Tips for Holiday Marketing Events

Happy holidays! Can you believe the 2017 holiday marketing season has already commenced?

Isn’t it April?!

As we approach mid-November, we begin to see a huge influx in holiday events. These events range from small private gatherings, to huge week-long sales—like Black Friday! Depending on your business, you may want to consider doing something to attract new customers, while also showing your genuine appreciation for your current ones.

Here are 4 ways to enhance your holiday marketing ideas:

Count it Down

People love a good countdown, and a ‘Countdown ‘til December’ would be a great idea to start the holiday sales tally.

Offer professional and beautiful pics on new items or holiday-dressed items or sales items on Instagram or Facebook (or both!) every day from Nov. 20-30. These dates coincide with Black Friday, which always generates a TON of sales.

By offering something for your customers during this time, you’ll cash in on the peeps looking for deals and pretty things to buy as Christmas gifts.

Give Your Loyals Some Love

Exclusivity gets people excited, so get exclusive! Take your mailing list, and create a special invite for your regulars to attend a semi-private two hours or so in your shop. Offer tea (or even wine, if it’s in the budget and you can get a liquor license), and showcase your newest holiday products for them.

If you can do this as a ‘Preview Party’ for new merchandise, your regs will leave feeling special, and hopefully will have spent a little dough.

Pop it Up

AKA: collaborate with your community. A traditional pop-up shop would take place in an empty retail space that you occupy for a matter of weeks. But what about having a like-minded retail space host you, instead?

This is a smaller, simpler version of what many retail businesses typically do, but it means little to no overhead, and can be somewhat impulsive. Here’s how to execute:

  • Find a like-minded business that compliments yours, but sells different products. Make sure this business is BUSY during the holidays and active on social media.
  • Negotiate what kind of space you’ll get, how many square feet, and for how long (typically a day to a week). Also consider what kind of incentive you’re providing your host with for, well, hosting you! Will it be a percentage of sales, or will you bring this other business more sales for simply being there? Be realistic.
  • Pick a date for the pop-up shop that is at least two weeks away, but preferably 3-4 weeks down the road.
  • Collaborate with said host to create a fun, impulsive, exciting social media strategy that includes a countdown to the event–and BOTH be active on social about it. Sharing platforms is what makes these collabs work well!
  • On the day of the holiday marketing event, be loud about it. Have balloons outside the store front. Live tweet all day. Play loud music. Serve holiday popcorn. Whatever you need to do to get people excited, do it.

Host a Friendly Fire Sale

(Promoted exclusively on social media, of course.) Begin with letting your customers know that something big is coming, and that they should pay attention to your biz’s socials for the next few days. Then, maybe do a “12 days of Christmas” thing, with every day offering a different type of sale on a different item.

The key to this is to make the sales GOOD.

For example, 2-for-1 sales; 50% off sales, buy 2 get 1 free sales. And offer these sales on specific merchandise, not everything. So if you’re selling kind beauty products, you can offer 50% of bar soap on one day, then buy 2 get 1 mascara free another day.

That kind of thing.

Promote this on social, on your biggest platform (usually Instagram or Facebook for most), and make the associated creative beautiful and visually appealing. You can make it even better by offering a basket of free goods to whoever shares your posts the most during the 12 days.

Hopefully some of these ideas will get you excited, and you’ll still have time to organize and execute before Christmas! Fun fact: according to Real Simple, some of the biggest sales days of the year is December 21-24.

You have time!

Get on it, and good luck. If you need help promoting your business this holiday season, let us know and we can help; Fresh + Fit creates custom holiday campaigns and social media strategies that will knock your socks off and whip merch out your doors in a flash—ask us how.

xo


*If you’re interested in having your social media managed, or fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE

 

6 Back to School Marketing Ideas

Summer may not be quite over yet, but back to school time definitely signals the beginning of fall for many of us. As the season turns over, it provides a great excuse for new marketing campaigns for your small business.

