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Be smart, make the summer months count

15 July 2013 BY

Many companies pause or shut down all marketing campaigns during the summer holidays. This is not advisable, especially not when it comes to search, and especially not in the Nordics.

In Norway we have a total of 2 months of summer a year. 10 months of rain, snow and cold, and only 2 months of summer. This means 4-5 weeks of summer holidays for everyone between July and August. To summarize: Possibility of sun and OK temperatures = vacation time!

During these weeks a mystical phenomenon called “agurktiden” takes place in Norwegian news; a phenomenon that makes this news story front page news in Norway’s largest newspaper for two whole days:

vg1

 

vg2

To translate: A kid built a playhouse and have to tear it down because he didn’t apply for permission to build it, but then the mayor read the news article and decided that he could keep it anyway.

In other words, you would think Norway (and other countries with similar climate) goes into hibernation during summer. You might also think that this means people stop googling, researching and buying stuff online? Well, they don’t. This might seem very basic, but based on my research and experience, way too many companies stop all marketing activities during summer. They shut down and miss a lot of potential ROI.

Here is why you should not stop your marketing campaigns or SEO, even during the summer holiday season:

1. The weather

This might seem contradictory since I just mentioned the 2 months of summer that you get in Norway every year. Well, summer does not always equal sun. Actually, most summers in the Nordics are more like this:

weather forecast norway

Screenshot of the actual weather forecast for next week. Cold, wet, not exactly outdoors weather, but very typical for a Norwegian summer…

This kind of weather means more researching online, more googling, more time spent in shopping malls and less time spent outdoors. Take advantage of this! How about an AdWords campaign responding to the weather forecast? This could be extremely effective to target a Nordic audience.

2. Tax return

I don’t know the tax system in other countries, but in Norway we get both our tax return and almost a double salary in June (called “feriepenger” which stands for 12,5% of last year’s income tax free). What does this mean? Norwegians have a lot of money burning in their pockets during summer, so why not take advantage of this?

3. Seasonal products

People in Norway (and I am sure in other countries as well) do a lot of this during the summer months:

beis

I myself have been stuck with my head in a paint bucket for over a week now, painting my new house. In other words, one week ago I needed to buy a lot of paint and equipment. But did I find paint for my house on sale? Nope, not even one single ad (the one ad in the example is a general ad, there are no sales campaigns):

tilbud beis

In the next few weeks I will try to turn a whole lot of sand and dirt into a garden. So how about plants for my garden or expensive tools that I want to spend my summer-money on? Do I find this on sale? Or how about grass for my brand new lawn? Nope, not even one single ad for grass in google.no.

ferdigplen

This means several thousands of NOK in lost profit for all of those not active in AdWords this summer. Money that I have to spend to avoid living on sand and dirt for another year. I am ready to spend, but it seems like no one want my money?

In other words: Sell your summer related products during summer when people have got the money and the time to spend them.

4. Your competitors are dumb not smarter than you = higher ROI

During the summer months both AdWords click prizes and all other marketing are cheap. This presents a great opportunity for the seasonally smart marketer.

If you keep your usual budget in for example AdWords during summer, your clicks will be cheap and your marketing will be very effective. If you also adapt your ads (AdWords) and meta descriptions (organic) to fit the season, customers will run down your doors.

If you do your SEO the right way, you started preparing for summer around the Easter holidays. If you did, you are visible and ready for the summer customers by now and your web site is ready as well. If not, do what you can with your website now and learn from your mistakes next year.

5. More mobile during summer holidays

The use of mobile devices is higher in the summer weeks than the rest of the year. Take advantage of this! Campaigns fit for mobile and tablets with the right message can be very effective and cheap, especially when your competitors haven’t thought about this. Also, make sure your mobile web site is ready for your potential customers.

6. A perfect time to prepare for the winter season

Believe it or not, people start researching on winter and Christmas related topics during late summer / early autumn. For example, people start searching for winter tires from July and August every year:

sok etter vinterdekk

Since it is especially important for organic search visibility to start preparing a few months ahead, use the quiet summer weeks wisely and prepare for fall and winter. If you do this you will get good visibility in the very important fall and winter months.

In other words, there are many reasons to spend the summer weeks on smart, targeted marketing. Be smart and make this summer count!

AUTHORED BY:
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Agnete Tøien Pedersen is Head of SEO in iProspect Norway and has years of experience within SEM, SEO, web publishing and journalism. She is also chairman of the Board of Ethical SEM in Norway, BraSøk. On a daily basis she is working with customers of all sizes, in Norway, the Nordics and internationally.
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