Have you noticed that your website traffic performance fluctuates in annual cycles? The demand for your product or service and your specific content depends on seasonality; sometimes the trend goes upward and sometimes it goes downward. B2B businesses usually experience a recession in December due to the Christmas and New Year’s period which pulls attention away from work matters and focuses it on the family stuff.
So how can you adjust your marketing actions to avoid falling apart during the national holidays? Utilize those occasions to make the best possible profit. In this write-up, you will find out what seasonal marketing means, how it affects business and what you can do about it.
What is Seasonal Marketing?
Seasonal marketing consists of adjusting your online marketing campaigns to the ongoing events. In other words, targeting important events and national or global holidays for your industry. Seasonal marketing is about looking at the calendar, identifying appropriate opportunities and capitalizing on them. This means driving more attention to your product or service in the interest of boosting your business revenue. Now is the right time to figure out how you’re going to leverage those events in order to reap the most benefit.
The most significant peak times in the American / European calendar that are still ahead in 2016 are Halloween; All Saints Day; Black Friday/ Cyber Monday; Thanksgiving; Christmas and New Year’s Eve. After that, 2017 will bring Valentine’s Day; Saint Patrick Day; April Fool’s Day; Easter and so on.
It’s a fact that we’ve encouraged our readers to focus their marketing efforts on evergreen campaigns which can be applied anytime and still be effective. Evergreen marketing indeed works on your traffic timelessly; no matter what. Nonetheless, seasonal marketing has its substantial advantages and can draw you some special traffic peaks if applied properly.
Is Seasonal Marketing for Everyone?
Seasonal marketing perfectly fits any B2C business, especially an e-commerce business because national holidays provide the perfect excuse for spending some extra money. For instance, people might spend money on new high-heeled shoes and a cocktail dress for a New Year’s Eve Party; a Netflix package for grandpa for Christmas; or a romantic trip to the seaside for Valentine’s Day.
It gets a little more tricky to apply seasonal marketing campaigns to B2B businesses, and it’s even harder when you have an analytical tool in your offer. ;) It’s then that creativity and cleverness become a must for making your campaigns look both natural and consistent with the brand image.
Understand Seasonality in Search
It’s necessary that you understand web traffic seasonality to be crystal clear. Web traffic seasonality refers to the predictable, yearly upward and downward trends in the search results that continually fluctuate in annual circles. That’s why any good tactician should do his homework and plan his actions in advance to be ready for the upcoming season.
Seasonality is about changes in the way users interact with the search engines throughout the year.
Depending on the specific period, event or holiday, you can count on particularly related queries to trend in the search results as well as on social media. During that time, be prepared for people to ask about those topics more often.
How can you Discover what Seasonal Trends Apply to Your Niche?
Look at your website’s traffic performance backward. Make a year to year comparison and detect when you have your seasonal spikes. Then, when you look at the bigger picture, try to tie traffic spikes to particular keywords and seasonal backgrounds to understand the correlation and then intentionally use them to drive even better results.
Seasonal Marketing Starts with Keywords Research
Include ‘the big’ dates that are bound to the calendar and correspond to your buyer personas- in your yearly marketing strategy. How can you prepare a successful seasonal marketing campaign for the rest of this and all of next year? The savvy marketer would bet his money on SEO.
- To know precisely how much traffic you can drive by implementing seasonality to your marketing, do thorough keyword research using the Adwords Keyword Planner Tool or any other keyword research tool that you fancy. Keyword research will provide you with the necessary data to help you choose the best keyword opportunities specified by a decent search volume and low competition.
Read more about keywords research: The Complete List for Keyword Research
- Go a little deeper and back up the keywords with the data from Google Trends to know exactly when you should start your campaign. So if you were to check the keyword “Christmas gifts” with Google Trends, you would notice that it starts rising in the middle of October, peaks between the 13th and 19th of December and falls rapidly after Christmas.
This way, you quickly get to know what terms to target for the best results and in what intervals to implement your seasonal campaigns. If you plan to target different countries separately, review the terms according to their geography so you can adjust your campaigns more accurately.
- You can also prioritize those events by comparing their traffic predictions in Google Trends to decide which are more important.
Once you are done with the research, prepare a complete list of events that you will include, wrap it up with ideas on how to implement them correctly, and incorporate those seasonal campaigns into your day-to-day schedule.
Seasonal Marketing Tricks from Marketing Experts
We’ve asked a few influencers to share with us their seasonal marketing tricks. The question was: Do you have a favorite seasonal marketing method that always works? Look what Ehsan and Dixon have to say about seasonal marketing.
Ehsan Khodarahmi; Managing Editor @ GetResponse
“Marketing is widely misunderstood by most businesses and organizations. Marketers have been living a very comfortable life for decades, but this has to come to an end. Unlike the misperception about the profession, marketing is not about reaching as many customers as possible; but to reach only people who are ready to buy. Marketing people must work closely with salespeople to create tangible value for their clients. Of course, we shouldn’t forget that marketers are still responsible for building brand awareness and positioning in favor of future sales.
In this day and age, customers and prospects are the most influential people whom marketers must build the relationship with. If people find your marketing campaign is less than authentic and transparent, they will cut you out of the conversation.
The trick is simple, be relevant and timely. Seasonal marketing campaigns won’t work if you don’t already have an established relationship with your customers. Seasonal marketing is not about generating awareness or leads, but about driving sales. In order to drive sales, your brand must be seen as trustworthy. After all, people buy from people; no one cares about how much you spend on your marketing campaigns; they only care about the solution to their problem or a no string attached offer that you may have for them. Thus, it’s crucial to know your customers very well. If you know what your customers or prospects are looking for, then you can rest assured that your seasonal marketing will work forever!”
Dixon Jones; Marketing Director @ Majestic
“Being B2B we are a little less seasonal than many, but we DO have a pretty neat trick when it comes to events that we sponsor (and occasionally ones we don’t).
We look up all the speakers on Twitter and compare their relative influence. We then start Tweeting infographics showing the most influential speakers at the conference (based on Trust Flow). Plenty of the Speakers likes to share these infographics, right at the point of which their Tweets get noticed.”
Also Kuba Koziej; CEO @ Uptowork — The Resume Builder
“If you’re out of fresh ideas, try something that has already worked in the past.
First, make a short list of outlets where you would like to be featured. Now, check for previous publications related to a given holiday. You can either use Google
(e.g., Halloween site:domain.com) or Buzzsumo (there is the 12-month limit).
Go through the list of relevant publications and write down the names of the journalists. Use Hunter.io to easily find their emails or watch this great guide: http://webris.org/find-anyones-email-address. The odds are that they will be covering the same topic this year too.
That was the easy part. The tricky part is coming up with an idea of how you can relate your product or brand to a given holiday. Your pitch needs to be timely but, more importantly, super-relevant in the first place.
For instance, if you’re in the economic niche, you could use Google Trends to predict which gadgets will be in high demand during a particular holiday — this could show that some gadgets, e.g., fake blood, are more popular than others, e.g., a witch hat. That was just an example, but it shows how you can make your pitch relevant.”
Analyzing search seasonality will provide you with valuable knowledge about when it’s profitable to target specific terms in content marketing and social media and when to launch a promotion. What is more, paying attention to this kind of data can teach you something really important about your online business.
Namely, you can learn how to focus on the users (and not on keywords) and how to utilize a data-driven and results-driven approach within your business in order to make a real impact.Analyzing search seasonality will provide you with valuable knowledge about when it’s profitable to target specific terms in content marketing and social media and when to launch a promotion. What is more, paying attention to this kind of data can teach you something critical about your online business.
Originally published at Positionly Blog.