Start Planning Summer Marketing Campaigns Now!
Though it’s hard to imagine now, with winter only just starting to show signs of fading, in a few short months, temperatures will begin to rise—and spirits will rise with them. Kids are out of school, community pools fling open their doors, and you can finally trade your snow boots for sandals. Summer is the perfect time to jumpstart your business’s marketing, so why not start planning now? You have plenty of time to plan a really solid campaign, and you can also get a head start on the competition.
Summer also gives you an excellent excuse to get online customers into your real-world stores. Marketing store events through Facebook, Twitter, G+ and other social media avenues is an excellent way to promote both your company and an event. Not sure where to start? Here are just a few ideas to help kick-off your planning for marketing your business this summer.
Celebrate a Holiday
There are plenty of other fun holidays during the summer besides the Fourth of July. June has National World Jugglers’ Day and National Go Skate Day, and July has National Ice Cream Day. Pick your favorite and host an event: challenge your guests to a juggling contest, rent out a local skating rink, or offer a refreshing ice cream soda to customers who drop in—and don’t be afraid to think beyond vanilla ice cream and root beer. Or, be bold and declare your own holiday. Make it a success, and they’ll be coming back next year! You can make small changes to your site or add a new banner to advertise the event and attract any customers who may not already be connected to you through social media.
Throw a Pool Party
In the heat of summer, nothing sounds more refreshing than a dip in the pool. Rent out the local community pool and invite your customers to drop by for poolside games and music. Depending on the pool rules, one fun and fresh idea is to reserve the pool after-hours—people will love the opportunity to take a swim after sunset. Or, instead of renting out the pool for your client base, see if your community pool can rent your business a cabana for the day. Offer free bottled water and hand out business cards to get your name out there to existing pool-goers, potentially expanding your audience.
Get in The Game
Does your community offer summer sports leagues? Whether it’s baseball, volleyball, or kickball, get involved by sponsoring a team. Print team T-shirts with your business logo on them and come to the games to cheer your team on. Game attendees will be thrilled if you pass out chilled bottled water on a hot day—you can even have the bottles customized with your logo. Not only will you get some great exposure, people will love to see your business getting involved in the community. Then, post pictures on social media sites; these might be shared and could generate interest for your business in that way.
Take a Walk in the Park
During the summer months, city parks are full of people savoring the warm weather. Spend an afternoon at your community park promoting your business. Invest in some summer-specific promotional items like Frisbees, water bottles, or beach balls, all printed with your logo, to hand out. You could even start your own sand volleyball tournament to get park-goers in on the action. This is a great, low-key way to market your business to the community.
Fire Up the Barbecue
Nothing’s better than a summer cookout! Host a midday event with hamburgers, hot dogs, and other picnic staples and encourage your customers to drop by so you can thank them for their business. Or make your cookout open to anyone who wants to stop by—people love a free meal, and it’s the perfect opportunity to strike up a one-on-one chat about the great services you offer. Either way, be sure to string up some colorful, eye-catching banners outside your business and on your website!
A great way to market your business and help out in the community is to organize a charity event. Look online to learn more about existing charitable organizations in your community or talk to community leaders to find out about local needs. Choose a day for your charitable event and encourage your customers and the community to join in. You could spend an afternoon volunteering at a soup kitchen, doing a food drive, or planting trees in a local park. Not only will you be marketing your business, you’ll also be making a difference.
Tips for Social Media Marketing
One of the big reasons for throwing a summer party is to get customers away from their computers and into your store. Each social media service has their own strengths and weaknesses, but here are some ways to use each.
Facebook lets you create an event and promote to anyone who has “liked” your page. This is also a great opportunity to build more “likes” by offering discounts to people who “like” your page and show up at the event.
Sending a consistent volume (3-4 a day at most) of tweets through Twitter is an excellent way to promote as well. Then, when the event arrives, “live tweet” various happenings. This is a wonderful way of showing the excitement around your event while also encouraging folks to show up next time.
Pinterest gives you some interesting opportunities as well. Take photos of your event, upload them to Flickr, and Pin them while the event is taking place. This lets you document the event and also gives real-time feedback of what is going on.
The possibilities for summer marketing are endless. And the best part? You can market your business and have a blast at the same time. Don’t let summer sneak up on you—start planning now!
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