Seasonality sells and that’s one thing that every marketing strategist must take into consideration when producing content.
Marketing trends prove that aligning your campaign with the social conversation has the potential to make your user engagement skyrocket. Just look at the success of John Oliver’s Marlon Bundo.
Paying attention to changing seasons, holidays, and events show your customers just how trendy your company is. It not only makes content more relatable but is also more likely to capture attention.
However, when it comes to incorporating seasonality, be careful. You want to incorporate seasonal trends subtly.
You don’t want to light up your campaign like a Christmas tree. Rather, you should think carefully about how you can be seasonal while not taking away from the main goal of your marketing campaign. Less is more in this case, and you want to support your content not suffocate it.
Seasonal marketing means finding a balance, but we’re here to help.
Here’s our best advice for seasonal marketing:
Seasons Tweetings, Content Creators
Take the humble pumpkin spiced latte for example (I know, bear with me). The PSL, as it is often referred to on the Twittersphere, has developed a viral-like following online.
The seasonal icon received a whopping 500,000 Tweets just in the fall of 2013–and that buzz hasn’t gone anywhere. In fact, Starbucks even created an Instagram account for the ‘PSL’. The corporation took full advantage of this online fandom by participating in and intensifying it.
Of course, the PSL promotion goes away in January. While fans can get them year round if they really want them, there’s something about seeing them in fall colors that drives PSL sales way up.
Customer sales analytics firm Second Measure found that the PSL causes a major sales spike in September for Starbucks, and that December is by far the busiest month for the company.
— ᴋʟᴀᴜᴅɪᴀ♡ (@TheDailyVogue) March 28, 2018
Brilliant seasonal marketing strategies made Starbuck’s pumpkin spice latte a seasonal staple. Some would even say it doesn’t feel like fall without one. Going further, if a PSL is purchased and consumed when the purchaser doesn’t Instagram it, does it make a sound?
Starbucks has even won awards for these marvelous marketing tactics. They have also made it clear that the PSL fandom didn’t happen by chance. Instead, the company started with a focused plan that would help them cultivate an online community. Then, they planned to turn this following into a community using hashtags and adding a certain image to the beverage that customers would buy into. The result was an overwhelming level of customer engagement, which, of course, means sales!
Have a Seasonal Marketing Gameplan
The importance of preparation cannot be emphasized enough. For starters, understand the primary medium for the campaign and how long it will last.
You should also clearly outline your reasons for launching the campaign and the results you would like to see. If you want to get even more ahead of the curve, craft images and other media well ahead of time. Give yourself plenty of drafts, prototypes, and possible media combinations.
Afterward, you can compare your work side by side and choose the most effective media package. Don’t leave any of this to the last minute.
Going further, plan your social media strategy and promotional strategy in advance.
Keep your Audience Close but Your Objectives Closer
99.9% of the time, your marketing campaign is only going to be as good as the strategy behind it.
Before firing out virtual roses left, right and center, start with the basics. First, you need to very clearly define your audience and know what they will respond to.
They may not even like roses. They may be a part of the Anti-Valentine’s Day crew. Perhaps this is one holiday that just won’t work for your company.
Knowing your audience will help your brand stay on target. Ask: how is including seasonal content going to enhance your customers experience of your product or service? Which route (ie. social media, a blog post, a podcast etc.) would be the most appropriate to take in order to promote seasonal content?
You should also consider whether or not certain holidays or seasonal events compliment your branding.
A good match will always cater your audience’s needs while also helping you reach your marketing objectives.
Don’t let Seasonal Buzz Take Away From Your Content
Once you have planned your campaign, don’t stuff your content with chocolate bunnies. Instead, you should infuse seasonal themes into your content but only where they fit.
Your content still needs to offer an exceptional user experience. Don’t force it.
If you don’t think its working, abandon ship, return to normal, and prepare to try the next event. If you have to sacrifice true-to-brand offerings to make your business seasonal, you’re trying too hard.
You can, however, use seasonality in a clever way to support your business. For example, New Years is a great time to roll out a new subscription service. You could ask customers to ‘share the love’ on Valentine’s day by initiating your referral programme.
A Strong Content Creator Chooses Their Holidays Wisely
Anyone can think of the obvious choices like Christmas or Halloween. Try to stand out from the crowd by highlighting off-beat unique holidays in your content. With the number of holidays being created these days (think National Puppy Day, etc) there are basically any number of occasions that you can use as part of your brand.
You should also consider where your audience is located and be aware of what is going on in their neck of the woods. As well as making things more interesting for customers, you can also tailor the holidays you chose to your audience.
At Edgy Labs, we keep track of any events or occasions that our astute audience of tech enthusiasts may be interested in. For example, we recently marked International Women’s day with an article about ‘Four Badass Women in Tech’. We also celebrated Super Mario Day with a fun and entertaining offering.
You should also remember that it doesn’t necessarily have to be a holiday. Annual events work brilliantly for seasonal marketing too. You could use going back to school or Spring Break. For example, we posted an article about the Super Bowl and the recent SXSW conference.
Brainstorm ways you can work seasonal happenings into your strategy. You just have to make sure the events you choose are relevant. Knowing what events your audience will be interested in and enjoy will make your content more engaging.
Keep Special Occasions Special
Seasonal marketing will lose its allure if you are marking everything from International Bubble Week to World Rat Day (it exists!).
Seasonal marketing functions on its novelty factor. If this wears off, no one is going to pay attention to your content.
Pay Attention to Time Frames
You want your content to be part of the buzz and build up to a seasonal change or holiday. Marketing experts say that two weeks prior to an event is the prime time to publish content surrounding it.
Obviously, this timeframe may be less for one-day celebrations.
You can figure out what is the optimal time frame for your seasonal marketing campaign by judging the popularity of an event.
For example, you could start posting festive content on the first of December right through to the big day. Whereas your April Fools day wouldn’t have quite as generous a lead-up.
Having a calendar of all the events you want to incorporate is key. This means you can prepare in advance and publish at the appropriate times effortlessly.
Seasonality can provide immense value to any marketing strategy. You shouldn’t let yourself get carried away, but instead, approach seasonality like any other marketing tactic. Stay grounded and professional on all occasions. If you put our advice into practice, it will help you to maximize the potential of your seasonal marketing campaign.