It may feel like we’ve just waved goodbye to Christmas, but summer is just around the corner. The season officially begins on June 21 and brings with it lighter nights, better weather and the holiday season. For small business owners, the summer months typically go one of two ways: you’ll be super busy and need to hire some additional staff to help you meet demands, or you’ll be quiet and waiting patiently for autumn to arrive.
One of the best ways to keep your business ticking over during the summer is to invest in marketing. It’s true that your small business marketing strategy will need to be adapted during the warmer months of the year in order to appeal to your customers – and here’s why you should do exactly that.
Do the seasons really affect marketing?
You may think that Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day and Easter are the only times of the year where our marketing efforts need to be ramped up, but you’d be wrong. The time of the year have a major impact on the success of your marketing efforts, and the people who you should be targeting can change, too. A toy shop in the run up to Christmas, for example, should tailor their marketing efforts towards parents, while in the summer, appeal to children who want a new toy to keep them occupied. The same is true for almost every industry.
Many small business owners report reduced trade in the first few months of the year, most seemingly because of tightened budgets after the winter season. It’s true that seasons affect spending and consumer attitudes both financially and physiologically, so you need to adapt your marketing efforts to ensure you’re hitting the right people at the right times.
Young people and seasonal workers have more time
When schools, colleges and universities break for the summer in July, young people suddenly have a lot more time on their hands – and that’s not mentioning seasonal workers such as teachers, bus drivers, cleaners and caterers. The majority of this audience will be looking to keep themselves busy during their free time, through entertainment and leisure activities like shopping, eating out and travelling. If you operate in one of these industries, then market your products and services to this audience through digital marketing techniques like social media, content marketing, pay-per-click banner advertisements and video marketing. UCAS suggests that there are more than half a million students at any time, so your audience could be huge.
We spend less time on our phones
The average American may spend almost five hours a day on their smartphone, but things often change during the summer. With brighter nights and more socialising to be done, consumers are putting down their phones and spending time in the real world. You need to make sure your marketing efforts are doubly effective so that, when your audience does come across your brand online, your messages are as impactful as possible.
It’s little wonder why TV executives save their best shows for the autumn and winter months, as they know that it’s when more people will be sat at home looking for something to do. If you’re working hard on a content marketing strategy for your business, perhaps a series of video tutorials or an infographic, then consider holding back this content for a time when you know you’ll make a bigger impact with it. Strategy is everything.
We spend more time on holiday
The average family of four will spend £860 per person on a holiday this year – that’s a whopping £3,440 per household. If you operate in the service, fashion, lifestyle, entertainment or leisure industry, then it’s important that you capitalise on this by tailoring your products and services to families and holidaymakers looking to have a good time.
If you’re expecting a raft of tourists in your city during the summer, for example, then consider guest blogging on relevant travel websites, creating tourist hotspot guides, and reach out to travellers on social media to let them know what you can offer them. The more proactive you are, the bigger the reward you’ll be able to receive.
For online businesses, you too can capitalise on the summer buzz by offering products at discounted rates, creating limited edition ‘summer’ lines of your most popular items and running promotions and discounts to get rid of last season’s stock.
We have a different outlook
As Good Therapy notes, light and temperature can have a significant impact on the body – simply put, our outlooks and moods change when it’s warm. To some, that means we’re more inclined to spending money on holidays, clothes and leisure.
With only so much disposable income, you’ve got to word hard to keep customers on your side months. If you’re expecting sales to fall, then consider running a promotion such as a discount, social giveaway or form of audience interaction. That way, even if consumers don’t buy from you, you will have increased brand awareness and will be able to reap the benefits in the future.
While we’re not saying every business will be affected by the summer, it’s important to review your digital marketing efforts to ensure you’re reaching the right people at the right time, and decide whether or not seasonality will damage your sales. Be prepared to take your small business marketing in a different direction during the summer, and don’t be afraid of trying something new if you think you’ll be able to enjoy a return.