It’s been a while since most marketers have had any real downtime.
However, this summer, many people are taking their first vacations in a very long while. This leaves many marketing departments with the first lulls in the action in a very long time.
What to do?
Here are our top tips for making your summer downtime into one of the most productive periods of the year.
TOP FIVE TIPS FOR IMPROVING MARKETING DURING SUMMER DOWNTIME
1. TAKE A DEEP DIVE INTO YOUR ANALYTICS
Of course, you check your automated marketing analytics reports all the time. They (hopefully) tell you that things are heading in the right direction. But do you genuinely understand what they’re conveying?
Use your summer break to go deep into your data. For instance, transform your one-off email reports into a single spreadsheet so you can compare results across your program and compare one email versus another, looking for trends. You may be able to figure out which types of subject lines, topics, or images most resonate with the people in your target audience, so you can do more of what’s working come fall. Or do something similar with your social media posts across all channels. You might be able to spot things, including image types, subheads, or messages, that work better on one platform when compared with another.
Another idea: Map metrics and results through your entire sales funnel. You may find that certain parts of it perform better than others. Use your time to conduct an analysis to figure out where you have leaks in your funnel — along with things you could optimize — to improve your sales and marketing process, so you move more prospects through it come fall.
2. PLAN FOR A RECESSION
Many experts believe an economic recession could be coming at any time. Why not plan for it now? It could be too late if you wait until one begins.
Think about whether you’d change up your menu of products or services if times get a little more challenging. Are there things you could sell more of and others you’d place less of a focus on? Maybe you’d market more necessary products that people still must buy when they’re strapped for cash versus luxuries they may not be able to afford. Perhaps you need to come up with new messages or offers. You may even have a file of marketing efforts that worked during previous recessions.
Use your time now to put together a recession game plan. It will give you a jump on the competition should the economy slow down.
3. WATCH, LISTEN TO, AND READ YOUR CONTENT
IS YOUR CONTENT ANY GOOD?
You and your team are probably so busy producing and publishing material you rarely take time to give it a fresh pair of eyes — or ears.
Use your break to experience your content as people in your target audience do.
- Is the quality as good as you thought it was when you published it?
- Is it still timely and meaningful?
- How could you improve it?
A little hindsight could be all it takes to see your content in a new light and identify ways to take it to the next level.
4. GET A JUMP ON NEXT QUARTER’S CONTENT
Most marketing teams get very busy in the fall with year-end promotions, holiday campaigns, and planning for next year.
Why not get a head start now on developing some content pieces you know you’ll need in the next six months? Find things that don’t take many other people to create. One good thing to focus on: Updates or refreshes of materials you published last year are good possibilities. You may be able to get new life out of something successful by giving it a fresh twist.
Working ahead could help reduce stress between now and the end of the year.
5. REPURPOSE YOUR BEST CONTENT INTO NEW FORMATS
Do you have articles, white papers, or videos that resonated with the people in your target audience and generated a lot of leads and sales? Why not use your summer slow time to repurpose them and extend their use? It’s a great way to create high-impact pieces with relatively little effort.
- Transform a how-to blog into a step-by-step infographic
- Turn a video into images and publish a carousel on Instagram
- Repurpose the stats in a white paper into social posts
- Turn a webinar into a blog article.
There are countless ways to re-use the ideas in great content to get them in front of new audiences.
BONUS: IDENTIFY INTERNS WHO COULD BECOME AWESOME FULL-TIME EMPLOYEES
Finding talented marketers can be challenging during this time of high employment in the industry. Use some of your downtime to get to know your interns and other summer workers. Are there any that seem exceptionally talented — or who have unique skills that could benefit your organization? Perhaps there’s someone who could bring your social media into the modern age. Or maybe they have a unique perspective on video that could make yours stand out.
You have another month left to get to know your summer workers and bring them on board. It could be your chance to make a great hire before someone else gets a chance.
Whether it’s a summer slowdown or other form of downtime in your business, you can still be productive at work. Perhaps more productive and proactive than you are through most of the year. Use the time to your advantage and that of your marketing team.