The summertime provides retailers with unique opportunities to capitalize on the season’s warm weather, increased tourism, and seasonal events.  Even if your company is not in the business of producing summer-specific products or services, there are still many creative measures that can be taken during this season to advance sales.  Here are three examples of summer promotions that can help attract customers to your business.

1. Giveaways

Consumers become more attracted to your business and less attracted to your competition when they have the possibility of receiving something for free. Giveaway items can include your company’s staple products, seasonal items (such as beach towels, flip flops, or sunscreen), technology devices (such as a tablet), gift cards to non-competing businesses, or other items branded with your company’s logo.

When determining what items to use for a giveaway promotion, businesses should consider the following three criteria: cost, intrigue, and branding ability. Handing out overly expensive items will obviously offset the anticipated new business received as a result of using a give away. However, distributing fewer items to a selected target audience is more effective than giving out a high volume of items to a wide audience.  It is best to provide prospects with items of value that they can use more than once.  Some examples of practical giveaway items are car USB chargers, lip balm, reusable water bottles, hand sanitizer, touch screen cleaning cloths, and reusable tote bags.  Be sure that the items you use for giveaways can be branded in a way that makes your company’s logo or tagline easily visible to consumers.

To incorporate a giveaway into your business’s marketing strategy, require that prospects “like” your company’s Facebook page or retweet a post from your company’s Twitter feed in order to be entered into the contest.  Offer additional entries for users who follow your company on more than one social media channel, share the giveaway, tag your company in photos/posts, etc.  Doing so will increase your business’s social media traffic, which adds value that will extend far beyond the summer season.  Overall, giveaways are a great approach to engaging with your current customers and acquiring new ones.

2. Go Where The Crowds Are

The summer season yields a number of events that occur in communities across the country such as festivals, concerts, and holiday celebrations.  Locals and tourists alike are in attendance at these events, thus presenting an array of current and potential customers to connect with.  Furthermore, in some cases the media is present at events that are worthy of receiving coverage.  Let consumers and media outlets know that your business will be present at a given event via social media outlets and email.  At the time of the event, hand out flyers and promotional materials or host games and contests for attendees to participate in.  Consider employing a “street team” to work the day of the event.  Have team members answer customers’ questions and pass out items that have your company logo on them.  Being a part of community events acts as a marketing tool for your business to generate brand awareness and directly interact with consumers.

3. Host An Event

Holding an event in the community does not have to be a wildly expensive undertaking, especially during the summer months.  Parks, beaches, greenways, and even parking lots all serve as excellent locations for an event designed for customers.  Of course it will be necessary to check with your local community’s zoning and permit regulations before planning a promotional event in a public space.  However, the cost of using these outdoor spaces is generally much less than renting out a restaurant or hotel space.  Company-wide events are also a great way for remote employees to connect with each other and boost employee engagement, assuming that holding an event of this scale is economically feasible for your organization.

In order for your event to be successful, make sure the event includes elements that will make customers want to attend.  Be especially conscious of those customers who cannot travel during the summer for one reason or another and therefore are craving downtime.  Attendees will leave your event satisfied if they have been provided with ample food and drink and the opportunity to relax with other members of the community.  If your event is able to incorporate a means of giving back to the community, your business will certainly be remembered in a positive light.

The summer is a great time of year to take advantage of the warm weather and implement promotions that entice consumers.  Giving items away is a tried and true technique for promoting your brand.  Small businesses should make themselves present in their local communities during this season, as there are many opportunities to gain a large reach at a single event.  Creative promotions will keep your sales sizzling all summer long!