Small Business Saturday Blog

Top summer marketing tips!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 at 17:02

Summer is now well and truly uponus — and what a summer it’s turning out to be! This season can bring boomingsales or a challenging slump depending on the type of business you run. Butwhichever category you fall into, it offers a unique opportunity to approachyour marketing with extra creativity. Here are some ideas from our friends at Square to help you use thegreat British summertime to the full.
Do something for the kids
The school summer holidays can bea testing time for parents, so they’ll be seeking out activities to keep thekids occupied. To lure them to your business, you could host kids’entertainment like storytellers, a bouncy castle or a simple setup withpencils, paper and puzzles. As much as this entertainment is for the littlepeople, you’re providing respite for mums and dads too, so use the opportunityto make them aware of your products — cafés can have summer mocktails onstandby, salons can give discounted treatments and shops can simply offer therelaxation of being able to browse without distraction.
Collaborate with other businesses
All kinds of businessesexperience a dip in footfall and sales through the summer, so why not clubtogether and pool your marketing efforts with someone else? You could set up aproduct stand in each other’s stores, or run a joint social media campaign tohighlight summertime offers.
Before you choose someone topartner with, ask yourself these questions:
Is there any risk of competition?
Do they share my company’svalues?
How much exposure and extrabusiness can they help me get?
If it’s a good fit, get thedetails down in writing to make sure everything happens fairly.
Create an ‘awareness day’ event
With businesses competing forattention through the summer, this is a time to avoid generic events and drawpeople in with something more imaginative. August and September are packed withawareness days that can be used to inspire an event fun and memorable, such as:
International Vulture AwarenessDay - September 1
Roald Dahl Day - September 13
Whatever your theme, cater forthe tastes of a sun-hungry summer crowd. Dress up your shop front with brightcolours, theme your dishes and definitely use your outdoor space if you haveone.
The added benefit of theming yourevent around an awareness day is that you can tap into the wider marketingactivity taking place. This could be as simple as using relevant social mediahashtags throughout your promotion.
Run flash discounts
Discounts are a tried and testedmethod of incentivising people to buy your products. During the summer lull,it’s time to think outside the box and use the power of the moment to drivebusiness. As an example, the British summertime is notoriously unpredictable,and for a tea room that serves hearty, homely cuisine (not typically asummertime favourite), those unexpected rainy days are an opportunity to offercatchy discounts to drive footfall. To create a sense of urgency, post atasty-looking photo on social media and let people know how little time theyhave left to catch the discount.
Change your opening hours
As the seasons change, so too docustomers’ buying habits and the business approach you should adopt. You mayfind it better to open and close later in the summer as people spend more timeoutside and stay out longer in the evening. In other cases, an earlier startmight be work best. Online tools like Square Analytics enable you to see whatyou’re selling when, on which days and whether new or existing customers createmost of your sales. With this insight, you can make informed decisions about howto work with people’s changing schedules and tastes.
Open a pop-up
When the crowds don’t come toyou, it’s time to go to them. Pop-up shops work really well for cafés, barbersand boutiques. And one that’s planned well could make up for the potential lossyou’d otherwise make in your bricks-and-mortar location through the summer. Italso gives you a chance to specialise your offering for the summertime crowd,or even try a new summer-themed idea that you’ve been mulling over. Start with some research before settling on a concept. Your idea needs to standout from the competition out on the street, and you need to be familiar withthe tastes of the audience who eat there.
Give out freebies
You can use the power of freebiesto keep your brand front of mind through the summer lull. Invite passersby infrom the heat to enjoy an ice-cold glass of coconut water whilst perusing yourclothing lines. Or offer a refreshing facial spritz and sunscreen to sunbathersin the park, using that moment to tell them about your business. Keep yourfreebies themed around summer — what do people crave at this time of year thatcan be used to draw them in?
It’s important to have cleargoals when you’re giving things away. Who are you targeting and what would youlike them to do in return for their freebie? Don’t approach anyone andeveryone. And if it’s not possible to make an instant sale, think of othergoals such as getting them to sign up to your mailing list.
Take a break
There can be a temptation as a smallbusiness owner to sacrifice any time off, causing all kinds of setbacks in theshort and long-term. If the summer period really is that bad for revenue, it’sprobably the best time for you to recoup and plan ahead. Enjoy the opportunityto step back and get a bird’s-eye-view your company. You could use it to getyour finances in order, start a company blog to increase awareness or plan aseasonal marketing campaign for your peak season. Achieving growth isn’t alwaysabout knuckling down and grafting — sometimes it’s about getting to know yourbusiness better, and ensuring you have everything you need for the future.
Check out Square  for more small business tips


Latest Posts: