As the seasons change and different holidays, events and activities emerge, businesses gain new opportunities to cater to consumer needs and behaviors. Businesses can generate more sales leads and increase sales by paying close attention to seasonal changes.
Every season holds opportunities, but the most beneficial season will depend on your unique business. Still, creative marketers can use every season’s characteristics to facilitate new sales. We’ll explore seasonal marketing ideas to inspire your marketing strategy and help you capitalize on every holiday, event and emotion each season brings.
Seasonal marketing explained
Seasonal marketing is the practice of adapting your usual marketing plan to the current time of the year. For example, you might change these marketing aspects:
- Color scheme: You might use pastels for spring and turn to vivid oranges, yellows and reds for fall.
- Marketing images: You might use flags and fireworks as the Fourth of July approaches and incorporate hearts and Cupids around Valentine’s Day.
- Marketing messages: You might incorporate messages about gratitude for Thanksgiving or charitable donations during the winter holiday season.
You can also change your sales process to highlight promotions around approaching seasonal events. For example, you could hold a back-to-school sale in the summer, a swimwear sale in the spring, a winter coat sale in the fall, or a barbecue sale before Memorial Day.
Incorporate customer loyalty programs into holiday marketing to keep existing customers engaged, gather consumer data, and build rapport with prospects and customers.
How can seasonal marketing benefit your business?
Seasonal marketing is an opportunity to create connections with customers and boost sales. Here are some additional benefits of seasonal marketing:
Seasonal marketing capitalizes on seasonal excitement.
When holidays approach or the season changes, people get excited. They may look forward to holiday gatherings with family and friends, giving and receiving gifts, eating special foods, enjoying warmer or cooler weather, and getting days off from work.
Consumers have also come to expect sales and deals associated with nearly every significant holiday, so they may be excited to save money on things they want or need. Holiday marketing strategies will appeal to happy and excited customers, making them more likely to buy from you.
Seasonal marketing increases brand awareness and traffic.
Seasonal marketing puts your business in front of potential customers, thereby boosting online brand awareness and giving prospects a reason to try you for the first time. An attractive seasonal promotion can also help establish a new business’s customer base.
All businesses can benefit from extra visibility when customers are primed to buy, and an outstanding promotion at this time can increase referrals, thus helping you grow your business.
Be prepared for increased website traffic as your brand awareness grows. Ensure you’re using a reliable web host and optimize your website for a fast page load.
Seasonal marketing can increase sales.
Increasing sales is the end game of all marketing, and when done correctly, seasonal promotions and marketing have a direct and positive impact on sales revenue. People love deals, events and seasonal in-store decorations and will want to spend more money with you.
Seasonal marketing can meet customer needs.
Customers’ needs change with the seasons. When it’s cold, they need warm clothes. When they have the day off, they may get together with friends and family for a festive meal. When gift-giving holidays approach, they’ll search for good prices.
Even if you’ve built customer personas around your target audience, consider seasonal changes to adjust your marketing and customer profiles to match current needs.
Match digital marketing trends to a season’s unique opportunities. For example, use podcasts to promote your products as ideal holiday gifts, or hold a social media giveaway to draw attention to your offerings.
Ideas for seasonal marketing strategies
We’ll highlight examples of seasonal opportunities that can connect you and your audience. Use this list to inspire ideas for occasions that are especially relevant to your business.
Spring seasonal marketing strategies
Many people view springtime as a fresh start – and so should marketers. Experts advise refining marketing strategies occasionally, and spring is an excellent time to relinquish old, ineffective tactics and introduce new and innovative marketing strategies. This time of year brings ample holidays and events for you to test seasonal marketing tactics.
- Patrick’s Day
- April Fools’ Day
- Earth Day
- Mother’s Day
- Cinco de Mayo
- Teacher Appreciation Day
- Memorial Day
- Father’s Day
Spring events and themes:
- Spring weather
- Spring cleaning
- Spring sports
- Green initiatives and gardening
- Bright or pastel color schemes
Consider the following spring-related strategies, or use them as inspiration for your own ideas:
- Easter social media game: Post a photo of jelly beans in a jar and have followers guess how many jelly beans are in the jar, for a chance to win a prize. Creating engagement through a fun social media game is simple but very beneficial.
- April Fools’ Day tactic: Creating a prank ad is a creative way to get your brand involved in this holiday. For example, Windex created a prank ad claiming it had added sparkles to its window cleaner to make windows sparkle. This is just one of many examples of engaging (and harmless) pranks.
- Teacher Appreciation Day promotions: Teacher Appreciation Day is rightfully becoming more recognized. Consider offering a free or discounted product to hardworking teachers on this day. Your brand will show it cares about teachers while getting into the conversation surrounding this day of appreciation.
