When most people hear the word "summer," thoughts turn away from work to days at the pool or beach, summer sports with kids, and ice cold drinks. We normally think of summer as a time when work generally slows down (unless you're in the sunscreen or swimsuit business). However, spending marketing dollars during a slowdown has actually been shown to increase sales once spending picks up- according to one study, businesses that increased advertising budgets during the ‘81-‘82 recession saw sales increase an average of 2 ½ times more than businesses who kept ad spending flat.Here's how to get a head start on Internet marketing efforts this summer:
An online marketing strategy like SEO or SEM only works well if your site is equipped to deal with the increased traffic. Hire a web designer
to make sure your site is easy to navigate and has the capacity to handle more visitors. If you don't have an e-commerce section, now is a good time to accept credit cards on your site and build a shopping cart. Companies providing merchant services could also have special rates given the economy and season.
Develop strategies to land more customers.
The way to do that, particularly for small businesses, is to use effective lead generation and small business marketing solutions to connect with new customers, partners and suppliers and create a positive experience. Make sure you give every customer the best experience you can. That means clean restrooms, courteous staff, eye contact, handshakes. You've got to do this better than the other people out there. Another good option for local businesses is community involvement. Join a online small business community or the Chamber of Commerce. Sponsor a Little League team. Let the Girl Scouts do a car wash in your parking lot. This is part of bonding with your community and becoming an established part of it.
Try New Social Media Strategies.
If you've been putting off launching a social media strategy, such as starting a blog or using Twitter, now is the time. During the summer, you'll have the time to implement a strategy, hire interns to do the leg work and track different programs making adjustments along the way.
Take advantage of summer talent.
A good online marketing campaign requires a certain level of maintenance, or day-to-day monitoring. Hiring a summer intern is a great way to get skilled help for very little cost- sometimes even for free. Check with your local community colleges, universities, and graduate schools to see if they offer school credit to students who work for local businesses.