Turn up the heat with your summer marketing strategy, or in some cases turn it down. The summer solstice may bring an annual lull in leads and sales, but brands can take advantage of the holiday season with a few clever marketing strategies.
Here at Flaunt Digital, office life in summer varies from team to team. Though our departments continue to work together to produce state-of-the-art work, many are also enjoying their own vacations, a few Deliveroo lunches, summer socials and, of course, multiple trips to the office ice cream van. But the real reason we are able to continually see cracking results season after season is down to our fantastic team and unique marketing skills.
From outreaching top sun protection tips and creating paid ads around the UK’s love of barbecues to writing Christmas-related content in advance and ensuring sites are ready for Black Friday and winter sales, across our digital agency every team has its own digital marketing tactics to help us get through the summer heatwaves.
Sun, Sea, Sand And Sensational Content
It’s important to get prepared for the summer lull and our content team is doing just that. The sun’s out, loads of people are on holiday and it’s typically the season for relaxing… but not so much if you’re in agency land! With agency staff, clients and consumers all enjoying a bit of time off, it’s important to make sure your SEO and content strategies are planned to perfection so standards don’t slip. Our top tip is to keep communication flowing – if you already work like a well-oiled machine and have regular catch-ups scheduled in with your clients, you’ll have no problems overcoming ‘out of offices’!
Christmas Content Comes Early…
There’s nothing stranger than writing an article about snuggling up in winter pyjamas or how to decorate for Christmas when the sun’s blazing outside in the height of summer! But it’s important to get your winter-themed content planned and prepared well in advance, as we know users start their festive searches from as early as October.
You’ve Been Goosed: Christmas Edition
With summer well underway and brands already planning their advertising campaigns for Christmas products, it’s a great time to optimise your content to ensure you’re pulling customers to your brand from every direction – and we’re here to help. Many brands entice the reader with indulgent, Christmassy content, but can Google interpret this correctly?
We’ve put our favourite Christmas brands to the test, using our very own Natural Language Processing engine, Goose.
Coca-Cola – Get your brand ready for the festive season with Goose
Any brand should use the opening product page copy to grab the reader’s attention. With Diet Coke’s product page being interpreted as being about ‘Diet Coke,’ but also ‘World’, ‘Attitude’ and ‘History,’ we are sure there’s room for improvement with a few subtle tweaks.
‘History was made 40 years ago with the creation of Diet Coke. Within two years, Diet Coke was the world’s favourite light cola, and it still is! Diet Coke encourages you to love what you love, celebrating the unapologetic attitude that comes with knowing who you are and what you’re into, whether it’s ‘cool’ or not.
So add some sparkle to your day – without sugar or calories – with a crisp, refreshing Diet Coke!’
When it comes to the food and drink business, the copy should stand out, be different and, of course, entice people to want to buy your products, but at the same time, Google needs to be able to understand it. From changing the sentence structure to adding more keywords, small copy tweaks can make all the difference!
‘Do you love Diet Coke as much as we do? A crisp, refreshing drink that made history 40 years ago became the world’s favourite light cola within two years, and it still is! Diet Coke encourages you to love what you love, celebrating the unapologetic attitude that comes with knowing who you are and what you’re into, whether it’s ‘cool’ or not.
So add some sparkle to your day – without sugar or calories – with an ice-cold Diet Coke!’
Terry’s Chocolate Orange – A Christmas Stocking Staple
Currently sat on Carambarco’s Terry’s Chocolate Orange homepage is an opening introduction that makes you want a chocolate orange all year round (because let’s be honest, it’s not just for Christmas!)
‘Terry’s Chocolate Orange is a subtle combination of delicious chocolate and natural extracts of orange. But, it is far more than a chocolate. Terry’s Chocolate Orange is a full experience. Tap it, unwrap it and enjoy it: that ritual has been tempting the United Kingdom for nearly nine decades. There is nothing else like it! With its original round shape and its fun and magic personality, it has become the Must Have of Christmas and the perfect token gift all year round.’
Does Google know that Terry’s is talking about their much-loved chocolate orange? Well actually it does, not only is Terry enjoying mammoth sales every Christmas, they are also achieving great things with their content.