Here are 6 marketing ideas for getting ready for back to school:

Offer Exclusive Deals or Back to School Discounts

The back to school shopping season is super competitive, so students and parents are always looking for the best prices for the items on their lists.

If your business sells clothing or school supplies, make you stand out with a sale on essentials. If you operate a coffee shop, cafe, or bakery, you can still get in on the back to school buying craze by offering special deals for parents and students in the morning (like breakfast and coffee) or after school.

Be sure to promote your deals through in-store signage, newsletters (email marketing), and on social media. We recommend starting these sales around August 1, but note that most people tend to procrastinate—so starting now is okay, too.

Show Your Love for Local

Small, local businesses are part of the integral fabric of every community, so be certain to capitalize on the local advantage. There are tons of ways to do this, including hosting fundraisers for local sports teams or music programs, throwing shopping nights that benefit schools, and donating items for raffles.

By reaching out to local public schools, you can take advantage of participating in events that will be planned with or without you. Schools must fundraise to generate money for programs, so why not fundraise in collaboration with your business?

If not yours, it will be someone else’s.

Get Social Online

Busy people (like parents) are generally huge lovers of online shopping. Shoppers are increasingly turning to social media over small businesses’ websites in order to get the most up-to-date information on sales, events, and special store hours, so it makes sense to focus your marketing efforts on public platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Offer your followers a discount when they mention a special code that you post on social media, or when they tag their friends, comment, or re-post something.

Tip: continue to offer deals after back to school. Let your followers know that sales and special deals with your business are not just a one-time offer.

Specifically Promote Back to School Essentials

If you operate a clothing boutique, a cool idea is to create Pinterest boards and lists of the season’s must-have back to school trends, essentials, and gear.

On Instagram, you can post daily images (up to 4-5 times per day at different times) of your top 10 trend picks for fall, or the newest and coolest school gear your small business is carrying.

Incentivize Customers with Gift Cards

A great example of this is what Old Navy routinely does—they provide their shoppers with coupons on future purchases when they spend a specific amount in-store.

Back to school is an expensive time for students and parents, so thank them for choosing to shop with you by offering gift cards for your business when they spend a certain amount during a specific window of time. At the same time, collect their email information to add to your newsletter list.

Then, when you have new merchandise and sales, or when the holidays are approaching, email a reminder or newsletter to these gift card holders and give them a reason to visit you again.

Collaborate with Other Local Businesses

There is strength in numbers when it comes to successful small businesses. Get together with other local stores, coffee shops, and restaurants for back-to-school promotions and events.

When you collaborate with other local businesses, it also means great cross-promotion opportunities through email marketing and social media. It’s a win-win!

And remember: these suggestions are not just for back to school…use them to formulate fall or holiday marketing campaigns, too!


*If you’re interested in having your social media managed, or fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE

5 Fresh Ideas for Spring Marketing Campaigns

Guys! (And girls!) It’s mid-February, the snow is almost melted, and we really want warm weather and longer days. Right?! So we started thinking…what’s next? And the answer? Spring marketing campaigns!

(This is where you cheer.)

While we were geeking out over what to write on this, we decided to get simple and back to the basics. In other words, here are 5 fresh ideas for spring marketing campaigns that should work for most small B2C wellness businesses (because we know you’re probably thinking about this, too):

Spring Stock Sales

Have new and exciting inventory? Create a major buzz by marketing your new products or services on your website and on social. People get excited for spring! It means a change in wardrobe (no more boots!), fresh air, and new, local crops.

If you’re in the food biz, you can market the in-season produce you’re now carrying! You can show more skin in your spring ads, if you’re in the business of natural skincare or organic hair and beauty products.

Get excited about your new stock or services, and throw an online spring-opener sale.

Winter Blowout Sales

Get rid of your winter stock to make way for fresh, springy stuff. You can do this by offering a flash 48-hour online sale, with unique promo codes one can only see on social media.

