It is impossible to underestimate the power of a good seasonal marketing campaign. In fact, for some businesses, seasonal marketing efforts make up most of their yearly turnover. Fluctuation of sales by time of year is no great news to most retailers as not all products are enjoyed the same all year round. We usually see an uptick across the board over the holidays, and gym memberships rocket up just after for example.
Seasonal marketing is about identifying key points in the year for your products and altering your normal marketing efforts to take advantage of the seasonality of demand. Many retail outlets will have specific ads they run at Christmas time and gyms will push their deals at the start of the year (knowing most of those resolutions will fail).
So give people a reason to spend with you during these seasonal swings. They don’t need a reason to buy those turkeys and Thanksgiving and Christmas, they are going to get them no matter what; it’s getting them pointed at You that will be the focus of the remainder of this article
The first step to planning a seasonal marketing campaign is to work out what season is going to be most profitable to target. Do we look at the holiday season, the back-to-school/college surge, Valentines’ day, or even on certain sporting events? These all have potential, but which one suits your product the best?
You can use speculation and guesswork, “Maybe my product will make a great Christmas present.” But a more scientific way to go about this is to look at your website traffic for the previous year and see when the spikes in clicks are. When are people spending the most time on your site and what products are they buying? These are strong clues to point you to where your efforts should be aimed.
Similar to the question of when, is the question of what. You might offer a range of products, some of which are more aligned with certain seasons than others.
Once you know what holiday is for you and what the most appropriate products are for that holiday it’s time to work out how to get your message out there. Create your content strategy by asking a few basic questions:
What type of content is going to keep my audience engaged?
Around the holidays there is a huge upswing in marketing spend and the media sphere becomes more saturated. You want to come up with something a little creative that stands out from the competition. Video is a great way to do that as people are 10 times more likely to share and engage with video than other content.
If your budget doesn’t extend to producing dedicated video ads for each season then an affordable way to do this is to cut some product shots with some carefully curated royalty free video to give some seasonal flavor.
When do I publish my content?
Pushing out content on the fly and in a rush during an important selling period is obviously not the best way to go about things. It is important to come up with a complete calendar for your content strategy so that you can avoid producing off-the-cuff, ineffective content.
Most social media platforms have the capability to schedule posts so use these functions to their fullest and focus your attention more on operations and overall strategy. Be sure also to leave yourself time ahead of the season to generate some buzz about your product, run A/B tests, and establish a schedule for your email marketing.
Giving people a reason to shop is never easier than around the holidays but you still need to offer some value. Most retailers do this in the form of sales and some begin as early as in order to cash in on this all-important fourth quarter which can account for 30% – 40% of annual sales.
The holiday season is the season for giving so consider a giveaway of one of your products, a holiday discount or a voucher giveaway to get people through the season.
I hope this article has been useful to you and has shed a little light on seasonal marketing strategy. The key takeaway here is: Plan early to deliver value to customers through appropriate marketing efforts.