Selling Ice Cream in winter: 9 Ways to Work Inbound Marketing for Seasonal Markets

Will it be possible to design strategies that allow you to be close to your Leads throughout the year in seasonal markets? Yea! See 9 ways to do this

Before starting, a question: do you know what a seasonal market is?

To understand what seasonality is in a graphic and almost wordless way, analyze the image below:

inbound marketing for seasonal markets

Seasonal markets are those that are highly influenced by events, commemorative dates, times of the year or other factors that increase or decrease the demand for a particular product or service. Ask an ice cream shop owner if he likes winter as much as summer.

Gyms, travel agencies, chocolate production, ice cream, school transport vans and other business models are periodically impacted by something in their numbers and results.

Inbound Marketing is characterized by attracting people to build a relationship. If you want to refresh your memory or learn a little more, visit our Inbound Marketing page: everything you need to know.

And is it possible to design strategies that allow you to be close to your Leads throughout the year? Not only is it, but Skymarketing will show you 9 strategies to accomplish this.

Preparation: what I need to have on hand before starting

To have the best result of seasonality in your favor, first understand two important factors to build your strategy:

  1. Periods of increased visits to your website: if your website has been around for longer, it will be clearer to have a more accurate idea of ​​how your visitors behave during the course of the year. Metrics can be looked at within Google Analytics to understand how you record your spikes.
  2. Understand 110% of your persona: if you’re still not clear on who your persona is, our Persona Generator will help you with the task. Without this well-defined, your actions will not hit the Lead at the exact moment to have a personalized and accurate communication.

Understand the persona’s main habits not only when she is consuming or thinking about consuming your product or service, but mainly how she behaves and what her interests are when she is not thinking about you — that is, when it is not time to consume ice cream , what will my customer consume?

Is ice cream eaten alone or with friends? Do you have special reasons to consume or is it a habit for most of them? What are the direct and indirect substitutes for ice cream?

After this previous analysis step, let’s go ahead to know some actions that can be taken.

Time for action: what can I do?

1. Increase Leads base while at peak

Nothing better than taking advantage of your biggest search moment to increase your Leads base. It is not simply to increase their numbers, but to ensure the health and future of your Inbound Marketing strategies.

We know that it is very common for the Leads base to change a lot in a given period due to several factors: change of interest (no longer interested in that subject requesting unsubscribe), invalid emails (for example, corporate emails) or emotional unsubscribe (receive, do not ask unsubscribe, but also do not interact), among other reasons.

So, use and abuse Leads capture points, for example:

  • Create Landing Pages with specific materials for each offer, both on the blog and on your website;
  • Use exit pop ups , which are great ways to know which topics your Leads are most interested in per specific page — for example, who accessed the products or services area has a different interest than who accessed the company description page;
  • Invite the Lead to subscribe to your email newsletter or blog articles.

2. Request feedback from your customers about your products and services

When leaving a concert with your favorite band or enjoying a wonderful dish in the restaurant you love, you keep talking about it for a while, right? We all do this after going through some experience that was remarkable to us.

So, take advantage of this moment of high energy and excitement from your Lead to request an analysis about your service or product. It will certainly be much richer in detail, truer and more authentic, ensuring continuity in times of low demand.

Use these testimonials to communicate with your Lead via Email Marketing, making them have a very fond and positive memory of you.

On the blog, encourage people with a testimonials section on your site where, for example, everyone who produces a review about you will be entered into a sweepstakes.

Encourage Lead to post reviews in different formats to activate all your media and channels like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

3. Have a social media strategy active throughout the year

We are the third most connected country in the world: we spend more than 5 hours a day surfing the internet.

You may not have the Lead ready or at the time of purchase, but you may have it near you throughout the year. Like? Investing in content for your persona.

I sell refrigeration products but I know I can be present throughout the year

Cold socks can be excellent options to show off a different style, not just in winter

4. Communication via Email Marketing at strategic moments

The idea here is for you to be present at moments that may be of interest to your audience. For example, commemorative dates like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Children’s Day and others can be excellent tools to promote your brand.

There is the possibility of following commemorative dates in addition to the conventional ones mentioned above on the RD Station, which can help to strengthen the relationship with your Leads in a very positive way.

5. Innovate in the way you use your product/service

Is it hard to sell ice cream during the winter? Innovate in the way people can consume dessert. Create, for example, a content with some recipes that can be made with ice cream even in winter.

How about knowing what people who live in a cold country like Switzerland do during the hottest times of the year? With targeted content of this type, a tour company can even offer exclusive discounts to visit these destinations that have historically had a low turnover in the hottest times of the year.

6. Specialize in something niche during the off-season

Do you know a person who, for example, has lactose intolerance and who, because of that, needs to restrict their diet? Have you ever talked to her about how difficult it is to look for food options to meet your needs?

As one of those people with food restrictions, I guarantee that all the content that is presented to me on the topic generates conversions and sales in many cases. Therefore, invest in very specific options and work with the sub-segments of your segment.

Another example: sustainable fashion is something that grows more and more with the manufacture of products that respect environmental laws and bring less impact on society. Be a reference with the production of content in this area.

7. Make communications and promotions out of the traditional context

Let’s assume you sell stylized socks. Do you know those days that are too hot? Great: make a joke with your audience that is probably thinking: “Wow, I miss winter!”. At this time, offer a discount on the purchase of two pairs, for example on your social media and Email Marketing.

The idea is to break Lead’s expectations with communication designed to generate business opportunities or interactions that enable a differentiated experience.

8. Focus on people in the community and regions close to your business

During peak periods, shops in Florianópolis and many other tourist squares in the summer are taken over by visitors who in many cases guarantee year-round sales. However, for the rest of the year, they suffer from the lack of demand, which forces them to reduce the offer of their product or service.

One opportunity in this scenario is to leverage paid media campaigns on Facebook and Google AdWords that target people who live close to your business.

Check out the Paid Media Guide to Inbound Marketing and understand — in theory and in practice — how to attract more customers through paid channels.

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Your customer acquisition cost can greatly decrease at these times with actions of this type, in addition to ensuring an increasingly predictable and less intense frequency over time.

9. Create long journeys of nutrition for your Lead contemplating the entire low demand path

If your product or service is something that requires longer nutrition because it is something too complex to be explained quickly, the suggestion is to create nutrition journeys in which the Lead is nurtured during the low demand period.

As a practical example, let’s imagine a university with enrollments only once a year. Your period of high demand is usually the 2 or 3 months before classes start.

During the remaining nine months, it is necessary to nurture the Lead with content. In the months after the start of classes, the Leads can be offered a vocational test to help them make an important choice. Then, provide a statement with all the career possibilities that a given course provides.

Another action is to show how the course syllabus is. It can be made available on a Landing Page like the example below from Udacity .

And finally, with the selection process approaching, offering a preparation guide for upcoming exams is an excellent way to capture new Leads or assist potential candidates.

Conclusion

Seasonality is crucial for many businesses. However, the choice of not being present in the life of your Leads is optional for the business manager.

As shown in this article, there are clear opportunities to be relevant to your Lead in times of both low and high demand. Most actions require a deep understanding of your personas and what they have of interest in your industry, even if out of pure curiosity.

The ideal is to be present in your persona’s life at all times. Some will be more intense, with more constant communications, but this is very costly, as it requires very large investments and efforts allocated at once.

With a strategy planned throughout the year for your Leads you will have a relationship much longer than last summer’s love that didn’t climb the hill.