Get people into your space and taking last year’s products with them when they leave—while increasing the number of Facebook likes or Twitter engagement along the way.

spring marketing campaigns

Spring into Contests/Giveaways

Another great way to kick-start a springtime campaign, is to create a fun and exciting contest or giveaway. By limiting your contest to social media, it drives traffic to your fave platforms and creates other avenues of brand loyalty and awareness that aren’t limited to in-store.

March Madness Events

March is all about sports, so what better way to offer deals and discounts if your job is to promote activity through sports? If your niche market is the Vancouver sports group, then a March Madness sale is for YOU.

The first two weeks in March are traditionally the time to do this, so try offering great sales on your product online.

Spring into Sunny Weather

‘Cuz the sunny weather is what’s it’s all about! We crave warmth and sun (and let’s be honest—we all need a major hit of vitamin D at about this time of year), so why not play on that to create a colourful, fun campaign that targets your online consumers?

Use any of your social media platforms to launch a great sale that gets us excited! And that’s that. 5 fresh ideas for spring marketing campaigns. Get creative, get psyched, and get your product or service moving in a BIG way.

Because spring is all about movement, freshness, fun, and new routine. Good luck!


*If you’re interested in having your social media managed, or fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE

Marketing + Developing a Plant-Based Business

On Thursday March 24th, Jennifer Browne (director of Fresh + Fit) will be moderating a panel on the topic of marketing and developing a plant-based business. If you own such a business or are considering a start-up, you should totally attend!

Here’s the info:

Who

The Vegan Project is the force behind this event, and the four panelists include:

What

The topics will all focus on what our panelists feel are the best ways to market and promote a plant-based business. With collective (and successful!) experience that ranges from 2008 to present day, these business owners have plenty of success and advice, but also less-successful experiences and subsequent suggestions to offer.

Whether you’re seeking knowledge on digital media practices that might be more effective than yours, or have a specific question to ask one of the panelists, we’ll make sure everyone’s heard and leaves inspired and motivated to improve their business and/or business concept.

When + Where

The event will take place on Thursday, March 24th at 7pm, and will last approximately 90 minutes. The venue is The Juice Truck on 28 W 5th Avenue, Vancouver, BC.

We hope to see you there! For more information on this event, please leave a comment on our contact page, and we’ll be sure to get back to you right away.

Happy Sunday!

 

 

 

We’re at The Wellness Show 2016!

This Friday marks the commencement of the 24th annual Wellness Show in Vancouver, an impressively massive trade show event located at the Vancouver Convention Centre. (999 Canada Place, Vancouver.)

This year, Fresh + Fit is participating in the action! Come see us there to ask us your questions about content marketing and social media management. Here are some of the services we offer, and if you operate a wellness business in the Vancouver area, we highly recommend you consider a consultation with us:

Fresh + Fit is completely immersed in Vancouver’s health and wellness culture, and our content and social media management is curated towards presenting our clients as the best of the best when it comes to their wellness niche. In fact, our managing editor, Jennifer Browne, will be offering vegan and gluten-free recipe demos at the healthy family cooking stage on both Saturday and Sunday at 3pm.

We love wellness, we love words, we love socials, and we love to compete. Vancouver’s wellness collective is competitive. Hire us, and become more visible.

Will YOU be at The Wellness Show? If so, we’ll see you there!


 

*If you’re interested in having your social media managed, or fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE

 

VanCity’s Two Newest Vegan Food Products!

By Jennifer Browne

Vancouver’s amazing. It’s this beautiful, energetic, buzzing, talented city that steals your heart and never gives it back. Personally, I get particularly excited about food, so whenever a new, fabulous restaurant opens, or a locally-produced food product makes its way into my face, I’m happy and proud to live here.

And both of those things happened this week!

