It’s really quite overwhelming when you take a moment to think about the insane amount of holidays that we have in the United States each calendar year. What’s even more mind-blowing is the amount of cold, hard cash we spend on each and every one of them. Holidays now get monetized, in such an intense manner, more than any other industry I can think of off the top of my head. I mean, who doesn’t need an 18k gold cornucopia necklace for Thanksgiving, or a custom molded skeleton-shaped ice cube tray to serve with your Halloween drinks?
Seriously though, I’m all for it. There’s nothing like capitalizing on the rather excessive wants and needs of the average consumer during a holiday. You have everything from traditional gifts to a myriad of novelty items for every holiday that most folks just can’t seem to live without.
If you have a seasonal business, then you know that preparations start for the next season the day after the current one ends (and sometimes sooner). Whether you’re a brick-and-mortar fireworks tent or an online retailer of Valentine’s Day candy, it’s all about anticipating up-and-coming trends in your particular industry. It’s imperative that you know what your future customer is going to want. If you don’t actively research this kind of information, than you can bet your bottom dollar that your competitors are. It’s not about who gets there first, rather, it’s about who has the best information.
In this day and age, it’s never been easier to find out what’s hot and what’s not. What’s a mainstay and what was more of a 15-minutes-of-fame kind of deal. Thanks to a massive, free information aggregation tool known as Google, all of the most important information about your industry is available 24/7, free of charge, and waiting for you to tap it.
Here’s a quick and easy tool to find out what’s hot in your seasonal niche. Head on over to what used to be the Google Keyword tool, now known as the “Keyword Planner.”
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From there (and you will need a free Google account to log in), and click on the first option, which will be “Search for keyword and ad group ideas.” From there, start with whatever holiday you target, such as Halloween. And listen, it would take much more space than I’m allowed to talk about all the ideas you can garner from this tool, but I have a feeling you’ll figure it out. After that first search, you’ll see that it displayed a list of “Ad Group Ideas” and “Keyword Ideas.” For instance, I had no idea that “Halloween recipes” received so much attention. Boom – dial in from there. What are the popular recipes? What products are involved? See – you can go in all different directions, and this kind of FREE data can be an absolute gold mine for your seasonal business. Going by the search volume of a particular phrase, you can gauge what people are searching for, and then sell it to them!
Someone’s already done the work here and made it all pretty, but check out this infographic of the most searched for Halloween costumes from the past 5 years. This is huge! Knowing what’s trendy and what’s not can break or really make your seasonal fiscal year.
Mobile Search Trends
Let’s not forget the other huge beast in the room – mobile search. Honestly, if you would have asked me about mobile search a few years ago, I wouldn’t have paid you much attention. Sure, I used my smartphone to search for the occasional thing or place, but I always ran to my computer, fired up the foxy browser (see what I did there) and headed to Google.
Warning: this infographic about the impact of mobile search will melt your brain.
Enter 2013…my, oh my has that changed. I can’t imagine not having an instant voice search, with a pleasant robot on the other end, telling me the answer to my query.
And that’s not just me. Boatloads of people that barely knew what a smartphone was a few years back are using them a bajillion times each day to find what they’re looking for – including your seasonal products. They’re looking in the search engines, social media, and they will find what they’re looking for every single time.
So if you have a website that sells or pitches your seasonal products or services, make darn sure that your web developer has optimized your site for mobile search. If not, you are literally leaving a shocking amount of business/money on the table.
The bottom line is this: If you have a seasonal business and you’re not actively using basic search tools (such as the one mentioned above) to find out what people are looking for in your niche, then you’re going to get really good at coming in last among your competitors, because you can bet that they’re fully engaged. Don’t have time, you say? No problem – outsource it. There are plenty of very smart college students, available right now (think Craigslist or Fiverr) who are at the peak of their research skills, thanks to demanding school work, who would probably be thrilled to compile a trends list for your niche, for less than a crisp Benjamin. Worth the investment? I think so.
Think around the box. Embrace technology – as it has already done half the work for you.