With Google, 80% sure the content is discussing candy & sweets and picking up keywords such as, ‘chocolate’ and ‘orange’, can the brand really do any better? With a few small changes, the team at Flaunt have managed to create an intro which Google keeps in the candy and sweets topic and now has higher rankings for keywords such as, ‘Terry Chocolate Orange’, ‘chocolate’ and ‘orange’. Could this be Carambarco’s Terry’s Chocolate Orange’s new home page introduction?
‘Terry’s Chocolate Orange is a subtle combination of delicious chocolate and natural extracts of orange. Far more than just chocolate, Terry’s Chocolate Orange gives you the full chocolate experience. Tap it, unwrap it and enjoy it: that ritual has been tempting the United Kingdom for nearly nine decades. There is nothing else like it! With its original round shape and its fun and magic personality, the famous Terry’s Chocolate Orange has become the ‘Must Have’ of Christmas and the perfect token gift all year round.’
Seasonal Summer Tips & Tricks Press Love
It’s time to get ahead of the heatwaves with our Digital PR Executive, Laura’s summery tips!
We are in England after all, and we could have a heatwave in mid-July or even early February, so it’s time to get ahead of the game and plan out some summer sun campaigns to enable you to be reactive as soon as the sun shines.
When it comes to PR, the summer is a perfect opportunity to release seasonal tips and tricks that the press love. You can almost always use the change in season to create an outreach campaign tailored to your client. It’s a good idea to look at what is trending on social media and in the news to spot any reactive PR opportunities.
Sun protection is always a very popular topic on the news agenda during the summer months. With that in mind, we recently outreached some expert sun protection tips for our medical aesthetics client, which gained coverage from 46 different publications – pretty impressive, right?
The change of season is great for planning campaigns months in advance so you can react promptly to any newsjacking opportunities. For example, we knew we were going to see some heatwaves this summer so we planned a summer sleep guide for our luxury bedding client to be sent out as soon as a heatwave was predicted.
As all other PR teams across the country probably want to send something out to press around the rise in temperature, it’s a good idea to plan campaign angles months in advance so you can have a head start and increase your likelihood of being featured.
Flaunt Digital’s Favourite 2022 Summer PR Campaigns
With many brands already part of the summer hype and taking their PR campaigns to the next level, it’s a hard field to stand out in. That being said, let’s take a look at just some of our favourite summer campaigns from this year so far…
IKEA’s Tasty, Cosy Summer Campaigns
With oodles of colour, humour and fun, IKEA released a super exciting summer campaign called ‘Fresh at IKEA’. The campaign connects easily with its audience through feelings of nostalgia. The campaign combined a love of ice cream with snuggly duvets and pillows which were presented in clever visuals to catch the eye of IKEA’s audience. We also loved their captivating ‘Tomorrow Starts Tonight’ campaign, which involved a comparison of their products (pillows, comforters, sheets) to fad products that promise energy or restorative effects.
Summer Kicked Off With Fabulous Jubilee Campaigns
First up, Marks and Spencers, because let’s be honest audiences always love their PR campaigns. The brand released the cutest corgi cakes in time to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Made from the same iconic ingredients as Marks and Spencers’ Colin the Caterpillar cake, Corgi and Queen Corgi complemented a whole range of Jubilee-related products. There’s nothing more British than M&S! It was an adorable marketing campaign that deserves recognition.
Another Jubilee campaign we couldn’t get enough of came from Marmite. You are either going to love or hate this one! With nearly as much history as the Queen herself, Marmite celebrated the Jubilee by launching a limited edition version of its famous product. Rebranded as Ma’amite in purple packaging – it caused quite the stir across social media. This new edition was quickly brought to fans across the UK to celebrate a British day with a truly British product.
T&G – The Ultimate Summer Drink
Premium mixer brand, Fever-Tree, launched a new summer marketing campaign based around the brand’s famous strapline ‘if ¾ of your drink is the mixer, mix with the best’. With the new campaign being called ‘We’d say T&G’, it aimed to highlight the importance of tonic in the perfect summer G&T. This fun campaign was accompanied by OOH and social media activity, making sure no one forgets to add Fever-Tree tonic to their next helping of gin. The campaign brought their famous strapline back to life in a more playful way, just in time for the hotter weather.
