No matter what industry you’re in, business volume tends to change with the seasons. Understanding how your business changes with each seasons is an important skill you can apply to your marketing strategy. Whether you own a ski shop in the Rocky Mountains or a water sports rental business on Lake Tahoe, every seasonal business experiences the waning of customers during the dreaded off season.
The feast and famine scenario may seem like the only two options you can have for your business, but with a few changes to your marketing strategy you can improve revenue and customer interaction during the dreaded off-season. Here are six seasonal marketing tips to help you get started:
Tip 1: Grow your customer list as much as possible
While you’re in the middle of your on-season, be sure to take the opportunity to capture leads to grow your database. Have people sign up for your marketing email newsletter and encourage customers to follow your social media pages. That way when the dreaded offseason starts you’ll have an active group of individuals who have interacted with your business in the past to reach out to through social promotions and email marketing campaigns.
Tip 2: Encourage customer reviews for your business
As your season winds down encourage your customers to leave nostalgia-inducing reviews about your business. This will allow for fresh reviews for customers to find and read during the off-season keeping you top of mind. You can use these same stories in your off-season marketing efforts to help drive additional anticipation for the upcoming season.
Which leads us nicely to our next tip…
Tip 3: Continue creating remarkable content even during the offseason
Think about how the interaction between your service changes during the offseason and write great content that resonates with your customers during this time. For example, if you are a ski shop you may consider writing content about properly storing or maintaining their equipment during the off season. This useful information will help gain loyal customers - not only are you providing them with the goods that they need you are also providing them with great information and tips relevant to them.
Tip 4: Whole-year marketing strategy
Even though you may not be open during your off season, it does not mean your marketing should stop. Far from it - online marketing for small business should never stop!
Use social media platforms to promote your customer reviews, advertise your business offers, link to the content you’re writing, and engage your audience. Social media is a great tool where your customers can share memories. Take advantage of hashtag campaigns where it makes sense. The sky’s the limit!
And don’t forget adding email marketing! A great mix for your offseason email communication is to share something highly-relevant to your audience with your own content mixed in. This increases the likelihood that your customers will interact with your brand while also providing your customers useful information to them. Just be sure you are being respectful of your email lists and use this communication sparingly for high-value content only.
Tip 5: Generate hype
Just because you can’t paddle board in the winter doesn’t mean that you can’t create hype around this activity during the winter! Far from it: done correctly this is one of your most powerful tools. On the coldest day of the winter who isn’t thinking of warmer days spent outdoors? You can capitalize on this with brand promotions and even special sales.
Tip 6: Focus on local
In small towns the local community is very important and often overlooked for the flashier tourist customers. But during your off season these local customers are the most important ones. Brainstorm ways to appeal directly to them during the off season. Maybe you’re experiencing uncommon weather during the off months that you can capitalize on. Maybe you can run a contest offering a free rental during your off season. Whatever the idea, engaging with the local community correctly is extremely important.
What wins has your business experienced during the off season? Share with us in the comments!