When one mentions seasonal marketing, the thing that first comes to mind is holiday sales. That isn’t surprising, since the time period between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday sees about 174 million people in the United States shop in stores and online.
However, seasonal marketing covers a wide range of topics. It can mean a season of the year, popular events such as back to school or other holidays such as Valentine’s Day. There is an entire range of seasonal branding marketers must consider.
Seasonal branding requires a different focus than marketing that focuses on other aspects of a product or promotion. Here are 14 tips with seasonal branding in mind that will help your business reach the heights you want and deserve:
1. Keep the Focus on Your Brand Personality
Seasonal branding doesn’t mean walking away from everything your brand typically stands for. If your message is that you are serious and reliable, then your seasonal branding shouldn’t be goofy and comedic. You should still stick with the same tone and personality your brand typically has, but you should give it a seasonal twist.
2. Use Seasonal Keywords
During various holidays, searches go up for specific terms related to that holiday. If you can tie those keywords to your brand, then you have a chance of ranking for seasonal keywords and reaching new leads.
For example, if you sell tablecloths, then adding info on seasonal tablecloths and targeting keywords for holidays such as Easter and Christmas allows you to tap into a need consumers have for your product.
3. Know Your Audience
Make sure you truly understand your audience and their needs from season to season. For example, if your target audience is young mothers, then back-to-school sales will be a big deal. If your target audience is professional men over 50 years of age, then they probably won’t care much about back to school.
You have to target your seasonal branding wisely so your audience actually cares about your marketing.
4. Get Mobile-Friendly
About one-third of online sales are done via mobile devices, which means you must ensure any seasonal sales are mobile-friendly. Create a scenario where your seasonal sales are more successful simply by tapping into the large audience who uses mobile devices to shop online.
5. Use Flash Sales
Have you ever waited until the last possible minute to buy a gift for Christmas? One way you can draw people to your seasonal sales is by keeping them posted on what you’re doing. Create a newsletter and tell your subscribers about those sales so they can jump in on last-minute gift-buying. Offer discounted expedited shipping to get the gifts there fast.
6. Don’t Change Your Logo
While it’s OK to change your logo a bit, don’t change it so much that it no longer looks like your brand. Keep the font the same and make small changes, such as swapping out for holiday colors or hanging an image off one of the tall letters. Add a green logo to promotional products at Christmas with a splash of red, for example.
If you want a good example of how to seasonalize your logo, take a look at how Google changes things throughout the year. It celebrates a wide variety of things and will change the features of its logo while keeping the font and size the same and keeping that recognizable symbol people know.
7. Plan Ahead
When it comes to seasonal branding, you have to get out ahead of the seasons. If possible, plan a yearly calendar. You can always make changes along the way as you find things that work and things that don’t. However, having a plan allows you to take out advertising space, create images to go with seasonal sales, and even prepare with additional inventory for those things you intend to push during various seasons.
8. Use Seasonal Hashtags
Get an extra boost with your seasonal branding by grabbing seasonal hashtags. Use them to reach those looking for those specific words on social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
9. Measure the ROI of Seasonal Marketing
Take a look at the analytics behind your seasonal marketing. Getting a firm grip on the return on your investment is key to improving your seasonal branding from year to year. Figure out which campaigns get the most leads, for example, and then repeat those campaigns to improve sales.
10. Don’t Neglect Other Branding
Even though seasonal branding allows you to target a specific audience looking for particular products, don’t neglect on-seasonal branding. In addition to your seasonal branding, you must reach customers with an evergreen approach that works as well today as it does two years from now.
Storytelling is one way to accomplish strong company branding. Think outside the box as well. Instead of strictly branding for Christmas or Fourth of July, what do people need year-round? Perhaps you throw your efforts into a birthday present campaign, for example.
11. Add Accent Colors
Rather than changing everything about your logo and your site, tie into one or two colors synonymous with the holiday you’re promoting. If you are focusing on Halloween, you might add splashes of orange here and there. For Christmas, add a bit of red and green. You certainly don’t have to change your entire page to orange. You can simply add some text in a feature color, a call-to-action button or accents in that color, such as arrows.
12. Change Your Packaging
Make sure that you include the season in your packaging, particularly if the product is well-suited for a specific holiday. A good example of holiday packaging is found on Starbucks coffee cups. It adds snowflakes or a red background, but the logo remains the same and is easily recognizable.
13. Know Why You’re Adding Seasonal Branding
Don’t just add seasonal branding for the sake of adding it. Instead, make sure you have a valid reason for targeting a specific season. For example, if most of your December sales are gifts for Christmas, then it makes sense to tap into that market a bit more.
On the other hand, if your December sales look exactly like your June sales, then you may be wiser to spend your marketing budget elsewhere.
14. Guide Your Customers
Guide your customers toward the seasonal merchandise you know they want from your internal analytics and through studying the markets. Take the time to write a guide to help your customer find the perfect gift for a variety of seasonal events. You could also offer ideas for ways your product might be used during the holidays.
Seasonal Branding Tips
Start with these ideas and reach consumers with seasonal marketing. However, be open to new ideas as they come along and trends for various holidays. Don’t rule out marketing specifically to fall or winter, either. Marketing with the changing seasons in mind works particularly well for clothing brands, for example.
Thinking ahead and adding the ideas that make sense for your brand allows you to tap into seasonal markets and gain new customers.