Keep producing consistent, quality content during your slow season to win business when things pick back up.
For everything there is a season, and that expression holds true for most businesses. When is your slow season? That depends largely on your industry and customer demographic, but you are probably well aware which quarter your sales historically drop off and your customer engagement wanes.
In fact, the calendar is heading into a slow season for many companies, especially those in IT systems or the capital equipment marketplace. In these industries, the highest sales volumes typically occur in the first two business quarters. That is when potential customers are busy creating and implementing their new business initiatives and doing the bulk of their purchases for the year.
By third quarter, many businesses are past purchasing and have moved into problem-resolution mode. They are trying to meet the goals they set and stay within budget. Purchasing capital equipment is not on their agenda, at least not for now.
Should you head to the beach during that quarter? Should you ditch your current content marketing strategy because it suddenly is producing fewer leads? According to an insightful post from Daniel Pastuszak, marketing expert and head of customer acquisition and lifestyle marketing for LinkedIn, absolutely not. There is no indication that you should not market to your customers in your “off” season.
In fact, you need to maintain your “voice” as a thought leader, answer questions, and maintain a reliable, engaging presence through your content marketing. What will engage your audience during the slow cycles? Information, guidance, and memorable industry-related stories top the list.
Tips for effective content marketing during a slow season:
Provide content that demonstrates your expertise and positions you as a thought leader.
Don’t write a sales pitch! In your blog posts, offer helpful advice in an easy-to-digest format. For example, explain a recent case study or trend within your industry in a way your customers will understand it. This type of content keeps your customers engaged with your business, so when it comes time to purchase, they remember you as a trusted source of knowledge.
Share customer testimonials and their backstory.
Nothing is more memorable than telling a great success story. Now is the time to share reviews that demonstrate how your company expertly fulfilled customers’ needs, exceeded their expectations, or provided solutions to a tough challenge.
Cover events attended by your company’s management or leaders.
This can make for a great post on industry-related news, and can support branding the company as an industry leader. Again, there’s no need to include a sales pitch. You’re simply demonstrating how your company is among the movers and shakers in the industry.
Cultivate content that is fun, like customer contests.
Get customers involved with some friendly competition, and show them you are listening by sharing their responses. For example, one of Fronetics’ clients, a wholesale food distributor, recently challenged food service customers to create a meal using ingredients purchased from the wholesaler. They were then asked to post photos of their entries on social media with the contest hashtag. Fun and engaging, this contest captivated the customers’ attention and had them sharing content (and the client’s name).
Write for your (very specific) audience.
That means knowing who they are and what peaks their interest. If creating engaging content has proven to be challenging for your business, consider outsourcing your content creation, or your marketing program all together. Your slow season is the perfect time to boost the quality and consistency of your efforts to engage your audience and expand your outreach.
All businesses experience seasonal cycles, but that does not indicate your sales or content marketing strategies are in need of major revisions. Slow periods are the perfect time to take a deep breath, revitalize, and strategize. Use this time to research information you need to accelerate your efforts for the next hectic season of sales.
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