. Jul 12, 2022 . 10 minutes read
One of the biggest mistakes many businesses make is failing to transition their marketing strategies with the seasons.
Understanding the effects that the seasons have on your consumers and general market can help you to take advantage of new opportunities to boost sales.
In this guide, we’re going to be taking a look at how you can tailor your marketing strategy to the seasons to keep your brand relevant and converting all year round.
A strong understanding of seasonal SEO is absolutely crucial for developing a winning SEO strategy, getting insights from your performance data and delivering accurate reports to your clients.
This is because the way in which external, predictable annual events such as Christmas, Easter, Summer etc affect SEO metrics like clicks, impressions and rankings can affect the way in which we plan and execute SEO campaigns.
Generally, it takes about 6 months to start seeing the impact of SEO efforts which is why you should always start early when it comes to planning for seasonal events.
So if you’d like to rank for ‘Halloween’ and ‘Back to School’ terms, plan this in between March and May so that your content has a chance to be indexed and settle in search engine results pages (SERP's).
Then when the time eventually comes round, you won’t have to work from scratch and can instead start to fine-tune your strategy and build on existing assets.
Map your performance data over the last twelve months and analyse where any dips or peaks align with seasonal events. This can help you to identify opportunities that you may not have previously been aware of.
If you’re a new startup and don’t have any past data to learn from, it can be useful to look at competitor data using tools like SEMrush’s ‘Traffic Analysis’ to give you a better idea of your market.
These peaks and dips should be taken into consideration when reporting as although this temporary increase in organic traffic is a positive thing, it is unlikely to remain at the same level the month after.
In order to improve navigation and user experience (UX) on your site, make sure to add category pages for each relevant season on your site, such as Christmas, New Year, Easter, Summer. Back to School
These pages can then have their own child pages to target long-tail search queries. For example, the category page ‘Christmas’ may link to other pages such as ‘Gifts for Him’, ‘Gifts for Her’, ‘Gifts for Kids’, ‘Christmas Party Fashion’, ‘Christmas Food’ etc.
The URL should then ideally be homepage.com/christmas/gifts-for-him and breadcrumbs can work in a similar way, such as Home > Christmas > Gifts for Him.
Make sure to link to these seasonal pages from the header and footer at least 30 days prior to the season to allow as much traffic as possible before the season ends.
Once the season is over, remember to remove the links from the header and footer. Don’t delete the pages as they can be reused again next year.
One thing to note is that you shouldn’t use the date or year in the URL and unless you plan on updating them annually, don’t use the date or year in the title or H1's.
Make sure to build your backlinks well in advance of the season in order to give Google plenty of time to capture the value of your content.
Take a look at your existing content assets and see if any of it could be improved with a seasonal refresh.
You can even use last year’s seasonal content and make a few changes, such as editing the intro to reflect current times and updating titles e.g. Changing “Best Father’s Day Gifts 2021” to “Best Father’s Day Gifts 2022”.
This keeps the content fresh and relevant, and if your old article already has some authority, you can pretty much guarantee that it will rank higher for searches after you spend some time updating it.
Take the time to write some really great content for your website that relates to the season. It’s always good to have a mix of content that drives traffic directly and indirectly to the site.
More generic blog post titles that directly drive traffic include examples such as:
These typically involve content which links to your product pages to drive conversions.
Content that indirectly drives traffic works by linking through to key pages on your website to give it more structure and indicate to Google which pages are most important.
This content can be much more fun to produce as there’s less pressure to drive direct conversions.
Most potent content is time-sensitive, particularly when you’re discussing seasonal events that take place at a specific point within the calendar year.
It’s no good sending content live on a hunch- take some time doing some industry research, and studying your own historical data to determine the best time to send out these date-specific posts.
Ensuring the content is being pushed live at the right moment will help increase traffic to the site and the likelihood of the content actually adding value to the user.
It’s also best to get your content done early and well in advance of the season/event- there is no point pushing a piece of content live which discusses Halloween on the 1st of November.
We find it’s best to work at least 2-3 months in advance, so have your Christmas content written by October at the very latest, especially for clients where there may be a longer turn-around for getting things signed off.
This way you won’t be panicking last minute and there’s more than enough time for the client to approve the content prior to uploading and publishing.
Social media is all about the here and now and each season offers new opportunities to post up-to-date and relevant content to encourage more engagement, following and website visits.
Post about relevant days and events that resonate with your brand and audience but make sure not to go overboard with it otherwise it feels forced. For example, if your company sells vegan skincare products, there’s little point posting about National Lumpy Rug Day (yes, that’s a real day!)
However, you might wish to post about National Winter Skin Relief Day, discussing which of your products are best for dry skin in cold weather. Or for National Cherry Month, you may wish to announce your latest cherry infused product.
