By Adrian Johansen (Guest Blogger)
Summer is a traditionally slow time for many small businesses. Instead of shopping, people are vacationing and enjoying new experiences. They aren’t so much worried about supporting brands and businesses as they are about family time.
So, solid summer marketing strategies are that much more critical to ensure you’re still able to attract and retain customers even when they aren’t especially interested in making purchases.
Summer marketing strategies are also essential because they can help ensure enrolment in your incentive programs doesn’t drop.
Read on for six ideas small businesses can implement during the summer months to boost their marketing efforts and keep up their incentive programs.
Optimize Your Website for E-Commerce
There aren’t many holidays that prompt gift-buying during the summer. However, people are still spending money on things for vacation, backyard updates, throwing barbeques and parties, and so forth. And they’re making many of these purchases online.
So, it’s essential to optimize your website for e-commerce. You can capitalize on this online shopping trend in the summer, and it’ll be easier to promote gift cards and incentive programs.
Be sure your website host supports e-commerce shopping with specific features and functions. Ensure all of your product descriptions and other website content is readable. Also, update your navigation so that it supports a smooth buying experience.
Also, streamline your supply chain. If your summer marketing strategies lead to more purchases, you want to ensure your business is ready to meet the demand. Implement software that enables fast, accurate delivery. Better your relationships with your suppliers as well.
Focus on Awareness Days and Causes Relevant to Your Brand
We briefly mentioned above how there aren’t many summer holidays that prompt gift-buying. That said, you can still leverage awareness days and causes relevant to your brand in your marketing.
St. Jean Baptiste Day, Canada Day, Civic Holiday, and Labour day should already be on your radar. But consider creating marketing content for National Martini Day, National Waffle Day, or another special awareness day during the summer as well. If it makes sense for your target audience, you could even run promotions around summer sports like ice hockey or modern lacrosse.
Also, if a cause becomes especially important to your target audience during the summer, create a campaign around the cause. You could take things a step further by rewarding those enrolled in your incentive program with a donation to the cause for every purchase.
Launch a Summer Email Marketing Campaign
Launching a summer email marketing campaign is another summer marketing strategy small businesses can take full advantage of. You’ve likely heard it before, but email marketing delivers one of the best returns on investment.
You can boost sales during the summer months with promotional emails highlighting exclusive discounts, coupons, and deals for the summer. Also, send summer-themed emails about what your business is up to this summer to deepen the connection with your customers.
In addition, you can send emails that remind your loyal customers of their points balance or remaining perks in their incentive program. Consider giving them extra rewards for using them during the summer months.
Promote an Ongoing Summer Sale
Implementing an ongoing summer sale into your summer marketing strategy can also be effective. If your customers can get products at a great discount just by shopping during the summer months, they’ll explore the option.
Create a page on your website that is entirely dedicated to your summer sale. It could include fall or winter items and products exclusive to summertime. Then, promote the sale on your marketing channels, including your events.
Host Summer Events
People want to get out of the house and enjoy the summer weather. You can help them do this by hosting events during the summer. Event marketing can be a secret weapon in your summer marketing strategies.
Encourage your customers to dress up and enjoy a night out at your summer kick-off event. Host an exclusive party for everyone enrolled in your incentive program. Think about how you can leverage live events on social media. You could also host events throughout the summer that support various causes or local nonprofit organizations.
Shift Your Marketing Efforts to Social Media
From gathering vacation spot ideas to posting pictures of their summer outfits to sharing their road trip experiences, people spend a lot of time on social media platforms during the summer months.
So, take advantage of this in your marketing efforts by shifting your focus to social media marketing. Spend time updating the look and feel of your social media content so that it screams “summertime,” and summer-related hashtags in all of your post captions.
Also, focus on building relationships with your loyal customers by promoting your incentive program and exclusive summer benefits attached to it.
The summer marketing strategies that work for your small business depend on your target audience, your business’s marketing resources, and how consistent and intentional you are in your efforts. Experiment with the tips above to incite a fruitful summer for your business.
About the Author
Adrian Johansen lives and thrives in the Pacific Northwest. Her writing focuses primarily on business and marketing topics, especially when they intersect with sustainability and social justice.