25 Cool Summer Marketing Ideas

May 17, 2015

Want sizzling sales this summer? Start with the following 25 cool summer marketing ideas.

1. Give away cool (branded) stuff

Forget the umbrellas and koozies, this summer get in your customers’ heads with branded, relevant giveaways they’ll love. Do you cater to the adventure crowd? Give away river rafting tubes adorned with your logo. Want to reach soccer moms? Try branded folding chairs!

2. Host family night

If your business is well-suited to families, consider hosting a special family night each week or month during the summer. Add special activities or discounts just for family night. Restaurants and recreation-related businesses are perfect candidates for family night. 000636-Optimized

3. Special summer loyalty cards

Print loyalty/rewards cards just for the summer season. Offer a special discount when the cards are filled, and require they be completed by the end of summer to redeem the reward. For an even bigger splash, put all cards that are completed on time into a drawing for a special grand prize.

4. Summer social media sweepstakes

Use an app such as ShortStack to launch a social media sweepstakes. Give away a weekend getaway or other prize in return for entries, which you can add to your email list or mailing list.

5. Door hanger marketing

Summer is the perfect season for door hanger marketing, and it doesn’t take much time or money to launch a successful door hanger marketing campaign.

6. Giveaways for referrals

Launch a summer customer referral program in which you offer your customers a prize, gift, or discount in return for referring you to new customers.

7. Sidewalk sales

If you operate a retail business in a busy shopping area, take to the outdoors by bringing your store to the sidewalk. Sidewalks sales are great ways to get customers browsing and buying when they might have otherwise simply passed by. 000637-Optimized

8. Host an event

From cookouts to concerts to 5Ks and even wife carrying contests, summer is perfect for wacky promotions that put your company front and center.

9. Summer catalogs

Send direct-mail catalogs featuring your summer styles and sales to a well-targeted mailing list to boost sales this season.

10. Write summer blog posts

If you have a blog, write posts related to summer: helpful hints and how-to’s that solve your customers’ problems and are relevant to your products and services are excellent topic ideas.

11. Partner with others

Partner with non-competing businesses that share the same customer base to create special summer promotions. A hotel and water park might team up, for example, for a special family weekend promotion.

12. Sidewalk misters

If you don’t want to hold sidewalk sales, try setting up sidewalk misters on the hottest days. Make sure your window display invites customers in.

13. Scavenger hunt

If your customers are local, consider holding a special summer scavenger hunt around your city and running it via Facebook. A pizzeria, for example, might hide a gift card near a local landmark each week, then post a nearby photo as a clue to its location. 000638-Optimized

14. Posters, flyers, and banners

Many people love to be outdoors during the summer; thus, your marketing should follow suit. Posters, flyers, and banners are cost-effective ways to reach your customers outside and at outdoor events such as concerts, sports games, and festivals.

15. Give “freebies for freedom”

Independence Day is a great holiday for giving away freebies, especially if tied into the freedom theme. Freebies can help you market your business by pulling customers in for a closer look at your other products and services.

16. Host a community clean-up day

Service projects sponsored by your company can get great PR and help you network with like-minded people. Since the weather is nice, a community clean-up day is a great way to give back to the customers who support you. A park, stretch of roadway, or a busy beach are good places to look for projects.

17. Celebrate zany holidays

Have a bit of fun with your summer marketing and celebrate offbeat holidays that are relevant to your company. Did you know July 1 is National Creative Ice Cream Flavor Day? Think of the promotions a restaurant or ice cream shop could run with that!

18. Post tons of photos

Post tons of great photos featuring your business and your customers this summer. The more interesting your photos, the more engagement they’ll get, and the more your brand will get out.

19. Print summer how-to booklets

Print helpful booklets that tell your customers how to do something desirable. Make sure it’s relevant to your business so you can find opportunities to promote your products and services throughout your booklets. A landscaping company might publish a how-to booklet featuring summer backyard maintenance tips, for example, while a mechanic might give customers a summer car care guide or vacation car checklist.

20. Boast the best booth at summer festivals

Turn your summer festival booth into a fun attraction festival-goers won’t want to miss, and gain great exposure for your brand, products, and services at the same time. Can you come up with an entertaining product demo? 000639-Optimized

21. Facebook summer photo contest

Launch a photo contest on Facebook in which your fans are asked to post summer-themed photos that are relevant to your business. All that user-generated content will get a ton of shares. Create incentives such as discounts and a grand prize for the winning participant, selected by voters (or likes).

22. Break a world record

There are a lot of odd, yet fun, world records out there. See if there are any relevant to your business you might be able to break this summer. Doing so can get a lot of customers to participant and outstanding publicity for your business.

23. Seek speaking engagements

Seek opportunities for speaking engagements in which you can entertain and educate targeted audiences all at once. Find groups that already meet and whose members are in your target audience to identify opportunities.

24. Place stickers everywhere

Stickers placed in public areas, unexpected places (such as public restrooms and stairwells), and on vehicles can help increase awareness of your brand this summer. Make sure you get permission to stick them on first!

25. Create a summer networking group

Get together with other local business owners for summer fun and networking events. You might, for example, go golfing with a group once each month; or, you might plan a monthly spa day or after-hours event. Use the opportunity to share ideas and referrals with one another. Need printing for your summer marketing strategy? Get summer printing discounts!

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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

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