Throughout the year, people’s interests and priorities chop and change. One moment they’re picking out Christmas gifts, next they’re planning a summer barbecue. It all depends on the season, festivities and celebration days. Such variation in buying habits offers marketers a brilliant chance to capitalise on the shifting needs and desires of existing and potential customers. This is known as seasonal marketing and it can be effectively implemented by both B2C and B2B businesses.
Putting Together A Seasonal Marketing Strategy
With seasonal marketing, having a clearly defined strategy is crucial. There’s little point in desperately trying to make every single holiday or event relevant to your company and products/services. You are unlikely to have the resources to do all of them justice and your target audience will quickly tire of endless promotions that aren’t relevant to them. Identify those events, dates or trends which are of the greatest interest to your audience.
By focusing on a handful of key periods of time you ensure that your marketing messaging and collateral are top notch and a true reflection of the brand. Most events occur at the same time every year so by planning ahead you have plenty of time to prepare. Think outside the box. Celebrations like Christmas and Easter are the obvious choices but there may be other events that resonate with your specific audience. For example, National Beer Day or National Video Games Day. People looking for information around smaller events are more likely to connect and engage with your targeted content.
The Importance Of Maintaining Your Other Marketing Efforts
Seasonal marketing is not a replacement for your normal marketing efforts, the so-called ‘evergreen content’. You want your brand to be discovered offline and online all year round. It’s what customers will recognise and always come back to.
Take John Lewis as an example. Every year people eagerly await their renowned Christmas advert, keen to see what the theme is and what the tie-in products are. John Lewis is famous for that piece of seasonal marketing but it works because they have a solid and well-known brand behind it which allows them to create these more conceptual adverts without alienating customers. Everyone watching already knows who John Lewis are and what they stand for, thanks to their non-seasonal marketing.
From a digital marketing perspective, consistent year-round marketing is essential for maintaining and improving your search engine rankings. Search engines reward websites that produce fresh and relevant content so you shouldn’t neglect your core digital marketing strategy whilst focusing on more seasonal efforts.
B2C vs B2B
It’s true that B2C businesses typically find it easier to engage with seasonal marketing than B2B companies. This is simply because their customers are more likely to be actively searching for products around a holiday e.g. Christmas presents, Easter eggs, Bonfire Night fireworks etc. They’ve already decided that they’re willing to spend money on holiday related products.
B2B companies often have to work that little bit harder to make the connection themselves, make themselves relevant. Rather than pushing someone to engage with your services then and there, seasonal marketing can give B2B companies a fun opportunity to remind their audience of who they are and what their USP is.
SEO Considerations For Seasonal Marketing
When it comes to seasonal marketing, digital marketing techniques are invaluable. Tools such as Google Trends and Keyword Planner are brilliant for establishing what your audience is looking for and when, allowing you to spot any patterns or recoccurances year on year. Critically, Google Trends will give you an indication of how far in advance of the event people began to look for related search terms. Use Google Analytics to see if any spikes in your own website traffic correspond to specific, timely search terms which you can then make a concerted effort to target.
Preparation is vital for SEO. It can take several months for websites to rank well for certain search terms and so you need to have started laying the groundwork long before the event. This means writing SEO-friendly blogs and landing page for Google to crawl and judge as being useful and relevant. Subsequently, your website will raise in the search engine result lists.
Looking for some seasonal marketing strategy inspiration? Check out our Bents case study to see how we produced a creative campaign that transitioned across two distinct seasons.