Is Your Site Ready For Black Friday, Christmas and New Year?
We spoke to our Dev team to find out how they are preparing to conquer summer and the months leading up to Christmas.
Summer is a great time to upgrade your systems and get other larger dev tasks completed that would be risky during peak seasons, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you are looking to push new features, projects or undertake huge website development tasks, summer is the time to get ahead of the game so everything is on point for the hectic Christmas season. Tasks that usually fall under this bracket include site migrations, CMS upgrades/updates and rebrands.
You will want to make sure you have adequate support for prominent merchandising spots on key templates for any upcoming sales too, from adding Black Friday banners to your home page and ensuring your sale pages are up for the stampede of eager shoppers. Summer is also a time to retest any sale functionalities including coupon codes and discounts to apply at checkout – the key is to ensure nothing goes wrong when you have hundreds of people trying to get the very best deals this winter.
We bang on about optimising pages but there is a reason why and, yes, summer is the perfect time to get optimising! Are you engaging and directing your users to high-selling products? If not, why not? Summer is a time to ensure customers are clearly directed to pages and your site flows beautifully so they can do their Christmas shopping with ease. Add CTA buttons above the fold on both mobile and desktop on all your best-selling product pages, to entice buyers early on and always make sure your stock images are updated to keep your site looking consistent, tidy and fresh. This will keep users excited and on the site until the very end.
Tips For A Technically Sound Summer
Our Technical SEO team shares all you need to know so you can get ahead of the competition this summer. Technical SEO is constantly evolving and should be an essential consideration for every website, no matter what the season – but are there any aspects you should particularly focus on during summertime?
Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends are crucial tools for maximising your organic search presence throughout the summer months, particularly for ecommerce sites. They can help you understand how search volumes fluctuate across the seasons, identifying trends that can inform your campaigns.
By looking at these SEO tools and comparing them with sales data from previous years, you can identify key categories or products to focus on. Some of these will of course be obvious, but there’s a good chance you could pick up some unexpected ideas.
Putting this into action could involve updating the headers on key pages of your site at the beginning of the season (H1, H2s etc.) to emphasise these key products or categories. This will clearly communicate to search engines such as Google that they are a priority for you during the summer months, helping them rank higher in the results pages for relevant search terms.
You can also do a mini audit of your site to identify whether any pages that could be driving traffic to the site during the summer season are out of stock. If users are landing on a sparse 404 page with no links to popular pages or relevant information, they’re very likely to bounce. Make sure your 404 page is useful to actual users rather than purely functional, or better still see if you can add a redirect to a page that will match users’ search intent.
As is always the case, taking an integrated approach can work wonders. Make sure you’re communicating with other marketing teams, such as Content and Digital PR, to identify ideas and opportunities to spread the word about how amazing your summer-related wares or products are, from timely blog posts to sending product samples to influencers.
Get Your Barbecue And Garden Furniture Ads Ready
Head of Paid Media, Adam shares all when it comes to creating paid ads that will pack a punch this summer.
In terms of understanding client peak and quiet seasons, alongside using common sense, it’s important to cross-check and use the likes of Google Search Trends & Keyword Planner to understand how you can expect your performance to be impacted through the changing seasons. Whilst we’d always take search volume figures with a pinch of salt, it gives a fair indication as to whether you can expect any clear peaks and troughs through the seasons.
Leverage weather to your advantage! If you’ve got products that lend themselves well to barbeque season, get ahead of the game and make sure that you’re prepared for those first signs of summer. When the warmer months hit, people typically shift their focus from interiors to getting their gardens primed for the sun. In preparation, it’s important to build awareness of those products and then when the warmer weather hits, be prepared for volumes and intent to rise.
You should also try to work out how to best leverage your brands that have a consistent level of performance all year round. Black Friday has become the main sale period for a lot of businesses, along with the January sales, though with more people getting back to heading off for the summer holidays, we’re seeing how important it is to leverage our summer sales at the right time. We’ve seen that people are still very receptive to picking up a good deal in preparation for a summer holiday when it comes to clothing, for example, so making sure that you’re pushing relevant products at the right time is vital.
