Harness Opportunity Marketing During the Busy Season

by Tom Shivers September 9th, 2010 

When the busy season hits, it means time to gear up, hire more people and, unfortunately, completely ignore the marketing efforts

Ive seen this occur year after year.

Sure, things get crazy, but now is when you show off your keen management skills by recognizing opportunity marketing. Because if the "Im too busy" mentality continues, the busy season will be over all too soon – perhaps because your search rankings drop due to neglect.

The busy season actually offers rare opportunities to take your marketing to a "whole nother level!" Theres no question that your top priority during the busy season is selling and servicing your customers, but here are a few practical ways to harness the flood of traffic and prospects, keeping your busy season rolling.

Build up e-mail subscribers so you can market to them again and again.

Whens the last time you subscribed to an e-newsletter because you saw a little box on the site that said "Subscribe to our newsletter"? It rarely happens.
So give an incentive in exchange for peoples e-mail address.

With a client in the entertainment industry, we offered special rates for subscribing, a tactic that still gets a boatload of subscribers even though their busy season is over for the year.

Make it easy to leave good reviews/testimonials on Yelp, Kudzu and other review sites.

Choose a page of your site that builds credibility – maybe the "About" page – and link over to your Yelp or Kudzu profile page.

If you dont have many reviews yet, e-mail your customers (especially new ones) and ask them to review their most recent transaction with your business. Make it as easy as possible for them, and you just might be surprised by the results.

Build up Facebook and Twitter followers who can spread your message even further.

Most businesses realize theres something about Facebook and Twitter to keep customers and prospects engaged, but havent quite solved the puzzle yet.

If you arent trying creative ideas to gain followers in these types of media (and testing them against your business objectives), these places will continue to mystify you.

Decide on your goals, choose a strategy, connect with your target audience and develop a mutually beneficial relationship with the audience and test for success or failure within a reasonable timeframe (perhaps during the busy season).

Dont assume you have tried social media marketing simply because an employee created a few social profile pages; like your other marketing efforts, it takes time, thought and some trial-and-error to make social media work for you.

Plan ahead to continue producing great content even when things get crazy. If you expect your busy season to hit during Christmas, then double up on your blog posts, videos, and/or articles this autumn. Save the extra content for your holiday publishing schedule, then pull it out and use it with minimum hassle.

Build a partnership with your marketing vendor or team to fill in the gaps:       

  • Qualify your marketing vendors to identify one youve worked with long enough who understands your business and target audience.        
  • Schedule regular meetings to discuss results and recommendations.  
         
  • Clarify and reiterate your goals – youd be surprised how far regular communication with your marketing vendor will go (because communication is the lifeblood of any real relationship).

If a partnership is meant to be, it will be. . . because trust forms, barriers to communication fall and everyone gets on board with your companys vision. When you begin to see your marketing vendor as a trusted partner, everyone benefits from accountable commitments: you get valuable traffic from multiple sources, optimized conversion rates and returning customers and your new partner is able to provide even better services to a valuable client.

So toss the "Im too busy" mentality, recognize opportunity marketing and use the busy season as a way to accelerate your marketing by harnessing the flood of traffic that only comes during that season.

In the words of successful entrepreneur David Heinemeier Hansson:

"Having a limited amount of time to work on something really focuses your energy."

How do you manage the busy season?

Tom Shivers

Tom Shivers is a SEO professional and founder of Capture Commerce.

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