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9 Ways to Market Your Small Business During the Holidays

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It’s holiday season! And by “season” I mean months of costumes and celebrations and eating … lots and lots of eating. Many of the big holidays are already behind us, like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. However, Christmas, Chanukah, and New Year’s Eve are still ahead of us. Most of probably won’t be celebrating all of the upcoming holidays, but collectively, your customers will, and they’re all opportunities to push out more sales.

And to eat, of course. Never miss that opportunity.

Now is the time to get organized. Here are nine things that you have to do now to be more memorable this holiday season.

1. Prepare your calendar.

Make sure that each one of those holidays is marked and has a reminder. You want plenty of time to prepare seasonal content for each of those holidays, get it online and promote in time for people to cash in. Share the calendar with your team and plan. Create your holiday social media calendar well in advance, because you need to remember that your team will be taking time off. So, the more you plan ahead, the better.

2. Offer a sale.

The easiest way to make the most of the holidays is with a sale. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have no tradition behind them except a chance to boost sales by cutting prices. You won’t even have to put up decorations or buy a Cyber Monday Tree. Just make sure that you know which products you’re going to discount before the holiday and by how much, and prepare your marketing material.

3. Throw in a gift.

A great way to sweeten the deal and show that you’re not just cutting prices but also celebrating a holiday is to give your customers a gift. That could be something as simple as an information product or a coupon, or as complex as a Lego Millennium Falcon (hint, hint). But, make your customers feel that you’re celebrating with them.

4. Create a video or a few.

If you’re not using video to promote your business, you’re not making the most of all the marketing power the internet has to offer. You don’t even have to spend hours fiddling around with editing software. Platforms like ly/promo” rel=”follow”>PROMO by Slide.lynow make it very easy to create a video by choosing from pre-shot and pre-edited high-quality footage, share it … and start making the next one.

5. Stay active on social media.

The holiday season is not the time to take a social media vacation. You’ll need to be active on all your usual platforms, preparing your audience for the next holiday and priming them to buy. Encourage your Facebook followers to share your video and have plenty of good pictures to share on Instagram.

6. Send a personal email sharing your story of the year.

And don’t forget good old-fashioned email marketing! An inbox can feel more personal than a public post so write up a good story related to your business and thank your customers for being a part of it. And don’t forget to include a call to action.

7. Decorate your storefront.

You might not have to run out and buy a Black Friday bush, but you should add some banners to your website, adjust the design of your store window and get festive with your packaging. Customers should feel that they’re making the most of a time-limited opportunity, even if there’s another one just around the corner.

8. Update your goals.

As you approach the end of the year, this is also an excellent time to take another look at where you are. Review your goals, set new ones and update your content so that it looks fresh and up-to-date. The holiday season is the perfect time of year to shift gears or change direction.

9. Show your personality!

And don’t forget that holidays are a time of fun. Don’t be afraid to let your hair down and enjoy yourself. You might not be able to party with your customers, but you can joke around with them, be yourself and build a real relationship that will take you right through to next year’s holiday season.

The holiday season is inclusive, no matter which one you are celebrating. Incorporating a little bit of holiday cheer into your marketing strategies during these months will make you more relatable and memorable to your customers and audience. Take the time and complete the additional work to make sure that you and your team aren’t missing the best opportunity to connect more authentically with customers.

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24 Hours Across Africa

World food prices hike for first time in five months: U.N. FAO

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World food prices rose for the first time in five months in October, boosted by jumps in quotations for sugar and cereals, the United Nations food agency said on Thursday.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) food price index, which measures monthly changes for a basket of cereals, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, averaged 172.7 points in October, up 1.7% on the previous month and 6.0% year-on-year.

FAO also predicted that cereal production would be 2.704 billion tonnes in 2019, slightly lower than its last forecast.

The FAO sugar price index jumped 5.8% from September levels, largely because of expectations of lower supplies in the year ahead following forecasts of large reductions in sugar output in India and Thailand.

The cereal price index rose 4.2%, with wheat and maize export prices climbing on the back of reduced crop prospects in several major producing countries and “robust trade activity”. By contrast, rice prices fell, hit by subdued demand and expectations of an abundant basmati harvest.

The vegetable oil price index increased 0.5% to reach its highest level in more than a year, while the meat price index rose 0.9%, driven by higher import demand especially from China.

By contrast, the dairy price index dropped 0.7% in October, as lower quotations for cheese offset increases in those for skimmed and whole milk powders, FAO said.

FAO lowered its forecast for global cereal production in 2019 by some 2 million tonnes, pegging world cereal output at 2.704 billion tonnes, but still up 1.8% from 2018 levels.

The U.N. agency said worldwide coarse grain production in 2019 was seen at 1.425 billion tonnes, down 1.3 million on the previous forecast.

Wheat output was seen at 765 million tonnes, down nearly 1 million tonnes on the last outlook, but still on course to set a new record and up 4.5% on 2018 levels.

The forecast for global rice production was put at 513.4 million tonnes, little changed on the previous forecast and slightly below 2018 levels.

Source: Reuters

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24 Hours Across Africa

Director Genevieve Nnaji reacts over Oscar snub.

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Nigeria’s first-ever Oscar submission for best international feature film has been disqualified by award organisers, sparking criticism from its director.

Films in this category, formerly best foreign language film, must have “a predominantly non-English dialogue track”.

However, the 95-minute film Lionheart is largely in English, with an 11-minute section in the Igbo language.

Director Genevieve Nnaji  said the film represented how Nigerians communicate.

The disqualification of the film by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was announced to voters in an email on Monday, according to The Wrap.

Ava DuVernay, director of Selma and A Wrinkle in Time, questioned the decision on Twitter, pointing out that English is Nigeria’s official language.

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Ms DuVernay became the first black woman to direct a live-action film with a budget of more than $100m in 2016.

Ms Nnaji, who directed and starred in Lionheart, thanked Ms DuVernay for speaking out, saying the film “represents the way we speak as Nigerians”.

She added: “This includes English which acts as a bridge between the 500+ languages spoken in our country.”

In another tweet, she said: “We did not choose who colonized us. As ever, this film and many like it, is proudly Nigerian”.

English is still the official language of Nigeria because of British colonisation, which lasted for nearly a century until independence in 1960.

Lionheart, which is currently streaming on Netflix, is about a Nigerian woman trying to keep her father’s company together in a society dominated by men.

Media captionThe Tanzanian making ‘pure African’ film costumes

The best foreign language film category was changed ahead of the 2020 awards to best international feature film, with the Academy saying that the reference to “foreign” was “outdated within the global filmmaking community”.

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