The dreaded offseason is a reality for many businesses. From ice cream shops to ski resorts, there comes a time each year when seasonal businesses experience lower than usual sales.
However, with the right strategy in place, this dip in traffic could be seriously beneficial to your seasonal business. In fact, the offseason is the ideal time for you to market your business and prepare for the next peak season. In this post, you’ll learn simple yet effective offseason marketing strategies that you can apply to keep your business top of mind with your audience.
1. Expand your audience.
The offseason represents the perfect opportunity to grow your list of potential customers. The best way to do this is through email marketing.
The first thing you focus on is optimizing your signup forms. Simplify them by asking for only two to three pieces of information (name, email address, age, etc.) and removing any unnecessary fields.
Source: Campaign Monitor
Next, place these signup forms on high-traffic pages of your website such as your contact us page, home page, and blog page. This way, you give visitors plenty of chances to subscribe to your email list.
You can also use social media to grow your list. Certain email marketing platforms have features that allow you to add a subscription form to your Facebook account, which then appears as a separate tab that can be found on your Facebook page. If you have a Twitter account, you can simply tweet the link to one of your landing pages.
2. Gather customer reviews.
Research suggests that 91% of consumers read online reviews, and 84% trust these reviews as much as a peer recommendation.
Reviews have become increasingly important, and more and more consumers are reading reviews before deciding to make a purchase.
During peak season, collect as many reviews as you can. Send feedback emails to customers and ask them to review the products they’ve just purchased. To incentivize customers to give you reviews, offer them something in exchange. This could be anything from a complimentary item to a discount on their next purchase.
You can then use positive reviews to promote your business in the offseason. Display them on your website and social media pages. You can also create case studies based on positive reviews or post customer success stories on your website.
These reviews will go a long way in with future customers who are looking to make a purchase.
3. Create high-quality content.
Take advantage of your downtime in the offseason to create high-quality content that provides value to your audience. Doing so will help you generate the right buzz around specific products or services once your peak season rolls around again.
Source: Campaign Monitor
Here are some additional pointers you can keep in mind:
Update everything – Ensure that all information on your website and social media pages is up-to-date including (but not limited to) your contact information, product details, and pricing.
Blogging is key – Maintaining a fresh blog with high-quality content is a strategy that offers long-term payoff. Avoid publishing purely promotional blog posts that just sell your products. Instead, determine your audience’s problems and pain points and write content to address these pain points.
4. “Socialize” with your customers.
Engaging with your customers on social media during your offseason is a surefire way to keep your brand top-of-mind throughout the year.
Be active on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Use Facebook to promote new blog posts andTwitter to answer questions that your followers might have regarding certain products or services. On Instagram, you can post high-quality photos of upcoming products that you plan to release once the offseason is over. Finally, with Youtube, you can create video case studies and tell the story of how one specific customer successfully addressed a pain point with one of your products.
5. Generate hype.
Generate hype for the next peak season by offering early promotions on products, or announcing future product updates.
You can send email offers to your subscribers that include early-bird discounts for those who pre-order your product. This gets them excited (and making purchases) even before your peak season starts.
To take the hype further, encourage subscribers to share these types of promotions on their social media. Place prominent social media sharing buttons on your emails that your subscribers can simply click to share your messages.
You are far less busy in the offseason, which means you can afford to spend more time and effort in finding different ways to market your business. During the offseason, you can grow your audience and engage with your customers, whether it’s through email marketing, content marketing, or social media.
By marketing your business in the offseason, you can generate interest and make it much easier for people to recall your brand once the peak season starts again.
Author Bio: Ash Salleh is the Director of SEO at Campaign Monitor, where he works closely with content, copy, and analytics teams to improve site-wide optimization. Prior to his time at Campaign Monitor, he also provided SEO and digital marketing expertise at Zappos and Axiata Digital.