Don’t let your marketing strategy go into hibernation! 3 ways to gather new leads all year long
If you are a seasonal business owner, then this means your operations primarily take place during specific seasons of the year. Seasonal businesses tend to close down or scale back services immensely during some parts of the year. Many seasonal businesses are in the home services area and include outdoor services that are weather dependent, such as lawn care and landscaping, gardening, roofing, and snow removal.
Although there is certainly a need for these businesses, and there is no inherent problem with having a specific busy season, it is important to take advantage of the off season as well. You might be operating as a seasonal business without marketing yourself accordingly, which is where you are bound to run into some issues.
At the very least, you will not be reaching the largest audience you could if you are not implementing seasonal marketing strategies. To avoid this and to make the most of your off season, take note of the following seasonal business marketing strategies:
Focus on a yearlong marketing strategy
When running a seasonal business, the last thing you want is to market your business during the peak period and then ghost all of your strategies when you are not currently working. On the contrary, your off season should be crunch time for your marketing strategy. You want to make sure you are staying on the mind of your customers so they will come back to seek your services when you are open again.
To accomplish this, you should implement a year-long strategy that attracts new audiences and maintains your current market. This will give you a large database of customers who will keep your services in mind for when they need them.
The best way to navigate this is to create a content and distributing calendar and be consistent with it throughout the year. When it comes to content ideas, some of the mediums you can focus on including social media posts and blog posts on your website. You can distribute this content and introduce new content throughout the year with email newsletters and even newsletters to be sent to current customers’ homes.
You might choose to work with a marketing team to create these newsletters, or you might opt to make them yourself. There are some amazing newsletter distribution tools on the market like Hubspot, Moosend, and Benchmark. Be aware that in general, you are only legally permitted to email users who have given you permission to do so.
- Focus on customer reviews and email marketing
What do customer reviews and email marketing campaigns have in common? They both revolve around customer engagement, two tactics that are essential when you run a seasonal business. You can gather customer reviews during your peak season and promote them to stay relevant all year long. If the most recent content that a potential customer sees is a raving review, they will be anxiously awaiting the time when your business opens.
If you gather email addresses from your customers during peak season, you can make sure you stay at the top of the minds and their inboxes during the off seasons. Being a seasonal business gives you a key advantage in the world of email marketing. Rather than just being another email, your marketing efforts will serve as a sweet reminder to a loyal customer. These emails are a great way to keep your customers engaged and aware of your opening dates and promotions. This way, when the time comes, your customers will be excited and ready to give you their business.
Imagine what your customers and potential customers are dealing with throughout the year and create content accordingly
To stick to your content calendar and continue creating fresh content throughout the year, think about what your customers are dealing with related to your services when they are not able to access them.
For example, if you are a lawn service provider in a cold climate that closes during the winter months, you might consider creating content surrounding the best ways to care for your lawn in the snow and set the foundation for a healthy lawn in the warmer season.
You can promote this content through your social media, your newsletter, and on your website. Utilizing SEO strategies and doing keyword research will help you create blogs that attract customers even during the off season.
Be sure to create a “call to action” space on your website where your visitors can subscribe to your newsletter and continue to stay in the loop. The woes of seasonal fluctuations are no match for a solid SEO strategy and strong content marketing.
To learn more about how to develop your SEO strategy, check out our beginner’s guide to SEO here.
If you want to stay on top of consumers’ minds in some slightly simpler, more personal ways, take advantage of the holidays! Sending an email or even a letter to your customers wishing them a happy holiday season is a great way to remind them of your business and to show them you care.
Be sure to be inclusive with your language when it comes to addressing holidays so as to avoid making customers feel isolated. Overall, the key when planning a yearlong marketing strategy is to think about relevant content that pertains to the different seasons, plan out a content calendar, and be consistent!
Adjust spending based on demand
During your peak season, you should aim to take advantage of your income streams and plan out your spending for the rest of the year with that income. Although this presents some challenges, a bit of planning and forethought should allow you to stretch your income to last the whole year and to accommodate your marketing budget.
When planning out your yearly budget, you should consider how much money you need to allocate every month for your business to simply exist. This includes all of your fixed costs like payroll, rent if applicable, insurance costs, and loan payments.
If you have seasonal employees, you will only need to budget for their working months, but you will need to consider the costs associated with new hiring and retention. In other words, you will need to calculate your working capital to understand how much flexibility you have.
For more insight on how to hire and retain top talent, check out our guide here.
As this money comes in throughout the peak season, put enough away to cover this portion of your spending during the off season. If it helps, think of your business like a squirrel. Squirrels primarily gather nuts during the fall, spring, and winter. In fact, a single squirrel typically stockpiles 10,000 nuts for the winter! Think like a squirrel and plan ahead for the winter.
On the other hand, unlike some animals, it is essential that you do not allow your business to go into hibernation during the off season. It is wise to allocate a specific amount of time and money that will go into your marketing budget throughout the entire year. This amount should either stay the same or increase during the off season, depending on the flexibility of your budget and your comfort level.
A slow season does not have to mean slow engagement with your customers and potential customers. If you allocate the time, money, and planning necessary to create engaging content, your customers will miss you during your off season and will be ready to contact you immediately when your doors open once more.
To learn about more of the best ways to make the most of your marketing strategy all year long, contact the team at Scorpion.