With the cold weather months quickly disappearing in our rearview mirrors, we can finally say hello to summer and ramp up our seasonal campaigns. There are so many options for promoting your small business throughout the year but during the summer months we get to incorporate a more light-hearted and spunky approach to our marketing mix. Check out various ways to cash in on all the summer has to offer.
(And for ideas for the whole year, download our full free marketing calendar here.)
Summer Marketing Promotions
One huge bonus for your business right now is the fact that school is out and kids (and their parents) are looking to keep busy. Be sure to tailor some of your marketing materials to children and their parents by offering specials for a certain age group or hire a childcare professional once per week and offer stay at home moms a playdate opportunity at your shop.
Summer has some of our favorite holidays. Stay on top of your marketing calendar and prepare ahead of time which promotions you’ll be running on the day. Major holidays to look out for:
Keep abreast of what’s going on nationally and globally, too. The Royal wedding and the FIFA World Cup are great opportunities to connect with your followers on social media by posting real-time updates and inviting conversation by posting polls. Who wore it better, Kate or Megan? This would work best on Facebook or Twitter.
The NBA Finals, starting on May 31st, will no doubt provide you material for your social media pages. You could also run in-store promotions by offering specials if a particular team wins the night before. NFL preseason begins in August with the first week of regular season kicking off in early September. Customers love when they walk into a store and they see their favorite team being represented! Incorporate your team’s logo by hanging a flag out front or creating a culinary confection inspired by the mascot!
Keep an ear to the ground around town for festivals, events or other activities that you can piggyback on. Most cities have annual events with large followings. Getting involved with activities like this helps you get in front of potentially hundreds of people and the best part is you don’t have to do any of the work to get people to the party!
There’s a good chance you haven’t even heard of some of the major happenings around town. Do some research and you may be surprised what you’ll find. Think Skatefest, Restaurant Week, Taco Festival, farmer’s markets, etc. Look into renting a booth at a local festival or sponsoring events around town to get your name out there.
Summer Social Media Trends
Ephemeral Content (Stories)
Ephemeral content, content that only lasts for a short while, is king at the moment. Snapchat videos and Instagram Stories are insanely popular and offer businesses the opportunity to showcase real-time content. Bringing your business to life and making you real to your online audience strengthens their connection to your brand. Create an ephemeral content strategy that provides your followers bite-sized bits of interesting information or a BTS (behind the scenes) look at your business to peak their interest and stay in front of them throughout the summer.
Facebook messenger is also on the rise as a medium for connecting with potential customers. Reaching out to consumers directly is a more straightforward way to engage and guide them to specific content via links. Be careful with this one as you don’t want to be intrusive. To make sure you’re only reaching out to interested parties, take a look at your website hits and do a little social media sleuthing for visitors’ profiles so you’re not making a complete cold call.
Influencer marketing is also on the rise. Instafamous celebs are a virtual honeypot of potential when it comes to getting in front of previously untapped audiences. Seek out verified influencers on various social media outlets that jive with your brand and offerings and seek out a partnership. If you think this isn’t worth your time, consider that 82% of consumers are “highly likely” to follow a recommendation made by a micro-influencer according to Veloce.
Other Summer Marketing Ideas
Get creative with your summer marketing strategy! These activities are simple and universal enough to incorporate no matter your business.
With the mercury slowly creeping upward, offer discounts based on high temps. You’ll entice people in who otherwise may not have left the house in the sweltering heat.
Traveling Photo Contest
Run a social media contest by asking customers to take photos of themselves during their summer vacays using your products and ask that they tag you in order to be entered into a raffle. This type of consumer marketing is powerful and extends your reach beyond your own followers.
Limited Edition Products
Celebrate summer with specially designed products or service packages that are limited to the summer months. Put a summer twist on things by incorporating pineapples, flamingos, beach balls…really anything that says ‘fun in the sun’ into your products or group together services you offer to cater to summertime activities.
Partner with a Local Business
Create an interesting summer package by collaborating with a complimentary (non-competing) business in town. Co-marketing ventures are mutually beneficial and often turn into lasting partnerships. Organize an event together and network with one another’s customers or offer discounts to clients who shop at both stores.
With so many options for interesting marketing opportunities, there’s no reason to be left out in the cold with it comes to your summertime marketing strategy!