Seasonal products can present a real marketing challenge.
Once your busy season is over, how do you stay top of mind with your customers, while still presenting them with content they'll find relevant and valuable? What can you do to ensure that those customers remember you next year?
Here are a few ways to promote your seasonal business year-round, while still maintaining that delicate space between too much promotion, and not enough.
Implement a natural posting schedule that ramps up as you approach your busy season, and slows down once that season is over.
While consistency in digital marketing efforts is important for most businesses, seasonal businesses will benefit from implementing a schedule that is more attuned to the way their business works.
As your busy season approaches, you naturally want to be posting more frequently on your blog and social media platforms, and scheduling more promoted posts and social ads.
Not only do your customers need to know how and where to find you during this time, but competition for your customers' attention is also more intense.
Once that season is over, it's best to slow down your posting frequency. This way, your customers will still hear from you on occasion - keeping your brand top-of-mind - but they won't feel bombarded by information or promotions that aren't relevant to their needs at that time.
Develop an ongoing list of evergreen topics to post throughout the year.
Even the most highly seasonal brand - a Christmas decoration company, for example, or an annual event like the Tribeca Film Festival - can develop topics and posts that will interest customers throughout the year.
One company that's consistently doing this well is E-file.com, which offers online tax preparation. Their busy season, of course, is tax season - January through mid-April.
During that time, they publish plenty of articles and blog posts offering tax prep-specific advice and tips - however, once April 15th has come and gone, they've still got plenty of relevant, valuable information to offer consumers.
Take this post, on how renting out a spare room AirBnB-style will affect your taxes. This topic is relevant to hosts all year - and in fact, it might be most relevant during the off-season, as joining the sharing economy today wouldn't affect your taxes until the following year.
Partner with other, non-seasonal brands.
Partnerships, when chosen with care, can be a highly effective way to market your seasonal brand year-round.
E-File does this through a robust affiliate program that allows them to partner with influential bloggers, high-traffic website owners, and other companies throughout the year - not just between January and April.
Since audiences are visiting these sites year-round, E-File is able to get their message in front of a wide cross-section of potential customers. These customers may visit E-File.com in May to get advice on how a home office can affect their taxes, and again in January or February to actually purchase E-File's electronic tax filing product.
Host an event.
As experiential marketing grows in popularity, events, pop-ups, and other "one-off" consumer experiences are becoming surefire ways of earning customer interest and online mentions.
Experiential marketing events work well for seasonal brands because they're a tangible way to remind your customers that you're there for them year-round - not just during the times they usually purchase from you.
In addition, as long as you follow the same rules with your experiential marketing as you do with your content - provide something relevant and valuable to your customer - events can result in increased customer loyalty. This will help you ensure that your seasonal customers will return to you next year, even if they don't increase their purchases much throughout the off-season.
Seasonal marketing requires delicate maneuvering and creative thinking. By remaining cognizant of what your consumer wants and needs from your brand, you can connect with them year-round - not just during your busy season.