Online marketing is a complicated field. There’s a lot of factors that can influence how well potential customers respond to your efforts. In this post, we will explore one topic that doesn’t get much attention: seasonal demand.
How willing your audience is to make a purchases changes a lot during the course of a year. An obvious example is buying snow shovels in winter, but if you think carefully you can find a seasonal component to almost any product’s demand.
In this post, we will explore one topic that doesn’t get much attention: seasonal demand. How willing your audience is to make a purchases changes a lot during the course of a year. An obvious example is buying snow shovels in winter, but if you think carefully you can find a seasonal component to almost any product’s demand.
Successfully timing your campaigns to peak at the right time can help you take advantage of this effect. You can also have off-peak sales and promotions to keep your sales high when your product is out of season.
How To Understand Seasonality
The easiest form of seasonality to predict is the kind that is associated with seasonal products. They have a specific use that is tied to the weather in some way, so people are far more interested in buying the product when the weather requires their use.
There are other examples that are a little more subtle. For example, school supplies, books, and related items will be more popular in the fall and after Christmas because that is when new school terms start.
Big-ticket electronics and other home goods tend to be more popular from January to early spring due to the fact that many houses receive their tax refunds in that time and are willing to spend the money on large purchases.
Seasonal product demand does not necessarily have anything to do with the seasons themselves. Consumers are thinking about different things at different points of the year, and how willing they are to spend money on different product categories can change a lot over the course of a few months.
Think carefully about your product and your sales. Take a look at your past sales data to see if it appears to follow a cycle or pattern over the course of a year, and if possible, try to see how those patterns might be linked to specific moments on the calendar.
Once you understand the seasonal patterns in your sales, you can incorporate them into your online marketing. Look to see not only how your sales change, but whether you can see the composition of your customers changing at different points of the year as well.
That can tell you whether you need to change your targeting at different times.
Taking Advantage Of The Seasons
There are several approaches to making use of seasonality. The most basic are to simply change the content of your advertising to match the seasons.
For example, you can pitch your product not only as a value-add on its own, but as a potential gift. There are many holidays that revolve around gifts, so it should be possible to fit your product into at least one of them.
Christmas is the most obvious choice, but Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter, Hanukah, and other options each have their own niches. Be creative with your advertising around those holidays because you can capture a new segment of customers with clever content.
Moving beyond gifts, you should also consider trying to tap into the specific cultural events that surround holidays. For example, if there is any way to cast your product as self-improvement or renewal, then you can place it in the context of New Years and New Years resolutions.
If it is romantic, you can market it during Valentine’s Day. Often, your brand will not line up exactly with these concepts. You’ll need to carefully emphasize different aspects of your product and its key characteristics.
It’s possible that you will be reaching a new demographic, so you can’t assume that the audience will know that much about your product already.
Applications in Content and Design
If you have decided that you want to try using seasonal marketing, then here are some tips for exactly what to do.
First of all, you will need to make use of social media. That’s the best way to directly reach customers and deliver custom content that brings across the message you are trying to convey. Use keywords that are closely linked to the season to ensure that you get the right leads.
It might be a good idea to delve into a temporary redesign as well, even if it’s just a small one. Add some seasonal elements to your site and product pages. That will emphasize the connection and make people feel more festive.
If you intend to use seasonal marketing a lot for several different holidays, you can do this frequently and make it a part of your brand identity. Otherwise, you might want to restrict it to some basic messaging on one or two major holidays.
Email marketing is a major part of your strategy, or it should be. It’s another opportunity to emphasize seasonal qualities of your brand.
You can make it a point of emphasis in some of your messages, but be careful not to overdo it. Keep in mind that your subscribers are already receiving lots of holiday-themed content.
You don’t want to just blend into that background, so sometimes less is more. By not going over the top with holiday themes and presentation, you’ll stand out more.
Applications in Pricing and Promotions
So far, we haven’t yet talked about how to change your pricing around holidays. It is potentially dangerous to get into the discount game. There are a lot of brands that offer significant discounts during key holidays.
You don’t want to get into the habit of cutting prices to below profitability. You are building an expectation among customers that your prices will be that low often.
It is increasingly common for brands not to engage in holiday discounting for this very reason, especially premium brands.
That said, a well-timed promotion or discount can be just the push you need to break through with a seasonal crowd. It might be a tipping point that increases your visibility and gives your sales a major boost.
Run experiments: try different programs for different occasions, see how they work, and modify it for next time.
It’s important to also consider off-peak discounting. The more strongly seasonal your product is, the more important it is to make smart use of discounts.
This is to keep sales flowing, keep brand awareness up, and build a customer base outside of the peak season. For example, if you sell ski equipment then you should probably offer discounts in the summer.
On the other hand, if you sell baking equipment, then you don’t need to offer discounts, but you could create Christmas cookie-themed marketing in the run-up to Christmas. The more sales you get without a discount in off-peak, the less you need to try discounting.
Seasonal marketing has a lot of upsides because you can create a predictable and dependable spike in sales if you execute it well. You also might capture more loyal customers that will stick with you past the season’s end.
Think about how you can market your product in a way that is connected to specific times or holidays. These usually not core to your brand, but you can use them to increase your bottom line outcomes.
The key is to err on the side of caution. There is little purpose in running a big campaign with discounts if you don’t make money on it.
Break out the Google Analytics and sales records, scour your brand history and keywords for seasonal trends!