For many businesses, things get a little quieter during summer months when the school holidays kick in.
Even if the rest of your business is feeling sluggish, the summer months can be a good time for topping off your digital sales pipeline.
Curate excellent content during your dry spell, and use funnels and automation to keep your pipeline from completely drying up.
Laying the appropriate groundwork in the summer can help you keep your business busy when you hit peak season.
Here are some helpful tips for running digital sales with a skeleton team and operations.
Asset-led content marketing
Haven’t got the time to write another blog? Is your copywriter on holiday?
Keeping up with content marketing demands during the quieter months can be a challenge.
Why not bundle up the best of your blog into a content asset and lead with that? Better yet: speak to the design team and get a short ebook put together that combines the best of your blog.
This is also the perfect time of the year to take stock of your content strategy, run some content audits, and see where you might be going astray. Is there any low-hanging fruit you’ve been neglecting? This is the perfect time to think outside the editorial calendar.
If you haven’t got any content assets to shout about, curation is another way to create content when there are less company events, interviews, and goings-on to record. Why not bring together some great blogs, books, pieces of content, websites, tweets, etc., and create a mega roundup post? It’s low-effort but high-value content marketing at its best — just remember to pick a cool theme that brings it all together.
Lead nurturing with ads
How are your ads doing? Whether you lean toward native ads, display ads, or social ads, ads are a great way to fill up the customer pipeline in the summer.
Your ad strategy may have gotten a little generic when it was ‘business as usual’, so open up the funnel and try something different.
- Try to lead with something seasonal and fun, or go for a visual storytelling piece that really crystallizes what you’re about. Focus on creating emotional connections while people are out there holidaying, partying, getting married, etc. Facebook advertising is the perfect vehicle for this kind of content — try out the video and carousel formats.
- Lookalike audiences in Facebook can help you find a completely new customer base with little effort — just upload data from your CRM or email software and discover potential new brand advocates in minutes.
Automation is a summertime lifesaver, but make sure that your whole strategy doesn’t smack of repetition. You want to be clever about how you use automation in sales so that you maintain an element of randomness.
- Scheduling is big — even Instagram caved. Use this to your advantage and schedule in a ton of curated and branded content for when there are fewer people about to manage social media. Powerful scheduling and automation tools like BuzzBundle can help you automate and scale like never before. Don’t just see automation as a front-of-house activity; you can also use it to help you streamline documentation and file management.
- Integrated marketing tech is a lifesaver, so why not test out some new frameworks? Sales and support teams will have more time on their hands in the summer, so it’s a good time to sign up for a new service (they will have mid-year targets to meet, so you might bag yourself a bargain).
Recycling is cool
Recycling content needs to be more of a priority for marketers — especially for B2B brands who spend a lot of money on it. What’s the point in investing in all that expertise and then just using it once?
All those expensive design, content, and sales assets you created in the winter can be broken down into smaller pieces of content come summertime.
Whitepapers, ebooks, videos, blogs — all can be either re-used or updated for great effect.
Start by looking into your analytics or sales dashboard, and prioritize content that’s already been successful in terms of organic search and engagement levels.
Referrals through relationships
Relationship-building is an important part of online sales, especially for those high-value prospects and leads. Sometimes you have to have multiple interactions and conversations before anything happens (especially on social media).
This might just be the time to nurture those long-term leads. You know, the people you have coffee with a few times a year, but you just can’t seem to lock down?
By honing in on these high-value leads during the summer, you might catch a busy exec in a more relaxed frame of mind, and you will have more time to create personalized messages.
Summer is a great time of the year to take a step back and think of the ‘bigger picture’ stuff. Marketers need to make time to bring their heads above the parapet once in awhile. From getting to grips with the latest industry news, to an internal reshuffle, this is the time to act.
Is there change in the air?
Whether that’s dropping one of your social profiles, rethinking content budgets, or moving team members around — this is a good time to take stock and review what’s happened so far.
Halfway through the year is always good time to re-evaluate KPIs and goals and review results — are you on track to reach targets?
By taking a step back, you will be able to affect positive change and ensure that you’re converting the right leads.
Use the summer as a prime opportunity to restructure, rethink, and rejuvenate. You have the opportunity to take stock and explore — so take it. Your sales efforts will thank you for it.