Seasonal industries are particularly demanding when it comes to marketing activities – in their case it is often 2-3 months a year (or even a shorter period of time) that the brand survives. How to chase the competition and increase profits in the hottest moment of the season? This is a question that many entrepreneurs ask themselves, not only those who take their first steps in business. While in areas enjoying constant interest, marketing activities seem obvious, when it comes to seasonality, it is not so certain for many people. Therefore, in this post, we suggest what is worth doing to promote an attractive product or service from time to time, i.e. we will consider what to base marketing in seasonal industries.
Types of seasons and marketing in seasonal industries
The seasonality of the industry does not need to be explained to anyone in detail – we all know that there are branches of services that are only popular for part of the year. Pensions by the sea, ski slopes, Christmas decoration stores – these are the businesses where profits can spike up in certain months and stall almost entirely the rest of the year. However, the season is not equal to the season. In marketing, we divide them into three main groups:
– large seasons – usually lasting several months. These include, among others, the summer, winter and holiday season,
– small seasons – in this case, we are usually talking about smaller occasions that we like to celebrate, but for which we do not prepare for too long. Examples include Valentine’s Day or the beginning of the school year,
– trends – these are the most difficult from the marketing point of view, because they appear unexpectedly as a result of fashion or unexpected circumstances. An example from the recent past is the sharp increase in demand for disinfectants following a pandemic. It is not a full season because it does not happen cyclically.
Each of these seasons is slightly different and requires a specific approach from a marketing point of view, although of course there are actions worth taking with each of them.
In the case of seasons, an important element of activities is determining when the interest in given products or type of services increases. It may seem to us that we know perfectly well when this activity becomes greater, because then the profits from the activity increase. However, the moment of purchase does not have to coincide with the moment of increased interest. For example, if we sell tires, it may turn out that our season begins not when drivers start buying new tires, but, for example, a month or 1.5 months earlier, because then they start comparing offers from different stores.
We will find out when the season in our business begins by looking at the statistics from Google Analytics. In this tool, it is worth comparing website traffic year to year and thus determine when potential customers start looking for information on a given topic. However, if we do not have access to such data, because we have not connected Analytics or we are just starting our business, you can use the Google Trends tool. By entering phrases relating to our activity there, we will see how many users are looking for them in particular months or weeks.
Does positioning in seasonal industries make sense?
In industries that enjoy constant interest all year round, positioning has long been recognized as one of the most effective ways of getting traffic. But is it the same for those that only attract users for a certain period of time? If we are talking about big seasons – for sure. In this case, we must arouse the interest of recipients before the season, then there are several months of heavy traffic, and let’s not forget that many people like to take advantage of post-season promotions and discounts. The organic traffic that we gain all this time can translate into profits to a large extent. Provided, of course, we act early enough. A common mistake of many entrepreneurs is to sign an SEO contract just before the start of the season, and it takes time to obtain satisfactory positioning results. So if we decide to position ourselves in one of these industries, we should find an SEO agency at least 2-3 months before the season begins.
However, it is worth taking care of the visibility of the website not only during the greatest boom for a given product or service. In many industries, a good solution is to constantly maintain the interest of recipients and increase brand awareness so that when it comes to a purchase decision, customers remember the name of our company. A blog on a website is ideal for this. Regardless of the moment of the year, we can publish there articles with tips, curiosities or trends, including phrases related to the industry. For example, if we have a tire store, we do not necessarily have to try to sell them in the cold winter, when no one is thinking about a summer kit yet. However, we can post articles on the types of tread, product comparisons of different brands, information about models entering the market or even more general automotive entries. Before the season, it is worthwhile to step up activities, focusing on more current content, with phrases such as “summer tires for 2021” or “best tires for 2021”.
Ads on Google and social media – a way to get attention quickly
In the case of temporary trends, we do not have the luxury to prepare an action strategy and build a position in the search engine in advance. Marketing in seasonal industries does not apply here in the classic sense. Instead, you should act quickly so as not to miss the moment of the greatest interest of the recipients, which is why the best methods of promotion that bring the effect almost immediately. Such methods are advertising campaigns conducted in Google Ads.
Depending on the type of service or product we offer, we may decide to advertise in the search engine itself, a product campaign, banners on the websites of Google advertising partners, or even a combination of these formats. It is also worth using remarketing, i.e. tracking with advertisements those users who have previously contacted our website. Thanks to this, our products / services will be immediately visible to potential customers. This type of marketing activity is also helpful in small and large seasons – then only as one of the ways to gain the attention of recipients. Google Ads ads allow us to reach a large group of people who are initially interested in the offer, as indicated by the phrases they searched for or simply collected data on their behavior on the Internet.
As with most cases, however, there is a catch here. Getting your ads up and running in Google Ads is not a difficult task, but optimizing them is more of a trick. Poorly set ads will burn your budget and will not bring you the expected profit, and may even end in a loss. So before creating a campaign in Google Ads, consider carefully the types of keyword matches, including negative keywords, locations, ad text and extensions, and web times. And when your ad starts showing, it’s a good idea to check it every day and, if necessary, modify your bids or slightly change the basic settings to achieve better results.
Attractive lures for recipients
The question remains, however, what could be found in these ads to attract the attention of potential customers. Of course, a frequently used and popular method is to inform about promotions, post-season sales or pre-season attractive prices. However, this is only one way to attract a client. Many studies on the border of psychology and behavioral economics show that few are as attractive to the consumer as free supplements. What can you offer your customers as a bonus? Of course, the free delivery of the product comes to the fore. In our messages, we can tempt recipients with free delivery, regardless of the value of the purchase, but for a short period of time, because a time-limited offer better mobilizes the customer to make a decision.
However, you can offer your audience something completely different. Returning to the example with tires – if we run a stationary point, it will be a good idea to offer a free tire change when buying a set of tires – then the customer will have the feeling that we have not only serviced it comprehensively, but also saved him the trouble, so there is a good chance that he will remember our company for the next season. The hotel, on the other hand, can offer a free breakfast, free treatment in the hotel spa or a free stay for a child if the stay is long enough. These are bonuses that do not cost us much and can significantly affect the brand image – and thus future profits. Of course, the bonuses can be completely different, the key is to discover what the needs of our target group are.
Ready to prepare marketing in seasonal industries?