While some businesses and industries experience level sales year-round, most companies instead see fluctuations in their business. A Christmas tree farm sees peak sales in November and December, while a landscaping company typically sees a slowdown during the winter months. A significant question that small business leaders face each year is whether they should advertise their services during their off-seasons.
There are many pros and some cons to doing so, but there are also a few ways that you can ensure your off-season business marketing is successful if you choose to pursue it.
Increase Brand Awareness in Your Off-Season
Perhaps the most essential benefit of off-season advertising is your ability to increase brand awareness while regular business is slow. Increasing brand awareness is the first step in a person's journey toward becoming a loyal customer. By investing in social media, television, or radio ads, you can increase your brand awareness substantially, which can help you gain more customers before, during, and after your peak.
Getting customers from brand awareness to paying customers can be a long journey but starting during your off-season can encourage more people to purchase your goods and services when the season is right. As the great Og Mandino once said, "What you plant now, you will harvest later." It can be tempting to shut down operations or reduce your workload when business is less profitable during the off-season. Your time, energy, and money investments during those times can result in immense returns later.
Advertising in the off-season can also be more cost-effective, as there tends to be less competition for search keywords, for example, so that you can get even more bang for your buck. Plus, this helps to put you ahead of competitors that choose not to advertise during the off-season at all.
Tips for Off-Season Marketing
When done right, off-season marketing can provide your company with an excellent opportunity for growth. It can be a waste of time, effort, and money when done incorrectly. Here are some tips to help your off-season marketing game get off on the right foot and stay strong.
Plan Your Marketing When You Have More Time
Small business owners often wonder how to increase sales in the offseason when they are busy with day-to-day operations during their peak season and beyond. The most obvious and helpful way to do so is by planning your marketing strategy during the off-seasons when you tend to have more downtime. Setting aside some time to work on marketing throughout the off-season can not only drive sales during that time, but it can help you set up your advertising for the remainder of the year and beyond.
Launch Brand Awareness and Targeted Digital Campaigns
As mentioned above, brand awareness is typically the first step in a long series of steps that ultimately convince customers to purchase from you. For this reason, the best type of advertising campaign to launch in the off-season focuses on brand awareness. There are several marketing mixes that can achieve the result of enhanced brand awareness. An excellent place for most businesses to start is social media advertisements and content marketing which you can learn more about in the next section.
Targeted digital campaigns can help increase brand awareness, but they can also work to build trust between viewers and your brand. These opportunities can showcase your goods and products and pique customers' curiosity. Some customers may visit your website because of your targeted digital campaigns. Hopefully, a few will even make purchases, giving you customers during your off-season you might not have had without your off-season digital marketing strategies.
Provide Value to Customers Researching Online
Even if demand for your goods or services isn't as high during the off-season, it is likely that people are still interested in learning more about your business and what you have to offer. You can capture a wider audience outside of your company's peak season with strategic content marketing or creating guides, blog posts, or social media campaigns designed to inform and teach without asking for anything in return.
Content marketing is one of the best off-season digital marketing strategies, as it helps to establish your brand as an authority in the industry. It also facilitates a sense of trust between readers and your brand, meaning that they are far more likely to turn to you when they eventually decide to invest in the types of products or services you offer.
Build Your Business All Year
If you have ever thought about increasing your sales in the offseason, overhauling or refreshing your off-season marketing plan can be just the change you need to generate more sales throughout the entire year. It can be hard to find the right balance to make your off-season digital marketing strategy successful but reaching out to a brand partner can make the whole process far less complicated.