The official start of summer is about a month away, but right now’s the time to get on top of your small business’ marketing strategy for the season.
For some businesses, as temperatures heat up, sales slow down. But a sharp marketing strategy can help you stay cool, connect with your customers and keep the business momentum going strong.
Here are some of our favorite innovative and interesting ways to promote small businesses from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
1. Map out your event calendar.
Summer is a popular time for communities to host special events, and festivals and fairs are excellent opportunities to build your brand and make connections with local customers. Jump-start your summer marketing efforts by connecting with your local chamber of commerce. Ask about potential marketing opportunities at upcoming special events — ask if you can set up a booth to sell products, post flyers about your business or sign up to be a sponsor. If events have a dedicated website or social media page, think about creative ways to engage with a digital audience.
2. Run summer promotions.
New season, new seasonal promotions! People are out and about thanks to the nice weather, and in many areas, the tourist season is in full swing. If you manage a retail business, do a quick assessment of seasonal products that might appeal to your audience. Warm-weather clothing, beach gear and summer foods and drinks are likely to be popular with customers. If you own a restaurant, build out a small summer menu using in-season produce, or throw a daily special or two into the mix. Use online channels, such as blogs and social media can help you get the word out.
3. Develop holiday promotions.
Exclusive holiday promotions are another great summertime marketing option. After all, you’ve got Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Labor Day – three of the busiest weekends of the summer season. Many businesses offer bigger-than-normal sales and other promotions in honor of the holidays. (Think about every car dealer and their Memorial Day “special” cash offers!) Tailor your campaign messaging accordingly to make the most of the holidays.
4. Look for opportunities to connect with vacationers.
If you’re located near a vacationing hotspot, try to partner with other local businesses to reach travelers. After all, these are customers that you might not see for most of the rest of the year! Seek out advertising partnerships with hotels, B&Bs, campgrounds and popular tourist attractions. Leverage social media and mobile to expand your reach. Be where the new influx of money is going to be.