Even if your product or service isn’t particularly relevant during the summer months, it is still a great opportunity to get people excited about it! People are invariably happier when the sun is shining, which makes it much easier to approach and engage people on the street.
A summer marketing campaign is about having fun, making people smile and trying to promote your business in the most positive light. And what could be more positive than sunlight on a summer day?
In this article we are going to explore 5 different marketing ideas for small businesses this summer. These are designed to get your creative juices flowing and inspire some brilliant ideas of your own.
1 - Bust the Chalk Out & Bring Your Display OutsideWhether you run a coffee shop, a restaurant or a retail store; having a chalkboard display is a brilliant way of advertising a particular promotion. You can customise your message and make it as fun or as quirky as you like. Some people chalk up witty jokes or cheeky poetry. In any case, use your imagination and have fun with your customers!
“Soup of the Day: Whiskey!”
You could also invest in a floor standing menu stand and prop it outside your premises. That way people can casually peruse your menu in the sun, without having to commit to walking inside. This is a great way of attracting customers who may have otherwise walked past without noticing you.
2 - Give Away Summery Swag!The summer is a great time to play hero, particularly when everyone is boiling hot and in desperate need of cooling down. You could take this opportunity to give away summer swag on the streets. This could be in the form of cold drinks, branded flip flops or funky sun hats. There really is no limit to how far you can take it! People love receiving free stuff and it’s a brilliant way to spark a conversation and get people excited about your product or service.
That being said; a summer give away can be expensive, and there are cheaper alternatives. You could try something as simple as walking around with electric fans, sunblock and refreshing water sprays, voluntarily cooling people down, handing out fliers and engaging in conversation with them.
If you don’t like the idea of stopping people on the street, then you could always set up shop with your very own custom printed gazebo. This can act as a safe haven for people to come and grab some shade and a refreshing drink - a non invasive way of engaging with people.
3 - Offer Discounts in Exchange for a Shout Out Let’s say for example, that you’re trying to promote your latest summer collection in store - a great way to do this is by offering a small discount in exchange for a shoutout on social media. Asking your customers to take a picture of their purchase and tagging it on Facebook or Instagram is highly effective way of gaining some awesome exposure!
4 - Introduce Summer Hours OK, so there’s nothing worse than having to work on a beautiful summer evening when all of your friends and family are out making the most of it. But, we all have to make sacrifices, especially when it comes to running a business.
In the summer the days are longer so you could try and take full advantage of that by extending your opening hours. Even if you were to close for a few hours in the early afternoon to balance your time, when the sun is at its hottest and fewer people are walking the streets. More people will be out in the early evening when it cools down a bit, this is a great time to welcome people into your store.
Not only could this increase your chances of picking up new business, but there are also people who will appreciate the dedication. If you sell yourself as going above and beyond for your customers, what could be more fitting than staying open later for their convenience, during the summer?
5 - Social Media Challenge The power of social media is vast, and when utilised properly, it can bring your business an incredible amount of exposure. Take the ASL Ice Bucket Challenge for example: in 2014 it went viral and spread across the world like wildfire. That’s not to say that you’re necessarily going to go viral and inspire millions of people across the world, but it’s a great way to engage with your existing audience and have them challenge their friends to a safe and summer friendly challenge!
‘Summery’We hope that some of these ideas have triggered your imagination and got your creative juices flowing! Again, the summer should be about having fun, so use this time as an opportunity to engage with your audience and spread some happiness. If you can drum up some new business along the way, then great!