Aug 19 2010
When the busy season hits, it means it’s time to gear up, hire more people and often, completely ignore the marketing efforts. I’ve seen this occur more than I’d like. Sure, things got crazy, but now is when you show off your keen management skills by recognizing opportunity marketing. Because if the “I’m too busy” mentality continues, the busy season will be over sooner rather than later – perhaps because your search rankings drop due to neglect.
The “busy season” actually offers rare opportunities to take your marketing to a “whole ‘nother level!” There’s no question that your top priority during the busy season is selling and servicing your customers, but here are practical ways to harness the flood of traffic and prospects…
Build up email subscribers so you can market to them again and again. When’s the last time you subscribed to an e-newsletter because you saw a little box on the site that says “Subscribe to our Newsletter”? It rarely happens. So, give an incentive or something of value in exchange for their email address.
With one of my clients in the entertainment industry, we offered special rates for subscribing and that tactic still gets a boatload of subscribers even though the busy season is over for them this year.
Make it easy to leave good reviews/testimonials on yelp, kudzu and other review sites.
Choose a page of your site that builds credibility, maybe the “About” page, and link over to your yelp or kudzu profile page. If you don’t have many reviews yet, send an email to your customers (especially new customers) showing them where they can review your business regarding the latest transaction.
Build up facebook and twitter followers who can spread your message even further.
Most businesses realize there’s something about facebook and twitter to keep customers and prospects engaged, but haven’t quite solved the puzzle yet. If you aren’t trying creative ideas to build up followers on these two mediums and testing them against your business objectives, these places will continue to be a mystery to you.
Decide on your goals, choose a strategy, connect with your target audience, develop a mutually beneficial relationship with the audience and test for success or failure within a reasonable time frame (perhaps during the busy season). But, please don’t assume you have tried social media marketing simply because an employee created a few social profile pages.
Plan ahead to continue producing great content even when things get crazy. If you expect your busy season to hit in the Fall, then double up on your blog posts, videos, and/or articles in June through August. Save the extra content for your Fall publishing schedule, then you’ll likely be covered.
Build a partnership with your marketing vendor or team to fill in the gaps:
- Qualify your marketing vendors to identify one you’ve worked with long enough who understands your business and target audience.
- Schedule regular meetings to discuss results and recommendations.
- Clarify and reiterate your goals – you’d be surprised how far regular communication with your marketing vendor will go (because communication is the lifeblood of any real relationship).
If a partnership is meant to be it will be because trust forms, barriers to communication fall and everyone gets on-board with your company’s vision. When you begin to see your marketing vendor as a trusted partner, everyone benefits from accountable commitments – you get valuable traffic from multiple sources, optimized conversion rates and returning customers and your new partner is able to provide even better services to a valuable client.
So, toss the “I’m too busy” mentality, recognize opportunity marketing and use the busy season as a way to accelerate your marketing by harnessing the flood of traffic that only comes then. In the words of the successful entrepreneur, David Heinemeier Hansson , “Having a limited amount of time to work on something really focuses your energy.”
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