Quick Overview/Revisit of Seasonal Marketing
Each season, event, and holiday presents a different opportunity for businesses to capitalize. Seasonality affects every industry differently, and often, B2Bs and B2Cs experience surges and lulls at opposite times. Here are fall marketing ideas, strategies depending on your annual business cycle, and tips for planning ahead.
Marketing Focus for Fall – Planning Ahead
Summer is done, the days are getting shorter, and sunshine is a little more elusive. Kids are going back to school and businesses are putting their noses back to the proverbial grindstone.
If you’re in retail, then you’re likely looking toward your busiest season of the year. This is the time to get your holiday sales/promotions planned. Here’s a shortlist of holidays coming up:
- Back to School
- Labor Day
- Rosh Hashana
- Yom Kippur
- Sports – Football, Soccer, Basketball…
- Black Friday
- Cyber Monday
- New Year
If you’re working with an agency, here’s a checklist of items to talk through with your account manager for fall marketing campaigns:
- Schedule of sales and promotions
- How long each sale will run
- Discount and/or coupon codes
- Language for website
- Creative/images for website
- Landing Pages
- Ads – language for ads
- Ads – creative for ads
- Budget for ads
Your digital marketing agency can get everything created and scheduled to run so when the holidays hit you can focus on your business.
If Fall is Your Peak Season
Your customer base is fired up and ready to buy: this means it’s the peak time for lead generation tactics, lead nurturing, customer engagement, and customer feedback.
Our favorite method of lead generation is paid search; we prefer Google Ads and Facebook/Instagram, which are the platforms likely to hit the most users. With a killer PPC campaign, you can capture a huge percentage of those leads at the top of the funnel. We recommend pairing your campaigns with complementary landing pages designed to convert users.
It’s equally important to have your site optimized for SEO on a consistent basis (Google changes constantly), your pages and forms set up to convert easily, excellent website user experience, and strong content. These are time-consuming endeavors and should ideally be worked on year-round, and your off-season is a great time to get your ducks in a row. I’ll talk more about this later!
This means engagement for your current and past customer base, and lead nurturing. One of the highest-impact tactics with the least amount of ongoing effort is email marketing.
Hopefully, you have a CRM or a process for saving customer information after they purchase or show interest. If you have a list of email addresses, you’re ready to get started with a killer email marketing campaign. The four main pieces are the opt-in process, automation, segmentation, and content development. Hubspot has a good article for those just starting out.
Social media is another excellent place to engage with your customers. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc., offer opportunities for direct communication, content sharing, and brand development – all key components to engaging your user base.
Customer Feedback – Get Those Reviews, Baby
The best time to ask for and receive positive and useful reviews is following a purchase or use of service. If you face your customers regularly, we recommend asking them directly, in person or over the phone, for a review. If you don’t interact with your customers/clients face-to-face, then email is probably the next best approach. When possible, make the email personal. If you are doing 100 transactions each day, you may need to auto-generate a review request email from your email marketing platform. It’s still important to be as specific and personal as possible by using the customer’s name and the product/service they purchased.
We have a recent and much more comprehensive blog post on this exact topic, written by an amazing, fascinating author (I wrote it). The gist is that in 2020 you HAVE to have reviews, they need to be mostly positive, and it’s going to take an active and consistent effort on your part. The good news is that it’s completely doable and it will absolutely pay off.
Taking advantage of NON-peak season – if Fall is your slow season
If business tends to slow down in the fall, your digital marketing tactics should shift accordingly but NOT stop. Your customer base is still out there, and they’re in a different phase of the sales cycle than they were in your busy season. The “transactional” phase of the customer buying cycle is slow, but the rest of the cycles – navigational and informational – is full of opportunity.
Build Amazing Content
Yep, it’s still all about the content. Ideally, you’re working with your SEO team to write content throughout every season, and your slower season is a great time to ramp it up even further.
Your customer base is seeking information, planning ahead, and researching companies. Capitalize on this researching phase by creating content that answers common questions, provide useful information, and shows off your expertise in the field. Our blog has some tips on creating content for each section of the sales funnel.
Customer Appreciation, Reengagement, & Branding
Your ongoing SEO and content development will help with branding by putting you at the top of Google search results. You can use that same content in your email marketing newsletters to stay in touch with warm leads and potentially stir up some repeat business. This is another great time to follow up on review requests.
Mapping out a year of digital marketing strategies isn’t easy or quick. We happen to love it.
If you have any questions on how to create a digital marketing plan for your busy and slower seasons, please get in touch with us! Or download our digital marketing checklist to see how your marketing strategy stacks up!