• Five Summer Marketing Tips for Small Business

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    Spring has finally sprung, and the wave of summer is coming in quickly.  With the season comes great opportunity for marketing and branding your business. Depending on your industry, many small businesses experience a seasonal lull in sales, while others find that the summer spawns more activity.

    Here are five summer marketing tips you can use to market your business this summer:

    1. Plan for the holidays
    No, we’re not referring to Black Friday and the Christmas season. The summer plays host to three major holidays: Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. These weekends also happen to be some of the most popular sales-holidays as well, which means you should be looking for ways to capitalize and attract customers.

    Devise a few great deals you can offer to your customers on these holidays and create digital and physical marketing collateral that adheres to the theme of the celebrations.

    2. Treat your customers to some fun
    We’ve all heard about taking potential business partners or big-name clients out to a sporting event or high-class venue for entertainment purposes. But as the Small Business Association suggests, there’s no reason why a small business can’t do this for all of its customers too.

    One idea is to partner with a local theater, restaurant, winery or bar as a way to say thank you to your customers and build goodwill throughout your community of fans. The key thing to remember: You can claim all customer entertainment as a tax deduction as long as you can state a clear business purpose for it.

    3. Have a giveaway
    This tactic sounds like a run-of-the-mill marketing technique, but the reason why it’s so popular is that it just works. Giveaways are a great way to get people excited and involved, all while interacting with your business. If you can work a summer theme into a giveaway, that’s a perfect way to capitalize on the season, but even if that doesn’t quite make sense for what you do, there are some creative ways around that.

    Consider that for many people, summer is a time of vacation, leisure and relaxation. Even if you can’t give away something directly related to your business, something like an iPad or Kindle makes for a highly desirable travel accessory on any trip. 

    4. Attend networking and business events
    This is something you should do whether business is booming this summer or whether you’re subject to a seasonal lull. The Shoreline Chamber of Commerce has a slew of events on the horizon this summer, and you should make it a point to attend. This is a great way to meet potential business partners and mentors that can help you year round. Check here for a full list of Chamber events.
     
    5. Target the vacation crowd
    Based upon the shoreline proximity, you could set your business up for a major boost this summer. If vacationers are flocking to your locale, give them a reason to stop in and see you. One idea is that if they can show an out-of-state ID, they’ll get a discount for their first purchase with you. Tie the locals in too – if a resident of your area brings a friend from out of town to your business, let them know they’ll get a discount or freebie the next time they come in.

    Don’t forget to spread the word about this either. Make sure you rank highly in your local search rankings, since those unfamiliar with the area will undoubtedly be using their smartphones to find places to go. Additionally, you can partner up with local hotels and restaurants to have your marketing collateral placed in their buildings.

    What you can do right now
    Summer is right around the corner, so don’t wait any longer to start marketing your business for the season. Done right, summer marketing can be a great way to overcome a slight dip in traffic. Here are some things you should do right now:

     
    • Plan a giveaway or contest that ties into your business’ offerings.
    • Create promotions for upcoming summer holidays.
    • Plan to attend Shoreline Chamber of Commerce networking events.
    • Treat your customers – find a way to gather them for food and entertainment (not to mention a nice tax write off).
    • Shore up your local search rankings and partner with other tourist destinations to get the word out once the out-of-staters show up.
     
     
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