The summer season has started, and you have a nagging feeling that you should capitalize on it. But putting together a comprehensive marketing strategy is a ton of work, and you feel strapped for time — who isn’t when running a business? Luckily, there are some lightweight things you can do to jumpstart your efforts.
Follow the weather (and local happenings).
Look out for opportunities to leverage what’s going on locally to promote your business. Social media and sidewalk signage work particularly well for this. You could also consider doing a quick promotional campaign (“It’s going to be 32° today — 2 for 1 ice cream cones!”) to lure people in.
Get out there.
Warmer weather means outdoor events. If you run a brick-and-mortar store, try looking for ways to participate in things like street fairs, block parties or festivals. Pop-ups are also a great idea this time of year, especially in places where people will be in the mood for your goods (think iced coffee at the beach or green juice after a yoga class in the park). Use your social media channels to let people know where you’ll be posting up, both in advance and when you’re there (don’t forget to include photos!). And remember, Square has Offline Mode, so you can still accept payments even if you’re in the middle of nowhere.
Host an event.
Why not throw an event to get your customers together to celebrate summer? If you’re a flower shop, you might host a seasonal flower arranging class. If you’re a fitness professional, you might get your clients together for a beach boot camp. When promoting your event, consider offering your regular customers a special invitation or incentive to show them some love. Bringing your regulars together will help foster a sense of community around your business — always a good thing.
Offer summer gift cards.
Gift cards are a great way to bring in more customers. Every time a shopper gives a friend or family member one of your gift cards, you’ll grow your customer base alongside your sales (hello, word-of-mouth marketing). It’s a golden opportunity to expand your brand. You can even design custom Square gift cards with a summery theme.
Sales, sales, sales.
People will be on the lookout for hot sales as the holidays roll around. So make sure to keep your business top of mind. It’s a good idea to discount items that are particularly relevant for each holiday. For Canada Day, for example, run promotions for party items like BBQ supplies, red-and-white decorations and (legal) fireworks. Labour Day tends to be when people get back to business, so make sure to promote office and work-related staples around that time. Read about Five Effective Ways to Market Promotions to make sure you’re maximizing your efforts.
Whatever your business, summer is a great excuse to spend a little extra time marketing yourself. We hope these tips have sparked an idea or two to get you started!