7 off-season marketing tips for businesses
Whether you are a resort, hotel or showhome, you know how things can slow down during the off-season. During these times, it’s important to continue to maintain and engage your audience so they continue to grow. Try these helpful marketing ideas to keep your customers engaged and your brand top of mind all year long.
1. Create sharable content on social media
Use social media and to stay in touch with customers during your shoulder seasons. Providing valuable and engaging content for customers – even if they aren’t thinking of your business – is a great way to connect with them. A winery could share unique wine and cheese pairings for creative date nights. A homebuilder could share tips and tricks on seasonal home maintenance.
Helpful Tip: This tactic is also a great way to build your database. If done correctly, your email marketing efforts can convert your database into a rich pool of customers ready to visit you by the time the next season hits. How do we reach this database? Read on!
2. Nurture interest through email marketing
Staying in frequent (but not too frequent) communication with your audience allows you to keep your brand top of mind. When done well, email marketing can be remarkably effective. Not only will email marketing help nurture leads, it will help you qualify those leads. Then, automation and personalization will allow you to increase awareness of your brand and build loyalty, ultimately increasing your customer base.
3. Engage with customers through giveaways
If there’s one thing we know, it’s that no matter what time of year it is, giveaways are an effective way of engaging with your audience on social media. The best thing about giveaways is that they don’t have to be big. They can be as simple as a $10 gift card or a surprise reward for commenting on a post. Giveaways get you in front of existing and new audiences and while they may not be ready to book their vacation or buy their home just yet, once they are, wouldn’t it be great for them to think of you first?
Helpful Tip: Require winners to pick up the gift card from the business location to get foot traffic in your doors (if open).
4. Partner with local businesses
If it’s a slow season for you, it’s likely a slow season for others, especially if you are in a tourist area. Find ways to partner with other business owners for giveaways, promotional offers and events to create excitement and compelling opportunities for customers to visit during the off-season. A hotel in a mountain town could partner with a local touring company to offer promotional packages to entice guests to spend a weekend at their hotel and discover the outdoors with the local tour group.
5. Perform website maintenance
We know that website maintenance can drop to the bottom of the to do list during the busy season, but it’s critical that the information you are telling your audiences online is accurate.
Make sure that your offers and promotions are relevant, update information about amenities and services, replace outdated photography, update testimonials, audit your site for any bugs that might have occurred and ensure your SEO efforts are kept up to date. Your website is often the first impression a potential customer has of your brand – let’s not disappoint them!
Helpful Tip: Website updates can sometimes be costly. Make sure you budget accordingly so when the time comes to do these website updates, you are ready to go!
6. Conduct research and a post-mortem
The shoulder season is the perfect time to find out what your customers really want from a business like yours. How did the last busy season perform? Is there a product, service or amenity that you don’t offer? What are your strategic goals for next season? Could you be doing things better than your competitors? Conducting a customer survey or competitive intelligence analysis is a great way to gain insight into the ever-changing needs of your audience.
7. Generate hype for the peak season
Just because you are a seasonal business doesn’t mean you can’t get customers excited about your brand. Create this excitement around your business by delivering teaser content to customers’ inboxes, your website and social platforms. We all love looking back on the good times and even more, we love thinking about the good times to be had.
Just because the season is starting to slow down, doesn’t mean your marketing has to. Use this extra time to your advantage and by combining all the tips above you can continue to engage with your customers, attract new customers and generate interest and excitement for what’s to come.
For amazing branding, social media content, and digital marketing & web solutions contact Chatterson to begin planning for next season!