Sahail Ashraf posted on 5 October 2017
Not every brand has a ‘year round’ product or service. Sometimes brands have to focus on their biggest sales and success when their product is needed the most. Swimwear, for example, will have a much higher yield in the summer. Holidays in the sun get the best response from customers in the winter, when people are cold and miserable.
There are seasonal brands all over, and one would think that marketing for these brands dies down a little when the off season arrives. However, this is not true. There are ways to use social media to keep in front of potential customers, and even prepare them for buying during the off season.
Let’s say we are looking at a brand that creates a product that really only has true relevance during a certain season. Whether this is wool clothing or a swimsuit, it still has fans.
Reaching out to users of the product during the quieter months means that two amazing things happen. Firstly, you build on customer loyalty which will naturally extend the life of the product and build more engagement. Secondly, you have content that is genuine and authentic as well as showing the audience that you should still be very much in their minds during the whole year.
User generated content is all about tapping into the loyal fanbase and asking them to submit posts, videos and other content. It works because user generated content shows people how to get the best out of what you sell. And it also brings in social proof. Perhaps the biggest win.
You can scour your social media channels for content that people have submitted to your feed, or post ideas that may be sparked off by their own comments and so on. If you are really stuck for where to begin on this, think about the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign that asked customers to send in photos of themselves etc. It was huge.
You could start looking at the tweets and other content, for example, that your fans have submitted, and start using these to kickstart a conversation or an entire campaign.
Burberry is a major fashion player, and the brand kind of kicked off user generated content a few years ago when it asked customers to send in photos of them wearing the iconic Burberry trench coat. Then Burberry simply puts together the very best photos and had tons of user generated content that kept the Burberry name at the very edge of social media excellence.
A quiet period in a business year can be used to offer discounts. This may sound a little weird at first, but it is how much of modern retail works anyway.
Retailers often have sales that herald the start of a new season. Old stock is sold for much lower prices. You may not have new stock coming up next season, but you can certainly look at some of the product line or service offering and make a discount offer or two.
This is very powerful, and will most certainly bring in sales in the quieter months. You could even run a kind of competition around it. Ask the customers which of your products they like the most, for example, or which product or service is ‘indispensable’.
Then simply offer that particular product at a heavily discounted price for one day, for example. These ideas work because they are tapping into the main value that your offering brings.
If you run a brand account that simply does not get thought about during the summer, make this the time when you pull together a full series of high quality content. A set of blog posts or videos for example that are of incredibly high quality. This shows that the brand is still very much around and still offering the good stuff.
Start reaching out to influencers and see what they can offer in the way of great product-related content. By doing this you are setting up relationships that will pull in massive results once your season is back on the road.
In fact, when things are a little quiet, use the time to enhance what you have and set your brand up for larger levels of success when things are picking up.
This is a little obvious, we know, but you can spend the off season creating content that preps for the busier time of year. If you’re a travel or sports gear maker, use the time to create high quality videos that show how your products work.
A series of posts that show your product in action (and how to get the most out of it) is useful, and will keep your brand current and relevant.
You can also post about the upcoming season. If you’re all about surf gear, run some content around the best beaches to hit for surfing. Or how to look after your board effectively. Or even how to store it while the weather is just not right for catching the waves.
This is a really good way to keep the momentum of marketing your product or service up high. Running regular competitions (or even better, competitions that stretch into quieter periods and keep people aware) means that you have continuous engagement.
Instagram is a perfect example of a channel that can have a continuous flow of user’s photos. They could submit photos of themselves using your product, or just how they are enjoying their summer for example.
If you’re focused on Twitter or Facebook you can have a comments contest. Simply ask users to comment on a topic of your choosing, or even just to send in their favourite jokes etc. This will bring in automatic engagement, and also keep that awareness going.
The bottom line is that if you have a seasonal product or service, it doesn’t mean you have to just be quiet ‘when it’s quiet’. Use the time to create even better content, run contests, and search out user generated content that boosts engagement. Essentially, there is no such thing as ‘seasonal’ on social media.
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