Seasons come and go but advertising is forever. Is your business making the most of your marketing in the off months?
Call it the cycle of life – or, more accurately, the cycle of sales – but try as we might, some months are just better than others. Whether your team excels in the summer or capitalizes on the winter holidays, each organization is prone to ebb and flow with the unique needs of their customer base, whatever that base may be.
The trick is not to let the ebbs get to you.
With the right ad strategies in place, your business will still be able to make headway on your goals, on-season or not. Here’s what business owners need to know about marketing in the off months:
Know Your Flow
No two businesses are exactly alike. As such, neither are their off-seasons.
While some organizations (think swimwear lines, ski resorts, educational software, etc.) can draw relatively clear distinctions between the good times and the bad, not every business experiences seasonality the same way. For many B2B companies, for example, the first few months of a new year make re-evaluation and goal setting a priority, which can often lead to high conversions. However, some business owners also trend towards money consciousness within the same time frame, which could have the opposite effect.
How your business fairs in these months, therefore, depends entirely upon the specifics of your team, product, services, and customers.
All this to say, understanding how to market your business in the off months first requires that you know when those months are and why they occur. Before you hit the ground running with an advertising plan, meet with your marketing and sales teams to analyze the ups and downs of your business cycle. This information will be key to forming your off-month strategies.
Prepare or Beware
Once you’ve identified when your business’s off months are, the planning can officially begin. And lots of it.
Even more so than in your busy season, marketing outside of your peak season requires astute attention to detail. Because your business is already inclined to be on the defensive, enacting a meaningful marketing plan will take some serious preparation, likely months in advance.
Whether it comes in the form of a specific campaign or simply a content calendar, you’ll want to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch to get the most out of your efforts. Employing the use of organizational software, clear branding, and the expertise of specialists will be essential.
What works in the best of times may not work in the worst. Some game-changing marketing strategies to try in your off months include:
- Focus on Upselling and Cross-Selling: Remarketing to existing clients and customers is a great way to keep up the pace no matter what season you’re in. Often, marketing to current clientele is less expensive than trying to increase new leads or purchases, which can be especially useful when your team is working with smaller margins. What’s more, taking the time to nurture existing relationships is part of what turns customers from one-time-buyers to long-time fans who help your business sustain lasting growth.
- Ask for Referrals: Similarly, your current customers just so happen to be your best advertisements as well. When new leads or purchases are slow, consider reaching out to loyal clients to refer a friend. Programs that offer deals or discounts to those who get others to hop on board are an easy way to stoke sales without breaking the bank.
- Seek Out Third-Party Validation: The off-season is a great time to focus on beefing up ratings and reviews. Like it or not, folks really do look to others to validate the quality of your business before they buy. Guaranteeing that stellar reviews and high-value rankings are visible might just be the extra push your potential customers need.
- Differentiate Your Offerings: It’s easier said than done, true, but increasing variety in your business’s offerings could lessen the blow of dwindling off-month sales. Whether it’s a new product or simply an old product sold differently, we encourage you to continuously examine the versatility of your offerings.
- Stay In Touch: While it might be tempting to lay low when business isn’t booming, EMPIST is here to say: don’t. Staying active on social media and keeping up with email flows is crucial to staying top-of-mind for any brand, bad month or not.
- Make Necessary Updates: Website getting less traffic? Are social views a bit down? A lull might be just the opportunity you need to handle some much-needed updates. Keeping your website, social pages, and other facets of your digital presence current is crucial for sales. Prepare for the peak season by updating them beforehand.
- Trust the Experts: Marketing may not be an exact science, but it is a skill. If your business’s internal team is struggling to push through tough times, it might be within your best interests to outsource marketing services. In whole or in part, outsourced marketing teams can bring a fresh new perspective to lagging performance.
Don’t Get Cynical, Think Digital
No business is exempt from seasonality in sales, but your business’s off months don’t have to be inevitable, either.
EMPIST offers innovative digital marketing services built to help your business not just survive, but thrive in the off-season. From web design and development to digital marketing services, our team is here to help you improve upon your marketing strategies all year round. Featured services include branding, digital advertising, social media management, email marketing, and more. To learn more about EMPIST’s digital marketing services, visit us online here. To get in touch with a member of our team, contact us online right now.