Leveraging seasonal marketing strategies year-round can increase your customers and sales.
In today’s always-on world, where nothing is predictable and change is the only constant, seasonal marketing has to be a year-long initiative. So-called “slow periods” are the ideal time to collect information about existing and potential customers and to prepare agile marketing strategies and campaigns.
Businesses need to advertise well before the peak season to keep your brand front of mind for customers and stay ahead of your competition. This always-on approach will help you stay connected to existing customers and grow your audience and sales when peak season hits.
7 ways to use seasonal marketing to build your brand year-round
1. Use Google Trends to plan agile marketing strategies
This tool uses real-time data to help you see what your customers and potential customers are interested in and when, as well as their shopping behaviours over time. Google Trends can point you to trending products, so you can prepare to make the most of consumer interest. For example, in 2020, searches for “outdoor fire pit” grew by more than 200 per cent globally, year over year.
Make sure your products show up in relevant searches as consumers are doing their research. Create immersive experiences, such as product video tutorials, which are gaining popularity. This is in line with the increase in “how to” searches, which Google reports are two times higher than last year.
2. Build your audience
Expand your database to include anyone who has shown interest in your products and services during your peak season. Stay in touch with existing customers and launch an email marketing campaign to connect with new leads. Use retargeting strategies based on the success of seasonal campaigns to target people most interested in your products and services. Offer discounts and rewards to satisfied customers to entice them to refer your brand to other people who might want your product or service.
Tip: Collect customer reviews during peak season and use them to promote your business on your website and social channels, and in marketing campaigns throughout the year.
3. Assess last season’s campaign and improve
Track demand and performance to identify spending gaps, inefficiencies and missed opportunities to convert. For example, review past paid search performance. When did traffic peak? Increase your ad budget to take advantage of this demand. Enable time-of-day bid adjustments to display ads for the periods you get the most traffic. Dig into your mobile traffic metrics to understand how mobile is impacting performance.
Tip: Test different promotional offers to drive conversion rates.
4. Keep your website and content fresh
Be proactive. Include calls to action and promote offers that can be redeemed after peak season. This will help attract people during quiet periods and maintain and build brand awareness.
In the lead-up to seasonal holidays, such Christmas, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, create a sense of urgency by creating content with seasonal messaging. Tailoring your ads to reflect the time of year can help shoppers move along the buying journey.
5. Leverage Google Ads to boost your paid seasonal marketing
Start early and begin by refining your keyword and bid strategy. You want to give Google time to approve your pay-per-click campaign before you go live.
Consider using Smart Bidding, Google’s automated bidding tool, to track keywords by location year round. This can help optimize your bids and inform how you build out your seasonal campaigns. Include ad extensions such as call, location and sitelink extensions to help attract more people and bring higher click through rates.
Google’s Dynamic Search Ads offer another way to enhance seasonal marketing initiatives. That’s because they show up based on site content as opposed to keywords. When you update your site with seasonal content, Google will gather, analyze and match that data to search terms. It will automatically generate headlines and landing patches to align with search terms and your site’s content.
Tip: Take advantage of higher conversion rates during peak seasons. Plan ahead and increase your ad spending when holiday search queries are on the rise.
6. Build anticipation for seasonal events on your site and across your social channels
This will help ramp up excitement. Promote seasonal sales on your site by adding a pop-up with a countdown timer. This will help drive return traffic and conversions. On social, conduct polls and start conversations with your followers in the lead-up to your seasonal launch. Develop posts and videos to grab attention and increase engagement.
7. Make sure all your products are can be purchased online
The pandemic and the rise of mobile have accelerated online shopping. The numbers tell the story. According to Digital Commerce 360, shoppers spent US$861.12 billion online with U.S. retailers in 2020 — a 44 per cent increase over the previous year. Insider Intelligence predicts that by 2024, mobile commerce spending will jump to US$488 billion from US$284 billion in 2020.
If you haven’t already, use your slow period to help buyers find all your products online. Put them on your website and have them show up on Google Shopping’s free listings. Use high-quality photos and video to attract and keep searchers’ interest.
Tip: Make it easy for shoppers to buy. The more steps/clicks it takes to convert, the higher your bounce rate.
In today’s always-on world, businesses have to stay on their customers’ radar all year. Peak seasons offer an opportunity to capture important information to develop agile, effective seasonal marketing campaigns that build interest throughout the year.