Seasonal advertising is a necessary strategy for many local businesses. It makes sense for plumbers to advertise heavily in the winter when pipes are apt to freeze and burst, and for air-conditioning repairmen to switch up their marketing during the busy summer months.
However, a simplistic approach to seasonal advertising may not be the best option, nor is marketing your business only during high-interest periods. Here's what you need to know to successfully execute seasonal marketing for your local business.
Don't Neglect Year-Round Strategies
During the winter months, it's common to see increased advertisements for services like insulation installation and HVAC maintenance. However, increasing your company's visibility a few months before disaster is likely to strike may actually be a better plan. According to Marketing Land, marketers should study their industry's trends and learn the purchase windows of their customers to know how to reach them when they're in the awareness stage. Ramping up your marketing too far in advance can result in wasting money, but missing that window and starting your outreach too late means that you may lose potential customers.
For instance, a lawn maintenance business might not get a direct sales lift from advertising in the winter, but if you continue to advertise during the off season, you can increase brand recognition in your community. This, in turn, often leads to subsequent interest, desire and action by customers when your peak season rolls around.
Ramp Up As Seasons Change
Even though you should market your business all year, you can strategically ramp up your efforts as your high season approaches. This is a good time to market specific products or services, instead of just boosting overall awareness.
Continuing with the lawn maintenance example, you could advertise free estimates for lawn seeding in late February and early March, just as consumers are beginning to think about lawn care. This strategy builds on the awareness and interest you built in the off season, and a strategic promotion will help move consumers through the desire and action phases.
Create Business During Slow Seasons
While spring may be busy season for a lawn maintenance business, customers may still need your services in the summer and fall. Demand may not be as intrinsically high during these seasons, but there are plenty of things you can do to drum up business during slow periods. For instance, offering limited-time maintenance deals or specials on spring prep work can boost your business during slow months.
There are other businesses besides lawn care that benefit from changing their marketing message during the off season — HVAC businesses may not see much organic traffic in September, so sponsoring a local media website's weather section or advertising during local weather reports and advising consumers to get their heating systems checked before the winter is a great way to drive business.
It can be tough to think of a year-round marketing strategy for a seasonal business, but even if you're just building awareness, it is important to build a model that will keep consumers thinking about your business, even if they don't need it right away.