For some tourism oriented businesses, summer is an incredible time of year. For many businesses, however, sales slump as customers leave for summer getaways or stay home because of the heat.
Instead of rushing to place your products on sale to lure customers out of their air-conditioned homes to your store or restaurant, we encourage you to use your extra time to think tactically about your business and your marketing strategy.
Why does your business slow down this time of year? If it’s slow because your customers are traveling, think about ways that you can appeal to them. You could host a vacation photo contest through social media or engage them through an e-book giveaway contest.
If you own a restaurant, you could dedicate this time to write a cookbook, do some catering or experiment with new menu options. If you own a boutique, think about creating an online shop or channeling your marketing efforts to online sales.
If your target customers are not vacationing –speak to them. Do stay-cation themed marketing and give them advice about how they can soak up relaxation in their own backyard. Become their local tour guide as you promote your business to them. When your messaging relates to your customers, you build brand loyalty. An easy way to tap into this loyalty is to speak to your customer’s hometown pride.
You can also use other summertime events to market your products. For example, if you are a clothing retailer, you can table at local street fairs and festivals. No events nearby? Create them. Kid-friendly events are a bonus as many parents struggle to find activities in the summer. We are particularly impressed with a local restaurant owner who created a family-friendly summer music and art series and increased traffic around all the local businesses surrounding hers.
Even if your marketing strategy is polished, there are always ways that you can delve deeper into data and testing. Capitalize on your extra time by coming up with new ways to reach customers. Curate your Instagram feed, build your Facebook audience and create videos using your iPhone about your product. Write some blog posts that you can deploy throughout the year.
Organize your email lists and make sure that they are segmented properly. You could even take this time to employ an a/b testing campaign.
To grow your email list, host a give-away. This can provide you with more data about your target customer and grow your social media reach and website traffic.
Instead of letting the slow pace of summer panic you, think of it as a great time to reinvest in your marketing strategy and further strengthen your brand.
We hope you enjoy the rest of your summer (and maybe even come up with new and innovative ways to brand your business)!