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How to Beat the Summer Slump With Content Marketing

Do you ever feel like your personal productivity goes down during the summer? What about your company’s overall productivity?

If you answered yes to either of the above (and we’ll bet a cool Mai Tai that you did), then you’re definitely not alone. In fact, tons of research indicates that the productivity of American businesses goes way down during the summer months.

In fact, one 2012 study indicated that:

  • Workplace productivity drops 20% during the summer months
  • Workplace attendance decreases by 19%
  • Projects take 13% longer to complete
  • Workers are 45% more distracted

Think about it! How much time do you spend over the summer months traveling? Or what about day-dreaming about traveling? Or how about spending time trying to play catch-up with your clients who are off on vacation, even as you keep working?

And vacations are just the tip of the iceberg! Science says it’s harder to work in the heat and the humidity - and, conversely, in an office that’s too cold from AC!

Basically? Trying to get things done in the summer is a lose-lose proposition - except when it comes to digital marketing.

Because here’s the thing: With a little bit of strategy, a fair amount of content, and a whole lot of skill, you can actually cultivate a marketing strategy that will keep working for you, even when getting your job done is the last thing on your mind.

So, what can you do to ensure that your content marketing efforts stay active, even as you slow down in the summer heat? Here are four cool strategies to keep in mind:

1.) SEO is a Self-Sustaining, Lead Generating Machine

Here’s a sizzling stat, worth serving up along with your summertime burgers and grilled veggies: Compared to paid search marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) generates 3X more leads per dollar spent.

Part of the reason why is that a solid SEO strategy is self-perpetuating, making it less expensive in the long run. In fact, studies indicate that content marketing strategies are 62% cheaper than outbound marketing efforts.

Here’s the secret. The more searchable, linkable, shareable content you produce, the better your content will rank on search engine ranking pages (SERPs). The higher your content ranks on SERPs, the more organic traffic you’ll generate. The more traffic you generate? The higher the likelihood that you’ll increase your total conversions (give or take a little bit of conversion funnel strategizing).

Unlike paid advertising, or conventional “outbound” marketing methods, inbound marketing - centered around great content - is sustainable. A one-time investment or a recurring monthly fee could result in a massive increase in traffic - all for a fixed, flat rate.

Plus, SEO is a long-term strategy that compounds with time. You may need to be patient to generate results, but you don’t need to constantly funnel in more money. And for busy business owners stretching their dollars in the summer months, that could be a truly great deal.

We’re not saying that SEO is a “set-it-and-forget-it” affair; it does take some attention, monitoring, and care. But with that said, SEO is an evergreen, sustainable marketing strategy, one that continues to draw in leads regardless of the season. That’s a recipe for success, especially in the dog days of summer.

2.) An Automated Reputation Management Workflow Can Make Getting Reviews a Breeze

During the summer, it can be time-consuming to track down new leads. In a lot of ways, this makes it even more important to capitalize on your existing client base. And one of the most important - and effortless - ways to put them to work is to implement a reputation management workflow.

Reputation management is all about monitoring and guiding the online conversation about your brand in a positive direction. A successful reputation management strategy, then, may mean connecting with your customers, encouraging them to leave positive reviews about your business on sites like Google or Facebook - and preventing bad reviews from tarnishing your reputation.

Here at Geek Chicago, we proudly partner with a nationwide leader in reputation management software.

We’ll get you started with a seamless reputation management workflow that you can easily use to engage your existing clients, encouraging more reviews overall - while also getting out ahead of any potential  spoilers.

Even better? This powerful tool is so easy, all it takes is a few clicks! Retaining your old clients, increasing your online ranking, and generating new clients from your improved digital reputation, all with the press of a button? Sounds like the perfect summertime strategy!

3.) Summer is A Prime Time to Focus on Building Your Social Community

As of 2018, the most important metric for gauging the health of your social media marketing efforts is engagements. On sites like Facebook and Twitter, more engagements means a greater reach, higher clickthrough rates, and more chances to keep your business top-of-mind for your past and future customers.

One way to elevate your engagement rate is to engage in real, meaningful conversations with your audience. In other words? Social media is a great outlet for your summer chattiness.

From posting amazing images, to hosting polls, to promoting a giveaway or contest, to following up to ongoing conversations, there are no shortage of ways to translate your real life boredom into social media activity.

Use these amazing platforms to really start communicating with your audience, and you’ll see them return the favor in conversions, whether in winter, spring, summer, or fall.

4.) The Summer Holidays Make Perfect Benchmarks for Big Email Campaigns

Email marketing is a workhorse that really generates results. In many industries, open rates for email marketing campaigns hover between 20-30%. Generating a high quality digital newsletter is a great way to reach your next customers where they live, and to keep your business top-of-mind for your current clients.

In many ways, you can also generate your email marketing materials without a ton of effort; here at Geek Chicago, for instance, we use tools for personalization and email creation that make setting up a recurring newsletter a fairly straightforward task (which is a great fit for a summer schedule).

But what really makes the summer a great time for email marketing? Summer is a prime time for holidays! From Memorial Day to Labor Day, and every day in between (we’re looking at you, National Ice Cream Day), the summer is full of times to celebrate.

Why not capitalize on these important days with email marketing offers? Whether you’re sending around coupons, news, or best wishes, these summertime holidays are a great chance to do something special for your fans and followers - and see that good will come back to you in time.

Looking for a Content Marketing Crew?

Ready to step up your content marketing - summertime blues notwithstanding? Geek Chicago is here to help!

Our team knows the ins and outs of all things content marketing, from web development and design, to blogging, to social media, and more! Drop us a line whenever you’re ready to turn up the heat on your digital marketing efforts.

Oh, and in case we forgot to sign your yearbook: Have a great summer! Be sure to keep in touch over on Facebook or Twitter!

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Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).