Summer is here! It’s a time when most people take some time off from work to spend with family and friends.
As we all know, the summer holiday season is typically quieter for small businesses, as our customers take time out to enjoy a break.
This quieter summer holiday period can seem like a bad thing for a small business, but it also presents an opportunity!
Here are seven marketing tasks you can complete during the summer holidays to make the most of the weeks ahead and ensure you are raring to go in September.
1 – Bring your marketing assets up to date
When was the last time you looked at all of your marketing assets and brought them up to date?
Time moves on, and what was once new assets can quickly become somewhat dated.
A great place to start is the photography you use on your website, social media and press activity.
Consistency is vital, so arrange to have all of your team photographed on a single day, with the same background and photography style.
Ask the photography to capture a range of different images to have a comprehensive library of photography assets to use in the future.
At the same time, take a look at your logo files and ensure these are sufficiently high quality to represent your brand.
If your logo is starting to look a little ‘fuzzy’, it’s a cheap and straightforward task to get it redrawn as a vector file that is scalable and print-ready.
Ask the designer to create several versions of your logo, ready for application in different scenarios; we like to have a white logo, black logo, and a square (for social media) logo.
2 – Review your website
If you’re looking for a reasonably quick win marketing task to complete this summer, take a look at your website.
My earlier blog post sharing simple website mistakes you can fix in a few minutes is a great place to start.
Your website is your shop window, leaving customers with a good, bad or indifferent first impression.
Get it right, and you stand a far better chance of winning their custom.
3 – Share some good news
We’re all heard of the silly season. It’s the summer period when the media focuses on trivial or frivolous matters in the absence of significant news stories.
Whether or not the silly season is a genuine phenomenon is open to debate. But the 24/7 news cycle and advent of digital media has certainly created a significant demand for fresh news.
What stories can you tell about your business?
Great storytelling is at the heart of engaging with existing and prospective customers, creating an emotional connection with your brand.
Many small business owners we speak with are often reluctant to talk to the media, with a perceived concern that any subsequent press coverage could be unflattering.
In our experience, the press is fair and balanced, and journalists face considerable pressure to identify stories relevant to their readership.
Every business has a story to tell, and some time spent presenting these fascinating stories to the press can help reach a wider audience.
4 – Read some books
What is on your summer holiday reading list?
Can I suggest that adding a marketing book (or two) to the novels you will be taking to the beach could be a good idea?
The inspiration we gain from reading non-fiction books can help propel our businesses to the next level.
As an avid reader, each time I read a book, I aim to take away 2 or 3 ideas I can implement in my businesses.
Browses the shelves at your local bookshop to find titles that capture your imagination, or ask fellow business owners for their recommendations.
And if reading isn’t your thing, you can still gain a great deal of inspiration by listening to podcast interviews with authors or by watching YouTube videos.
5 – Build a killer sales funnel
What is a sales funnel?
The process comes with different names and encompasses a customer-focused marketing model that illustrates the journey towards buying a product or service.
Think about each step a new customer has to take to move closer to the ultimate goal of buying from you.
By understanding each of these steps, you can start to influence them and increase your business’s volume (and quality).
When you know each step of your sales funnel, you can do two key things to improve business results.
Firstly, you can plug any gaps; steps in the funnel where customers drop away and fail to move to the next step.
By plugging these gaps, you improve the conversion rate of your funnel.
Secondly, you can attract more customers to the top of your sales funnel, resulting in more business at the bottom.
Time spent designing and improving your sales funnel is likely to be one of your best investments this summer.
6 – Connect with your advocates
Who are your biggest fans?
Every business has customers who can be described as advocates.
These customer advocates are more likely to share information about your business, refer others to you, and buy more of what you offer.
Spend some time this summer identifying and connecting with your advocates.
One of the most effective forms of marketing you can do is make your customer the hero of your story.
From a psychological perspective, we like to buy from popular businesses with others who share similar attributes.
There’s a degree of confidence that comes from dealing with a business already providing excellent customer service to someone who shares our outlook and values.
If you can, convince your advocates to tell their stories in the form of a short video or blog post.
Traditional one-line testimonial statements are better than nothing, but a short (2-3 minute) video of your customer sharing their story adds authenticity to the testimonial.
7 – Take some time to recharge your batteries
With a quieter few weeks ahead and plenty of marketing tasks to complete, it’s easy to forget the need for rest.
In popular leadership parlance, we are advised to put our oxygen masks on first.
If we are tired, burnt-out and generally unhealthy, we are unlikely to be in the best position to serve our customers or colleagues.
Time spent this summer on relaxation, exercise, and better nutrition will be paid back in spades in the autumn and can be viewed as an excellent long-term investment.
The summer holidays can seem like a bad thing for small businesses, but it also presents an opportunity.
There’s no better time to work on your marketing strategy and ensure that you are ready to go in September.
What will be your seven marketing tasks this summer? Which of the seven can we help you with?