It is spring in Maine and the weather is finally starting to cooperate. Take advantage of the sunny weather and end-of-winter cheerfulness of your customers, and focus on marketing efforts that encourage clients to make the most of the season.
Your marketing messages should match the season with vibrant colors and themes of renewal. After a dreary winter, your customers are likely ready to see some bright, warm colors that will put them in a happier mood. You can use this to your advantage by posting social media statuses or pictures featuring brightly colored flowers or scenery. Also keep in mind the holidays in spring and early summer and be sure to target your audience appropriately. Promotional ideas are also incredibly useful during spring and summer holidays. While 50% Off anything in the store is a definite attention grabber, seasonal offers also resonate. Consider a “sizzling summer sale” to promote your company’s services when it’s hot outside. Or offer a “rainy day discount” to attract customers looking for something to do indoors when their outdoor plans get canceled or postponed.
Much like the sun melting away the snow and bringing up the new flowers, people are cleaning out their homes getting ready for new items. You should do the same for your business. Spring clean your online presence by making sure your information is up-to-date, links are operational, photos and artwork are current and seasonal, and that there is consistency between the different platforms and services.
Spring clean the inside your business by getting rid of all the products (or services) that haven’t been as profitable as you’d like. Create an insanely irresistible offer to free yourself of excess inventory. Add some pizzazz and pops of color to spruce up the curb appeal of your business. The more attractive it looks from the outside, the more likely customers will want to check out what’s inside. Do you operate a storefront? Consider writing a promotional message in chalk on the walkway in front of your building. Or use chalk to depict colorful spring and summer scenes (featuring your products and business logo, of course) on the sidewalk.
Consider a partnership with a “green” charity to give back to the community. Collect funds, designate a portion of your sales to benefit the organization, sponsor planting of new trees, etc. Have your staff participate in a community spring clean event (local ball fields, community gardens, etc). There are all kinds of environmentally-friendly causes that make it easy for you to help, and you’ll benefit from the good will and recognition.
Create a themed event that ties into spring sports in your area, offer discounts to local players and their families, offer related themed discounts to all customers. Make it an annual event and help generate spring buzz moving into the future. Sponsor a local sports team to prominently display your business name at the events or on team uniforms. Attend the events and participate in the community camaraderie.
Host an Event
When nice weather finally arrives, people are ready to start spending time outside and will look for events that allow them to enjoy time with friends and family. How about hosting a cookout in your parking lot? It doesn’t need to be fancy; hot dogs and drinks will draw an appreciative crowd. Just be sure there are coupons or promotional products from your business in their hands as they leave.
The Small Business Association also offers the suggestion to join with other business owners for an event. If your business is in an area with lots of foot traffic, consider joining with the other business owners to hold a sidewalk sale or other outdoor event. Talk with your local chamber of commerce or downtown association and plan how local businesses can attract foot traffic to the area. Ideas include:
- Having a sidewalk sale where each store puts specials out on the sidewalk and offers deals to draw customers inside the store as well
- Hosting a “stroll and savor” event where local eateries sell small samples of their menu items outside on the sidewalk
- Hosting a music night where local musicians play inside restaurants or shops and out on the sidewalk to attract passersby’s
Take Part in a Community Event
Summer in most towns includes fun runs, street fairs, music festivals, outdoor movie nights, concerts in the park…and more. Contact your chamber of commerce or downtown association to find out what events are planned for the upcoming few months. Decide which events are likely to attract your target customers and consider a sponsorship, hosting a booth or donating products. If you are in the immediate area of the event, be sure to increase your hours to be open and available during peak traffic times and have something fun to offer visitors.
Want to get yourself outside? Get up from your desk or away from your storefront and take advantage of some networking opportunities. Whether by attending organized events (chambers of commerce, networking groups, business expo’s, etc.), or scheduling individual meetings to learn more about another business owner in the area, you’ll benefit from making new contacts and strengthening existing ones.
Give It Away
Invite people to your store with an offer of a free gift just for stopping by. It could be a promotional pen, a bookmark, or even a small gift certificate for a future purchase. Anything to get them into your store could result in extra sales from early spring buyers. Consider an “enter-to-win” promotion. You could even bundle your own products as a prize or form a joint venture with another business to come up with a desirable jackpot. The bigger, the prize the better. Promote your contest via your website, social media, newsletters, and even paid advertising so customers will come to your store and enter in person. Giveaways and prizes should be seasonal items. Beach towels, T-shirts, or a bottle of sunscreen to customers are just a few ideas.
Take advantage of the warmer weather and higher local foot traffic that arrives with spring to build on your word-of-mouth and online reputation to help spread the word to tourists as they begin to arrive for summer.
- Build up e-mail subscribers so you can market to them again and again. Email marketing is affordable, quick, and relatively easy any time of year.
- Make it easy to leave good reviews/testimonials and include them in your year round advertising plan.
- Build up Facebook and Twitter followers – a strong social media following keeps your business top of mind now and encourages word of mouth referrals and repeat business later in the year.
Are you ready to get started on a successful spring marketing campaign? Contact us today.