Summer is the season for family vacations, backyard barbecues and days at the beach. For a small business, it can also be a profitable season. With summer underway, how is your business doing at capturing customers’ summer dollars? Here are some creative midsummer marketing ideas to boost your business’s sales.
- On a scorching hot day, attract passersby into your business by promoting your air conditioning. Put up a sign saying, “Come in and cool off!”
- Give away ice-cold lemonade or bottled water outside your business, along with a coupon for 10
- Have a company picnic for your customers at a local park, lake or beach.
- Put up a tent in the parking lot; grill hot dogs and hamburgers and scoop ice cream for customers.
- Have employees wear sandwich boards, twirl signs or hand out coupons on busy street corners.
Hit the Road
- Choose a tradeshow or conference relevant to your business. Make it a mini-vacation by building in a bit of sightseeing before or after the event.
- Take a road trip to visit key clients. Many B2B companies’ schedules slow down in the summer, so your customers will be less frazzled and your meetings more productive.
- Get together with your Chamber of Commerce or other local business owners to plan a sidewalk sale you can all participate in. Put tables outside the stores selling small items, and keep your door open to attract customers inside.
- Put together a monthly “First Fridays” or “Second Saturdays” event featuring musicians, face painting, and refreshments in your business district to attract customers one evening a month.
Join the Crowd
- Find a local community event your target customers attend, like a fun run, classic car show or music festival. Sell products at a booth there or give away free samples, along with a coupon to get recipients into your business later.
- If you don’t have the bandwidth to have a physical presence at the event, become a sponsor to get your businesses’ name in front of the crowds.
- Farmers markets are especially popular in the summertime, and can be a great place to sell products or promote your services to locals.
Be a Good Sport
- Take your best customers out to a baseball game, surf competition, volleyball tournament or whatever summer sport is hot in your area.
- Put on a golf or tennis tournament for clients at the local links or country club.
- Get customers to engage with your business on social media. Have employees share their vacation photos and ask customers to do the same.
- Give away company T-shirts or baseball caps with your logo and offer a prize for the customer who posts a picture of them wearing it in the most exotic vacation locale.
- Hold a contest or drawing to give away summer-related products or services, like beach toys from your toy store or a summer spruce up at your hair salon.
Share Summer Content
- Summer-ize your content marketing with seasonal information relevant to your customers. That could be serious stuff like pool safety tips for children, or fun stuff like 10 top nail polish colors for summer pedicures.
Heat Up Your Promo Products
- Invest in fun summer promotional products, like beach towels, sunglasses, Koozies®, coolers or beach balls.
- At an outdoor event, give away promo products to cool customers down, like fans, visors or spray bottles with your logo.
Help Customers Enjoy the Summer
- If you own a service business, put together packages that help your customers get the most out of summer. An auto repair shop could offer a “pre-road trip inspection” special to get cars vacation-ready. A yoga studio could hold special “Mommy and me” classes.
Summer is short. Don’t waste your chance to make the most of this special season.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO and Co-founder of GrowBiz Media, a custom content and media company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship, and the blog SmallBizDaily.com. A nationally known speaker and authority on entrepreneurship, Rieva has been covering America’s entrepreneurs for more than 30 years. Before co-founding GrowBiz Media, Lesonsky was the long-time Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. Lesonsky has appeared on hundreds of radio shows and numerous local and national television programs, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, The Martha Stewart Show and Oprah.
Lesonsky regularly writes about small business for numerous websites and for corporations targeting entrepreneurs. Many organizations have recognized Lesonsky for her tireless devotion to helping entrepreneurs. She served on the Small Business Administration’s National Advisory Council for six years, was honored by the SBA as a Small Business Media Advocate and a Woman in Business Advocate, and received the prestigious Lou Campanelli award from SCORE. She is a long-time member of the Business Journalists Hall of Fame.
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