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How to use the summer to boost your small business' marketing plan

How to use the summer to boost your small business' marketing plan

Posted: Wed 1st Aug 2018

Forget the New Year, August is the perfect time to reflect on your business's progress over the year so far, and plan and you want to develop over the follow months. Mary Horn, Enterprise Nation member and founder of Curious Fox Company, shares top tips on marketing and planning.

With summer underway, and the school gates unlocked, this time of year often feels more like an annual turning point, than the official in January!

With this in mind, August is the perfect time to reflect on your business's progress over the year so far, and plan how you want to develop.

After summer comes the countdown to Christmas bringing exciting new opportunities to both promote your business and increase sales.

Plan ahead

The final quarter holds the biggest seasonal events and, yes, of course that means Christmas. Yep, we said it, Christmas is the biggest marketing opportunity of the year and knowing the relevant timescales to hit throughout the autumn months can be beneficial to your brand.

Being ahead of the game can also help you identify your quiet times and allow you to schedule a campaign aimed at increasing sales during your slow periods.

Schedule some time to consider the strength of your branding. By this we don't just mean your company logo, but also the colours you use, the tone of language you write in, and even your preferred contact details.

All these things and more make up who you are as a brand and checking that this is an unfailing constant in your marketing activities will strengthen your customer's trust in your business.

Social media domination

You've probably heard it multiple times already, but social media is the driving force for any business.

It has the ability to make or break a marketing campaign. By utilising every platform such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn you can reach your audience at different heights.

Creating content that will work in cohesion with the upcoming season, such as teaser promotions for new releases or early sales will keep your audience engaged and get them talking.

Research your competition and consider what social media tactics they are using to stay ahead of the game.

Start by creating a list of 5-8 main competitors and spend time analysing the social networks they choose to use, their preferred content and the time of day they select to post.

These points are all important, but the most significant indicator of social media success will be their engagement activity; are people sharing this content? Have they commented and what are they saying?

Visual aids

Summer is one of our favourite seasons as it gives the perfect backdrop to some refreshing visual content.

A picture is worth a thousand words with visual storytelling providing an opportunity for brands to deliver lasting experiences that promote brand awareness, customer loyalty, and engage their current following.

Not only with pictures, but some of the biggest talking points for the last months are of course, the Christmas adverts.

John Lewis has nailed its visual content marketing, but that doesn't mean you must limit yourself to making an advert too. Sharing is caring, and encouraging your following to share their thoughts, experiences or images can give a more personalized approach.

Reflect

Before you start your marketing campaign it's important to take a step back and reflect on the mechanics of your message.

Your target audience will be exposed to your brand across a number of different channels, and through applying a consistent approach to each channel you can ensure your message remains clear and memorable.

So, take some time to look at all the relevant channels for your business; be it Instagram, local press, or a marketing event. Then consider how powerful the message is.

Customers have poor attention spans and it's vital that they can quickly identify what you are trying to tell them and the direct benefits that this message, product or service will have for them.

Whether you are a hot new start-up or a local store, every business can benefit from increased sells and the heightened brand awareness that a successful marketing campaign can offer.

While other business owners are relaxing and enjoying the summer sun, use this time to get savvy with your marketing plan, because let's face it no matter how great your product or service is, without a little marketing effort it's likely your business will stand still and sunbathe.

Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

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