Whether you own a ski rental shop, a landscaping business, or an ice cream store, you’ve certainly experienced the dreaded lean months—the time of the year when your product just isn’t practical or in-demand (read: ski rentals during summer, ice cream in the dead of winter, etc.). Regardless, don’t let those seasonal slumps get you down!
Instead of sitting around and waiting for your season to start, you can use your downtime to increase your marketing efforts. Smart seasonal marketers who utilize their off-season properly can use the lean months to prep their business for huge success once the peak season comes around.
So! How does one go about boosting their marketing efforts during slow months?
Instead of putting everything on hold, you have a couple of fool-proof options; social media marketing (SMM) ads, pay-per-click (PPC) ads, and the occasional huge discount offers. These marketing methods are simple enough to integrate in most any strategy and are sure to continuously garner attention even through your lean months.
Social Media Marketing Ads
SMM is a form of online marketing that uses social media channels like Facebook and Twitter to benefit the business. The purpose of SMM is to create valuable, social-media-shareable content that will help a growing company broaden its reach.
One of the most important aspects of SMM is social media optimization (SMO). Similar to search engine optimization (SEO), SMO is a method that attracts a new audience to a website.
Marketers have the option of doing SMO in two ways: a) promoting activity by posting tweets or statuses on social media, or b) including social media links to content (i.e. sharing buttons, RSS feeds, etc.).
Another benefit of SMM is that it allows a company to directly get feedback from customers. Because social media is interactive, existing customers and potential clients can ask questions, leave comments, or voice complaints (and immediately get help, if you know what’s good for your reputation).
Have you ever noticed the ads that show up with the search results on Google? The ones that sometimes top the top organic result? Have a handy little notation beside them that says, quite plainly, ad? Then you’re already familiar with PPC advertising.
PPC is a kind of online advertising model in which advertisers pay every time their ads are clicked.
There are a couple different types of PPC ads out there for different marketing efforts. One of the most common is the ‘paid search ad.’ It appears whenever people search for specific keywords or phrases online using a search engine like Google. It also shows up when people are performing commercial searches, which simply means the user is looking for something to buy.
The logic behind PPC advertising is simple and sound: businesses that constantly run ads only get charged when a website visitor clicks on their ad – hence the “pay-per-click” name. If your ad goes (sadly) unnoticed, at least you’re not paying to keep it running.
Other kinds of PPC advertising include remarketing and display advertising.
Offer Discounts and Sales
People in your community deserve some love, especially if your business is located in a place that’s often overrun with tourists. Once a large chunk of your customers (i.e. beach bums, skiers, etc.) finally leave town, you will have to depend on the locals to keep your business up and running.
Show them some homegrown love by offering sales and discounts to the people in your area. Through this marketing strategy—which is quite promotional and practical, once you break it down—you can still bring in a lot of customers even after the crowds disperse. Additionally, you get to maintain a good relationship with the loyal customers who will surely support you all year round.