Summer is a great time for businesses to refresh their marketing and sales strategies – the kids are on holiday and families are spending more time outdoors as they seek to soak up the sun. Here are 5 ways you can boost your local profile, helping you to reaffirm your relationship with current customers while attracting new ones. The best thing is, they won’t break the bank either!

Plan a summer party

If you own a physical store with a decent amount of space – or even better, outdoor space – then why not plan a summer party for all to get involved in? It might sound like a lot of hassle, but all you need are a few planned activities and some food and drink. If you own a clothing store, for example, you could put on a fashion show with the help of your staff. Or, if you want to do something more interactive, you could purchase a bundle of materials and let children design their own costume. A cold buffet is always an option for businesses that don’t have their own catering facilities, but equally, something as simple as free baked goods (cookies, doughnuts, etc.) will go down a treat. If your business has a good amount of outdoor space then you’ve got even more options – BBQs are a firm favourite with us Brits, and kids love a good bouncy castle.

Set up an email newsletter

You may already have a blog or section for company news on your site, but what about a dedicated newsletter for your customers? Newsletters are a great way of checking in with your existing customer base and letting them know of any new articles you’ve uploaded, new products you’ve got in stock and promotional activities. Add a call to action button to your site so customers can sign up with ease, and let them know how often they can expect to receive an email from you. Get creative with your headlines and content and remember that everyone loves a good visual. Personalisation is a bonus. You can A/B test your newsletters and email campaigns to see statistics on open and click-through rates, which can give you more insight into what works well and doesn’t work well with your audience.

Get involved in the community

You won’t have to look far to find a list of activities that are being held in your local area over the summer. If you own a food or drink business and there’s a fair taking place, it seems like too good of an opportunity to miss. Another option is to sponsor a community event. You may be reluctant to do this initially because of the financial and time investment involved, but it’s a great way to network and put your business in front of hundreds of people all at once. Plus, it’s great for your company’s CSR strategy and creates a feel-good factor. Don’t forget to take some pictures on the day which you can share on your social media pages, on your blog, and in your email newsletter.

Make the most of social media

Social media is a fantastic way to engage with your customers, so make sure to include it in as part of your marketing strategy. You can increase activity over the summer holidays by posting messages, images, and videos to your followers. Depending on your business, you could even promote a competition to your audience and encourage their engagement by asking them to answer a question for a chance to win a summer-related product. Customers will love it if you get involved in the conversation/comments too!

Arrange to attend outdoor events

It’s always a good idea to look for and plan which events you’ll attend throughout the year. For new businesses, summer is a great place to start because there are endless trade shows, music festivals and food and drink festivals to get involved with (to name but a few). Colorful or unique business branding will help you stand out from the crowd, as will offering some freebies if budget allows. Events also provide the perfect opportunity to test how well new products and ideas are received.

About the Author:

Craig Pannozzo, general manager of Gazeboshop, a supplier of gazebos and marquees. Since its beginnings in 2005 the company has helped hundreds of businesses prepare their stands for indoor and outdoor events.