I love summer marketing. Even though it isn’t necessarily considered a “hot” marketing season, at least in comparison to winter holidays, many businesses thrive on summer. What’s more, any business can experience an influx of summer sales with clever, strategic marketing. The best part about summer marketing is you can have more fun with your potential customers. Here are 10 ways you can market your business this summer.
1. Events and festivals
Festivals, sporting events, concerts, conferences and trade shows all offer unique opportunities to get in front of your target audience. Rent booth space, place banners and posters, or, if your budget is tight, simply attend the events with plenty of business cards in-hand.
2. Banners, posters and flyers
Warm weather brings people outdoors, which means banners, posters and flyers are perfect marketing tools. Place banners near busy intersections, posters where your target customer base frequently visits and flyers anywhere customers will see them. Each of these marketing tools is cheap to print, easy to distribute and excellent at generating return on investment.
3. Host a contest
Customers love contests, especially when they’re fun and unique. Go big. Don’t ask customers to guess how many M&M’s are in a jar; instead, have a dunk tank in the parking lot for a day and give each customer 10 throws. For each dunk, they get 5 percent off that day only. That’s just one example of a fun summer contest discount promotion you could run.
4. Sidewalk sales
Many communities host sidewalk sales on specific dates, but you don’t have to wait to hold yours. If you’re in a busy shopping district in which many potential customers pass on foot, keep a display and an employee on the sidewalk every day you can. Being able to attract customers without making them enter your storefront is a great way to generate more sales, not to mention the fact that your employee can start relationship-building street side.
5. Postcard direct mail
Summer is a great time for postcard direct mail campaigns. They’re fast, cheap and easy, and have a great track record for generating a reliable return on your investment. Use direct-mail postcards to promote a hot summer promotion and sales will sizzle!
6. Free barbecue
One of the most popular summer marketing ideas I’ve seen is to host a free barbecue. Get the grill out and cook burgers, brats and hot dogs to hand out to passers-by in a busy shopping district. While “customers” wait for their food, have someone explain the features and benefits of your products and services, or do a product demonstration. Make sure everyone leaves with your business card, brochure and any other relevant marketing materials in-hand.
7. Table tents
Summer is a time for play, which means a lot of people go out to eat. Some enjoy outdoor dining; others prefer the cool AC. Either way, you can partner with local restaurants to market on table tops. Offer to split or cover the cost of table tent printing and present your promotion on one side, the restaurant’s on the other.
8. Social media
Many potential customers love to post and view fun (and funny) summer photos on Facebook and other social media platforms. You can post your own great photos, polls, status updates, and other information to encourage customers to like or follow you. Then, offer a special sale just for your social media friends, good for the summer only.
It’s no secret I love outdoor marketing, and I think stickers present the most fun opportunities to market your business outdoors. You can print stickers that work with the environment, such as a funny window sticker or a series of footprint stickers that lead to your storefront.
10. Summer promo giveaways
Want to bring customers to your storefront? Give away water bottles, fans, beach towels, or other summer-related promotional items branded with your logo, company name, and contact information. They’ll come for the freebies, and once they’re in your store you can pitch your best products and services. What are your favorite summer marketing tips?