Fun Summer Marketing Ideas

Fun Summer Marketing Ideas

Fun Summer Marketing Ideas

Ah, summer. A time of beaches, hot dogs, breezy novels, ice cream, fireflies, road trips, and, if you live and work in Texas like we do, buckets full of sunblock. But if you own or handle the marketing for a small business, the summer fun doesn’t end there. In fact, the many joys of summer make for excellent marketing campaign fodder — even if, unlike Oscar Mayer, you don’t have a hot dog truck to borrow for your summer road trip. Let’s take a look at a few great ways you can tap into that summer spirit for a marketing campaign your customers will remember all year long.

Top Summer Marketing Campaigns Ideas

1. Host a Vacation Photo Contest on Social Media

Whether they’re headed to the local beach or they’re hitting the road, your customers are bound to be snapping countless vacation selfies — and in breathtaking locations, no less. Why not tap into your customers’ summer fun by hosting a vacation photo contest? Create a fun hashtag, like, #[yourbusinessname]hitstheroad, and encourage your audience to submit throughout the summer for a weekly prize. Take it up a notch and create a summery theme for each week, like doing handstands, or drinking slurpees in the travel shot. Photos that get the most comments, likes and shares will win the contest. They’ll also be a big win for you, as your contest generates heated debate and traffic for your brand.

2. Host a Staycation

For your customers who will be keeping it local this summer, why not make it your job to ensure they have the best staycation ever? You can keep it simple with weekly BBQs for regular customers. Or, you can take it a step further with a mini-block party, coordinating with other local business owners to turn your block into a faux-boardwalk. Rent a classic pinball machine if it’s in the budget, or simply bring in a few kiddie pools, set up a volleyball net in your parking lot, pass out drinks and invite your customers to relax in a beach chair. Who needs the beach when you can stay right in town, relaxing with your favorite mom and pop?

3. Tap Into Other Summer Events

If your city or town is like most places, they’re bound to have a popular summer series, like regular music in the park (if you ever come to Austin, check out Blues on the Green), themed festivals, and toe-tapping parades. There are numerous ways to tap into these events and expose your brand to a wide audience. You could, for instance, create a banner or sign for one of these events, sell food or other merchandise, host an entrance ticket giveaway, enter goods and services into a raffle, or put together a creative float. You can squeeze even more out of these activities again by having your customer compete for, say, the most creative float idea, which can be done via social media to generate even more social traffic and sharing. Or, if you really want to go big, why not create and sponsor your own event? The opportunities are endless!

4. Celebrate a Full Summer of Wacky Events

Fourth of July may be the holiday to beat all summer holidays, but there are plenty of other kinds of creative holidays to enjoy on just about every day of the week to turn the whole summer into a celebration. There is the Summer Solstice, of course, not to mention World Juggler’s Day, World Sauntering Day, Ice Cream Soda Day, and National Hollerin’ Contest Day. Don’t see one you like? Just make up your own summer themed day (just like we’re pretty sure the people who invented these wacky contests did too), and there you go — a funny, fun themed contest to celebrate in store and online.

5. Tie Your Prices to the Temperature

You know that look that customers have when they stagger into your store looking sweaty and exhausted and collapse into your cold air? Your air conditioning doesn’t have to be the only relief. Why not offer discounts when the temperature reaches a certain threshold, like $1 off for every degree over 100? Add a popsicle, too, and your customers will know just where to go throughout the dog days of summer.

6. Advertise With Chalk

Remember when you were a kid and you devoted long summer hours to chalk drawings and hopscotch on the driveway? You can do the same by drawing chalk advertisements on your sidewalk. Even better, invite your customers and their children to do it for you, adding in their own ideas as the advertisement grows. You’ll have art that evolves every day, and a fun activity for everyone who passes.

7. Relieve Heat in Busy Areas

Potential customers are bound to convert into real customers when you head to a busy, crowded area like a boardwalk or an outdoor mall with heat beating products in hand. Branded mini-fans or misters or refreshing drinks with branded koozies will be well worth the investment when they provide your customers with much needed relief, right when they need it.

8. Resurrect or Introduce Special Summer Flavors

Specialty flavors are always an effective marketing tactic, as they tap into both a love for everything unique and new, and they create an urgency to get it before its’ gone. Don’t sell food or drink? You can still create “flavors” in the form of specialty products, deals, services, or limited time VIP treatment. Doing so will mean customers are attracted to you during the summer months, and then will stay the whole year round.

In Short

You’d have to be a real Grinch not to love summer and all that it brings with it. That gives summer a marketing power that’s a force to be reckoned with. So get grilling and get brainstorming. It’s time to grow your business this summer!

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