The days are getting shorter, temperatures are dropping, and there’s a sigh of relief lingering in the air after a busy, hot and sweaty season. Even if your DZ isn’t entering its slow time as the seasons change to winter, each DZ essentially experiences a slow season. The slow season is a magical time of rest, but it is also the magical time of marketing! It’s magical because the efforts during your slow time, will keep you top of mind, be ahead of the marketing curve, and ultimately lay the groundwork for future success.
Here are the top 9 things you should be doing while your DZ is at rest:
Flex Your Social Media Presence
It’s easy to showcase your DZ when there is a lot of parachutes filling the skies with color, the constant hum of planes turning, and laughs and smiles for miles. However, it’s equally important to continue posting on your channels as it will:
- Keep Your Business Top of Mind
- Be Heard Over Your Competitors (if their channels are silent, this is an excellent opportunity to get in your customers’ algorithms!)
- Stay in Touch with Leads & Past Customers with Relevant Content
I’m sure you’re thinking, “What is relevant to post if my DZ is buried in snow and no one is around?” I think one DZ who knocks it out the park is Skydive Chicago. The following videos and photo post is textbook of what I’d recommend of some wintertime posts as it gives us a glimpse of what it looks like when the hopping mega DZ is buried in snow. I know for me, it gives me nostalgic feeling of missing summer and anticipation for the season to change:
Other great winter social media posts could be photos of the aircraft with simple details about the plane or that it’s currently being worked on. Off-season is also a great time to build hype around the upcoming season of new events, team members, new planes, etc. to expect next season.
Level Up Your SEO
SEO is one of those digital animals that takes time. Like when you’re a student trying to earn your A-License, but it seems every time you come to the DZ there’s a weather hold. Although there’s a weather hold, there’s still plenty to work on like packing, going through EP’s, etc. And that is SEO. Even in the winter, you can take the time to maximize your positioning. Another great opportunity to be top of search and top of mind over your competitors.
Want to learn more about SEO? Click HERE.
Give Your Website a Facelift
Do you have a hero image or hero video on your website’s landing page? How long has it been there? If it’s been there for a season, it’s time to update it, because there is a thing called ‘ad fatigue.’ Although your website isn’t an ‘ad’ per se – it’s still your representation of your brand. The more often you update it and give it a fresh look, will continue to be inviting to your potential or repeat customers.
This is also a great time to update any content, grammatical errors, update your team member profiles (rotate out any members no longer with you and add new ones) and images, and add in your next year’s calendar of events! Adding events now will help your fun jumpers plan their season way ahead of time!
Follow Up With Tandem Groups
Did you have one, two or more big groups come out to jump with you for the first time? Did they have a good time? Most likely they’ve become your biggest advocates of having such a life changing experience! Off-season is a great time to reach out by phone (best and most personal) or email to thank them for choosing your DZ, and to either plant a seed to come back or set the date and help them plan their next outing – perhaps throwing in a discount, t-shirt or higher altitude option to encourage and entice them to come back the following the season.
Keep Blogging / or Newslettering
Even during off season you can still add value to your customer base from tandems to experienced jumpers. What to write about?
What To Know About Getting Recurrent
Exciting Plans for Next Season
Thinking About Booking A Skydive? Here’s What You Need to Know
The blogs / newsletter can be repurposed to your social channels and email marketing as well!
Round Up Reviews & Respond
One of the number one things we believe in, is how a company stands out.
According to a Forbes article by Jayson DeMers about consumers buying decisions:
The number of online consumers who read and trust online reviews is increasing. According to a survey by BrightLocal, 88 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation—which is astounding, considering most online reviews are posted by total strangers. The same survey found that only 12 percent of the population did not regularly read reviews for consumer products.
What this means is that not offering user reviews (or ignoring them as a potential marketing opportunity) is akin to alienating 88 percent of your buying population, depriving them of information they want to help them make their buying decisions.
An article by Small Business Trends by Dashburst stated:
Did you know that positive comments from customers or clients produce an average increase in sales of 18 percent and that consumers are likely to spend 31 percent more because of positive reviews?
Conversely, 22 percent of consumers won’t buy your product or service after reading just one negative review and four or more bad comments can take up to 70 percent of a business’s potential customers away.
During the off-season, give a look to your Facebook, Google, and Trip Advisor reviews, then ask:
How many do you have?
Are you responding to them? Good, bad or indifferent?
(If nthe ot, off-season is a great time to respond!)
How are the reviews?
Reading reviews will also give you an idea of how your business is doing from an outsiders perspective. Maybe there’s an instructor who always smells or an instructor who gets rave reviews – during off season, this is another time to chat with your team and give props when needed!
How can you round up reviews?
You can tastefully ask in your email newsletter or in person after someone jumps. The importance is, gaining many honest and positive reviews from your customer base.
At the end of the day, dropzone’s sell an unforgettable experience. That experience, however, can be tainted by a bad one if an office member, pilot, ground crew, but ultimately, the instructor. If a customer has a bad experience with you, you can most likely expect: bad word of mouth (WOM) about your business, a possible negative review, and a customer who’ll no longer repeat business with you.
We spend so much time just getting people to our doors, that customer service should ultimately be high on the priority so every guest walks away with that unforgettable experience they deserve. Those people become raving fans, leave great reviews, and come back!
So how does this fit in to ‘culture first’? Hiring your team during the off-season will ensure you have experienced people that fit the bill to help deliver an awesome experience. Take care of your team during the season, and create a culture that embraces good attitudes. Because it all comes down to WOM and reviews.
(Note: this is for DZ’ who run events or boogies in their season.)
Oh yeah! Winter time is where it’s at to prep for the mega event at your DZ! This is a great time to work less interrupted with other daily DZ duties, to dive in and review the last event and dirt dive the plan for the next one.
Next, hiring entertainment, rental goods (Porta-potties? Big tents? Extra tables? Extra showers?), and/or load organizers earlier will help you secure the entertainment, goods, and organizers you want as everyone’s schedule begins to book out 6-8 months in advance (sometimes longer)! This is also a great time to reach out for industry support as many manufacturers make their marketing budget at the beginning of the year, so touching base will help them plan as they plan.
Continue to Discover
There are many incredible marketing books, podcasts and blogs today to continue curating ideas on what might work for your business. Taking the time to learn new strategies or technology will only help you grow, not get blown away in the wind.
A great, simple place to begin discovering new ideas is the Dropzone Marketing blog, specific and valuable articles geared towards the skydiving industry.
If you ever want to talk shop on strategy or need help with your marketing efforts, we’re here to help!