If your summer marketing efforts have historically left something to be desired, perhaps it’s time you get a bit creative. Summer can be a great time to get customers engaged, as warm weather leaves many feeling energized and spontaneous. Boost profits this year with the following ten sizzling summer marketing campaign ideas.

1.  Facebook photo/video contest

Develop a unique Facebook photo or video contest in which you ask your audience to submit funny media that’s relevant to your business. Make sure they mention your business when posting, and use “likes” as votes to determine the winner. Give away a relevant product or service to the winner, and collect email addresses from all entrants so you can continue to market to them.

Example: An interior decorating company might offer a free living room makeover to the person who submits the best/funniest video explaining why their living room needs it.

2. Door hanger marketing

Door hangers are impossible to ignore and cheap to print; use them to generate leads or yield instant sales. A good door hanger marketing campaign will targeted demographically-selected neighborhoods occupied by those who are most likely to buy.

Example: A new local mechanic might distribute door hangers that offer a heavily-discounted oil change to introduce new customers to their business.

3. Host a public event

Cookouts, concerts, tours, and other events can bring in highly-targeted audiences or a large portion of the community. Make sure everyone goes home with your business card, flyer, catalog, or brochure. Make your event free to the public to generate publicity from local media. Use banners and posters to promote your company at the event. Try to be creative and unique to get the most bang for your buck.

Example: A local ice cream shop might attempt to break the record for the world’s largest ice cream sundae, and ask the community to come out and help pile on scoops of ice cream.

4. Launch a summer sweepstakes

Give something away that’s highly-desirable, such as a free Caribbean cruise, then ask the public to submit free entries with their contact information and any survey questions you’d like to have answered. This is a great way to build your mailing list and email lists, schedule follow-up appointments, continually market to customers, and gain valuable insight you can use for future marketing efforts.

Example: An insurance company gives away a cruise to those who submit surveys that collect information about how much they’re paying for insurance, what they insure, and who their insurance companies are.

5. Scavenger hunt

An outdoor scavenger hunt can be a fun way to engage your community and generate interest in your business. Do it right, and you’ll also get free publicity from local media.

Example: A local pizzeria wants to increase awareness and boost Facebook likes, so it hides envelopes that can be redeemed for $50 gift cards near local landmarks. The company snaps a photo of each envelope location with the landmark in the background and posts it to Facebook as a clue. When someone finds the envelope, they call the pizzeria, come in to get their gift card, and get their photo snapped for the page as well.

6. Develop a unique partnership

Make a list of non-competing businesses that share your same audience, then consider how you might form a partnership that benefits both companies. You can create a joint offer in which you both offer a small discount, but you share the marketing costs and cross-market each other’s businesses. Print flyers to keep at each partner’s location to help market the promotion.

Example: A golf course and a hotel partner to offer a golf weekend getaway package; each offers a ten percent discount so customers save money by booking the package. All the while, each company’s ROI increases dramatically due to shared marketing investment and cross-marketing.

7. Print summer event magnets

Compile a list of local summer events – concerts, festivals, tournaments, etc. – and print the list on magnets that also feature your brand and promotional advertising. Distribute the magnets with Every Door Direct Mail marketing. This is a great way to get your brand placed on refrigerators throughout your local service area.

Example: An HVAC service company prints magnets featuring local events plus a special code for ten percent off air conditioner repair service calls, then distributes them to everyone in its service area.

8. Unforgettable rack cards

If you operate a business that caters to visitors and tourists, be sure to print attention-getting rack cards to place at your local Visitor’s Center, Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, and Chamber of Commerce, plus any nearby rest areas. Tourists rely on rack cards to help them find local attractions they want to visit. Be sure to design rack cards with unique, attention-getting designs that won’t get lost in the sea of competitors.

Example: A “haunted walking tour” guide prints rack cards featuring a decidedly wicked-looking “ghost” to attract its target audience, then distributes them to local information centers.

9. Develop an entertaining demo

If you set up booths at festivals and trade shows, don’t settle for sitting behind a table and waiting for interested customers to seek you out. Instead, develop a fun and entertaining product or service demo to become a highlight attraction at the event. Be sure to hand out brochures or other product literature to all who visit.

Example: A magician who gets hired for children’s parties sets up a booth at a local festival and performs free magic acts throughout the day. The magician gives everyone who watches his business card and/or a brochure to take home.

10. Summer rewards card

Create a special loyalty/rewards card just for the summer season. When customers use the card ten times, they get a special discount; any customer who uses the card all ten times gets their name in a drawing for a big “grand prize.” The card must be entirely completed by the end of August to drum up a lot of sales in a short period of time.

Example: A sandwich shop creates a rewards card that must be used between June and August. Customers get a two-percent discount for each punch, up to ten total (for a 20 percent discount). Those who punch all ten are entered into a drawing for a free cruise.

As you can see, with a bit of creativity you can develop unique summer marketing campaigns that make marketing fun for customers and profitable for your business.