If you own an ice cream shop in Minnesota, a ski resort in Boulder, or an ugly Christmas sweater company, you’ve probably experienced the difficulties of the off-season. It’s not a booming time for your business whatever you do, your website loses traffic and the revenue slows down—so what should you do? Well you could sit around and wait, but if you own your own business there’s a good chance you didn’t get to where you are now by just sitting around.
An important thing to remember is that even though they might not be making purchases or using your services during the off-season, you should still be trying to engage with your customers. Think of the channels you load up with CTAs throughout the peak season. Those customers aren’t going anywhere, so connect with them! Here are some tips we’ve found helpful to keep our momentum during the off-season:
Create Awesome Content:
We’ve all heard it; content is king. As a marketer we think incessantly about how we can improve our website, engage our visitors, and drive traffic. If you’re working in the off-season to maintain a steady flow of remarkable content on your blog, think about how you can do it with an off-season twist. If you’re that ski resort in Boulder, business might be tough but you can still target your audience with great content. Here’s a few blog post ideas:
- 5 of the Best Mountain Biking Trails in Boulder
- 3 Extreme Summer Sports You Should Try Now
- 7 Hikes in Boulder You Need to do this Summer
Expand Your Product Line:
Are you an ice cream shop in Minnesota? Start selling hot chocolate. A ski resort in Boulder? Open up backpacking trips or a white-water rafting division. Whatever your expertise you can easily broaden it and expand. Think about what else your customers like to do. If you’re not sure, ask them.
At Tipsy Elves we found ourselves searching for new opportunities. We love our Christmas sweaters, and they are how we launched and grew our company, but we needed to find a way to engage with our customers outside of the Christmas season. We knew before we went on Shark Tank that we wanted to expand into other holidays, while maintaining a similar look and feel to our products. With guidance from Robert Herjavec, we were able to launch new lines this year including Valentine’s Day shirts, St. Patrick’s Day shirts, and American Flag apparel.
Stay in Touch:
Be active on social media, even if it’s just engaging with local customers. Talk about things in the industry or ideas for new products. Being in touch with those that have already connected with your business on social media can really help create hype for the next season. Funny tweets and memes can remind your followers about your business. Even a little nudge to their memory can have them thinking about whether or not they might want another season pass to the ski resort.
You can also offer special discounts to loyal customers through giveaways and emails. Remember, you are in the off-season, so don’t overdo it. Keep it short and sweet, but still offer some incentive. If it’s ninety degrees outside and your audience is hiding in the shade, what better time to offer a discount on ski equipment?
Off-season marketing isn’t easy but it’s rewarding. Remember, creative ideas are usually the best ones. So get together with your team and work on being different; your customers will thank you.
Evan Mendelsohn is the cofounder of Tipsy Elves, a company that specializes in the sale of fun clothing items for various holidays and events throughout the year.