How can digital marketing help in quieter months?

Debbie Lawrenson
  • Debbie Lawrenson
  • Head of Digital

Most businesses experience peaks and troughs in activity and revenue. Quieter months can be unsettling, but they’re also an opportunity to beef up marketing. There’s nothing like a quiet time for really focussing attention on marketing methods - for both immediate and longer-term gain.

Clever digital marketing not only helps make quieter months more profitable, but it can also bring longer-term business growth throughout the year.

Digital marketing using social media is one of the best ways of kicking some action into quieter months. The great thing about using social media is that you can do it with minimal planning and resources. Often, it’s simply a question of being more creative with what you’ve already got.

Here’s how to make social media work for your business.

Just how social are you?

Is your business active on social media? Do you post regularly, as part of a pre-planned strategy? Or are you one of the few companies that still isn’t using social media at all as part of your marketing strategy? Maybe you are using social media, but it’s all on a rather an ad hoc basis.

If you’re not using social media as a planned part of your marketing strategy, it’s possible that you wouldn’t think of social media as being one of the best places to drum up business fast.

Now is the time to get out there and get social. And as this is a quiet time in your business you can do it all at your desk, in your pyjamas if you fancy, as you prepare for the super-busy time that you’re about to experience as a result of your new marketing drive.

Get closer to your target audience

One of the benefits of using social media is that it’s ideal for getting a more accurate aim on a specific target audience. Getting your message out to a responsive audience is the surest route to fast results.

To hit the right target on social, you need to start by thinking about:

  • Which social platform to use.
  • Defining your audience, e.g. age, interests, location etc.
  • The best medium for the message: photos, video, blog post, quiz, graphics etc.

Begin by doing a bit of research on a range of social channels to help you get ideas for the best message and method for reaching your target market. Look at what’s trending for your identified groups. Think about how your message can be part of it.

Fast growth with promos and offers

There are still plenty of businesses out there that think that social media marketing is all about building brand awareness. True – it’s an excellent way of creating a strong brand identity and promoting interest in your products and services. But if you need fast results during quiet periods you should be using social media much more strategically.

That means creating offers and promotions that can be pounced on by eager purchasers via your social media channels.

Ideas for offers and promos include:

  • Money off
  • Limited edition items or services.
  • Limited time
  • 2-for-1
  • Freebies – such as an eBook with valuable content that shows your expertise.
  • Affiliate marketing and joint promotions with another business (great for sharing and building audiences fast).

It’s all relative

Have I mentioned thinking strategically? It’s worth repeating because you need to be strategic throughout the process if you want to create social media that sells. Part of your strategy should be to link your ‘revenue stream’ social media posts to your current campaigns.

Create the kind of appealing and valuable content that will have your audience heading over to associated landing pages on your website. Use social media as a supercharged kickstart that leads to a short journey to making a purchase. It’s super effective and trackable, which means it not only brings in the sales but also gathers the kind of data that will help you to improve your strategy as you go along.

The offers and promos mentioned above can do this, along with strong imagery, lively videos and super-catchy copywriting.

Use URL shorteners for links – the process needs to be short, simple and snappy.

Reaction for action

If things are quiet and you’re not battling towards deadlines, then there’s a great window of opportunity for engaging with topical conversations, trends and current events on social media. Not everyone has time to do this as much as they’d like, but it can be a brilliant way of pulling in new audiences. If you’ve got the time, then use it.

With a bit of thought, you might be able to link your story, products and services to something that’s gaining lots of interest. Make sure the connection makes sense though – you don’t want to end up looking like a desperate marketer. You can use social media marketing in this way, simply by joining third-party conversations.

Shhh – some of us are still busy

Remember that even though you’re having a quiet time, your target audience might be up to their ears in To Do lists and overwhelm. You can’t afford to be a drag on their time and attention: they’ll just ignore you.

Successful social media marketing uses imaginative posts that are short and lively. Couple this with engaging campaign creative and messaging to get the attention of all those time-pressed people you’re trying to reach. Show the value that you’re offering – show that it’s worth following up. Show what’s in it for the prospective purchaser and that it’s worth their time.

Go pro

While quieter months might not be the time to spend money, it’s worth thinking about getting the pros on board once things have picked up. Using a creative agency with social media planners, professional blog writers and designers can enable you to put a social strategy in place that means quiet times are less likely in the future.

Still, think it’s not worthwhile spending time on social media marketing? Then think about this.

Your social media marketing to generate sales in quiet times has an important and lucrative spin-off. The more active you are on social media for marketing in the ways outlined above, the more you will up your search ranking. That means that people looking for the goods and services that you offer are more likely to find you on Google.

So by implementing our social media marketing ideas, you’re actually getting two bites on the cherry: you make short-term sales, plus you build your market for future growth. And guess what? Your social media audience is like a magic cherry. With social media, the more bites you get, the bigger the cherry grows. Isn’t it time to start getting active?