The “summer slump,” “the dog days,” or “the summer slowdown.” Whatever we’re calling it, unless your business happens to be in lawn care or you’re a large store like Home Depot, chances are once the temperatures rise your current marketing strategy just isn’t cutting it, and sales start to fall. The summer season is notorious for its decrease in sales and buying behavior for businesses across the board. June and July happen to pose the steepest decline, particularly for e-commerce. Whether this is because consumers are spending their days outdoors, are away from their desktops or are swinging lazily in a hammock in the Maldives, it’s difficult for even the best of businesses to get their audience to engage and act even with the best of content. Given these challenges, how can your business create a fresh and engaging summer marketing strategy for 2022? Keep reading for a blend of both traditional and digital summer marketing methods every business can benefit from.

Traditional Summer Marketing Strategies

In order to successfully connect with your audience, you first need to meet them where they are. In summertime this typically means outdoors. What better way to gain attention than by implementing outdoor advertising? You might be asking, is traditional advertising still effective in today’s digital world? The answer is: absolutely!

Woman in hammock on desktop implementing OOH Marketing Strategy

Summer is a great time to implement traditional marketing strategy methods, like OOH.

Consumers generally spend most of their time out of the house in and around public spaces, so it bodes well that companies continue to utilize this medium. Outdoor advertising is not only effective marketing content but it increases brand awareness, too. While it’s hard to deny the benefits of social media, out of home advertising (OOH) is a hyper-localized medium not to be ignored. The Outdoor Advertising Association of America reports that for every $1 spent on OOH material, approximately $2.80 in sales is generated, compared to $2.43 for TV and $2.41 for print. 

Luckily, there are more opportunities for businesses to use traditional methods of advertising as a marketing strategy in the summer than any other time, as most consumers are outdoors for longer periods of time. 

Examples Of Traditional Summer Advertising Materials

  • Flyers 

Flyers are a versatile and cost-effective form of content that appeals to a wide range of people in your area. The great thing about flyers is that it doesn’t take much effort to ensure they’re seen, especially in summer. Flyers can be placed under windshield wipers, inside mailboxes, at parks and at farmers markets. The options are endless and very successful. According to the Data and Marketing Association, over 48% of people reported that they read a flyer that was meant for them. 

When creating your flyer, it’s critical to remember a clear call to action and to include graphics. To ensure your graphics are fun and eye-catching, VennGage is an intuitive and easy-to-use platform that can help you design the flyer of your business’s dreams. 

  • Swag

Another opportunity for your summer marketing strategy is to use swag, or “Stuff We All Get.” Swag is promotional advertising material given away by a company for free. It is a highly effective tangible marketing tool that increases brand awareness. In fact, a staggering 60% of consumers say they looked up a company online after receiving swag from them. Swag is also optimal for establishing brand identity, rapport and brand recall. Nearly nine out of 10 people can recall the company that gave them branded promotional products

There may be some pause around giving products away for free while trying to generate revenue, but this is an evergreen marketing strategy.

Family playing in a lake on a dock as an example of summer content

Swag is a fantastic marketing strategy for establishing brand identity.

Unlike ads or marketing campaigns, swag does not have an expiration date. This means that swag given to potential consumers may hang around their home or office for years. It may even be something they find themselves using every single day. In addition, your business receives free exposure when these people are seen wearing or using a product plastered with your company’s name. The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) 2019 Global Ad Impressions Study determined that swag consistently earned a greater ROI compared to that of print and digital marketing. 

The best part about utilizing swag as part of your marketing strategy is that it doesn’t have to be anything expensive or fancy. The most common types of promotional swag have everyday uses. Examples of swag are pens, drinkware, T-shirts and bags. For summer specifically, think of season-appropriate renditions like branded water bottles for hot days, beach totes or tank tops with your company’s logo. 

So, if a tradeshow or conference is in your company’s future, swag is definitely something you’ll want to think about providing. Nearly 99% of people say that they’re willing to go out of their way to get a promotional product from a company. Just the idea of swag is known to generate crowds seeking your business.

Digital Marketing Strategies For Summer

Now, since businesses can’t be everywhere at once, let’s move on to the next best thing: digital marketing. Though in the summer most of our consumers are out in the sunshine, this doesn’t mean screentime is limited. Consumer behavior reports show that during weekends usage actually increased. Peaks of screentime occurred in the evening and early morning hours (from about midnight to 4 a.m.). Reports also indicate social media apps are among the highest apps used in the summer. So, if users are still online, how do we effectively encourage content engagement and buying behavior to avoid the summer slowdown? Answer: Consider a summer-oriented social media marketing strategy. 

Examples Of Summer Digital Marketing Strategies

  • Social Media Marketing

Creating a social media marketing campaign for the summer is a must in order to improve SEO, create brand authority, generate in-bound traffic and so much more. A social media marketing campaign for your business should begin with summer-izing your social message. This includes content. Make simple yet entertaining requests from your audience to get involved. This could be in the form of a contest to implement some friendly competition or asking your audience to document their experiences. Center the campaign around summer activities that your audience may already be doing and use credible hashtags to identify the campaign. Then, encourage your audience to tag your business with these customized hashtags in their posts. Once your audience begins to engage, show your enthusiastic support with comments and shares on the company’s social media story.  

