The weather has been wild across Canada through this La Niña season. Here in BC the business community has been standing on-guard as reports continue to forecast wind, rain, and snow storms on a weekly basis. While many companies associate bad weather as being bad for business, there are actually ways to leverage it in your digital marketing strategy. Here’s how.
3 Effective Ways to Capitalize on Dramatic Weather Forecasts to Get More Customers Online
I. Create a Unique (and fun) Offer Around It
In 2019 Alaska Airlines created an offer that made headlines throughout the world. It was the first-ever fare sale to be activated by the size of waves. The airline offered a discount up to 30% off flights to and from Hawaii (from anywhere in the world) based on the height of forecasted waves around the islands. The bigger the waves, the bigger the discount. This garnered so much positive press and bookings that they ran the promo again in 2020 to include flights to California.
Take a page from Alaska Airlines and create your own whimsical offers based on seasonal weather when forecasts call for dramatic turns. Scaled-up discounts could be offered on millimeters (mm) of rainfall and/or centimeters (cm) of snow. Not only does it provide you with an “excuse” to come up with a new and interesting offer, it gives prospective customers a reason to subscribe via email and check-in on your social networks for updates about when a new discount tier (i.e. 10% to 20%) kicks-in as a weather event advances. The more creative the offer, the better. Even if it doesn’t drive significant sales and/or bookings any press it garners makes it worthwhile.
II. Create a Sense of Urgency to Make a Purchase
We suggested creating a sense of urgency to quickly get customers during a seasonal sales slump. The same applies when it comes to dramatic weather forecasts.
You want to encourage customers to buy from you before the weather takes a turn for the worse. The marketing message must communicate that your product/service will serve a need to help them get through the bad weather. This is obvious for some businesses, such as those which sell snow tires, window shutters, and so forth. But others leave themselves out in the dark when they instead should apply some creative thinking. No matter what you sell, there’s a good chance it can be positioned as a necessity to making it through harsh weather. A clothing retailer should ramp up marketing for weather-centric items (warm sweaters, raincoats, etc.). Hotels/resorts and other travel businesses can promote spontaneous beat-the-weather getaways, even if it’s a staycation within a cozy suite in the same city their target market lives in. Grocers should create digital shopping lists to help customers ride out the storm and email it to all subscribers. Wineries could encourage couples to snuggle up at home to wait out the weather with a nice bottle (or three) of cabernet sauvignon. You get the idea. Where there’s a will there’s a way, and when there’s wild weather there’s opportunity!
III. Increase Social Media Engagement With Weather Response Updates
Expanding upon the “create a unique offer” strategy above, you will want to be more active on social media when leveraging weather to ramp up your online marketing. Whether or not forecasted rain, sleet, or snow makes landfall you can update Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn followers accordingly. For example, if the snow has started, you can jump on to Facebook in real-time to exclaim “One more cm of snow to go and you’ll get 20% off”. In fact, this strategy can be used to encourage non-followers to begin following your business profile, making it a requirement to do so to qualify and claim the offer.
When your offer is wrapped around an anticipated probability you create excitement and in-turn give people a reason to follow, check-in, and engage with your brand on social media.
Need help executing the above strategy? Contact Strategis Consulting Group today.