The days are longer. Temperatures are warmer. We say goodbye to the winter blues. Most of us are eager to get outside and soak up fresh air and sunshine, whether we hit up the pool, go for a long walk on a trail, or chill (and protect our skin) under a shady tree or big umbrella.
Many of us welcome those lazy summer days with open arms, but did you know that many businesses across industries see a major slowdown during the summer?
There are exceptions; lots of people have summer weddings and take summer vacations, for example, so companies in those industries consider summer their busy season. But many small businesses may notice that sales decrease, along with their audience engagement.
So, what should you do when business is quiet? Do you keep churning at the marketing machine, or peace out and take a content vacation yourself? (No, unless you need to.) Do you keep churning out the same old content to a smaller audience? (Also no.)
What you need is a plan for when your biz slows down, whether that’s during the summer or the holidays or any other time. We’re here to help you make one.
Meet your audience where they are online
Unless you have epic levels of willpower and an ironclad work ethic, you probably feel less productive when the weather heats up. Office vibes change and workflows slow down.
Those feelings often translate into people’s buying habits, too. Unless you’re shopping specifically for your kid’s stay at summer camp or your honeymoon in Hawaii, you’re probably not buying as much stuff — or at least, you’re not looking to shop. That’s why you see product-based businesses hold special sales to keep cash flowing and inventory moving.
Your content should acknowledge this shift in your target audience’s attention. If you publish blogs and social posts that sell, sell, sell…you’ll probably just push your audience away.
Instead, put yourself in your audience’s shoes. Imagine what would make you tap or click something to learn more. A sale announcement? A helpful guide? A personal story? (More on that in a moment.) One easy way to fill your editorial calendar is to have at least a few blogs scheduled, then create related social media posts that drive traffic to those blogs.
Focus on making connections
People may still be on social media during the summer — how else are you going to brag about taking your first safe vacation post-pandemic?? — but that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily looking to buy stuff. Again, cool the sell and focus on other ways you can connect with your audience.
We love using behind-the-scenes content and people-focused content to do that. There’s a whole blog post about behind-the-scenes content and what it can do for your brand, but to refresh your memory, BTS content makes your biz feel personal, approachable, and real.
Here’s a quick list of behind-the-scenes content ideas to inspire you:
- Share photos or videos of your team outing on Instagram Stories
- Interview a team member, a client, a biz partner, or someone in your industry on Facebook Live
- Include a fun Q&A in an email newsletter
- Talk about your brand history and how you launched your biz in a blog post
- Share a quick tour of your office, a “day in the life of” video, a candid pic of your pets…whatever you want, as long as it’s appropriate
And people-focused content? Just as it sounds, focus on your people. Got lots of positive reviews on your products? Turn them into social posts! Have a loyal customer who has loved and supported your brand for years? Ask if you can interview them for a short blog post!
Spotlight the people you work with, too. Let an employee take over your content for a day. Give shoutouts to your amazing team or favorite vendors, agencies, partners, freelancers, or contractors. If someone is hosting a contest or an awesome sale that your audience will like, spread the word. That’s how you can connect with both your audience and the people in your space.
Think about the message you want to share
The summer slowdown sounds great in theory, but we know it can be a struggle for biz owners. Remember that your audience won’t be on break forever, and things will pick back up again soon.
If things aren’t going as well as you hoped with your content, look to the future rather than dwell on the present. What do you want to communicate with potential customers? What do you want them to think about now regarding your business?
Instead of asking people to buy your offers, maybe you explain why they should buy when they’re ready. Talk about your typical process with a new client. Gush about why you love working on certain projects. Explain what kind of timeline people can expect when working with you. Talk about your availability — are you swamped right now or open to new clients?
If you’re stumped for ideas, pick a popular question you get from clients (or something from your FAQ page) and answer it in your content. Someone may not be looking to buy your services now, but you can still keep your brand fresh in people’s minds with forward-thinking content.
If you’re totally out of content ideas, we have a whole blog to help with that.
Prep for the future
Summer doesn’t last forever, so if you’re feeling stressed about what to do with your content when things are slow, try to remember that the season will end before you know it.
Give yourself a break if you need to. Pay attention to what your audience is doing and what they want to see in your content. Think about your long-term goals and set yourself up for your busier seasons to come.
Now, if you need us, we’ll be off enjoying this glorious summer weather.