Seasonal marketing poses an intriguing initiative that can guide your year-round strategy. With the end of the year approaching, budgets maxing out and new strategies being put into place, there’s better time than now to start considering the benefits of seasonal marketing and using it as a foundation for your future efforts. It’s a powerful tool for capitalising on changing consumer behaviours and preferences throughout the year, and understanding all the upcoming seasonal shifts of every year, can greatly boost your engagement with your audience.
Whether it’s summer, back-to-school season, Easter or Christmas celebrations, Valentine’s Day or any other popular, highly-anticipated holiday or event, being able to fully comprehend how each one of them can be integrated into your strategy, can give a massive boost to your marketing campaigns.
Here are 5 Seasonal Marketing practices to consider for your new strategy:1. Stay ahead with a yearly calendar
One of the benefits of seasonal marketing is that there are certain standard dates that you can jot down in your strategy from the get-go. Once the new year hits and you start planning your new marketing strategies, you can incorporate all major national holidays, events and seasonal occasions that will be of interest and relevant to your brand. Having ample time ahead of you to organise your seasonal campaigns and put your concept development into action, can give you a head start on staying ahead of your competitors, and also allow you to maintain crucial organisation for never missing out on capitalising on an important event.
- Key Dates: Make a note of all the important dates that matter to your audience, whether it’s Christmas, Valentine’s Day or Black Friday, industry-specific events, product launch days, or international days that are related to your niche.
- Plan Resources: Take the time to allocate your resources and budget accordingly, depending on when you are expecting your peak seasons, in order to determine whether you need to hire additional staff, ramp up your advertising spend or produce seasonal content.
Seasonal marketing is all about being in the moment and embracing the mood, direction, needs and aspirations of the season. Christmas tends to bring out a rather joyful and appreciative atmosphere, with everyone gifting their loved ones, while Black Friday carries with it a sense of urgency that provokes people to act immediately and impulsively. It’s important for your content and messaging to remain aligned with the priorities of your target audience, in order to be able to resonate with what they are feeling or looking for, and to consequently get them more interested in what you have to say and offer.
- Incorporate Trends: Keep on eye on emerging trends, relevant in-season topics and cultural references that you can incorporate in your content and messaging to make it more appealing, while establishing your brand as current and maintaining its high visibility.
- Seasonal Themes: Understand what each season or occasion is associated with and use that for inspiration for your content and messaging. For example, summer is mostly related to travel and outdoor activities, whereas autumn brings a more cosy, stay-in vibe.
The way you present your brand is vital to how your audience perceives you. Keeping a consistent look and feel throughout your social feeds, and expanding your visual direction into your offline activations and advertisements, can showcase a great commitment to your brand that consumers really appreciate, making them more inclined to trust and follow you. The same goes for your seasonal marketing efforts, as it’s a great opportunity to experiment with and update your branding elements to fit the mould of each season and occasion. It will also make your brand more likely to capture the audience’s attention and convey a sense of relevance.
- Seasonal Colours & Visuals: Use imagery and colours that relate to the spirit of the season. You can even go ahead and update your entire website, create separate landing pages, or revamp your social media feeds to take on an approach that fits the criteria of the season. For example, incorporate Christmas elements and colours for the festive period or use more earthy tones for autumn.
- Customised Logos: You can go all out, if it matches your brand’s aesthetic, and create seasonal variations of your logo, adding more elements that relate to each season or occasion, to showcase your adaptability and creativity.
Your marketing strategy can always benefit by dedicating extensive research in generating a clear idea of what your main competitors have been up to in previous years. It can be efficient in showing you which direction to move towards or steer clear from, and even use it as inspiration for garnering your own original ideas that fit your brand’s identity. Analysing your competitors' seasonal marketing efforts and best practices, or even noticing any international trends from other relevant brands, can provide you with valuable insights that can help you standout in a crowded marketplace.
- Differentiation: Use the findings from your research to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Shine a light on your own unique selling points that set you apart and try to attract your existing and new customers by trying something different, experimenting with new trends or even by taking advantage of opportunities that your competitions may have missed along their marketing efforts and uncover underserved niches within your industry that you can tap into.
- Competitive Analysis: Spend some time analysing your competitors’ past seasonal campaigns. What promotions, if any, do they tend to offer their audience? How are they engaging with users? What are their strengths and weaknesses, and how can you utilise them to your own advantage?
As mentioned previously, staying in tune with new trends and local seasonal events can give you the upper hand in terms of crafting marketing strategies that will allow your brand to stand out. Whether it’s a long-term TikTok trend, a popular design direction or local festivals, fairs, and possible influence collaborations or co-branding partnerships, there's ways to take advantage of everything that’s happening around you and successfully implement it into your seasonal marketing strategy.
- Holiday Tie-Ins: Think beyond traditional holidays, such as Easter or Valentine’s Day, and try to find international or national days that are relevant to your brand and welcome space for innovatively creative ideas of the present to be incorporated. Perhaps National Coffee Day or International Book Day can be great occasions to capitalise on, and give you a great excuse for remaining relevant and further connecting with your audience. Make sure they align perfectly with your brand’s services, products and identity, and expand on them with creative promotions, giveaways or simply themed content.
- Social Media Campaigns: Social media campaigns can be a great way for leveraging seasonal trends and events. For example, you can figure out the hashtags that are trending at a certain period, or any pop culture references that are taking over the digital world, and seamlessly infuse them into your content. You can act on the spot to jump on trends that will resonate with your audience by strategically staying in line with everything that’s happening and picking up on out-of-nowhere opportunities that you can utilise in your seasonal marketing strategy.
Seasonal marketing may require quite a bit of precision and planning to be perfectly executed, but it’s surely worth it. Following these 5 practices will give you a head start on your refreshed marketing strategies for the new year and will allow you to harness the power of seasons and seasonal holidays to put your brand on the digital map, all year round, while showcasing your deep understanding for consumers’ needs, behaviours and emotions at the right time.