Summer is almost over. For most people, that means preparing for school or saying goodbye to sun-soaked beach days as the change of seasons approaches. For small business owners, however, the end of the summer is an exciting time filled with unique opportunities to attract and engage customers. After all, consumers often view major seasonal transitions as times to start fresh, which means business owners will see their sales increase with the right promotions as customers make more purchases.
If you’re a business owner and are looking for ways to integrate the season’s energy and spontaneity into your marketing efforts to better appeal to your target audience, consider trying a couple of these end-of-summer promotions to help grow your small business.
Take advantage of the outdoors
One of the many enticing aspects of summer is the ability to relax outdoors in the sunshine. Consumers will be more inclined to partake in promotional events if you hold them outside. The U.S. Small Business Administration suggested hosting a cookout for your current and potential customers. This will give you the opportunity to get in front of your target audience instead of waiting for customers to come to you. Offer incentives to encourage consumers to attend, such as discounts on certain products.
The end of the summer is also an ideal time to participate in local business fairs. Here, interested clients will come to you and give you the chance to pitch your business’ services and products.
Establish a themed week
Choosing a specific theme is an effective way to showcase what your company does and what’s important to your business. Even if it’s just for a day or two, host special events and marketing campaigns in line with this special theme, such as "Back to School Weekend" or something more creative that incorporates a popular movie being released at the time.
Launch a sweepstakes or contest
Are you working on strategies to build you mailing list? One of the most effective ways to do so is by having an end-of-summer sweepstakes where you offer a prize that consumers can win if they submit a form with their contact information. This is also an opportunity to ask for feedback by asking customers to take a short survey before entering the sweepstakes.
Similarly, holding a Facebook or Twitter contest will boost your popularity on social media sites and attract potential customers. For example, ask your followers to post funny photos or statuses that relate to your business with a hashtag that mentions your company. You can use likes on Facebook or the number of retweets on Twitter to determine the winner. Offering prizes that bring consumers into your store – such as a free product – will show the best results.
Host a sidewalk sale
If your business is a retail shop located in a high-traffic area, you should consider increasing your sales with a sidewalk sale. Promoting this event on your company website will attract current customers, while the sale itself is sure to catch the eyes of passersby. Offer those who purchase something at your outdoor sale a discount to make the event more enticing.