  • User-Generated Content

Consumer-oriented campaigns are also a great method for producing user-generated content. User-generated content is promotional content created by members of your audience for free. Whatever type of campaign you implement, user-generated content is great for businesses as it increases brand credibility, authority and provides reach to different audience segments. User-generated content also takes the leg work out of the content creation process on your end. User-generated content is a rare opportunity to allow your audience to feel like they are a part of your brand rather than watching from the sidelines.

  • Optimize Hashtags

Now that you have your summer social media marketing campaign figured out and determined which holidays to provide content around, how do you break through that social media clutter with your content? Make sure you stay on top of trending hashtags. Hashtag trends change so often, so it’s crucial for the success of your post that your hashtags are fully optimized and relevant to your content. Use hashtag tools to determine which hashtags are gaining traffic. If you’re looking for more insight pertaining to hashtags, this blog post goes in-depth. 

While it may be tempting, avoid popular hashtags that have nothing to do with your posts. There’s a possibility the algorithm can view this as spamming or phishing, which can result in a shadow ban or even loss of followers. 

  • Influencer Marketing

If you’re interested in the idea of user-generated content but are looking to start your social campaign off with a bigger splash, consider influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is the act of hiring an “influencer,” or “someone who has the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of his or her authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with his or her audience.” Influencer marketing has become wildly popular in the last few years and is extremely successful.

Nearly 58% of marketers said influencer marketing was the most effective marketing trend, ahead of SEO, experiential marketing and even short-form video content. Influencer marketing is typically a sought-after social media tactic because there tends to be a deep loyalty between the influencer and their fan base. This is especially true of micro-influencers. Micro-influencers have a smaller yet dedicated audience who consider the influencer to be a friend. This type of trust from the audience means that whatever your influencer has to say about your brand will be taken at face value by the audience. It also creates a level of approachability and gives your business a way to introduce the campaign to your audience in a fun, exciting and trustworthy manner. 

Promotional Content Centered Around National Holidays

If you’re looking for something a little more low-key (and not to mention, budget friendly) there are countless opportunities for businesses to celebrate during the warm months that not only engage their audience but create cause for excitement around the brand. It’s important to note that while sales may slow down, sentiment does not. Consumers are looking for company content to match the happy, care-free summer attitude that naturally comes with the warmer months. What better way to advertise a business than with upbeat, energetic content that feels fresh, exciting and surrounded by summer holiday celebration? 

Summer is a fortuitous opportunity for your company to show support, provide information and run promotional

Promotional graphic to represent summer content. Includes palm trees, watermelon, sunglasses.

Consumers are looking for company content to match the happy, carefree attitude that naturally comes with the warmer months.

sales all as part of a digital marketing strategy. While promotional sales may seem counterintuitive during a slowdown, it’s actually expected by consumers both in Europe and America. It’s also a great way for your company to increase brand awareness, gain engagement and target new audiences. Center your sales around summer feelings by engaging in free giveaways (yes, swag counts!), limited-time offers or special add-ons.

Consider running sales in support of Pride Month, graduation or Fourth of July! More summer holidays to mention are Father’s Day, Summer Solstice, Labor Day and Flag Day. To give a sense of urgency around promos, make time-sensitive content, like 24-hour flash sales or “Back to School” sales. The National Retail Federation declares Back to School as the most sales generating summer “event,” stating parents expect to outspend themselves by 13-30% as much as the years prior. 

Of course not all of these holidays will be relevant to your brand, so if none of these appeal to you, bookmark the site to keep tabs on fun and silly holidays like “National Selfie Day” and “National Joke Day.” 

Customer Retention With A Summer Loyalty Program

If flash-sales or holiday markdowns aren’t “on brand” for your company, consider showing some appreciation to your current and returning customers through loyalty programs. Customer retention is crucial to the health of a company and to your bottom line. Maintaining customers costs on average 5-25 times less than acquiring new ones.

Customer holding loyalty program VIP card

Show appreciation to your current and returning customers through a customer loyalty program to improve customer retention.

The great thing about loyalty programs is that they work for either service-based or product-based businesses, and they can be conducted however you wish with any type of ‘reward’ deemed necessary. Another great thing about loyalty programs is they’re fairly simple to integrate depending on which platform your website is built on. If you’re curious how your customer retention stacks up, check out HubSpot’s Customer Churn Analysis and adjust your summer marketing strategies accordingly. 


Wish To Improve Your Marketing Strategy?

Three Girls Media, Inc. is an award-winning public relations and content marketing agency. We love working with companies of all sizes to curate marketing strategies, raise brand awareness and retain customers. We offer a complimentary 30-minute phone consultation to answer your questions and discuss your specific marketing needs. Call 408-218-2391 or contact us today to arrange yours today!

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