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Summer lovin’: Tips for creating and rolling out a seasonal PR strategy

by | May 30, 2023 | Public Relations

With summer just around the corner, it’s time to start switching up your campaigns for a successful seasonal payoff. Whether you engage in a themed social strategy or start rolling out seasonal offers for your loyal customers, using the warm weather to your advantage could see your business jumping ahead of its competitors.

Did you know that 49 percent of online consumers say that they are more likely to shop with a business that promises seasonal offers? Whether these are half-priced swimsuits during the run-up to summer or a Black Friday discount on the countdown to Christmas. Companies that delve into seasonal marketing often see higher levels of engagement during high-shopping periods and a whopping revenue payoff in their fourth quarter. 

The question is, how do you create a seasonal campaign? The e-commerce industry has never been so competitive, meaning that your PR strategy must be on point in 2023. If you want to boost your brand awareness during seasonal highs, stick with us as we teach you how to create a seasonal PR strategy that sticks.

PR strategy in review

If you’re new to the world of public relations, let’s head back to the basics. In order for a business to perform well in a competitive climate, marketers must find ways to make it stand out amongst industry niche competitors.

Summer lovin': Tips for creating and rolling out a seasonal PR strategy

(Image Source: Question pro)

This is where PR steps in. The key here is to take your brand values, selling points and existing messaging and find a way to market these factors to your target audience. This could be in the form of a promotional social campaign, online store creation, email outreach or media placement. There are plenty of mediums in which a company can spread a message, but success comes with picking the right platform for your demographic. 

For example, a younger, digital native consumer group is the perfect target for a social campaign on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram. Whereas an older generation is much more likely to respond to an email campaign that directly links them to your site. 

A well-thought-out strategy could be the key to sales success. Making mileage in your branding by creating innovative campaigns can be time-consuming, but certainly worth the effort if you want to rise up amongst the rankings. 

Some of the advantages of a successful PR campaign include:

  • Spreading the word: The more you put your brand in the limelight, the greater awareness your consumers will have of your values and selling points.
  • Fostering trust: A PR campaign should highlight a brand’s credibility within the industry. Taking time to create content across multiple platforms, as well as being mentioned within other popular mediums, can build trust amongst your targets.
  • Audience targeting: If you know your audience well, your campaigns will be tailored to their needs and gratifications. This will encourage more brand engagement and could send more traffic to your site.

Is it time to get seasonal with your strategy?

A recent study by Statista found that during Valentine’s Day season alone in the US, over $244 million was spent on seasonal chocolate in response to holiday PR campaigns. 

Any brand can adopt a seasonal PR strategy. The key here is to use each seasonal holiday to your own brand-specific advantage. For example, a local pharmacy may not see success in selling seasonal snowglobes, but during the festive season, a promotional campaign and a seasonal offer on cold and flu medicine could quickly score a hefty return.

Seasonal marketing is about using a limited space of time to create a campaign that has viral potential. Every brand giant engages in seasonal marketing, so it’s up to you to think outside of the box and target your specific niche.

From summer swimsuit social strategies to Christmas campaigning, here are the key steps to embrace when crafting your own seasonal marketing plan.

Time matters

Seasonal periods fly out as quickly as they come in, meaning that your seasonal campaign is on a time limit. With an allotted time frame to perform, the key here is to start early and go long with your strategy.

Make sure you’re planning your seasonal campaign well before the event surfaces. For example, if you’re planning to release your newest summer swimsuit line, don’t release your campaign in July, instead, start achieving coverage in April/May in an attempt to strike sales before the holiday season begins.

Better still, why not put your consumers on a time limit? This may sound crazy, but adding a visible deadline to your seasonal sale or campaign can encourage consumers to convert.

Summer lovin': Tips for creating and rolling out a seasonal PR strategy

(Image Source: Convert Cart)

Take this Black Friday campaign from App Sumo as an example. Displaying a countdown timer on their site lets their consumers know how long they have left to shop their Black Friday deals. This adds a sense of urgency to the campaign with little to no effort. 

Incorporate a seasonal giveaway

Consumers love nothing more than competition. If you want to give your seasonal PR plan an extra edge, incorporating a holiday-themed giveaway into the plan is a great way to showcase your products while enticing engagement. 

Not only do competitions attract attention in and out of the store, but they can also be an easy way to gain new email subscribers and social followers. 

The best thing about introducing a giveaway is that you get to decide on the conditions. For example, if your email marketing is suffering, why not ask your consumers to subscribe to your newsletter for an extra entry? Or alternatively, if your engagement on social media is lagging, encourage your followers to tag a friend in the comments in order to be in with a chance to win.

Don’t forget your socials

Last but not least, make sure you don’t forget your socials. Social media is the key hub for all things seasonal. As a viral marketing machine, you can be that the best PR campaigns will not only be plastered across billboards but will sit right at the top of your Instagram feed too.

In fact, a whopping $27 billion is spent yearly on seasonal social campaigns, making a social medium the place to go when planning your next seasonal strategy.

The easiest way to engage your social media audience is to publish content that inspires action. Your seasonal social posts shouldn’t revolve specifically around your products but instead encourage conversation and consumer sharing.

Why not incorporate a content trend, such as a TikTok sound or dance, into your social post that loosely ties back to your own products and services? Or better still, why not encourage your audience to create their own content based on your brand for a chance to be featured on your page? 

Starbucks is a great example of a brand that knows how to get its consumers to engage with their seasonal social content. 

Summer lovin': Tips for creating and rolling out a seasonal PR strategy

(Image Source: Starbucks)

As you can see here in their Easter campaign, they are using social media to play a game with their consumers while still softly promoting their seasonal drinks. 

With a whopping 70 percent of purchase decisions now influenced by social media, getting creative with your social content in the same way as Starbucks could be the difference between a conversion and an unfollow.

The seasonal strategies of tomorrow

Seasonal PR strategies are known to drive engagement, brand awareness and that all-important return on investment. However, moving forward, the key here is to be smart when crafting your campaigns.

Make sure that your seasonal strategies not only lift up your business during holiday periods but remain relevant all year round.

“Products may be seasonal, but brand loyalty isn’t. By leveraging a space—such as a blog, newsletter or social media channel—that provides helpful, practical, entertaining and empowering content related to your seasonal product or service, you create affinity for your brand and product by remaining relevant year-round,” says Jonathan Schwartz from Bullseye Strategy. “By staying connected, you ensure that you and your product remain top of mind.” 

Rebecca Barnatt-Smith
Rebecca Barnatt-Smith is a UK-based freelance journalist and multimedia marketing executive.

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