7 Ways To Overcome The Summer Business Slow Down
Like a rollercoaster, being in business brings with it constant peaks and valleys. Some businesses have their peak in the summer, while others experience a valley. If you're the latter, you might be trying to squeeze in a few last-minute deals before the summer business slow down.
Most businesses tend to cut back on their marketing once they hit the valley of the summer vacation season. But really savvy business owners know that just because their customers are on vacation, doesn't meant that their marketing has to be also.
If you want to be savvy and stand out from your competition, use this time to propel your business ahead of the curve for when your busy season arrives again.
Strap in, throw your hands in the air, and let's loop through some of the marketing opportunities that the summer business slow down can bring to you.
Get social – online and in the community
Take time to reconnect with your audience on a more personal level. Many businesses still tend to use their social media platforms as a one-way channel to blast out information.
Why not try sharing some behind the scenes photos or videos of you and your staff. In a NY Times study on the Psychology of Sharing, it was reported that 78% of respondents said they share information online because it enables them to stay connected to people they may not otherwise stay in touch with.
Think about your audience and what matters to them, then create or share relevant posts that they can share with their connections.
Run a summer-themed contest or giveaway. 21% of Facebook users will engage with a brand's page in order to receive a free giveaway.
Don’t just ask them to like your page. Use this as an opportunity to gain more insight into your customers. Try linking out to a survey or asking a thought-provoking question about how and why they use your product or service. You can use their feedback to improve or develop new material for content marketing.
Participate in local, community events. Businesses always win when they get involved with or give back to the communities in which they reside. People like to do business with people that they know, like, and trust. Connecting and being seen beyond your corporate website is the perfect way to do that.
Share your community involvement and behind-the-scenes photos/videos on your social channels and tag other businesses and organizations in them.
Go mobile and reach your audience anywhere
Is your website mobile-friendly? If not, it should be. More searches are happening on mobile now more than desktop (Source: Search Engine Land). Remember, “on the go” doesn’t have to mean “out of touch".
Update and ensure the accuracy of your listings. Use a service like Moz Local to ensure your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) are accurate and up-to-date on online directories such as Google or BING. This will improve your local search results dramatically.
Fuel a sense of adventure and wanderlust. A platform like Instagram is a great way to engage your audience, share helpful content related to warm weather gatherings, and inspire them to get out and enjoy the sunshine.
Interestingly enough, according to this study by Buzzsumo, "posting images via Instagram to Facebook appears to provide a 23% increase in engagement."
For instance, if you’re an insurance agency – try writing helpful tips that your audience should keep in mind when planning a family road trip. Or if you’re a CPA firm or financial advisor, create a list of activities your clients can enjoy for free or for under $10.
Continuously optimize and refine your website for growth
A platform like SEMRush can help you discover the top 10 organic keywords your website is ranking for and the volume of traffic you get from each one. Use this report as a guide to create new content or develop campaigns around keywords and landing pages that are working well for you.
You can also use SEMRush to run a site audit which will crawl the pages of your website and let you know which pages are missing meta descriptions or have broken links.
Adopting a Growth-Driven Design program transforms your website from a static "brochure" into a dynamic sales asset by constantly researching, testing and learning about your visitors to inform ongoing website improvements.
Create a marketing plan and content calendar
A great marketing plan starts with great buyer personas. So take time to review, update, or develop your buyer personas.
Who’s your dream client? Research them and figure out what it would take to earn their business. Then develop content that speaks to the needs of similar businesses or audiences. Who’s your best client right now? Develop a plan to reach out to more clients like them.
Research ideas for blog articles and social media posts by reading industry news, blogs, or books related to your industry. Make a list of the most popular or successful pieces and then identify the common elements between them. Use those elements as a guide when creating your content.
Create a library of content that's ready to go once your business picks up again. Review your calendar at mark off special dates related to your industry so you'll have content ready to go in a pinch once they arrive.
Automate, document, and scale
When things slow down a bit, it's the perfect time to step back and look at your business and make some strategic decisions about your processes.
If there are a lot of repeatable tasks, see if they can be scheduled in advanced. Experience any confusion on a recent project, document what happened and identify ways to avoid those errors in the future.
Consider investing in software that will allow you to automate your email marketing or a CRM that can automate your sales workflow and save you time in the future.
Say 'Please' and 'Thank You'
Touch base with your past and present clients and thank them for their business. Small gifts such as movie tickets or gas cards are a great way to stay at the forefront of their minds and let them know how grateful you are for their business.
Thank your employees, associates, or vendors. When things are busy, it's easy an easy thing to forget to do. Let them know not only how much you appreciate and value them; but also how they've impacted your business and you personally.
Lastly, don't forget to take time to enjoy yourself and have fun.
As a small business owner, it's easy to go from one task the next at 100mph without taking a moment for yourself – until you’re forced to. Instead of trying to fill that space with new tasks, use the summer business slow down to recharge or sharpen your skills.
When business slows down – and it inevitably will – understand that persistent worrying won’t profit you or your business. You’ll only rob yourself of joy and prevent you from doing your best work.
Take it easy on yourself – refresh, recharge, relax. You’ll be glad you did when your busy season comes back and you’ve got the energy and the systems in place to ride the wave to success.