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  • Writer's pictureNat Sharp

10 ways to promote your business this summer


How to ensure your small business boosts sales this summer

Summer is the perfect time to get creative with your promotion strategies and take advantage of the longer sunny days. With more people out and about, you have an opportunity to capture their attention and spread awareness of your small business. The key lies in finding effective ways to reach potential customers while keeping your resources in mind. To help you make the most out of this season, let's explore 10 different methods for promoting your business this summer

Here are 10 ways to turn on the heat:

1. Run a promotion

End of season summer sale, 50% off

People love a bargain. You could run flash sales and incentives to entice shoppers. Promotions can boost sales, give you a talking point and help you stand out from the crowd.

Be creative and timely with your promotions and ensure you get the right balance of offering value and not being seen as cheap or devaluing your brand. You may want to join forces with a third party to create the perfect package for your customers and stay clear from simple price promotions.

Remember that promotions can work well using social media ads to give you that extra brand exposure even if you haven't used them before. Investing a small budget on social media can really pay dividends if you get the timing and offer right. A general rule is to budget £10 per day. If you use social media ads, you need to make sure all your marketing is optimised and you've considered the whole customer journey particularly your website if your social media ads are clicking through to your website. It's always advisable to create a promotional specific landing page. You need to be able to act quickly if an enquiry comes in so think about staff availability and automating customer service so there isn't a delay.

2. Advertise

Have you placed an advert before? Remember there are always lots of different options as well as formats available – from newsletter inclusion to advertorials. It is always worth asking different media houses and publishers to run through the options with you. Start collecting some examples and look at the types of ads and who is advertising.

I would thoroughly advise you get the advert professionally designed and copywritten. It takes skill to create an ad that looks professional, is in keeping with your brand and is impactful. An advert is very different to designing a flyer or brochure. You have a small amount of space to get across your key messages and ensure there is a strong call to action at the end. Allow time to develop and produce this, as well as a small budget.

You could support a promotion or event with some advertising to give it additional exposure. Read what are the different ways to promote your business in print media to learn more.

3. Host an event

Invite people into your business. There is nothing quite like face to face interaction and people like to get out and about the summer months.

Remember you want to start promoting the event at least one month before. You want to get people excited and ensure you continually remind them about it. A countdown or teaser campaign are ideal ways to do this. That last minute push can really make a difference. Read our top tips for marketing an event.

You could also use summer pop-up events to introduce your business to a new audience. These type of events can be more informal and fun for prospective customers. Start by researching local events in your area. Contact the local tourist board, Chamber of Commerce or council to see what opportunities are available and find out what is involved in participating.

Before committing to any external events, do work out all the costs and time involved from branding and production, to insurance and incentives. Costs can easily escalate and it's advisable to have a contingency fund to allow for unexpected costs.

4. Support local and grow together

Summer is an ideal time to form alliances with other local businesses and can be a highly cost effective form of marketing. There are lots of different ways you can do this from brand partnerships and referral marketing, to supporting local community organisations and events. Jess Gibson, Founder of the TN Card advises:

"Highlight what makes you special as a local business by partnering with other local brands. Seek out local business owners whose products and services complement yours and who share your target audience, so you may cross promote and grow together.  From joint marketing campaigns to guest blogging, there are so many ways to collaborate to build your visibility in the local community together".

Ensure you fully leverage the partnership and develop a simple programme of ways you can work together that are simple, low cost and repurpose some of the activities or promotion across different marketing channels. You could always develop a summer and then winter programme if the partnership is successful.

5. Give back

Be active in your community and consider original and mutually beneficial ways to support a local or national cause. Never has giving back or corporate social responsibility become so important. Brand reputation has become the highest priority with businesses since the pandemic and businesses are expected to give back to society in some way. Furthermore, The 2021 PwC Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey, found that 53% of consumers chose to support companies “very often or often” that had strong company values and demonstrated a commitment to doing the right thing.

There are so many ways you can do this. Fundraising or volunteering through your staff can be ideal in the summer and you can also get your clients and suppliers involved too. Align yourself with the right charitable partners that have the right fit for you as a business. Alternatively, you could also donate a proportion of your sales.

Rebecca Millburn, Fundraising Consultant from The Fundraising Agency advises:
Now more than ever local charities need help from businesses and by providing charitable support this summer you can gain some great exposure and positive PR for your good work. In addition, the majority of customers now consider the companies' charitable work when making a purchase, and by aligning your business to your customer's values and beliefs you can gain their trust and loyalty. Tap into this summer's good vibes and support local charity events. You could make a donation for each product sold, donate your goods and services or ask your staff to fundraise or volunteer for a charity. "

Having social value is not only important for your customers, but it’s a way to attract and retain staff with research confirming that 90% of staff who work at companies with a strong sense of purpose say they’re more inspired, motivated, and loyal.

