It may feel like a benefit to only have to market your seasonal business once a year. After all, marketing for a quarter is just hands-down less expensive than marketing 365. On the flip side, failing to adequately plan ahead can flush a whole year’s worth of revenue down the drain, with no time to course-correct before seasonal operations end. Even for a business that’s only operating during Spooky Season, it’s essential to start marketing well in advance to build anticipation, generate interest, and compete in the growing industry. Make sure you’re on track now to hit these marketing milestones to have a profitable Spooky Season later.
6-12 Months Before Spooky Season:
- Start planning your marketing strategy. Define your target audience, set goals, and create a budget.
- Secure your location or venue. Set any necessary build-out in motion.
- Secure a memorable URL, and design a website. Available URLs can help you determine a good name for your business and rule out names that are too close to competitors, and they tend to be relatively inexpensive and low commitment, so they are a good place to start when brainstorming a brand identity.
- Develop your business concept, theme, and any unique attractions or experiences you plan to offer.
- Begin getting sign ups for a mailing list.
4-6 Months Before Spooky Season:
- Optimize your website, and establish a strong online presence. This is crucial for providing information, selling tickets, and building excitement.
- Begin designing or updating your marketing materials, such as promotional images, videos, and social media content. This is a good time to print promotional materials, so you have plenty of time to address printing errors and issues.
- Establish partnerships with local or like-minded businesses, influencers, or organizations for cross-promotion and sponsorship.
- Launch teaser campaigns on social media to pique interest, and start dripping on your mailing list. The general public won’t mind that you don’t have all the details hammered out yet.
2-4 Months Before Spooky Season:
- Start selling advance tickets or admission passes to create a sense of urgency and secure revenue. Offering a discount for early birds gives you early access to funds that can be reinvested in more marketing to compound total sales.
- Launch a more extensive marketing campaign, including paid advertising, email marketing, and social media promotions.
- Release more detailed information about your spooky attractions and experiences.
- Consider holding pre-season events or previews to generate buzz.
1-2 Months Before Spooky Season:
- Ramp up your marketing efforts with a focus on driving ticket sales and increasing event awareness.
- Continue to engage with your audience on social media with teasers, behind-the-scenes content, and sneak peeks.
- Engage with local media, since now is the time they’re looking for spooky season content to cover.
- Consider offering flash sales or print promotions to encourage early ticket sales.
1-2 Weeks Before Spooky Season:
- Intensify marketing efforts and leverage the countdown to the opening day to create excitement.
- Implement last-minute marketing campaigns and reminders to encourage ticket sales.
- Ensure all marketing materials and online platforms are up to date and functional.
Starting your marketing campaign up to a year before your first date of operations provides ample time to generate buzz and capture the interest of your target audience. While this timeline can and should be adjusted based on your specific business, you can use it as a general idea of how to time the marketing efforts you plan to undertake. The earlier you start planning, the more anticipation can snowball, ramping your business up for a successful season of operations. Speaking to a marketing expert now might just save you countless mistakes and significantly increase your turnout next year. Why not summon us for a free consultation on how to make next year bigger and better?