Product sales ebb and flow by season, gaining more interest or losing steam according to the calendar. And with the right seasonal marketing tools in your pocket, you can best leverage these annual trends to help raise awareness, engage more customers, and boost your bottom line. This guide to seasonal marketing is designed to help you identify the seasons that help your business and provide tips on how to fine-tune your marketing throughout the year.
Seasonal marketing involves building marketing strategy, promotions, sales, and other activities around a certain time of the year.
In this context, “season” can mean a few things. First and most obviously, it could refer to one of the four seasons. Spring, summer, fall, and winter each bring sales spikes and slumps. Shovel sales slump in the summer, while rakes bump up in the fall, for example.
It could also refer to a holiday season, like Halloween or Valentine’s Day, or a shopping season like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s no coincidence that many online and brick-and-mortar retailers highlight seasonal items around the same time to capture this web and foot traffic.
Finally, “season” could refer to a particular industry or business’s sales patterns. While many businesses will experience busy periods within expected seasons, certain industries or even specific businesses may experience unique peaks and valleys year after year.
Preparing a seasonal marketing campaign can help you meet sales goals year-round. The following are some of the key benefits of optimizing for seasonal marketing.
Busy season — regardless of when that might be for your business — means more shoppers in your stores and on your website. It’s a golden opportunity to woo new customers ready to buy something. Leverage these extra eyes to let customers know who you are and what you bring to the table.
Seasonal marketing can also associate your brand with a particular season, boosting brand awareness. These could be special products only sold for a limited time each year, or a service that’s higher in demand at a certain period.
The iconic PSL season, when Starbucks brings back pumpkin spice lattes for fall, is a great use of brand awareness tied into seasonal marketing. While many retailers now offer pumpkin-scented and flavored items — from the expected to the downright silly — Starbucks and its iconic drinks go hand in hand.
Customers have come to expect certain products with the seasons — chocolate and teddy bears during Valentine’s Day, hot dogs and mustard during the 4th of July weekend, warm coats as the weather turns, etc. As a result, you can generally expect to move more volume during peak seasonal marketing times. With the right marketing support behind these products, you can increase these sales even more.
Naturally, business ebbs and flows during the year. Knowing when it’s natural for your business to slow down can help you properly plan for weathering slow periods. After all, not as many people buy bathing suits in December as they do in July. But with sales metrics and similar statistics in hand, you can see when to plan for a sales bump and when you can expect a slower season.
Out-of-the-box ideas can help you boost numbers during an off-season sales slump. Consider your business's dependence on the season, whether you sell snow blowers or offer lawn mowing services. What can you do to boost sales when fewer people are interested in what you have to offer? This creative thinking can help you come up with a new but related product or service, or you can find a new spin on your product that makes it more useful during an off-season.
Whether in search of gift ideas or in need of holiday inspiration, your potential customers are looking for content that can steer them in the right direction. The right winter holiday how-to or pictures of perfect back-to-school snacks can help increase the chances that viewers and visitors share your content. Each share brings awareness to folks who didn’t know about your business before.
Ready to implement a seasonal marketing strategy? These tips will have you well on your way to winning customers and increasing your bottom line.
Understanding your audience inside and out can unlock new opportunities for marketing all year round. Maybe there are specific ways your audience uses your products during the typical season, or they might have different or creative uses for your product out of season.
Let’s take swimwear as an example. You can safely assume that swimsuit sales will rise before and during the summer months, but knowing your customers’ habits can open up other opportunities to increase sales. Perhaps your audience vacations in warm destinations during the winter holiday break, or many of your customers live in climates where swimming outdoors year-round is more likely. As a result, you may want to consider a “swimwear in December” campaign alongside your typical seasonal marketing activities in June.
Make seasonal products the star of the show. Decide which items should be featured front and center during a particular season, and craft your marketing strategy around those items. This could be as simple as putting rose bouquets on your floral shop’s home page around Valentine’s Day, or it could be as in-depth as a guide to coffee makers during National Coffee Month in August.
One of the goals of seasonal marketing is to make straightforward connections between your company, the products you offer, and a particular time on the calendar. To that end, you’ll want to make sure your messaging doesn’t veer off-course. Take the time to carefully plan what you want to say and how you plan to schedule it, whether that’s through a social media campaign, an email marketing blast, or new website content. Make sure you use the same imagery throughout to help enforce visual consistency, too.
More eyes on you during a particular marketing season means more customers ready with their wallets. And in many cases, customers expect sales and other good deals when products are hot in a particular marketing season. Offer what customers want! Create great deals, sales, and specials around your busiest seasons to capture more business.
When your seasonal marketing campaign comes to an end, it’s important to perform a post-mortem to see how the campaign performed — and how your sales shifted. Using website metrics, social media analytics, and sales data, take a look at what worked and what could use reworking for the next season. And don’t discount any unusual movements or surprises, either. If sales of a particular product unexpectedly rose, you may be onto something new for future marketing campaigns.
With a few creative ideas in mind, you all need the right tools to help you make it happen. Namecheap’s suite of intuitive, easy-to-use website and graphics tools can bring your ideas to life. Namecheap Site Maker uses drag-and-drop elements that allow you to make website content changes in minutes, while Stencil by Namecheap helps anyone design eye-catching and memorable graphics for seasonal marketing campaigns. Get started today by creating an account for free.