Understanding annual cycles is a way of life for most marketing teams.
You know that the demand for certain products or services fluctuates depending on what time of year it is.
Holidays can interfere with sales, or they can boost them. Your target audience may temporarily forget you during certain seasons, such as winter or summer.
So, how can you overcome such seasonal fluctuations when it comes to your digital marketing strategy?
The answer is to incorporate more seasonal marketing into the mix.
Holidays and seasons are massive opportunities for you to generate more leads, grow your email list, increase conversions, and improve sales.
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What is Seasonal Marketing?
Seasonal marketing is a specialized strategy that focuses on seasonal and holiday themes to market and promote products or services.
It is a voluntary adjustment to your normal marketing efforts to encompass special elements over the short term.
These temporary efforts include the themes, colors, figures, tales, and more of particular holidays or relate to a specific season.
In other words, with seasonal marketing, you are leveraging already established holidays and seasons to your advantage.
For example, in the US, popular seasonal peak events include:
- Valentine’s Day
- Saint Patrick’s Day
- Black Friday/Cyber Monday
- New Year’s Eve
As an example, check out this Starbucks Christmas campaign:
Keep in mind that your seasonal marketing doesn’t need to involve only holidays but can also focus on individual seasons.
Devise promotions to run in winter, spring, summer, and fall if beneficial to your particular business.
You don’t have to stop there either. Depending on what you offer, you may want to include seasonal events such as back-to-school in your plan.
Why Apply Seasonal Marketing to Your Business?
Applying seasonal marketing to your business is advantageous for a number of reasons.
Increase promotion opportunities
Seasonal marketing allows you to maximize the possibilities for promoting your products or services throughout the year.
Every season or holiday presents a new opportunity and can benefit your general marketing strategy.
Boost the team’s creativity
Seasonal marketing can provide a way to enhance your creativity and keep your marketing fresh.
Without an influx of new opportunities, marketing plans can become stagnant, even predictable.
Since marketing is not only considered strategic but also a creative endeavor, seasonal marketing provides a chance to show both.
Better reach customers
Seasonal updates to your strategy provide you with a way to stay where your customers are during these times.
In turn, these customers get excited about the specials your offer and the chance to save, converting them into loyal followers that also refer you to others.
Other advantages of creating and implementing a seasonal marketing plan include:
- Helps boost your product sales and revenue.
- Attracts both new and existing customers.
- Leads to more referrals.
- Drives higher demand.
- Emotionally connects with customers.
- Creates new opportunities to make special promotions.
How to Build a Seasonal Marketing Plan
While businesses are unique, how you build a seasonal marketing plan will have some similarities.
Before getting started, however, make sure you understand your audience and buyer personas.
Also, understand your market niche, the demand for your product or service, and the messaging you want to convey.
From there, consider incorporating the following nine steps to build your seasonal marketing plan.
1. Include Your Own Creative Touch
Take a close look at the products or services you currently offer and get creative. Consider ways to add fun in how you market them.
Which ones can spruce up with seasonal flair? How can you angle the way you market something to complement a particular time of year or popular holiday?
If you sell products that will make a great gift for moms on Mother’s Day, create a campaign around those products with a theme on celebrating mothers.
If a book you sell can in some way be promoted as the perfect graduation gift, promote it that way during the graduation season.
Think outside the box and come up with creative ways to promote your products or services at different times of the year.
2. Repeat Past Successful Marketing Campaigns
Review past successful seasonal campaigns and repeat them. You may benefit from leaving them the same or making minor or major tweaks as you see fit.
There are some brands today that run the exact same promotion during certain seasons every year. As a result, consumers begin to expect these seasonal promotions, excitedly wait for them, and pounce when given the chance.
The benefits of using such past successful promotions include increased brand loyalty and an increase in new customers showing interest in the offer.
Black Friday is a great example of an opportunity to repeat a successful seasonal marketing campaign, one that is recognizable to customers and will have them anticipating and actively seeking the offers you provide.
