The start of Daylight Saving Time (DST) on Sunday meant the loss of an hour of sleep for those who turned the clocks forward. However, the promise of warmer weather and longer days triggers renewed energy and enthusiasm and the chance to reenergize your small business marketing strategy.
Whether you are hoping to attract new customers or entice existing customers to engage, spring is the perfect time to refresh your promotional plans. If winter was slow for your seasonal small business, you may need to shore up your cash flow to fund your initial marketing efforts. Summit Financial Resources’ invoice factoring, asset-based lending, and inventory financing programs allow you to harness the cash in your accounts receivable and get the working capital you need to capitalize on the shift in seasons. Here are some bright ideas for connecting with your customers and breathing new life into your sales.
Make a Fresh Start
Spring is a time of renewal, so set the tone for your marketing accordingly. Launch a new feature or product. Create a positive vibe with your messaging and color palette. If you have a physical location, revitalize it with brighter colors, flowers, birds, and other springtime décor. If you run your business online, attract your customers’ attention by giving your website home page a fresh look and emphasizing new or seasonal products.
Warm Up with the Weather
People are eager to be out and about after a long, cold winter. Consider gearing your marketing content towards coming out of hibernation, taking a trip, or trying something new. Bring people together in person by hosting an industry event, a how-to workshop, or a meet-up, and take the opportunity to introduce a service or sample a new product. Invite valued clients to connect over an al fresco lunch, and find out how you can better meet their needs or address key concerns.
Out with The Old, In with The New
Do a bit of spring cleaning to clear out the old and make way for the new. Start by marking down prices on old inventory. Let customers know this includes popular products you’ll be replacing with new items suited for this time of year.
You might also test a few new marketing initiatives before the season is in full swing. Put your logo on a cleaning-themed promotional item such as a cleaning cloth or gloves, and mail or give it away to clients or prospects. Allocate a small portion of your budget towards launching a YouTube channel, creating a Facebook ad campaign, or improving your customer service experience. If the results are positive, consider investing more dollars and resources into these options.
Spring into the Holidays
From Earth Day, Easter, and Passover to Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and graduations, spring is bursting with special occasions that are perfect for marketing your small business. The options are endless, so it’s important to focus on holidays that will appeal to your target audience, and craft promotions and messaging that resonate with them.
Restaurants can offer themed food and drink menus or holiday brunches or dinners. On Mother’s Day, hand out flowers or individually wrapped chocolates to customers and clients. Contests are a fun and effective tool for building customer engagement, whether you run them online or in your office or retail shop. Tried-and-true ideas include guessing how many jellybeans are in a jar, inviting Facebook followers to post photos of their gardens, and asking customers to share why their mom, dad, or grad is an inspiration. Awarding holiday-themed prizes lets you to connect personally with customers, introduce a new item, and build your email list.
Springtime is also the height of tax season, and small businesses can incorporate this theme into their marketing efforts in a number of ways. Many individuals and businesses wait until the last minute to file, so if you provide tax prep services, it’s not too late to advertise. Other businesses can encourage people to use their tax refund to buy products and services. Offer special pricing or coupons to incentivize purchases during the weeks surrounding Tax Day, which is April 17th this year. Asking them to provide proof that their taxes have been filed creates added opportunity for you or your staff to connect and engage.
From March Madness basketball and the Stanley Cup hockey playoffs to Little League baseball, sports swing into the spotlight in the spring. Whether your business is directly related or not, running a sports-themed promotion is a strategy that can have broad appeal. Create menu items, message boards, or marquees that recognize favorite teams or players. Run contests predicting the season’s key matchups or team standings.
If your ideal clients are local, sponsoring a team in town offers ongoing exposure ranging from uniforms, banners, and signs to printed flyers and programs. You could provide coffee and hot chocolate on game days, or host a fundraiser for scholarships to a local sports camp. These brand-building initiatives showcase your business and your support for residents and the community.
Take it Outside
From farmer’s markets and street fairs to fun runs and carnivals, outdoor events are an ideal opportunity for small businesses to gain exposure and build name recognition. Many towns and organizations will allow you to book a spot and bring a table or exhibition to showcase your products or services.
Spend time researching events to find those that are appropriate for your business. company and likely to attract your target audience. Take advantage of the face-to-face interaction to educate prospects about your small business instead of simply focusing on selling. The idea is to make a positive impression and create relationships so that attendees will remember you the next time they need your products or services.
You can also show support for the environment on Earth Day. Sponsor a green initiative or participate in an event in your community. Promote your commitment to conserving energy, using green products, or recycling. Commit to going paperless, and offer incentives for your customers to do the same.
For many small business owners, narrowing down the choices is their greatest challenge when it comes to spring marketing. A good rule of thumb is to stay in your lane and steer clear of ideas that do not make sense for your business. Focus on themes that compliment your objectives and offer the biggest bang for your marketing budget.
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Summit Financial Resources specializes in working capital financing for small to medium-sized businesses that need increased cash flow. We provide working capital financing through invoice factoring, asset-based lending, inventory lending, and equipment financing.