You can increase in-store sales with online marketing by directing consumers to your physical location to redeem online coupons or giveaways.
Summer seasonal marketing strategies
While it doesn’t have as many holidays as spring does, summer presents numerous marketing opportunities and themes, like sunshine, beaches and outdoor activities. Children are usually out of school on summer vacation, and families may go on trips. Brands can also highlight products and services that help people escape the heat.
Outdoor marketing is another opportunity, as many people will participate in outdoor events. If you have a physical location, utilize the front area. Advertise sales with fun chalk designs on the sidewalk, or set up a tent outside to display your products or services to passersby.
When possible, take advantage of fun national days, like National S’mores Day. Whether you sell products that can help make this summery treat better or you just want to connect with your audience, you’re on the right track.
- Flag Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
Summer events and themes:
- Summer weather
- Barbecue and other summer food, like ice cream, corn and fresh berries
- School’s out
- Shark Week
Consider the following summer-related strategies, or use them as inspiration for your own ideas:
- Fourth of July tactics: Strategic color grouping with red, white and blue can have a bigger impact than you might think. The goal is to relate your products or services to the holiday, and color usage is an easy tactic. Be sure to take photos and share your Independence Day images with social media followers.
- Shark Week themes: This one may be unexpected, but social media and advertisements prove this themed week is popular. No matter what kind of products or services your brand offers, there is a way to make them relevant to Shark Week. Whether you incorporate the ocean, a fin or the whole shark, a creative mind will get it done. For even more exposure, create a hashtag to go along with it.
Fun national days like S’mores Day occur more than you may realize. Check the National Day Calendar to find unique and fun holidays that can fit your seasonal marketing strategy.
Fall seasonal marketing strategies
While fall isn’t exactly the start of the new year, people tend to treat it that way. Summer ends, a new school year begins and the holiday season is on the horizon. Use fall themes and holidays in your marketing strategy while considering weather shifts, changing leaf colors and traditional fall activities.
- Columbus Day / Indigenous Peoples’ Day
- Veterans Day
- Black Friday
- Cyber Monday
Fall events and themes:
- Back to school
- Fall activities (pumpkin picking, hayrides, haunted houses)
- Fall foods (turkey, cranberries, pumpkins, apple pie)
Consider the following fall-related strategies, or use them as inspiration for your own ideas:
- Halloween strategies: Consider hosting a Halloween event at your physical location. Though many people stay home to greet trick-or-treaters, they may want to get out of the house for a while. A fun, safe Halloween event with promotions and candy will appeal to families. Create a unique party idea, or offer a discount to anyone who comes in wearing a costume.
- Black Friday events: An important event for many online and offline retailers. Help your business win Black Friday by offering attractive discounts and in-store events. To help consumers shop, consider creating a gift guide for your products. Prepare for the day with adequate planning, advertising and staffing, and consider starting Black Friday deals early to appeal to early shoppers.
Use video marketing to tap into the nostalgia and customer emotions of fall and winter holidays. Video can help build brand trust by showing your human side and allowing you to engage directly with customers.
Winter seasonal marketing strategies
We’re all familiar with the heavy marketing that comes with the holiday season. However, choosing a unique holiday marketing strategy will help your business stand out. Use winter’s holidays, events and themes to create a new marketing twist while honoring the holidays your audience celebrates.
- New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- Valentine’s Day
- Presidents Day
- Chinese New Year
Winter events and themes:
- Super Bowl
- Staying warm
- Online shopping
- Gift giving
Consider the following winter-related strategies, or use them as inspiration for your own ideas:
- Valentine’s Day promotions: Create product combinations that make great Valentine’s Day gifts. For example, pair two products, such as a bathrobe and bubble bath, and sell them for a discounted price when they’re purchased together.
- Super Bowl promotions: The Super Bowl is a part of American culture, but Super Bowl television ads are out of reach for most businesses. Still, you can use Super Bowl marketing to generate interest and sales. For example, promote a sale that hinges on the winning team’s point total, or offer a 5% discount for every field goal scored.
Let the seasons inspire your marketing strategies
Seasonal marketing strategies can strengthen your company’s reputation as a responsive business. The possibilities are endless: Create season-related content (such as Instagram posts, blogs and infographics), design product packaging to mirror the time of year, host themed contests, or promotional discounts on relevant products and services.
Preparation is crucial in a seasonal marketing plan. Mark your calendars, plan your strategies, and pay attention to the time-sensitive nature of seasonal marketing. Starting too early can derail your campaign, but starting too late can reduce its effectiveness.
Holidays and seasonal events are excellent opportunities to form genuine connections beyond products and services and to create loyal customers throughout the year.
Jennifer Dublino contributed to the reporting and writing in this article.