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3 Things to Remember About Seasonal Marketing

Most businesses are impacted by changing seasons. People are less likely to buy products such as sunscreen during winter, for instance. There likely won’t be much interest in Christmas during Spring. 

For some organizations, however, the seasons almost entirely dictate their profits, and ultimately their success or failure. Airlines and hotels, for instance, see a significant boost during vacation times, and many tourist agencies are suffering greatly as a result of the novel coronavirus. It’s important to understand where you fall on this scale.

Are there certain times of the year during which you experience a huge boom, whilst others are much slower? Or do you manage to bring in plenty of business year-round? Armed with this understanding, you should create a marketing strategy that capitalizes on the time of year, leveraging imagery that resonates with your audience and tapping into your busiest seasons. 

Understand Peak Seasons

How does your business ebb and flow over the course of a fiscal year? You’re the only one who can predict when your business will likely experience the greatest upturn in customers and profits, based both on your own experience and your organization’s history. The more accurately you can predict the peaks and valleys in subscriptions or sales, the better.

Going back to our example of an airline company, the most essential detail in seasonal airline marketing is not, as one might expect, the date of travel. It’s the date at which a customer begins planning and booking their trip. This means that you might almost paradoxically see yourself marketing for a winter boom back in the summer months. 

The best advice we can give here is to study the trends and look at other businesses in your industry. When do their peaks and valleys seem to occur? How do they time and plan their marketing efforts? When do they tend to offer sales and host giveaways? 

Get Creative

Especially if you’re operating a seasonal business, you’re likely facing stiff competition, particularly during peak operating season. Black Friday for retail is an excellent example of this in practice. If everyone is offering massive deals and discounts, how exactly does your brand distinguish itself? 

Say you’re operating a gym. Obviously, you want to capitalize on the annual wave of New Year’s resolutions to inspire new signups. What if, however, you went back a bit further and offered a two-for-one Black Friday exclusive set to start in the New Year? 

Ask anyone who’s tried to get in shape in the past, and they’ll tell you it’s much easier to commit to a fitness goal if you have a friend or companion to keep you accountable. It’s incredibly easy to get discouraged or bored once you’ve hit a plateau, but the knowledge that there’s someone else working towards their goals with you can be incredibly helpful. 

Again, our best advice here is to spend a bit of time looking at what your competitors have said and done during their peak seasons. Figure out a way that you can offer something either similar or better than them, and brainstorm some way that you can stand out in your marketing in the process. 

Never Stop Strategizing

You shouldn’t be thinking about new marketing strategies when you’re elbow-deep in your busiest season. Instead, you should be using downtime to plot out a comprehensive marketing strategy, then adjust it as needed based on current events.  Always have a plan, and always understand that every plan and strategy must be flexible enough to change with the times.

This applies to scheduled social posts just as it does your overall marketing strategy. You should never be treating your social feeds as a ‘fire and forget’ medium. Instead, you should regularly take the time to revisit and re-evaluate before each post goes live. 

Basically, use your downtime to plan things out, then adjust and adapt as you keep moving forward.

What You Need To Know About Marketing For a Healthcare Organization

With so much information freely available online, modern patients are more educated than they’ve ever been.  Many no longer feel the need to visit a hospital, urgent care center, or clinician’s office unless treatment or testing is necessary. Moreover, competition amongst healthcare organizations has never been higher, particularly with the rise of telehealth and digital care options.

With this in mind, it’s incredibly important that your organization has a properly-budgeted marketing plan. Even if you’re happy with your current patient volumes, you’ll need a strategy that helps you reach out to both new and returning patients. Success in this regard starts, as it often does, with outreach.

Evaluate The Patient Experience

First, consider why someone might switch their care provider – changes in services offered, relocation, wait times, or even a slightly negative experience. Ensure patients have plenty of ways to reach out to your clinic’s customer service representatives, including via phone, chat, and email. You may also want to consider commissioning a mobile application that allows patients to manage their care and putting automation in place that keeps people up-to-date about upcoming appointments.

You might even consider having your physicians directly reach out to their patients after an appointment.

Speaking of user experience, your website needs to be designed with it in mind as well. Many designers have a tendency to lean towards aesthetics over functionality. This is a mistake.

Your website needs to be both fast and intuitive, as it’s the first thing most potential new patients will see. It’s the face of your practice, a representation of what you can offer as a care provider. A site that’s optimized to load quickly across a wide range of devices and form factors is essential.

From your site, patients should be able to find information about your practice, location, hours of operation, and appointment booking.

Since Google focuses primarily on readable content and the user experience, it prioritizes sites optimized for mobile devices. 

Stay Consistent With Your Advertising

What sort of brand are you trying to build with your clinic? 

As with any business, there will be certain things that set you apart from your competition. Maybe it’s your luxurious offices, with padded armchairs and a quiet, spa-like ambiance. Maybe it’s that your professionals are focused on family-friendliness, and stock your clinic with plenty of toys for kids. Or maybe it’s simply that you always go the extra mile for your patients, treating them as valued friends first and clients second. 

Highlight your unique attributes. Your advertising should make it absolutely clear what services you offer and who can benefit, while also highlighting why someone might choose you over your competition.  For digital ads, make sure you’re targeting the right keywords, which can also be applied to your search engine optimization efforts. 

Although it’s a bit dated, this guide published by digital advertising specialist Wordstream provides a good overview of how you can research your pay-per-click keywords effectively.  Paid advertising can be blended with organic social marketing to extend your reach across multiple platforms, as well.  At a minimum, your firm should maintain a Facebook Business Page, which can be used for reviews, clinic updates, and informative, interactive posts. 

Look Into Search Engine Optimization

Speaking of SEO, figure out what patients looking for your clinic tend to search for. 

Generally speaking, local SEO is going to be your area of focus. Someone in Chicago, for instance, isn’t going to be looking for a dentist’s office in Wyoming. They’re going to be searching for a clinic located in their city or neighborhood. 

With that in mind, it’s important that you not only maintain a website but also set up a Google My Business listing. Provide patients with as much information as possible, including hours of operation, location, contact details, and photos of the clinic.  As for your website, a tool like Google Analytics, Moz, or Yoast can help you sort through the search terms that bring people to your website and target the most effective ones. 

Consider In-Office Automation

By providing visitors with a tablet at the office, you can allow them to not only manage their appointments and care, but also provide them with an opportunity to review the care they’ve received. Positive reviews can be used on your Google My Business or Facebook to bring in more patients. Poor scores, meanwhile, can be reviewed by medical team representatives as an opportunity to improve the care you offer.It is vital to follow up on these reviews, and also consider checking independent review sites like Yelp. Reputation management is a critical aspect of your marketing strategy. Not only can it turn a negative patient experience back towards the positive, but it can also be used as a means of improving both equipment and process.

What Is Proximity Marketing, and How Can It Be Applied to Your Business?

The right message delivered to the right person in the right place at the right time can make all the difference in the world. That’s the idea behind proximity marketing, which is functionally the “next step” in location-based marketing. Also known as hyperlocal marketing, the tactic leverages a combination of mobile apps and Bluetooth to deliver contextual,  location-based messages to your brand’s most engaged customers.

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