Winter is front-loaded with holidays so you may find yourself asking what the heck to do with your marketing campaigns during the months after December. There aren’t any major national commercialized holidays until Valentine’s day, and that doesn’t easily lend itself to every industry as a sales pitch.
For us living in the PNW, we’re used to winters that are dark, cold, and dreary, and we are honestly just trying to do our best to survive until spring. For those of you living somewhere further south…well bully for you!
In general, we’d suggest not leaning on the whole “New Year, New Me” resolution approach—it’s so 2008. Besides, most people drop their resolution before the end of January, so marketing tied to New Year’s resolutions isn’t going to be inspiring or the best way to create loyal customers.
Cold Weather Marketing Ideas (for products): Lean In or Lean Out
There are two things to do with the dead winter months of January and February: lean into the remaining time on our winter clock—how can the cold, snow, and often homebody nature of this time appeal to your audience and help bolster your brand’s products or services?
Or you can lean out—how can we avoid the drab and melancholic stretch before the spring vibes arrive, either literally or figuratively? Find ways to lessen cabin fever, enhance spaces, or propose things one can work on and look forward to.
As with all great marketing, you need to invoke an emotional response in your audience with your copy and imagery. Play to your users’ sense of adventure and excitement to get them outside.
Your ability to lean in or out with your winter marketing campaigns vastly depends on the nature of your products or services. We’ll touch on a couple of specific industries, but this certainly won’t be an exhaustive list.
Leaning In: Embrace the Winter Marketing Ideas
Let’s winter wonderland it up! First, ask yourself, to enjoy your products do customers actually need to be outdoors or can they enjoy it from the comfort of their homes (most likely their couch)?
Capitalize on people’s hunger for adventure and drive them outside! For some, winter means skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, or tubing, but it’s all subjective. What kinda unique winter things are specific to your audience? Play off of their sense of place and community.
Maybe your city does a Polar Bear Plunge and you can outfit people with the most amazing socks to warm their (nearly) frostbitten toes up afterward. Or help them build up some liquid courage to take the plunge for the first time this year with your super tasty local whiskey.
Or you can help them craft a cozy home environment that makes them happy they have an excuse to say inside for days on end. How can your products or services take the sting out of the bitter cold? I personally love getting snowed in because it means lots of reading, movie binging, baking and board games in my house. How can your company enhance that time with its products or services?
Creativity is key here. Don’t expect your best ideas to come pouring out of you in 10 minutes the first time you sit at your computer to work on them. Brainstorm, pick your coworker’s brains and keep writing down bad ideas until you get to the good ones.
Leaning Out: Escaping the Cold in Any Way Possible
Dreaming of green and the sun on our faces. Let’s just all agree that we hate to be wet and cold and would rather look forward to warmer times ahead.
This is easy for travel businesses like airlines and vast rental property businesses that have country-wide—if not international—selections. But what if you run an Inn on the coast? You’ll need to do both: focus on the unique charms that winter brings to your place; and push hard for bookings when the weather turns.
Prep your Sales Pipeline
If you’re selling a service rather than a product, sometimes your customers need help knowing when it’s the right time to start a conversation around employing you (this concept applies to all seasons BTW). Should they wait until they’re ready to sign a contract, or should they start a conversation a couple of months before you’d really begin ‘the work’?
Ever Wonder Why Swimsuits Come out for Sale in January?
Your winter marketing campaigns should really be about the next season.
One of the places we see this most often is with our home-remodeling and construction partners. This type of work has a long lead time, both to get a contract signed and project in the queue, and then to actually complete that work. But, especially in today’s immediate gratification world, most clients don’t know this. In May they finally hire someone to build their dream outside kitchen for that coming summer and are pissed to find out that contractors are not magicians.
To best serve your customers and your business, you should sell projects opposite to the current season. In the winter you need to be talking about starting projects that customers are going to want to be completed for them to use in the coming summer. Summer is the time to start talking about your kitchen remodel for the next holiday season, not fall.
The same can be said for landscaping businesses. You don’t want to be turning down customers in June because they want a backyard oasis ready in July, and they didn’t realize how long that project might take.
Use your ad copy and blog content to help inform potential customers what projects they should be starting right now, to have them ready when they want to enjoy them. Help them think ahead so you aren’t trying to make impossible dreams come true, which usually leads to frustration on your end and disappointment on the other.
Adjust your Paid Ad Winter Marketing Campaigns Accordingly
Knowing the seasonality to your particular industry is essential so you can adjust your paid ads strategy to make the most of your budget. You might need to focus on users in a different part of the sales funnel during the winter or a specific geographic area where the climate isn’t a factor that turns users off what you have to offer.
Let’s say you’re recruiting students for a university, during the winter you’re both trying to convert returning users to submit for your winter application deadlines and generate interest for the biggest enrollment period, the coming fall. These are two totally different audiences that should be targeted with different ad copy and calls to action.
Feeling Lost in a Blizzard of Marketing Recommendations?
Have no fear. Intuitive can help guide you out of the storm! Check out our Digital Marketing 101 to help you make sure you’ve got all your basics covered. Or schedule a call with us to chat about your unique digital marketing challenges.