As spring turns to summer and temperatures rise, the world outside explodes with activity.
Busy with summer barbeques, beach vacations, gardening and even home improvements, your target audience may not be where it was just a few months ago, and it’s not quite as captive as it was before, either. As the seasons change, it’s important to keep track of where your audience is at any given time so you can spend your marketing dollars in the most efficient way possible.
Pinning the Tail on Your Market
There are several ways to follow your audience no matter where it may stray. Before you attempt to track these people down, though, you need to have some seasonally appropriate ads ready. It doesn’t do any good to serve a summer ad in winter; for example, your audience might respond, but it is a lot more likely to wonder why they are being targeted with a summer ad.
Once you’re ready with an arsenal of seasonal ads, go hunting for your audience using these tools:
- Keyword research. This favorite tool of marketers is great all year long, but it’s especially valuable when your audience is on the move. As searches for real estate listings and portable coolers increase, you can use these keyword trends to determine the best places to put your ads.
For example, if you’re selling furniture and searches for real estate are hot, sites like Zillow.com might be great places to run your ads – after all, people looking for new homes often also need new furniture. Following seasonal trends using popular keywords can get you in front of the right audiences, right away.
- Geo-targeting. Another easy way to reach the right audiences is with geo-targeting. This is a relatively new technology that harnesses the power of Smartphones and other technology to accurately pinpoint an app subscriber or other customer in real time. Ads and offers that make sense based on their location are fed to the customer automatically as they approach the location. If someone were walking into a shoe shop during Back to School, for example, and the app knew they were married with children, it might push them a BOGO offer for kids shoes.
- Certain times of the year are incredibly distracting and potential customers may simply walk away from a purchase because of something else that’s going on in their lives. Don’t let that purchase just wander off – invest in retargeting. So many Smartphone users switch between devices throughout the day, providing ample opportunities for you to show them the same ad again and again on both mobile and desktop. Maybe they were pretty serious about buying that patio umbrella, but they were called away to help with setting up the new picnic set. Show it to them again and jog their memories for fewer abandoned shopping carts.
Taking Advantage of Local Markets
Handling a local market presents a unique challenge.
Instead of simply submitting to keyword trends and demographic data, you can see that next week is the regional art festival and next month is the state fair. You’ll know all the children in your audience will be out of school starting June 1. All of these local happenings can heavily influence the purchasing patterns of your target audience. Even the weather can influence a local market dramatically. A long stretch of beach weather means an increase in appropriate beach gear, equipment for barbeques, patio furniture and other outdoor accessories, for example.
On the other hand, maybe the local scene isn’t all that great for the season, and your audience may be looking to go elsewhere. Vacation packages, hotel and car rentals and even airline bookings can be targeted to the right audience using local data and keyword research. Keywords can open the door to any audience, but setting them in a context can help ground that keyword research so it’s even more effective. Local markets are amazing for doing this and allowing you to accurately pinpoint the exact audience you want to reach.
Like the changing seasons, marketing has a different feel throughout the year. You have to find your market where it is, and chances are it won’t beat down the door to find you. Using tools like keyword research, geo-targeting and retargeting, you can keep in step with marketing that changes season-to-season.