I visited new storefront in Yaletown and met Chris White, owner of Nice Vice Creamery, which is scheduled to open in late 2015/early 2016. I was also privileged enough to try the brand new, dairy-free Greek yogurt by Daiya Foods. (Which is seriously yum.)

Here’s the low-down:

Nice Vice

Nice Vice Creamery

Without giving away too much (you’ll need to attend the grand opening to see exactly what makes this creamery insanely cool), I will say that I have NEVER tasted non-dairy ice cream as good as this. Ever.

I’m addicted.

With incredible, edgy flavours like Buzz’d, Chocoholics Anonymous, and Tripped Out Tropical, I feel it’s fairly safe to say that this crazy (v)ice cream will rule the world. (Or Vancouver, anyway.) More to come on Nice Vice Creamery later; I promise.

Just…get hungry.

Daiya Foods

Greek Yogurt by Daiya Foods

Ok, so I’m not usually a giant fan of non-dairy yogurt. Although I’m a major proponent of non-dairy alternatives and eat about vegan about 80% of the time, I’ve never found a yogurt that I like that wasn’t real, 100% dairy.

I guess I’m a yogurt snob.

BUT: this week, Daiya sent me some Greek yogurt to try, along with a million other products that I’m super stoked about. I always use their cheese shreds, but I am now sitting pretty on a whole slew of vegan alternatives to cheese, yogurt, and ice cream.

I’m like a kid in a…health food store? Candy store doesn’t make sense. I don’t know. I’m happy.

Ok?

This yogurt is so good, that I tweeted a picture of it immediately. Honestly. Check out my Twitter account. (@jennifer_browne) It’s creamy and thick and there is NO WAY anyone would know it wasn’t real Greek yogurt. In fact, my very picky children totally ate a bunch of it and I was so sad to see it go. I was pretty sure I had it locked down. Thinking about it actually makes me feel a little pouty.

Anyway, keep your eyes and ears open for buzz about these two, new, local yummy things. There will definitely be more here on the grand opening for Nice Vice Creamery in the near future, and we won’t be the only ones talking about it.

Trust me.

Happy Weekend, Vancouver!

Calling all Yogis: Open House Event at Parallel Yoga

You don’t even need to like yoga to want to be at this event. But if you do?

You’ll be in heaven.

On Saturday October 3rd, Parallel Yoga will be hosting its fourth annual open house, which will feature free classes, a massive retail sale, local vendors, and…wait for it…Happy Water’s Smile Squad!

They WILL force you to get real with a hula hoop.

The Studio

Parallel Yoga

Owners Kara and Steve Coleman first opened Parallel Yoga just four years ago. Located at Parallel Marketplace on North Parallel Road in Abbotsford, BC, the studio quickly built an impressive client list and became busier than busy. So busy, in fact, that as of last month, they’ve expanded their original space to include a second studio.

So why participate on October 3rd? See below.

The Yoga

Free classes will be held all day. That’s the important part.

Time                                                      Class                      Teacher

9:00 AM – 10:15 AM                               Strong                     Kara

9:30 AM – 10:30 AM                               Stretch                    Julia

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM                             Hatha                      Jayne

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM                             Hatha                      Shazad

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM                               Flow                        Kara

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM                                 Yin                           Shea

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM                                 Restorative              Beth

The Vendors

Happy Water

From 1-5pm there will be a pop-up Local Artisan Market in Studio Two, and the following vendors will be present:

Happy Water

Come meet the Smile Squad, grab a sample, dance and sing, and learn about what makes this water so darn happy.

Author Jennifer Browne

Jennifer Browne is the author of four health and wellness books, including Happy Healthy Gut, Vegetarian Comfort Foods, The Good Living Guide to Medicinal Tea, and Baby Nosh. She will be signing and selling copies of Vegetarian Comfort Foods.

Pacific Coast Soaps

Pacific Coast Soaps features handmade, all-natural soaps made locally in Mission, BC.

