Your Business in the Summer Season
With summer fast approaching, the tourists are coming to town — is your small business ready for them? What are the latest marketing trends to capture their attention and drive more sales to your small business? I sat down with Marketing Maven, Molly Solberg, and learned a thing (or ten) from her recent Northland Small Business Development Center Webinar on how to make sure your business is positioned to not only attract tourists but locals as well.
what to focus on
The first item to focus on is giving your website and online presence a tune-up. If you change your hours for the summer season, make sure that’s reflected on wherever people find you. People search for businesses online, most often; thus, you need to check your Google listing, TripAdvisor, website, Facebook page, and anywhere else your small business is online. It’s also a good idea, when updating your hours, to be sure that the photos on these sites are representative of your image and brand, instead of something unappealing. Change out your photos to something summery with green grass or update them frequently to tie your business to the various holidays sprinkled throughout the summer season.
While you’re updating your online pictures, review the rest of your online footprint, as well. Embrace the K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Silly) method and spell out your products or services, hours, shipping requirements, if you are continuing curbside pickup, and whatever else is important to making a sale. Don’t assume your customers know what you’re up to in the summer season. Use a quick video to show people what they can find if they visit your shop, advertise limited-time offers on your social media, and connect your brand to whatever holiday is coming up next. You can also highlight summer trends and how your products/services will make life easier as your customers plan a wedding, graduation, vacation, or (gasp) back to school.
take note of your online reviews
When people are searching for a business like yours, make sure you stand out amongst the competition. According to BrightLocal.com, 91% of consumers say that positive reviews make them more likely to make a purchase from a new business. Positive reviews can also help your small business rank higher in local search results and lead to a higher click-through rate. Look at your online reviews and make sure any reviews, whether positive or negative, are answered by you. Hopefully, with a timely response, any negative reviews will turn positive. Otherwise, you need to make sure they are buried with many other positive reviews. If that’s not the case yet, make sure you do some work to get your satisfied local customers to add a glowing review.
As always, see what’s driving your sales and continue doing whatever that is. A small social media ad can cost your business about a dollar a day and greatly improve your reach. If you have no idea how to change up your marketing message for the summer season, the Northland Small Business Development Center can help – and our services are offered at no charge to you. Call your local consultant, check us out at northlandsbdc.org, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a message at (218)726-7298. We help small businesses start, grow, and succeed!
Betsy Olivanti lives in Fayal Township and has been a senior business consultant for the Northland Small Business Development Center since 2015. The Northland SBDC helps small businesses at no charge thanks to funding from the Small Business Administration, MN DEED, the Dept. of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation, and other local funders like the Cities of Virginia and Ely.
Molly Solberg can be reached through MAS Marketing at www.mollysolberg.com or Molly Solberg Marketing on Facebook. She specializes in training small businesses in all facets of sales and marketing. You can work with Molly, at no charge, through the Northland Small Business Development Center for a limited engagement due to the CARES Act funding that Northland Foundation has received.