumer’s phone and tell her about specials, discounts and coupons. The outcome of such campaigns is positive because, for example, coffee shop owners have a much more robust picture of what customers are doing in and around their stores, and they can base their offers on data rather than assumptions. For most of our customers owning a coffee shop, the click-through-rate (CTR) is 3-4%, which is 30 times the CTR of a Facebook ad!

 

2. Inform customers about your services/events to bring them back

You might be offering a suite of services for your customers at the coffee shop, such as free WiFi, electrical outlets at each table for laptops, poetry readings and more, but it’s important to inform them about it at the right place and time. And our beacons are just pro in it!

Also, to widen the reach, push a shareable link about the service/event so that they can forward it to friends and family as well.

 

3. Push loyalty programs to win frequent patrons

Loyalty programs can be as simple as notifications with the promise of receiving every Nth cup of coffee free, which can be attractive to daily coffee drinkers. These offers are most effective while customers are paying their bills.

4. Quantify the success of your marketing campaigns

For local businesses, it is important to understand what works and what doesn’t. Budget dedicated to marketing fails only when one cannot numerically predict the ROI from it. One of the major faults in billboards, fliers, magazine ads etc. is that you cannot measure the impact. It is difficult to learn what language connects best with the mass, which places are the best for advertisement etc.

 

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Why progressive web apps beat native apps, hands down

The market for mobile apps is booming. In fact, the demand for apps is so high that the average mobile user engages with their downloaded (‘native’) mobile apps eight times more than they do mobile web.

What Are Progressive Web Apps?

“Progressive Web Applications take advantage of new technologies to bring the best of mobile sites and native applications to users. They’re reliable, fast and engaging.”– Google Developers

Before Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) were introduced, the two best options for a mobile presence were native apps or a website optimised for mobile use. Unfortunately, neither was all encompassing.

When you need one or the other (but neither is right)

Each option had its strengths. Apps work offline, but websites update content around the clock. Apps send push notifications, but mobile web is indexed in Google. For every reason to select one medium, there was an equally compelling reason to select the other. The most interesting discrepancy, however, pertains to user engagement.

Capturing the Best of Both Worlds

PWAs are the hybrid child of native apps and mobile web, taking all the good and leaving all the bad. They look, feel and function like mobile apps, but they have the access, availability and low barrier-to-entry of websites. Google engineer Alex Russell, the man behind Progressive Web Apps, puts it plainly:

These apps aren’t packaged and deployed through stores, they’re just websites that took all the right vitamins. They keep the web’s ask-when-you-need-it permission model and add in new capabilities like being […] on your home screen, and in your notification tray. Users don’t have to make a heavyweight choice [to install] up-front and don’t implicitly sign up for something dangerous just by clicking on a link. Sites that want to send you notifications or be on your home screen have to earn that right over time as you use them more and more. They progressively become “apps”

Get it?

What it’s not

To understand what a PWA is and why it is so special, you need to get rid of the categorisation that we’re all so used to dealing with. To make things easy, it might actually make more sense to describe what a PWA is not.

It’s not a native app, so it’s not bound by the same structure. You don’t need to get it from the App Store or any other marketplace. You don’t need to download and install it on your mobile device. You don’t have to update it once a month to make sure you’ve got all the current features.

Similarly, it’s not a traditional mobile website. You don’t need a constant internet connection for it to function. You don’t have to navigate the web to find it. You don’t need to sacrifice intuitive mobile controls, like swiping left or right.

Benefits for Users

Compared to native apps, PWAs are in a whole other league. The benefits that they offer users are unmatched by anything else available on the web.

1. Ability to function offline

Even though they are websites, PWAs don’t require an internet connection in order to offer users some measure of functionality. This becomes increasingly true for apps that the user engages frequently.

2. No updates required

Many native apps are redeveloped regularly. As a result, they require the newest hardware and operating systems or else they won’t function. David Merrell, of the Washington Post, says, “The reason it’s called ‘progressive’ is because the experience gets progressively better depending on what technology is available in the device.” That means that modern devices have the best experience, but even ancient mobile devices can have some functionality.

3. No install necessary

PWAs have no barrier to entry. “It lets people interact with it like an app without the hassle of downloading it.”

4. Avoid the App Store

Don’t worry about dealing with app marketplaces anymore. PWAs are as freely available as any other site on the web and don’t require special accounts to get access.

5. Low data requirements

Native apps can monopolise lots of the room on your phone or tablet, forcing you to delete photos and other software or risk running out of space. PWAs use almost nothing and give you a better experience.

6. Simple navigation

You can add home screen buttons for all your favourite PWAs, saving time when you want to use them. Since PWAs are a mobile-only experience, they are also designed with mobile users in mind. That means you get traditional app navigation like swiping left or right.

PWA vs Native, Side by Side

In some regards, Progressive Web Apps and native apps are very similar, but when it comes down to convenience, there’s really no comparison. Here’s how they look side by side.

PWA-vs-Native-App

The PWA takes this one, hands down!

~ Ignite Online • https://igniteonline.com.au/blog/why-progressive-web-apps-beat-native-apps-hands-down

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