"Looks like everyone is back from vacation and ready to roll!" one of my clients commented to me recently. The week after the fourth of July! Vacations? We don't need no stinking vacations. Or at least that's the way it seems for many Americans. The conventional wisdom is that activity dies in the summertime as people take weeks or long weekends off away from the office.
Don't believe it. The statistics say something very different.
According to Fortune Magazine, 429 million paid vacation days are left on the table every year. More than half of Americans didn't take the full amount of vacation time owed them last year according to a study commissioned by the U. S. Travel Association and a report from the Ranstad staffing agency said 42% of those out of the office felt they had to check their email. Business.com says 50% of executives check in during their time off.
In other words, it may seem slower than normal, but most people - including your prospects and customers - are around, conducting business...and consuming content. To keep up with your competition, you need to continue to reach out to them. Even in the summer.
Here are 4 reasons to keep your content machine humming in July and August.
1 . Summer is a good time for engagement
Marketo recently cited research from the Journal of Consumer Psychology that revealed warm temperatures "strengthen the concept of social closeness, activate feelings of emotional warmth, and increase product valuation." If that's the case, the summer months might be just the right time to engage customers who might be giving you the cold shoulder.
Put together a mini-campaign of three emails highlighting one of your products or services. With inbox activity down a bit, your emails have a better chance of getting opened and sparking a dialogue.
2. Let your content work while you're away
Even though people are taking less vacation time, chances are you and your staff will be off with your families for at least a portion of the summer. Put together a long form piece of content like a white paper discussing an issue that's relevant to your prospects and clients. Again, you may catch someone with a block of free time and they might appreciate the new insights you can offer.
Another way to connect is by crafting a case study on one of your recent success stories. Nothing like a proof of concept to show off what you can accomplish while continuing to maintain valuable engagement.
3. Summer is prime time for some
While it may be vacation time for most people, summertime can be the busiest time of the year for others. The healthcare industry is pitching preventive care, IT support organizations may be out straight covering for internal resources who are out of pocket, and educational institutions are busy gearing up for the fall. Elements of nearly every industry have active periods in the summer. Reaching out to engage them with a series of blog posts could garner you business you might not get otherwise.
4. Just stay in touch
Woody Allen once said that "showing up is 80% of life." Turning up in front of your customer is also a key component in a successful marketing program. In this time of ultra short attention spans, you don't want to disappear for two months and be forgotten. Worse, you don't want your competition wedging in the door to potentially snatch away some of your prospects.
In today's competitive environment, taking two months off is probably not a great marketing strategy. Keep pumping out relevant content to keep your customers engaged and your prospect pipeline full.