Summer is just around the corner and spring is in full bloom. For some businesses, summertime means a lull in business, fewer customers, less website traffic, and lowered engagement … not to mention employees’ much-needed vacations.
After a long, busy season, it’s tempting to slow down your marketing efforts. A summer respite is just the ticket, right? But don’t rest on your laurels too long; there are many great seasonal marketing and promotional activities you can implement as part of your summer marketing strategy!
Here are a few of the summertime marketing strategies that can help you beat the lull in the coming months.
Online Marketing Strategies for Summer 2017
There is a plethora of ways you can adapt summertime themes into your marketing. Beyond that, some strategies just work better in the summer. School is out, vacation travel is booked, and hot weather and more daylight are a combination made for marketing bliss. Let’s discover a few ways you can take your marketing up a notch this summer.
Promotional Summer Holiday Marketing
It seems like there’s a day for just about everything: International Left Handers Day, Cheese Day, or even Talk Like a Pirate Day! As marketers we can utilize these fun holidays, along with federally recognized holidays, to inspire our prospects to take action. Consider the following ways to “holiday-ize” your marketing, and, who knows, maybe you’ll even catch the eye of the local television news or print media to get some free press.
- Ad copy and creative can take on a new spin with specific holiday themes. If they’re well-timed, they can effectively capture the attention of your prospects. Consider running a specific holiday-themed campaign on Facebook, add a tracking pixel to keep tabs on your website visitors, and retarget them using Facebook,
- Run a specific discount or product giveaway on a themed holiday and promote the day ahead of time. For example you could give out a gift card for a free Coldstone ice cream with the online purchase of a product or meeting a minimum order amount.
- Partner with an area company to do cross-promotion on a summer-themed marketing campaign. Apartment complexes throw pool parties for their residents in some cities. The partnership opportunities could include an alcohol brand on National Tequila Day or a local meat supplier on Hot Dog Day.
- Run a customer-appreciation program during the Discovery Channel’s annual Shark Week. Give out shark-themed prizes, send shark-themed thank you emails to clients, and include shark themes in ad creative and copy.
- Use the heat to your favor and offer a discount that kicks in when the temperature reaches a certain degree. Advertise the special on your website, social media channels, and in your store.
Here are special days you might tie into your summer marketing:
National Summer Holiday Schedule
Memorial Day: Monday, May 29th
Flag Day: Wednesday, June 14th
Independence Day: Tuesday, July 4th
Labor Day: Monday, September 4th
Fun Summer Holidays
National Donut Day: Friday, June 2nd
National Best Friends Day: Thursday, June 8th
National Hot Dog Day: Wednesday, June 19th
Summer Solstice: June 21st
Canada Day: Saturday, July 1st
National Ice Cream Day: Sunday, July 16th
Shark Week: Starts Monday, July 23rd
National Tequila Day: Monday, July 24th
International Beer Day: Friday, August 4th
National Sisters Day: Sunday, August 6th
Many outdoor events and festivals take place during the summer months. Sponsoring or partnering with a local event has a lot of benefits for marketing your products or services to a wide audience. Niche-specific festivals can provide a way to get in front of your prospective customers if you opt to have a booth or employees onsite.
Sponsoring or partnering with an event is something you’ll want to get out in front of early on. Printed flyers, online promotions, social media campaigns, and other avenues are part of the benefit of event marketing. These take time to create and usually are shared with potential attendees, sometimes as much as a year before the event. That means you’ll want to plan your sponsorships well in advance to get the most benefit.
Consider hosting an open house, summer picnic, or even tweetup. A summer customer-appreciation event is a good option, too. It’s amazing how shindigs like these can bring people together and turn into more business. Consider inviting current clients, prior clients, prior employees (good referral sources), local media, and industry professionals.
Try hosting a lunch and help professionals and prospects in your industry learn a bit more about a specialized topic. Invite a speaker or have one of your own thought leaders host the learning session. Either way, you’re bound to meet a few new people and maybe close some business. You’ll drop some knowledge, too.
Internships & Scholarships
Summer is a great time to utilize the help of college kids on summer break. They’ll gain life and work experience, and you’ll get help with projects. Internship job boards allow you to post job specifics, along with links to your website and information about your services. Schools may include your business and job listing in their emails to students, getting even more eyes in front of your brand.
Offering a scholarship to students is another way to get your brand out there while also giving back. A law office could offer a scholarship specifically for law students and get listed on scholarship pages and in emails to students. A salon could host a scholarship hair design contest for aspiring stylists and use the before/after photos of hair for marketing promotions. Think about the possibilities in your industry and try out a corporate scholarship program this summer.
Win-Back Campaigns & Sales Blitz
Your competitors might be slacking this summer, relaxing and taking their eye of the prize. Use this as an opportunity to lure previous customers by conducting a win-back campaign or a “we miss you”-themed campaign. This might include sending out a promotional offer to past clients to give them incentive to come back, or sending prior customers a survey asking why they left, or revisiting old leads and popping in to see old customers for some face-to-face time.
Or consider a sales blitz, focusing your sales and marketing efforts on one collective goal and possibly one specific territory. Communicate your message to a select market, align your efforts with multiple team members, and collaborate to close clients and increase sales. Put a timeline and goals around your sales-blitz strategies, sit back, and watch the magic happen.
Don’t Stop Now – Continue Your Momentum
The momentum of summer shouldn’t slow down through the last quarter of the year. If you’re diligently adding new leads to your database, continue to reach out with marketing automation efforts like content marketing, emails, promotions, retargeting ads, and special offers. That way your brand stays in your audience’s mind all year long.
We’d love to hear your plans and strategies for summer marketing. Share with us in the comments below!