I grew up on Cape Cod, a coastal community in Massachusetts that’s known as a vacation destination (in the summer, that is). In fact, the region’s population balloons from 200,000 to more than 500,000!
For many local businesses, this means that a large chunk (or even all) of their revenue comes in from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day weekend. There are plenty of benefits to operating a seasonal business, but it can make marketing a challenge.
To help combat this, we’ve pulled together our top 5 marketing tips for seasonal businesses.
1. Plan ahead during the slow season.
It’s refreshing to take a second to breathe after the busy season comes to a close. But, the off-season can fly by, and before you know it, you’re replenishing your stock and planning to re-open!
Take advantage of the lull in activity and craft your marketing plan during the off-season. Make note of important dates and holidays, plan your sales and promotions, schedule our your marketing campaigns, and start filling in your content calendars so everything is ready to go once your customers start rolling in.
2. Avoid radio silence.
Keep posting on social media and sending occasional emails during the off-season. You can (and should) lighten your promotions during this time, but make sure to post on a consistent, albeit less often, basis to keep your marketing channels looking fresh and updated. Otherwise, your customers may think you’re no longer in business, especially when they’re researching their vacation plans months out.
3. Build up your content catalog.
It may be tempting to post all of your content in real-time during the busy season to continue to drive traffic into your store or book appointments. Instead, hold onto some content so you can post it during the off-season so you can continue to post on a consistent basis and build momentum leading up to the summer, helping to you avoid radio silence.
4. Partner with other local brands.
If you feel like you’ve run out of marketing ideas during your slow times, consider partnering with another local brand on a campaign. If you’re still open, host an event, like a shop and sip, with another local business to get customers in the door.
Shut your doors for the season? Work alongside another brand or two on a social media giveaway package that can be mailed to the winner, which will drum up activity across your channels.
5. Consider hiring help.
Businesses on Cape Cod are coming back to life now and preparing for another busy season. I often get the question - “Why do I need to keep marketing when I’m busy?” It’s a great question with a pretty simple answer - it won’t always stay that way.
Your revenue may slow down predictably, like when the seasons change, or unexpectedly, like when a competitor moves in down the street. Either way, you need to be thinking ahead and actively reaching new customers and building loyalty amongst your current customers.