3. Match your Social Media Content with your Seasonal Marketing Strategy
Understandably, your social media content will be crucial to a successful seasonal marketing plan.
Whatever you promote on your website, send to your email list, mention in your blog, or include on other channels, reflect the same approach in your social media.
Include giveaways, ask for user-generated content, or encourage engagement by offering quizzes, polls, or other interactive content.
If done successfully, you can expect increased traffic to your website, a higher number of new subscribers to your email list, improved engagement with customers, a boost in brand awareness, and overall excitement around your seasonal promotions.
4. Encourage User-Generated Content
User-generated content is a valuable marketing tool, especially on social media.
As part of your seasonal marketing strategy, encourage your followers to create seasonal content for you.
Offer incentives to your audience for taking photos with your product or creating a social media post that in some way positively features your brand.
Suggest they use specific custom hashtags and also tag your brand, so you are quickly made aware of the post’s presence.
Repost the content, with permission, and let it become an exciting part of your marketing campaign.
5. Build a Seasonal Email List
Focus on building a seasonal email list.
You are constantly building your email list, and you can use this to your advantage when it comes to specialized seasonal email lists.
Create opt-in opportunities relevant to each season or holiday, then tag and segment the new sign-ups by interests, seasons, and holidays.
These opt-ins may include access to sneak previews, exclusive deals, early-bird discounts, or anything else you think will draw attention and get them to sign-up.
You will then have a seasonal email list that you can retarget with offers and content relevant to a particular season.
For example, use a seasonal email list to send out Black Friday emails before the day arrives and build anticipation and excitement. As a result, your sales are sure to rise.
6. Create and Promote a Seasonal Products Page
Don’t make visitors to your website hunt for your products are services ideal for a particular season or holiday.
Instead, combine all products relevant to the season on a separate page.
Doing this can also make it easier to promote seasonal products on social media, your website, and blog. Share posts and maybe even create a pop-up for your site.
Guide your visitors to a curated selection of products relevant to the season, and simplify their gift-buying process.
7. Create Excitement with a Countdown Timer Pop-Up on Your Website
Get customers counting down the days until your next seasonal promotion or event, and watch as anticipation and excitement take over.
Before a seasonal sale, promote it across your website by including a countdown timer pop-up on each page.
These timers draw attention and trigger emotions in visitors, increasing the chances that they will return to your site.
You may even want to include in the pop-up a way for customers to reserve a spot or add the product to their cart on the site to return to later.
8. Reinforce Social Proof with Seasonally-Related Testimonials
Customer testimonials are social proof and, as such, can drive your sales higher.
Consumers today refuse to be sold to in marketing content and instead look to recommendations by real people.
During the different seasons, find customer testimonials that are geared toward seasonally-related purchases and themes. Add these to your product pages for each particular season.
Season-related testimonials are created by satisfied customers who purchased one of your products and share how that product or experience made a difference during the season.
Consumers looking for a similar experience will see this and be more likely to make a purchase right away.
9. Develop Seasonal Competitions or Games
Seasons mark a change, and holidays do as well, so celebrate these by providing your audience with a seasonal game to enjoy.
Doing so can cause you to stand out from the competition and take the pressure off of being serious and overly focused on sales.
Get creative and find ways to turn seasonal events into games and competitions for your audience.
Think online Easter egg hunt with prizes for each find. Make one prize a voucher or discount code, and let the winner know that if they use it within so many days, they will be entered in the contest to win something bigger.
You can also create interactive content, such as a quiz that requires answers that are only found on your site somewhere.
The benefit of such games and competitions is that they can increase interaction with your brand, and this can lead to higher sales as well as affect your SEO, boosting you up in organic search results.
Adding a seasonal marketing plan to your strategy can lead to higher sales, customer engagement, and brand awareness throughout the year.
Use it to find ways to customize your messaging, create new offers, develop seasonal incentives, and add some fun to your customers’ day with seasonal games and user-generated content opportunities.
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