What’s your New Year’s resolution this year? Is it to exercise more or eat healthier? Or perhaps it’s to revisit and fine-tune your marketing campaign? If you’re reading this, it probably is. People and brands alike tend to get a bit introspective every New Year – it’s the nature of the holiday. People reevaluating their lifestyles and brands are considering their marketing strategies for the upcoming year.
Technology is changing at such break-neck speed that businesses have to constantly adjust their marketing campaigns if they want to stay ahead of the competition. For many businesses, the dreary winter months following the holidays often result in quite a bit of downtime. Retailers finally get to relax after their busiest peaks, and seasonal enterprises are starting to think about their spring and summer products. Why not take this time to evaluate the success of your 2015 marketing campaign?
Tips for Re-Evaluating Your Campaign This Winter
An effective new campaign isn’t possible without identifying what worked and what didn’t last year. Look at the components of your old campaign and ask yourself:
- What were my specific goals last year? Was I trying to increase brand recognition or improve my conversion rates? Did my campaign achieve that?
- How did the campaign achieve those goals? What specific touch-points provided the most improvement? Maybe you optimized your website for mobile and local marketing and saw more
foot traffic as a result. Perhaps you changed your CTA and have since noticed more e-mail sign ups.
- What wasn’t effective about my campaign? Were your e-mail newsletters only opened by a few customers?
- Are there any new trends applicable to your brand? Think about your target audience and if it’s changed over the past year.
- Is it feasible for you to invest more resources, or do you need to cut costs? Look at your marketing budget for 2015 and whether or not you stayed within it.
Answering these questions will give you a solid foundation for your 2016 campaign. Make a list of the ineffective and effective elements. The ineffective ones should be replaced, tweaked, or dumped altogether, depending on your budget. Perhaps no one read your e-mail newsletters because they weren’t perceived as valuable, or maybe the headlines simply need to be catchier.
Use your analytics platform to see what specific areas attracted or repelled consumers. If your customers are coming to you through your social media channels, great! Keep doing what you’re doing. If they’re sticking around and exploring your website but not converting, do a better job of creating urgency. Convince them to buy before it’s too late.
Winter-Specific Marketing Tips
A lot of companies tend to see a significant slump after the holidays. This is natural: people have spent a lot of money on gifts already, and winter weather doesn’t really inspire people to go out and buy stuff. Most people want to hibernate and watch movies on the couch. However, you can still use off-season weather to your advantage.
Create Content Inspired by the Off-Season
You’ll always be expected to create engaging and valuable content for your readers. In the winter months, that can seem tough to do, especially if you’re an off-season brand. Instead of starting your summer campaign early, use the winter weather to inspire your content. For example, let’s imagine you’re a retailer specializing in beach and surf products. No one likes to see beach chairs when they visit a store in January. What the heck are you supposed to do all winter when no one is even thinking about the ocean?
Here are a few ideas for winter-related content:
- A post about the reasons why surfing in the winter is actually better: fewer people, better waves, and water that’s warmer than the air. Plus, if readers buy one of your insulated wetsuits, they won’t even feel the cold!
- A post featuring exercises to keep your body in summer shape all year long.
- A list of hand-curated and healthy winter food and drink recipes or winter-inspired cocktails that will keep you toasty.
- “X surfing movies you have to watch this winter.” Customers will appreciate a wonderful recommendation for those extra chilly nights they want to spend inside.
Consumers may not be thinking about the beach, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be thinking of you. Keep them interested all winter with engaging content, and you’ll be the first thing they think of once the weather turns.
Local Customers = Loyal Customers (If You Treat Them Right)
If you haven’t heard this yet, off-season is a remarkable time to offer sales and discounts. If you have a brick and mortar store, give the locals a little something extra for sticking around. A lot of seasonal companies revel in the influx of tourists every year but tend to forget their local fans once all the tourists head home for the winter.
Let your local audience know you appreciate their business. That product you sell for $50 in the busy summer months can be marked down to $25, and your local shoppers will feel like they’re getting the better end of the deal—because they are. Focusing on your local fans will build a loyal following that might just get you the support you need through those slow winter months.
Winter doesn’t have to be about chapped lips and runny noses. If you spend your time revamping your campaign for the new year and embracing the winter instead of fighting it, it’ll go by in no time.
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