It’s well-known that a lot of businesses follow a seasonal up-and-down pattern. Retailers do most of their work right before the holidays, for example, and florists love February while looking forward to late spring weddings. It’s generally assumed that a lot of professional services businesses – the architects and lawyers of the world, for instance – aren’t subject to the same kinds of booms and busts on an annual basis. However, that’s not necessarily true, and realizing what your calendar looks like could be the key to making online marketing more effective.
Let’s look at a few steps you can follow to better understand the seasonal nature of your company and take advantage of what you learn…
Look Back Through Your Books and Analytics
Figuring out the seasons for your business might not be as intuitive as you think. In a lot of professional services companies, for example, summers can be slow. Clients are on vacation, and work doesn’t move as quickly as normal. However, that’s not something you should assume. For one thing, lots of the companies we work with are actually very busy during the warmer months. And for another, a close look at your web analytics and project notes might tell a different story than your memory does.
See If You Can Pick Up on Seasons and Themes
The “seasons” you have in your professional services company might not line up with the changes in weather outside. In other words, your seasons could overlap the traditional winter-to-summer cycle, or could be longer or shorter than the three-month periods of time we’re used to working with. It’s not important when your seasons are, or how long they last, just that you know what kind of business you should expect in a normal year.
Think Bigger and Longer
It’s also worth noting that some “seasons” might not be annual at all. There are businesses that move up and down according to the economy, government elections, interest rates, and so on. If your company is particularly sensitive to some outside factor that follows a somewhat predictable pattern, you should do what you can to anticipate those changes ahead of time.
Plan Ahead With Your Marketing Campaigns
Once you have a good sense of what your seasons look like, you can adjust your online marketing plan accordingly. That means filling your editorial calendar with articles and videos that match customer interest, planning PPC campaigns and discount pricing to take advantage of increased demand, and even deciding when to update your website and other marketing materials while business is slow. These are easy decisions to make when you can see a few weeks or months in the future, but they can feel nearly impossible when you don’t know what’s ahead.