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Off-season Online Marketing: How can it help your seasonal business?

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Being centrally located in the beautiful Black Hills, where tourism is a key industry, Robert Sharp & Associates frequently works with seasonal clients. From restaurants to tourist attractions, to retail stores, many of our clients only operate during the peak summer months when vacationers are flooding the area.

However, as marketing experts, we understand that online marketing during the off-season is just as important to your business success as marketing during peak months. Just because your business may be only open 3-4 months out of the year doesn’t mean you want to be put on the backburner during the rest of the year. Utilizing social media and digital advertisements are great ways to create top-of-mind awareness, build relationships with your patrons, and make you stand out amongst the competition.

In fact, while many seasonal businesses stop their marketing efforts in the off-season to save money, this may be one of the best ways to engage with your audience and build your customer base.

In this blog, RSA will dive into marketing online in the off-season, how to do it, and how it will benefit your seasonal business. 

Build top-of-mind awareness

Top-of-mind awareness refers to being the first brand or company that comes to mind when thinking of a particular industry. The best way to build top-of-mind awareness is to ensure you are maintaining a consistent posting schedule and interacting with your client base. If your followers go months without seeing any posts or updates from you, you will eventually start to fade from their minds. With many companies backing off of their marketing efforts in the off-season, this presents a great opportunity to engage your current following and build upon it. During peak seasons, social media is often oversaturated with content. When things slow down is a perfect time for you to ramp up your marketing strategy and connect with old and new customers. That way, when the season rolls around, you’ll be on the top of their mind.

It gives you a competitive edge

As mentioned, many businesses back off or even completely halt their marketing efforts in the off-season. This is a great time to get a leg up on your competitors. Say you own a seasonal tourist attraction and you compete with various attractions in your area. If all those businesses halt their marketing efforts in the off-season, but you continue posting informative, relevant content, when the season rolls around you’ll have built a reputation with consumers. Through your marketing efforts, you can build trust throughout the off-season so when the peak season comes around they’ll be patiently waiting for you to open your doors.

Take the time to create great content

We all know how crazy things get during the busy season and sometimes this has a negative impact on our social media strategy. When you are dealing with the day-to-day tasks of running a business, crafting and uploading informative, creative content is sometimes too much to add to your plate. That is why the off-season is a great time to do some planning and creating.  With less going on you can take your time to plan out what kind of content you want to be posting. In fact, you can even draft some blog articles, or post ideas and set them aside until your busy season hits. That way, even when things get overwhelming you still have a variety of quality content to share with your followers.

Gather customer reviews

Customer reviews are a great way to improve your reputation and build trust with consumers. Potential customers are likely going to trust the positive words of other people that have visited your business over the content you post. Customer reviews allow people to receive real feedback about your business, customer service, products, and more! The off-season is a great time to reach out to existing customers and ask them to leave positive reviews. This can be done by way of an email marketing campaign, emailing customers directly, or creating a post on your social media page to encourage them to leave a review. When the busy season comes back around you’ll have a slew of recent, positive reviews that consumers can look at before visiting your business!

Generate buzz for the upcoming season

The off-season is a great time to generate buzz and excitement for the upcoming season. If you are adding a new service, product, or attraction to your business sharing that with customers is a great way to get them excited. Another way to create excitement is to create a giveaway that winners can cash in on once you’re open again. Whether you offer a sale, discounted ticket prices, or a product giveaway you’ll receive many comments and shares from excited customers. In addition, leading up to your opening day for the season, posting updated hours, policies, or products is another great way to build hype. This way, when opening day comes along, you’ll have a long line of excited customers who’ve been waiting for the big day!

In addition to all the benefits mentioned above, off-season marketing can often be a cheaper way to promote your business. During peak seasons when social platforms and online advertising is over-saturated you may pay more for ad placements. When things slow down, you can get the same message out at a fraction of the cost.

The Digital Marketing experts at RSA work with many seasonal tourist attractions in the area and we plan and run their social media campaigns even in the off-season. If you’re wondering how off-season marketing could benefit your business, give us a call at (605)341-5226. Our team can create a marketing strategy that is within your budget and provides measurable returns.

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