Winter is Coming….
Yes, that was a cheesy Game of Thrones reference, but it’s true! Long gone are the hot and humid days of summer. As fall creeps up on us with colorful leaves, pumpkin patches, and hot beverages, we can all feel the chill in the air hinting at the snow that will soon be here. For many people, winter is a time for slowing down, and it also means a slower season for many companies - particularly home improvement. We’ll discuss how to season-proof your business when the busy season takes a break.
1. Research the Economy’s Impact on Your Industry
Stay afloat during the quieter seasons can be a challenge. Particularly in the winter, it can be incredibly hard to complete existing projects or engage new clients. If you’re in the home remodeling industry, winter can be a time where you don’t have many ongoing projects an you’re gearing up for home shows and events.
Learning about the historical ups and downs of the home improvement industry is an excellent use of your down season. From 2010 to 2016, new constructions accounted for nearly 3 million units. While homes built in the 1980s and earlier are currently in the market for renovations, the 3 million new units built between 2010 and 2016 will be next in line for renovations as their second owners decide to make changes. Along with research, take this slow season to establish clear lines of communication with your bank and money partners so that you are prepared for the season ahead.
2. Utilize The Seasons to Your Advantage.
Beyond knowing your industry, it’s essential to utilize the extra time in the slow seasons to your company’s advantage! In your “downtime,” work ahead for the coming year by creating content that will be useful to your clients and prospects. Content can be a variety of things, including:
- Social Media posts
- Printed Materials
You don’t have to limit content to busy-season topics--make sure you have some seasonal flare! Talk about how to decorate your space for a soon-to-be holiday, or bring to light information that people might need during the winter months.
Once you have your content lined up for the busy season, the market for the slow season as well. If you design luxury three season porches for clients, and winter isn’t a great time for new customers - market to them about how they can start thinking about a change inside their home.
This thinking ahead will get you far. Paired with knowledge of the industry and where it may go, your company will be able to harness all the good things that seasons bring.
Seasonally focused content expands your brand awareness in the marketplace. By positioning marketing materials to keep your business top-of-mind in every season, you’ll bring in more new business during traditionally slower periods. Don’t forget to use social media to help boost your seasonal ideas and brand awareness!
3. Refresh What You Already Have
Another great use of your slow season is to refresh the content that you already have. Content should be relevant and unique, but there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. If you have existing content, evaluate whether it could be reformatted to be more engaging to the customer. Say you wrote about all the different types of siding color your clients could choose during their design phase. In your refresh make a video (or an infographic), then explain your product by showing all the different options they could pick. Makes you’re focusing on the visual experience as you move forward with your refresh. You’ll be able to leverage existing content while also increasing its value .
4. Re-Engage Your Customers
In busy seasons you might not have time to connect with current customers as you’re focusing on leads. Use the slower season to re-engage with your clients! When you re-engage with your customer base, not only could you extend their work with you, but they may be encouraged to refer your services to their circle.
Aside from spending time on social media marketing, create a mailing list that generates your leads. People will often plan when it comes to home improvements, and they also prepare for the winter season. Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with contacts who are on the move or are, “snow-birds,” with two locations. Make sure your content is valuable and relevant. Because seasonality thrives on well, the season, market to special events and holidays with print materials like greeting and holiday cards.
Try out a customer day, where you send out content and promotions in return for referrals, recommendations, or testimonials. That will create a win-win situation where you get in touch with current clients and potential new prospects while engaging your customers in sending in satisfaction reports.
When you get to know your customer, they’ll feel that their wants and needs are understood. It’s incredibly essential to garner referrals and recommendations during these slower seasons. Not only will you be able to understand the wants and needs of your customer base, but you may, in turn, generate more potential leads in the months to follow.
5. Increase Promotional Activities in the Slow Season
Beyond content and customers, upping your promotions during a slow season may help season-proof your company. Some businesses think that increase promotional activities means that there will be an increased cost associated - but that isn’t always true! According to the Search Engine Journal, “most businesses will not reduce the level of costs and expenditure during quieter seasons, so the need to maintain a healthy level of revenue is paramount for long-term success.”
One way to improve your slow season is with paid advertising. Paid advertising helps to distribute low-cost content with remarketing strategies, or you might want to look at your budget to see where new paid avenues like LinkedIn or Facebook could be useful. We promise that incentives work--it doesn’t matter the time of the year. If you’re able to engage with your customers with more frequency during the slower months while also offering something promotional you’ll be on track for a brighter busy season!
Getting Out of Those Slow Seasons
Now that you know five helpful tips to get you and your company out of the winter doldrums, get started on your journey to season-proof your business. At Denamico, we’re ready to help you get the most out of your slow season by creating strategies to get the most for your digital marketing efforts.