This is a crucial consideration in your marketing strategy and wider corporate social responsibility policy and a summer fundraising event could be the ideal way to progress this.

6. Create relevant blogs

This is a good time to mix up your blog content and tap into trending themes and topics. Research popular summer blogs for inspiration. For example how to entertain the kids this summer, the hottest summer picnic ideas, 10 free summer activities, and summer bucket list ideas. Consider how they could fit with your business and add a relevant twist to align with your business.

Why not leverage national awareness days which provide a theme for you to leverage. There are lots of free online calendars to give you inspiration. Key dates coming up across the UK include:

  • National BBQ Week 3 June - 9 June

  • Volunteers Week 3 June - 9 June

  • Garden Volunteers Week 3 June - 9 June

  • National fish and chip day 7 June

  • Father's Day 16 June

  • National bingo day 27 June

  • National children's art week 29 June - 7 July

  • Love parks week 24 July - 2 August

  • Cycle to work day 8 August

  • Afternoon tea week 12 August - 18 August

  • World photography day 19 August

7. Leverage PR

PR presents so many opportunities and could be something you haven’t considered before.

Opportunities will vary by business and by sector, but here are some things to consider from PR agency Carnsight Communications to make your small business PR shine this summer:

  • American Express research suggest over 50% of British people will holiday abroad, so consider how this news could be relevant to your business. Do they need a reminder of what it’s like to go away? What will they need to put in their suitcase? Can you help provide checklists or tips to help with the experience?

  • With rising costs, be mindful of people’s tightening budgets as summer approaches – can you help by offering something free or at a reduced rate? For example, for a food or drinks business, a happy hour or a mini recipe book download that you could then talk about in the media.

  • Heatwaves and downpours are always big news – keep an eye on the forecast and consider how you can tie in any activities with rising (or falling) temperatures.

  • Finally, consider “evergreen” summer events such as trips to the seaside; barbeques or al fresco meals; long traffic jams; seasonal foods such as ice strawberries and cream and the summer solstice. They may happen every year but they still hit the headlines.

8. Send out a door drop campaign

Door drops could be the perfect medium to reach your ideal customers. According to the DMA, 80% of the UK’s top advertisers use door drops.

Door drop campaigns make an immediate impression, generate a quick response, and build positive brand perception. They can achieve cost-effective market coverage and target households who fit the demographic profile of your customer. The flexibility of door drop marketing allows for activity to be targeted as accurately as a single street, or as broadly as every UK address. The DMA has provided a superb guide if you're considering a door drop.

9. Make an impact with branded merchandise

Branded giveaways or promotional products are not only effective brand-building tools but also encourage action from consumers.

Research from the PPAI indicates 8 out of 10 consumers researched a brand after receiving promotional goods. And a whopping 91% of households have at least one promotional item in their kitchen and 74% had at least one promotional product in their work area.

Whilst if you're looking to source branded merchandise, here are a few tips to follow:

  • Consider sourcing products that will be particularly useful and relevant for people over the summer. For example waterproofs, drinking bottles, cool bags, and anything suitable for days out.

  • Ensure any giveaways are high quality and represent your brand in the right way

  • Check you can customise and the item is suitable to show off your logo

  • Research how they are produced ensuring they comply with any regulations as well as follow your procurement policies.

10. Invest in new signage and ambient media

Never underestimate the power of strong outdoor signage and branding opportunities.

And we're not just talking about traditional shop signage. As a small business, advertising can be highly expensive, particularly on a permanent basis. Take advantage of any branding opportunities and ambient media, from personalising uniforms and bags to staff vehicles. Remember it takes up to seven times for a prospect to see something before they act, so the more times they see your brand the better.

And if you're fortunate enough to have premises and looking to refresh your signage, here are some tips to follow:-

A good sign should be...

- In keeping with your brand

- Original

- Memorable

- Legible

- Have longevity

Get your brand out there

Summer is the ideal time to promote your business and boost sales. The 10 tips featured will jumpstart your marketing campaigns, help you reach a wider audience, and draw attention to your brand. Experiment with promotions, take advantage of branding opportunities, create relevant blog posts, invest in signage- whatever you do, make sure your message resonates with potential customers. With the right strategies and tools in hand, make sure this summer shines a light on your business in all the right ways.

Remember: if you need help to turn up the heat in your marketing efforts, don’t hesitate to book a power hour with me - I can provide insight and expertise to help take your promotions to the next level. This summer has so much potential - make every moment count! Book now by getting in touch.

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