Whimsy by Martia

Whimsy by Martia offers high quality bath products, handcrafted in Abbotsford. Come check out the essential oils, epsom salts, bath soaps, and more.

Live True Designs

Live True Designs features jewelry with a bohemian, surf style, including yoga-inspired jewelry and Mala necklaces. Handcrafted in Chilliwack, BC.

Genesis Martial Arts

Genesis Martial Arts offers high-level martial art instruction, and top-of-the-line fitness. Open in Abbotsford since April 1, 2013.

Naked Pallet

Beautiful words on nature’s canvas. Come see what piece might look amazing in your home!

Brewer’s Daughter

This young entrepreneur has been using the left over hops from her dad’s brewery (Ravens Brewery in Abbotsford, owned by Paul Sweeting) to make all-natural dog biscuits. Come check them out!

Vancouver Young Actors School

Vancouver Young Actors School will be offering acting classes for film and television at Parallel Yoga starting in the winter, and wish to introduce themselves! Come check out classes and get your Q&A on.

The Sale

ten tree

(This is what you really want to know about, right?) Saturday’s sale will include merchandise of all kinds—the studio is clearing out for more. If you need a new pair of yoga pants or a great sports bra, you need to be here and take advantage of this blowout sale.

It’s going to be BIG.

Brands include Ten Tree, Halfmoon, Onzie, Be Present, Manduka, and Mala Collective.

The Gist

Come hang out, attend a class, get all zen, and buy stuff. Seriously. There’s no beating around the yogi bush.

Namaste!


*If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.

Wines of Portugal

The Venue: The Secret Location YVR

Monday was fun. While my husband toiled at his desk, elbows deep in paperwork (sorry, Dave!), I had the privilege of pretending to know how to drink wine (as opposed to guzzling it, which is what I think I normally just do).

It was a good thing I had some pretty great company to listen to my amateur questions and answer them humbly. Eight fabulous wines, paired with six incredible dishes, in a fabulously decorated dining room called the Secret Location—now that’s a good Monday.

At about the same time I began realizing that I probably shouldn’t drink all of the wine and perhaps should pour some into the buckets that were made available to us (which I eventually began doing, but only because I had an hour’s drive ahead of me), I, along with about 30 others, began a two-hour master class into the world of Portuguese wines.

And I learned stuff!

Wines of Portugal

wop

The landscape of Portuguese wines has changed over the last 20 years. Although the industry is still steeped heavily in tradition (every home has a small vineyard—it’s part of Portuguese culture), it’s in the middle of modernizing.

20 years ago, only 22% of Portuguese wines were exported, and now that number has climbed to 46%. Presently in 11 markets around the globe, the United States is the industry’s biggest importer, with France coming in second, and Canada currently ranking fourth.

There are 10 major Portuguese varieties on the market today, including (but obviously not limited to) Alvarinho, Fernao Pires, and Encruzado. The most planted grape in Portugal? Tinta Roriz.

The Menu

Sandeman Casks

As I mentioned above, there were eight different wines to pair with six outstanding dishes created by the chefs at the Secret Location. As a near-Vegetarian, my menu was different from the majority of attendees’ (no bison short ribs for me!), but equally as tasty and visually appealing.

So let’s get to it: these were the wines I was forced (ha) to drink:

Casal Garcia Branco – Vinho Verde

This was a four-ounce greeting glass, and although I’ve honestly never found whites as appealing as reds, I loved this particular choice: crisp, light, and no aftertaste. At about $10.99 a bottle (yes—you read that correctly), this beautiful wine will definitely be purchased by this pleasantly surprised girl.

Presenting lime notes and a clear appearance, this wine is representative of the Minho Region.

Mateus Rosé Original – Rosé

This wine was a familiar one—it’s my father-in-law’s absolute favourite. Although I’ve always found it too light for me, and I still feel that way, it paired lovely with the aperitif—a beautiful salad made with braised red cabbage, squash, endive, and more.

