The Guide to WHEN to Advertise for Seasonal Businesses
As a seasonal business, you face a unique challenge. You typically rely on a particular season to drive the bulk of your business for the year. Yet unpredictable circumstances or factors can dampen business growth during this season, and have a negative impact on your bottom line.
Fortunately, there’s a solution: ongoing advertising campaigns can increase your customer base year-round while building momentum for your “busy” season.
Why You Should Always Be Advertising
Quite simply, the buying cycle for customers of seasonal businesses extends beyond the scope of the busy season itself. Your audience is more informed than ever, and they begin researching products and services long before they’re ready to buy them. In fact, the bigger the purchase, the earlier they start.
This gives you the opportunity to connect with them earlier in their path to purchase. For instance, online searches for the term “home improvement” peak in the spring and summer, and begin to decline as winter approaches, according to Google Trends. Yet the same data shows that interest in the search term begins to increase as early as January. Ongoing advertising campaigns can help you influence your audience’s purchasing decisions long before they actually make a purchase.
3 Tips for Advertising, Regardless of the Season
Now that you know that your seasonal business should be advertising year-round, it’s time to build a solid strategy. We’ve put together three things you can do to kick off an ongoing advertising campaign.
Increase Brand Awareness
The off-season is an ideal time to run an awareness campaign. This gives you an opportunity to share your brand story, making it easy for potential customers to discover who you are and what you can offer them. This primes them for the eventual purchase during the busy season, and keeps you top-of-mind all year long.
For instance, consumers spend on average 108 days researching their home improvement project before making a purchase, according to Synchrony Financial. That gives you ample time to capture their interest and build their trust – giving you the upper hand against your competition.
Promote a New Offering
Do you plan on launching a new product or service? Don’t wait until your business is in high demand to begin promoting your new offering. Instead, begin advertising in the off-season to reach new customers when fewer businesses are competing for their attention.
A landscaping company, for instance, may have plans to offer garden maintenance services for the upcoming spring and summer seasons. By advertising an “early-bird” discount months in advance, they can lock in business and have a head start on seasonal sales.
Enhance Brand Perception
Brand perception has a huge impact on customer loyalty. And one of the best ways to enhance your brand perception is to improve your customer experience, or the way customers perceive their interactions with your brand. In fact, 55% of consumers will pay more for a better customer experience, according to Salesforce.
Bearing in mind that most seasonal businesses rely on referrals, word-of-mouth, and reviews to drive business, you should improve the following customer-facing elements of your company to improve your customers experience:
- Product and service quality
- Branding across channels
- Communications with past customers
- Customer service
- Online reputation
Don’t stall your business growth by only advertising during certain times of the year. An ongoing advertising campaign better positions you to reach current and potential customers beyond your busy season, and allows you to engage them at different touch points throughout their buying journey. Use the tips and strategies above to ensure your seasonal business maintains the momentum it needs to thrive all year long.