Managing that January Slump

It’s right before the holidays. Consumers are frantically checking off the shopping lists, snagging last minute deals, and maybe buying a little something for themselves while they’re at it. Check your VigLink dashboard; you’re seeing the fruits of their spending too as November and December are up, way up, for many commerce-driving publishers.

In the midst of all this holiday spending, it’s easy to forget the impending fiscal cliff. No, I’m not talking about Ben Bernake, I’m talking about the January-retail hangover, which really starts December 25th. January is a notoriously slow month for Retail as consumers nurse their pocketbooks and transition overnight from spend happy to thrifty. What’s a publisher to do?

There’s plenty of opportunity out there in January. Savvy sites will know how to make hay when everyone else is blaming the “seasonality.” Hit the ground running with four tips to make this January your best yet:

Promote Yourself

What’s the hardest time to get a consumer’s attention? When everyone else is trying to get their attention. The holiday shopping season is as noisy as it gets. Smart marketers know that the best time to gain share of voice is when everyone else is laying low. January is your time to go loud, make yourself known, introduce new features, and grow your audience. While the audience you’re attracting may not be spending as much this month, keep them loyal and your investment will pay off over the long haul.

Health Sells

What’s everybody’s #1 New Year’s resolution? No, not eat more Christmas leftovers. Focus content on what matters to consumers so those that do spend, spend through you. You say healthy recipes? I think I need a new juicer. You say diet advice? I can think of a few good books. You say 2013 fashion trends? I think that shirt with vertical stripes makes me look thinner than I feel. You say five easy routines to get back into shape? I think I can’t do them without new shoes… You get the point. Behind every new year’s resolution article, blog post, or forum thread there’s a thing (or ten) to buy. Help your audience buy.

Talk About the Weather

January is cold and wet.* People might not be buying new toys, gadgets, or vacations, but they still need to manage the weather. Wiper blades, snow boots, winter tires, jackets, heaters, slippers–if it keeps the chills out and cozy in, people are buying.

*We realize VigLink is global, so if you’re in the southern hemisphere, think about things that beat the heat (and send us a blanket if you wouldn’t mind).

Take the year in review

As a new beginning, January is the perfect time to review, reflect, and react. Take stock of what worked last year. What content drove sales? Who got all your out-clicks? Do they deserve them? Check your VigLink dashboard, dig into your site analytics, talk to your customers, and see what lessons you can learn from 2012 to make 2013 even better.

This January, make your New Year’s resolution to turn January from s..l..o…w to GROW.

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