• Nat Sharp

10 ways to promote your business this summer

Updated: May 18



How to ensure your small business boosts sales this summer


We hope this will be the comeback summer. With no lockdown restrictions and people wanting to make the the most of the warm weather and light evenings, the prospect of socialising and spending quality time with family and friends is very appealing. Or if you work in business to business, getting out and about visiting clients, attending trade shows and networking events. Summer is an ideal time to inject some fun and try new things to raise your profile and stimulate sales. And with the Met Office predicting a 40% chance that the season will be hot one in the UK, you want to be ready to make a splash and make the most of the sunny season


Here are 10 ways to shine a light on your business:


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. Always ensure there is a strong fit with the brand you align yourself with.


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.


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 quite a 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 open day or run a seminar


Invite people into your business. Although virtual events have become the norm, there is nothing quite like face to face interaction.


Remember you want to start promoting the event at least 1 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.



4. Run a pop-up event


Consider running a pop-up event outdoors. These type of events can be more informal and fun for prospective customers.


Research local events in your area over the next couple of months. Contact the local tourist board, Chamber of Commerce or council to see what opportunities are available and find out what is involved in participating and the prerequisites.


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. Some key dates you could loo to promote are:


  • June - National Great Outdoors Month, Volunteers Week (1st June), National Gardening Week (5th June), World Oceans day (8th June), National Flag Day (12th June), Fathers Day (19th June) and National Social Media Day (30th June)

  • July - World Chocolate Day (7th July), World Youth Skills Day (15th July), World Emoji Day (17th July) and World PR Day (21st July)

  • August National Relaxation Day (15th August), World Photography Day (19th August) and World Entrepreneurs Day (21st 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:

  • If last year was the year of the staycation, this year people are looking forward to reaching for their passports with American Express research suggesting 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?

  • The extra bank holidays and Queen’s Platinum Jubilee are on the horizon – have you heard about plans for the country’s longest ever street party in Walthamstow? There could be opportunities for local and even national press coverage around these once in a lifetime events if you plan something interesting and relevant to tie in.

  • With the threat of a potential recession, 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 Wimbledon; 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.


Jubilee merchandise is going to be big news this summer, even after the official Jubilee celebrations. Make it British have given their favourite recommendations and all products are made in the UK.


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


The Chocolate House shop sign

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


Toy minivan in a garden

So get planning now. Put your shortlist of ideas together and ensure your brand is out there this summer.


Do you feel your business needs some help with marketing planning? Then please get in touch.


Image credit

Business vector created by pikisuperstar - www.freepik.com

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