DTC 375: Building Hype

Seasonal products usually only do well at certain times of the year.

Fireworks for the 4th of July, candy for Halloween, you get the picture. 🎆🎃

But the off-season doesn’t have to be riddled with cobwebs. 🕸️

Here are six marketing strategies to keep your business thriving, revenue flowing, and customers engaged throughout an entire year—not just seasonally. 

1️⃣ Create multiple selling “seasons” with special offers and events

Imagine: sipping a Mai Thai on the beach while shopping for your new Christmas tree. 🏖️🎄

Sound weird? Not if that fabulous tree is 50% off!

King of Christmas sells artificial Christmas trees, a product most people only think about in the winter. However, they’ve created another selling season for their business with a huge sale in the middle of summer.

This is genius. 👏 

King of Christmas uses Spring to build hype and Summer to cash in on their biggest sale of the year, helping them generate brand awareness and revenue during the usual slow times for Christmas cheer.

But heavy discounts on products (especially during the off-season) might not be the right strategy for you. 

Special offers could also look like:

  • Free shipping
  • Buy one, get one
  • Complementary gifts
  • Limited edition products
  • Exclusive bundles
  • Buy now, pay later
  • Early payment specials (e.g., % off for signing up early, like ski passes)

An enticing enough offer can persuade many shoppers to make an out-of-season purchase!

2️⃣ Highlight gifting opportunities

Reframing your product as a thoughtful gift is another way to generate more sales in the off-season.

And the best part? Gifts aren’t just given on holidays like Father’s Day or Hannukah. They’re exchanged all year long:

  • Birthdays
  • Anniversaries
  • Graduations
  • Housewarmings
  • Baby showers
  • Weddings

So no matter when your “off-season” occurs, there’s always an opportunity to be someone’s gift! 🎁

List all potential gifting seasons/reasons for your product, and plan campaigns throughout the year to stay top-of-mind. (You can also offer and promote gift cards if it makes sense!)

3️⃣ Create seasonal content

Even if sales are slow in the off-season, your marketing shouldn’t be.

This is when your content should be *most* focused on building brand awareness, expanding your reach, and growing and nurturing potential leads. 📈

King of Christmas and Traeger both create solid seasonal content. In their respective off-seasons, content is aimed at providing value and engaging with customers.

Then, once the major selling season hits, they can focus more on conversions and sales since they’ve taken the time to nurture their audience.

4️⃣ Shift your targeting

During the off-season, you could also try switching up your target audience – either geographically or demographically.

Say, for instance, you’re a US-based brand that sells sandals. You probably do most of your sales during the summer, yeah? ☀️

But when winter rolls around, you could shift targeting to warmer states like California, Arizona, and Florida, where people are more likely to wear sandals year-round. 

And if it’s operationally feasible for your business, you could even expand internationally to countries with opposite seasons – avoiding an “off-season” altogether!

Another option is to narrow your audience to “niche” markets interested in your product no matter the season. 

For example, targeting people likely to wear sandals year-round, regardless of the weather: swimmers, frequent travelers, beach resort lovers, Wim Hof followers (this explains), and so on.

Sometimes a simple shift in targeting can expand your business in ways you never thought possible! 🔀

5️⃣ Add another product for the off-season

You can also keep sales coming in with another product, add-on, or service targeted for the off-season.

A pool-cleaning business could offer snow removal for the winter; a smoothie shop could sell hot chocolate; an online costume store could add ugly Christmas sweaters. You get the gist.

Looking for a quick win? Try offering seasonal “merch” or accessories!

For example, Traeger has a whole suite of grill accessories, gear, and apparel they can promote during the colder months when sales tend to be slower.

6️⃣ Focus on low-cost marketing

When sales slow, utilize marketing channels that don’t require a big budget but still move the needle for your business.

Some areas to focus on during the off-season:

  • Existing customers: Upsell or cross-sell them on other products/services, send special discounts, early access pricing, and other offers to keep them engaged.
  • Giveaways or contests: People may not be ready to purchase, but they’re always down to try and win something for free. Great way to build your list in the off-season!
  • Referrals: Build an enticing referral program that keeps leads coming in year-round.
  • Loyalty programs: Create or grow your loyalty program to entice existing customers to keep shopping.
  • Reviews: Immediately after your major selling season is a great time to ask customers for reviews and build your repertoire of social proof.
  • PR: Focus on public relations outreach to get your brand more exposure on podcasts, print, blogs, etc.

The off-season might not bring in a ton of business, but by focusing on the right marketing strategies plus a little creativity, you can use the time to build a strong foundation for sustainable, long-term growth.

✨ We hope these tips help you maximize sales, build brand awareness, and create momentum for the next selling season! ✨

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