3 Ways Seasonal Businesses Can Stay Connected with Customers Throughout the Year
It’s November, so naturally the focus for many businesses is holiday shopping. And for good reason. In many industries, especially retail, the holiday season means big business and can account for as much as 30 percent of annual sales (National Retail Federation). This flurry of activity means you as marketers are likely ramping up your game in November and December with added social media posts, giveaways and accompanying hashtags, and events to create yuletide cheer (and, well, sales).
But the holiday shopping months of October, November and December are not the only seasons that impact businesses. There are plenty of businesses that have seasonal peaks and valleys throughout the year. Swim lessons, tourism and summer gear retailers see most of their interest and sales in warm weather months. Back-to-school is a huge opportunity for products geared towards kids and busy parents. And seasonal buying impacts business-to-business providers as well, such as insurance providers, tax accountants and more.
So this got us thinking: what are some of our top strategies for seasonal businesses – no matter their buying season or industry – that you can use to connect with customers throughout the year?
Plan, plan, plan.
Savvy and resourceful PR and marketing pros know the value of proactive versus reactive marketing. Think ahead, and use slower months of the year to study the customer journey, analyze sales and social media reports, and survey your key stakeholders. This will help you know how to plan content throughout the year to meet customers where they are and keep your company top of mind, even when they are not making active purchases.
Remember all those great reviews and social media posts your company got from customers during the busy season? Leverage this content during the slower months of the year on your owned website, blog and/or social channels. Collecting and repurposing everything from photos of customers via Instagram to glowing Yelp reviews to earned media articles quoting your CEO is a smart way to keep the momentum going when the seasonal rush comes to an end.
Think beyond the product.
There are more stories to tell about your business than just the product or service you offer. Does your CEO have an inspiring background or reason for starting the business? Do you have a new innovation to announce, or are you breaking ground on a new facility? Are your team members involved in philanthropic activities, giving back to the community? All these stories about your company and the people behind it can be shared in a variety of ways – from blog posts, social media or even pitching traditional media – and sharing them will endear customers to your company and products.
We love working with clients to help them use the PESO (paid, earned, shared and owned) model to capitalize on their customers’ seasonal buying habits and maintain marketing momentum throughout the year. And when you learn how to crush this simple and effective model, you’ll master the art of executing a year-round marketing strategy and continually find reasons to reach and connect with customers no matter the season.
Business ebbs and flows—we know this is inevitable. One of the keys to successful marketing is consistency, particularly during the slower periods. Interested in having a conversation about finding creative ways to reach your customers throughout the year? Approach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.