Each season provides opportunities to promote your business in different ways. Here are four ways to use seasonality in your marketing.
1. Plan ahead.
“Our busiest time of year is the lead up to Christmas,” explains Dr Frank Farrelly of Darlinghurst Dental. “There is the social aspect of everyone trying to get finished up before the end of the year. There is the prospect of getting things fixed and checked before the close of dental practices and labs over the holiday period and also the expiration of many health fund benefits prior to [the] end of year.”
Dr Farrelly notes that January is also busy, as is Easter and the school holidays.
As a first step, review your trading history and identify the seasonal peak periods for your business (it helps to translate this into a line graph so you can follow peaks and troughs). Then work these into your marketing strategy.
A few tips include:
- Invest more in AdWords in the lead up to periods of high demand to keep your brand visible
- Implement a targeted social media advertising strategy and plan how to create your content
- Create content in advance, or have a plan on how to do this and assign the responsibility to someone.
Whatever size your marketing budget, planning ahead should help you leverage peak demand periods to their full potential.
2. Share seasonal information and inspiration.
“Seasons have a major impact on floristry,” says Newcastle-based event florist Rach Cullen of Botanica Bird. “We have to know when flowers are in and out of season, so we can inform our clients what they can and can’t have!”
“Trends in fashion, interior design and art heavily influence floristry,” she adds. “Pantone Colour of the Year definitely guides a florist’s colour choice. It’s all about keeping it modern and fresh.”
Whatever the nature of your business, use your industry knowledge to share information and inspiration with your customers. Some examples include:
- A food-based business could write recipe blogs based on the seasonal produce they have in-store
- A fashion, design, floral or beauty business could interpret trends for their customers through merchandising and in-store displays. This can be supported by images and content on social media.
- A bottle shop, wine supplier or wine-focused restaurant could host wine-matching workshops to educate customers on how to choose and match wines with seasonal food.
3. Look at ways to upsell or package your services.
“Easter and Christmas are among the business’s busiest periods,” says Kristy of Brisbane-based InForm Building Group. “These two holidays seem to be major deadlines for builders as clients want to be in their new home (or renovated home) in time for the holidays. With the construction industry closing down for close to a month over January, there is always a big push to get things finished before the end of the year.”
Consider popular holidays, celebrations or events that occur across the year – like Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, New Year, back to school, the beginning of sporting seasons etc. – and how you can package your services in response to them.
This could involve bundling together complementary or related services or products to upsell. Some examples include:
- A hairdressing salon may offer a Mother’s Day package that includes add-on services like a hair treatment or head massage, A Barbershop could include a beard trim in a Father’s Day package
- In the lead up to the Christmas/New Year party period, a dentist could offer discounted ‘party smile’ whitening treatments alongside a standard check-up and clean
- A deli could put together packed and ready-to-go picnic baskets for Valentine’s Day.
4. Run promotions during seasonal off-peaks.
Just as you would leverage busy seasonal peaks, the same goes for understanding your off-peak periods and how to drive sales when demand is low.
This may involve seasonal specials, offering incentives such as freebies or add-on services, discounts or just upping your marketing spend.
Some examples include:
- A wedding venue, that is quieter in winter or during the early part of the week, might offer discounted rates for customers who get married during these off-peak periods.
- Accountants are often busy in the lead up to the end of and following the conclusion of the financial year. In the quieter months, they could consider offering quick turnaround times or a free introductory consultation.
- A personal trainer whose business gets quieter in the colder months may create a winter special or a multi-session pass where the more sessions purchased, the lower the price per class.
Identifying the seasonal patterns of your business can help you better target and tailor your marketing.