On the other hand, there are clearly brands where paid media needs to pull back spend through the summer and warmer months. Heating is a clear area where we see intent drop – people aren’t wanting to pay out big sums on something like a boiler when the thermostat is hitting 30 degrees. They’re much more focused on getting away to enjoy a holiday, so it’s important that with any client, we understand how to best phase budgets across a 12-month period. We’d still want to maintain some presence across our paid channels, but we would scale back spend to only focus on key and necessary evergreen activity.
Bolder, Brighter Designs For Summer
Our designer Hannah is ready to whip up some seriously summery designs and here’s what she has to say about preparing creative for the summer season.
Designing creative in the summer months – whether that’s a website, PR campaign, paid media suite, or graphics for blogs – is obviously always led by the subject of the content but the summer season often allows for much bolder, brighter and generally more playful designs.
The content topics we tend to come across in the summer are things like seasonal launches of products or menus, weddings/engagements, and holidays. Therefore designers will be working with a lot of bright imagery, and expressive bold fonts with a tonne of character. Summer is a time of year we celebrate especially here in the UK and that pulls through into the creative audiences want to be seeing.
A challenge with designing for summer campaigns is striking the right balance between the summer style and brand guidelines. With more permanent projects like websites, this is difficult and the creative would probably just come in the form of a seasonal banner rather than a complete site overall, but with PR campaigns and Paid Media, you tend to have a little more freedom and flexibility to create some really fun and unique campaigns.
Changes to font colours and imagery are most apparent with ecommerce clients as you’re able to design for that “season” whether that be following tropical trends in the summer or more muted tones and patterns in the autumn months.
One thing to make sure about, especially at the peak of seasons or on key dates, is to make sure your content doesn’t get lost in the noise and that you still stand out from the crowd so don’t JUST follow the exact trends of the season. Remember to bring in the brand’s personality – it’s key to keeping everything you do authentic.
Nothing Is Simple In Sales
Our Client Development Manager, Dan shares all about the summer whirlwind that is sales.
Brace yourselves as this next section is about to throw more twists and turns at you than a summer’s day at Blackpool Pleasure Beach (sales, eh?).
In all honesty, the summer season is business as usual for our sales and client development team, except for a couple of slight, yet very necessary, adjustments.
As silly (‘peak’) season is fast approaching and having been-there-done-it plenty of times before, we know to expect far less client-agency movement. However, there are still plenty of marketing leaders willing to talk. Talk to us about the future. Talk about the past. Even talk about the current – as manic as it may be; but with the caveat that brands must grin and bear it until they’re out the other side at which point they can plan accordingly (read – ‘better’) for next time around.
Building pipelines never stops. But as we say goodbye to winter and spring, so too must we do the same for imminent decision-making. And rightly so – marketers are prioritising being hyper-reactive, putting out potential fires both with internal stakeholders and with external campaigns and tracking spend with more eagle-eyed scrutiny than at any other time throughout the year.
That said, some brands have refreshed and ready-to-go shiny new marketing budgets to deploy in July as a result of a July-June financial year. Chances are though, you’d hope, any new client-agency relationships would be kicking off through the summer months, rather than going through the pitch process.
There is also never a better time to learn from and gather insights on a brand’s activity than summer-into-peak to then present ideas back at a calmer time. Summer-into-peak is not the time to expect to hear anything other than “now is not the time” when approaching a busy marketer with thoughts, ideas or otherwise. Bank them for later.
Simply put, nothing is simple in sales. And summer is no different. Keep on keeping on – but for the love of empathy – calm down on the mass outreach.
That’s a Wrap!
Flaunt Digital’s CEO, Lee Fuller, rounds up what agency land is like throughout the summer months.
‘Agencies don’t really have a slow down period and summer is no different, we planned for summer in spring so summer means that whilst there may be a lot of holidays booked and clients away, it’s a great opportunity to plan for what is a lot of clients peak periods, around Black Friday and Christmas.
Planning ahead is key and operating in this way means that when you inevitably get a lot of ‘out of offices’ throughout summer it’s not stressful, planning strategies for the peak is a lot nicer in the sunshine!’