As I write this, it is just past the middle of June. Most kids are done with school for the summer. We are heading towards the summer equinox, and in the United States we are heading towards July 4th. Are you about ready to say, “Thanks for the update, Captain Obvious!”? Well, that would be understandable except for one thing – do you actually use this information as part of your marketing strategy?
It’s not true for all companies and all businesses, but for many there are definitely seasonal cycles based on customer behavior. Companies that make outdoor fitness equipment know that sales are probably going to start cooking around April, just as the weather begins to warm up. Other companies might see their biggest sales spike around the holiday season. How can you take advantage of these seasonally-based spikes? Here are five ideas!
1. During high usage times, invite customers to post pictures of themselves with your product to your Facebook page or to Instagram
Many studies have shown that people are most inclined to buy a product if they see a friend or family member enjoying it. If you know there is a particular time of year when people are most likely to use your products, invite them to provide picture proof. Pictures could be posted to your Facebook page or you could create a special seasonal hashtag for use on Instagram. A campaign based on customer response to your company will almost always play better than you simply promoting your products. If people are going to be using your products anyway, why not take advantage of the timing?
2. Develop a direct mail campaign that would target a specific region at a specific time
This past winter (which seemed like it would never end) I remember seeing an ad for lawn care products. “Summer is almost here,” the ad proclaimed with great excitement as I watched the snowflakes fall down. Certainly the company was not talking to me. Imagine, however, if you sent out a post card or pamphlet that really was speaking to people in a specific region. Your campaign could roll out, using the same postcard, as region by region summer or winter rolls in. The effort to customize your messaging seldom goes unnoticed by recipients. Let’s face it – people like to think you are really talking to them.
3. Going to a trade show? Think seasonally about your give-aways
The key to a good trade show give-away is to give visitors to your booth something that they can actually use. That way they will see your company name on a regular basis and are more likely to remember you when they need the kind of product or service you offer. Even if it has nothing specifically to do with your business, why not think seasonally? If you are going to a summer show, consider handing out beach towels. Going to a winter show? Maybe a fleece blanket with your company logo could work. Think about what people might want to use as soon as they get home from the show and see if there is a give-away idea buried in there.
4. Be seasonally Pinteresting
Are you using Pinterest as part of your marketing effort? If there are ways to tie your product to different seasonal ideas, don’t be shy about creating boards specifically for those purposes. This requires some thought. If your company makes athletic products you probably won’t make a lot of headway with a July 4th cupcakes board. The more relevant and clever you can be with your board creation, the better it will work.
5. Blog with the times
Finally, it never hurts to write blog posts that are relevant to the time of year, although you don’t want to run the risk of hammering your readers’ over the head with the fact that any particular time of year is your best selling time. A lot of this depends on how well you know your customers. Do they tend to reside in a specific region? What is going on in that region at any given point during the year? Writing your blog posts imagining those people will help you decide how you can make your blog content seasonally relevant for your readers.
These are just a few ideas for using the seasons as inspiration for your marketing efforts. Have you tried any of these kinds of tactics in the past? Perhaps you used the time of year in a different way. Let us know in the comments!
Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/joiseyshowaa/2775011897/ via Creative Commons