Let’s say you own a landscaping business.
You know that in the summer, you’re going to be busy with things like:
- Design projects
- Builds or installations
- Lawn and garden maintenance
So you don’t really feel the need to work on your digital marketing initiatives, because the seasonality and cyclical nature of your business will drive traffic to your web presence.
That’s the summer. What about the dead of winter?
Are people looking for lawn and garden maintenance when it’s -25C outside? No.
Should you still market and promote your business? Yes.
All but the most fiercely loyal customers have a short attention span.
So, if you have a customer who’s been with you for 20 years, you don’t need to market to them. They’ll come back to you next summer.
But what about the customer who just found you and used your services once? Will they automatically come back?
They might not, because:
- They may not remember you: It’s true. You may have given them great service and a wonderful experience. But that doesn’t mean they’ll instantly remember you next time.
- They could get offers from a competitor: You have your customer’s email. So does your competitor. If you aren’t keeping in touch with them, but your competition is, guess which one is more likely to get the sale?
If you have a seasonal business, your customers don’t need your services now. But they will eventually.
So staying top of mind is vital to ensure that when it’s time to start mowing the lawn or renovating the garden, you’ll be the one they call.
It’s the off-season. Your customers may have forgotten about you.
Don’t forget about them.
The “slow periods” in your business are a perfect time to market and promote your seasonal business and get an even bigger return on investment for your digital marketing.
Here’s three ways you can do it:
1. Ask for customer reviews
You should be asking for reviews all through your busy season.
It’s always good to have your customers rave about you while their experience with your business if fresh in their minds.
The off-season is a great time to ask for customer reviews too; especially if you can take advantage of the season.
Here’s an example (using our fictional landscaping business):
- It’s the middle of a howling winter storm and everyone is cooped up inside. You can email your customer base reminding them of beautiful summer days and how you were able to help them get the garden of their dreams.
Doing this accomplishes a few things:
- It shows your customer base that you’re aware of what’s happening with them (in this case, facing a winter storm) and that, you’re human too.
- It tells your customers that you remember them and what you did for them.
- It allows you to ask for something without promoting or pushing a product or sale, which, frankly, they have no use for at this time.
2. Keep engaging on your social channels
Business may be slow, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon your social media presence until next season.
Your customers don’t ignore Facebook or Twitter in your off-season. They’re still logging on, checking out posts and commenting on things.
Social media can be your year-round storefront, even if don’t really have anything to sell.
Instead, you can use social media as a way of sharing:
- Customer reviews: Share your positive customer reviews so that your customers – and their friends (and maybe even their friends) will see it.
- Interesting content: If you’ve got something interesting to say, don’t wait until business picks up. Post it, share it and talk to your customers.
- Polls: Ask a question and let your social customers supply the answers. Perhaps they’ll not only engage with you, but with each other too.
- Coupons/discounts: You may not be selling now, but you will be in a few months. Give your customers a reason to come back to you then by giving them a great deal now.
3. Don’t forget email, too
If a customer has given you permission to email them, you should take full advantage of it.
Emailing is an easy way to keep in touch with customers with news and updates.
But there’s another reason you should be emailing throughout your off-season:
When it comes time to give an offer or look for a sale, your email won’t “come out of the blue” after not hearing from you for a few months.
They’ll be expecting to hear from you.
And, if you’ve done your email marketing correctly, they’ll be looking forward to hearing from you.
4. Get them thinking early
When it’s minus-20 outside, what are people thinking and dreaming of?
Right: Being outside in warmer temperatures.
Many people use the cold of winter to plan their spring landscaping projects.
And when spring rolls around, they’re ready to go.
By keeping in touch with your customers during the “off-season”, you’ll play a big part in their spring planning by providing them with:
- Product updates
- Design ideas
When you’re top-of-mind while your customers are planning, you’ll be top-of-mind when they’re ready to do landscaping.
Which means you’ll be the first business they call.
We’re the experts in seasonal marketing
At WSI Milton, many of our clients are landscapers and lawn care service providers.
These are businesses which have busy periods and slow periods.
But for all 12 months of the year, we help them:
- Engage with existing customers
- Drive more traffic back to their websites
- Turn new website visitors into leads
In fact, we’ve won awards for it.
If you do have off-season services, we help promote those too
When the snow falls, do you put your lawnmowers away and pull out the snowblowers for your snow removal service?
Or do you provide other “off-season” services like:
- Firewood sales
- Home renovations
WSI Milton can help you advertise them as well, to make sure you’re busy all year round.
Want to turn your “off-season” into an opportunity to attract more business?
We can do it for you.
Your first step is to book your FREE discovery meeting with us.