Take a look at sites like dayoftheyear.com to find events which could be relevant to your brand.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of posting content that looks the same all year round but in order to keep your audience engaged it’s always good to review and refresh your content to suit the season.
For example, over the festive season you may want to include glitter, fairy lights and baubles in your product posts. In Spring you may wish to use more vibrant colours and use grassy backgrounds for your flatlays.
Lots of brands like to use blue skies, pools and beaches as their post backdrops as the weather gets hotter, with the addition of inflatables, sunglasses and cocktails for the ultimate Summer vibe.
In Autumn, orange leaves, pumpkins and cobwebs can be perfect additions to your posts.
One brand that does this very well is Superdrug. Below are some examples of their different styled posts to suit each season.
Another brand in particular has a very obvious shift in theme as the seasons go by. Aldi’s Instagram grid is in the style of one everlasting dining table that is decorated to suit each season. This works excellently alongside their seasonal food products.
One way in which you can easily get a large amount of organic engagement is by posting on TikTok and Reels.
Short form video content is becoming more and more popular and the key thing here is that audiences want authentic and simple content- not high production editing or carefully scripted content.
That’s why ‘behind the scenes’ style videos are doing incredibly well for businesses, where they show the people behind the brand and the work they do.
Some authentic and fun seasonal video examples you could do include:
Of course, this all depends on whether TikTok is suitable for your brand. If you are incredibly corporate and have clients that expect you to remain professional, it’s probably not the best idea to film yourselves mucking about in the office.
Building a relevant email list is something you should be doing all year round, however it’s especially important to capitalise on the increased traffic during certain seasons by tagging and segmenting new signups by seasonal interest.
If you build an effective email list prior to Black Friday, you’re guaranteed to see a lot more sales. Lots of businesses invite people to join their newsletter by offering them early access to their Black Friday deals as an incentive.
Other incentives include sneak previews, exclusive access to deals/offers and free product/service samples.
Launching a competition is a great way to kickstart the season and they’re also incredibly effective for data capture. On the enter form, encourage your email recipients to fill in certain details, such as preferences or opinions about your service.
You can then use this data to better segment and target your seasonal email marketing campaigns in the future.
In the build up to a season or event, you may wish to send out exclusive daily deals and offers to your email list.
One way many companies do this is with an advent calendar style email which is sent each day in the run up to Christmas, offering a different deal every day that usually only lasts for 24 hours.
By limiting each offer available to just a day, it creates a greater sense of urgency to head over to your website and make an order.
This also builds anticipation as customers wonder what tomorrow’s offer will be and come back to check their emails.
Paid search involves understanding the peaks and dips of your audience’s interest, working out how this impacts your objectives and how to budget accordingly.
That’s why it is vital to know how seasonality affects consumer trends, bidding and conversion rates in order to remain competitive within your industry
If you’re unsure about whether or not the changes in your sales are a result of seasonality, you can carry out a seasonality performance test.
If you’re looking to get a general overview of your budget and volume, then the Adwords ‘View by Month’ report is a great resource and can be found inside the Campaign tabs in your account.
Consumers are constantly being bombarded with irrelevant spammy ads so it's crucial to create fresh, relevant ads that will help you stand out from the crowd.
A great way to remain relevant and fresh is to adapt your ad text and keywords. For example, instead of having boring ad copy such as “Women’s perfumes”, use emotive language to grab attention like “Christmas present panic? Get top brand perfumes delivered next day!”
Not only does this tell consumers what you sell, it tells them why they should buy it and the benefit of next day delivery whilst providing a solution to their problem of being unable to find a Christmas gift fast.
You should also think about changing your bidding to solely commercial keywords around seasonal peaks as targeting informational keywords can lead to more traffic without conversion rate success.
Remember to include keywords that are searched more during certain time periods. For example, Google found a 27% increase in Black Friday related queries in 2013 in the lead up to Black Friday.
Including these will make your CPC's more efficient, improve your quality score and increase your ad reach.
Common deal-modifiers include:
The phrase ‘the early bird catches the worm’ couldn't be more true when it comes to PPC.
A large percentage of consumers like to get shopping done well in advance of certain events such as Christmas, Easter and Summer holiday shopping to help spread the cost and ensure everything arrives in plenty of time and can be returned/exchanged if needed.
That’s why you should generally be thinking a season (3 months) ahead when planning your PPC campaigns and tweak them over time to maximise your budget.
Much like social media posts, if your ads use images they need to send a strong subconscious message to the consumer about your offer.
Look at the House of York ad below. It has exciting-looking presents under a tree to match the excitement of the competition in the copy and aligns excellently with “Guess What’s Under the Christmas Tree”.
For many businesses, staying on top of seasonal marketing trends can be tricky and time consuming when managing all other aspects of their business.
That’s why at Statuo, we deliver effective marketing solutions to keep your brand thriving all year round.
For more information on our services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today!