How to Sell in the Off-Season, or
Off-Season Content: Why it’s important
We’ve talked about Evergreen Content in the past, but Off-Season Content is a little bit different.
Let’s be clear: selling in the off-season isn’t all about sales. It’s about raising brand awareness, building your community, and getting involved in the conversation. The pay-off? It comes in the next on-season.
Seasonal businesses have a natural on-season where most activity takes place and the majority is revenue is made, offset by an off-season where things get a little quieter. This could apply to events, for example a festival that runs once per year. It could be a store that specialises in seasonal goods like summer clothing, or it could be a ski resort that is only open during winter.
On social media, there are ways to keep the rally going all the way through the off-season. While many of my collaborators can’t always afford to keep me on during the off-season, I always advise keeping an active profile throughout the year.
I hope this seems intuitive – though you or your business may be taking a public break, chances are there’s still loads going on behind the scenes. Things move quickly online, so don’t let your presence get stale and allow people to forget about who you are and the value you offer them.
How to Stay ‘On’ During the Off-season
Know your purpose
SEO – Google’s search algorithm favours recent, relevant content. Honing your off-season content strategy will improve your search engine performance and engage and convert one-time visitors into regular visitors. In this way you can build our existing audience into a community that is connected and engaged year-round and is more likely to participate during high season.
Social Media Engagement – Staying front-of-mind is important. Twitter followers might have an unfollow spree, or simply tune out when they stop seeing your logo daily. The Facebook algorithm favours consistency, making frequent, value-driven posts more important than ever. Keeping visual accounts like Pinterest and Instagram up-to-date are a great way to show behind the scenes and keep you on your customers’ radar.
Goals – There are several goals you could be reaching for with your off-season content strategy. You could be cementing your position as a thought-leader in your field, building buzz for next year, becoming an invaluable resource for your customers – or all of the above! If you want to increase your following and engagement, these are all great goals that will help you to that end.
Plan your content themes
This is where your content calendar will come in handy (and if you don’t have one, it’s time to create one)! I’ve talked about how to approach content planning here. We also talked about the content mix and media mix in our spring cleaning posts, which should give you a leg-up.
Start with a calendar in a spreadsheet and start filling in key dates. Think about some of the following:
1. Events – related events in your field
2. Sponsors/Partners/Ambassadors – are there people or companies in your network who run related events? Or who post really useful content? Make a note to share these in your plan
3. National days of interest – there are loads of days that could apply to you. Cinemas, there’s a national popcorn day. Charitable causes, there are tons of human rights days relevant to you. Find ways to connect with your existing relevant content and join the conversation.
4. #OnThisDay and Famous Birthdays – a celebration, a memory and a quote always do well on these days, and add a little trivia to your offering.
All of these key dates, and any others that come to mind, are relevant and should be interesting to your audience. Make them fun – put in a little time and effort, even if you’re scheduling ahead. Always keep an eye out for trending topics and other interests, too – anything to stay in touch.
Become a member of your own community
There are lots of ways to stay involved in the conversation, so instead of trying to make the conversation revolve around you and your brand, try chipping in where you can add value until it’s time to self-promote again. Do it well, and your community will love your input.
How have you stayed involved in the conversation during the off-season? Share your thoughts in the comments or tweet me @robotnic.
Got a topic you want me to cover in an upcoming blog? Or need a hand with your content strategy? I’m happy to help. Get in touch.