The chilled, “slightly sparkling” wine has a slightly fizzy finish, and sells for about $16.99 at the liquor store.

Wines of Portugal

Vale Do Bomfim – Douro Red & Periquita Reserva – Vinho Regional Red

The appetizer that paired with these two wines was a visual treat: handmade gnocchi with a parmesan crust and edible flowers.

Seriously.

The Vale Do Bomfim was one I had actually tried before, and it’s a gorgeous red. (I highly recommend!) It’s ruby red with the aroma of fresh fruit, flowers, and spices. This red retails at about $17.49.

The second wine—the Periquita Reserva—is soft and balanced with a medium-long finish. Retailing around $15.79, this wine would pair excellently with duck and truffle.

Duas Quintas – Douro Red Crasto & Quanta Do Crasto – Douro Red

Although the food that paired with these next two wines was to die for, I want to focus on the drink. The two wines listed above (the fifth and sixth of the afternoon) were incredible, full-bodied, deep, beautiful selections.

The Duas Quintas 2012 is a bright garnet colour, and both elegant and silky on the palate. Retailing at about $15.79, this is a total find if you want to impress dinner guests. It pairs well with red meat and strong flavours.

Also pairing well with red meat, the Quanta Do Crasto consists of berry aromas and floral notes. At 14% alcohol, the $17.49 bottle delivers some major bang for your buck.

Pedra Cancela Selecao de Enologo – Dao Red

This heavy and delicious wine was paired with a dish the chef called ‘Peaches and Cream,’ which consisted of a gluten-free waffle, braised peach slices, a corn cream, a sweet popcorn, and edible flowers. With an intense ripe plum aroma and hints of cocoa, this absolutely gorgeous wine retails for about $17.99.

Again, YUM. Did I mention the wine was delicious?

Sandeman Porto Ruby – Port Wine

Lastly, of course, was a port. And obviously, it was paired with cheese. Amazing cheese. Although port itself has never been my favourite (I find it too strong, and something to sip, which I’ve already explained isn’t exactly my forté), it was the perfect flavour to compliment a heavy blue cheese.

Extremely rich and aged for at least 2-5 years prior to being filtered and cold-stabilised, this port retails at just under $20 a bottle.

And that was that!

So all in all, I learned a lot about wine (both in general and Portuguese), ate a lot of amazing food, and had kept great company for about three hours in downtown Vancouver. (One Water Street, to be exact—the heart of Gastown.)

So next time you peruse the liquor store looking for that perfect bottle, check out the wines of Portugal—you won’t be sorry.


*If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.

Vancouver Fashion Week

Fashion Week. Need we say more?

From September 28th to October 4th, fashion reigns in Vancouver, BC. Taking place downtown at 50 East Pender Street, this spring/summer 2016 fashion event is not to be missed if you have anything to do with style in VanCity.

With over 81 designers showcasing their most inspiring and clever creations, Vancouver Fashion Week‘s spin-off events include nightly after-parties that one must be over the age of 19 to attend.

Vancouver Fashion Week 2008

Photo by kris krug

“For 25 seasons, Vancouver Fashion Week has produced a runway that celebrates multiculturalism and emerging talent. We strive to identify undiscovered designers by providing an accessible and widely reputable platform. Through international media coverage and cogent buyer connectivity, VFW has provided the exposure to project designers into the next stages of success.”- vanfashionweek.com/designers

While there are other events to get excited about when it comes to fashion, Fashion Week is always an industry favourite. A sensory treat for the fashion world, the event is full of excitement, lights, cameras, and action–not to mention the reason everyone is drawn to it: the clothing that can only be described as ‘art couture.’

Interested in attending? Prices range from $40 (to attend two consecutive runway shows) to $350 (for a full week pass).Ticket information can be found HERE.

See below for an interview with one of this season’s featured, local designers, representing Grandi’s Atelier.


 

*If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.