Is Summer A Time Of Rest Or Opportunity?

Quick Summary:

It’s easy to discount summer as a period of low productivity for marketing and lead generation. After all, people go on vacation, right? But what about those who don’t go away for six week (and let’s face it, that’s most of us)? They will still want content – and presumably marketers will still want to generate leads.

So, should summer be a quiet marketing period? Or should marketing and lead generation continue over the summer so that demand is generated in time for a strong second half of the year? We think so. That’s why we have written this article. In this article we discuss the reasons why summer marketing and content is so important, and how you can overcome challenges you may be facing around running webinars over the summer.

Depending on where you are in the world, summertime can be a quiet period for marketing and audience engagement.

Not much happens in content terms. Schools are out. Sun cream is packed. People go away on vacation. Why bother creating content, if nobody is around to consume it? Besides, marketers need a break too, so team sizes decrease and there is less resource to create and execute marketing activity.

Right? Or not…?

Does Sales want fewer leads?

What does your sales team say? Are their sales targets adjusted downwards for summer? If your summer is in Q2 of the year, does Q3 not need sales leads that were generated by marketing during Q2?

Have you ever been in an annual budget and target planning meeting that went something like this: “Ok, so we’ll drive marketing and sales hard during Q1, then we come up towards summer and we don’t want to sell anything in Q2, but in the bit of Q3 that isn’t the summer holidays anymore we’ll want some more leads, and then in Q4 it’s time to close close close!”

Perhaps you have been in meetings like that. But the reality is that no company can afford not to generate leads throughout the year. So why stop trying during the summer holidays?

Think about your target audience

Even if they do go on vacation, are ALL of them away for the WHOLE six weeks of the summer school holidays? No.

Are they away for a week or two (or three)? Probably.

Are there people who actively avoid school holidays for their vacation – perhaps because they don’t have children, or their children no longer go to school? Definitely.

So, if your target audience is working during the summer is it reasonable to assume they may need the information and content you can provide? I would think so, don’t you?

In fact, if business is indeed quieter during the summer period, doesn’t that mean that your target audience has more time to consume your content, too? Won’t you have a bigger opportunity to reach your audience with your messaging than when they are busy during the busier periods of the year?

The Opportunity Cost of not creating content over summer

Let’s look at the opportunity cost of not creating content and marketing activities during the summer. What would we be likely to miss out on? We have already established that your audience is still around and willing to consume your content. If you don’t engage them during that time, what will happen? They will (at best) feel under-served, but at worst they will go elsewhere for their content (hello competition!). Let’s be honest, do you think they will wait around until you’re back from Barbados? I think not.

This is the exact reason why we ALWAYS advocate for webinars to run consistently throughout the summer. If your webinar program runs on a weekly or fortnightly (or even monthly) cadence, continue with that cadence throughout the summer. People are still around and they will want and need your content.

One objection we often get is “But our speakers won’t be around during the summer to present on webinars”, which may be the case. But the same question applies: Are ALL speakers away for the WHOLE summer?

How to address your challenges around summer content

Let’s look at some practical tips and tricks of how you can plan for and create content over the summer vacation period.

Challenge: Speakers are unavailable over summer

Even if it turns out that all of your speakers are away, you can still pre-record your webinar content and use your webinar platform to stream it as a simulive webinar (i.e. pre-recorded, but streamed on a specified date). If your webinar platform doesn’t offer simulive capabilities, Webinar Experts can livestream pre-recorded content into your webinar platform for you.

Challenge: No live audience engagement during pre-recorded content

While simulive webinars may not have a live Q&A for your audience, it is still preferable to run a webinar than to pause your content output. Besides, Q&A can be part of your pre-recorded content if you cover questions you would typically expect to get on this topic.

Challenge: Difficulty planning for summer content if speakers are away

In our “Ultimate Guide To Annual Webinar Schedule Planning”, we outline how you can easily plan your webinars for the year ahead, without having to have all details and speakers confirmed. The same principles apply to planning summer content too. At the start of the year, you know that summer is coming. This enables you to plan ahead and make arrangements for content creation and publication even when speakers or parts of your marketing team are unavailable.

Challenge: Audience is on vacation over the summer

In our experience, it is extremely rare that your entire target audience is away at the same time. This means you always have part of your target audience available to consume your content. In all likelihood, the target audience that is available will be less busy over the summer and therefore may be more receptive to your content and have more time to join your webinars. Running webinars for a smaller audience is preferable than not running webinars at all. Creating a content gap over the summer means you are unable to cross-promote to other upcoming webinars, which means you will lose part of your audience. It will be harder to regain that audience after the summer when their schedules get busier again.

Challenge: You hadn’t planned for summer content early enough, but you do now want to run content over the summer

This is a common scenario and the good news is that it is easily solved. Review your back-catalogue of webinars from earlier in the year. You can either re-run (either live or simulive – depending on whether your speakers are available) webinars that were popular with the audience (proven content) or re-run webinars that perhaps didn’t have the same level of promotional exposure that other webinars had (under-promoted webinars). Either choice should attract an audience for your webinar. Alternatively, you also have the option to promote existing on-demand webinars, if you are unable to re-run previous webinars as live or simulive.

Do you have other challenges? Get in touch for a chat, we’re always happy to share advice and insights.

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