Marketing, Strategy
July 15, 2021
Summer Marketing: Pandemic Edition
Summer Marketing: Pandemic Edition

By Candace Huntly

We have had a taste of what the post-apocalyptic – I mean post-pandemic economy will look like. It’s time to spread your creative wings as business owner and marketer to really take advantage of all the good summer vibes as businesses are allowed to reopen all over. It’s time for a great summer marketing strategy.

I have talked about how your marketing should have changed during the pandemic, but what about now? What happens now that we’re coming out of lock downs and many businesses have been shuttered for a long time – some for over a year…

Here is how to make the most of your summer marketing in a weird transitional/post-pandemic world.

Identify how your audience behaviours have changed

Does this sound familiar? I’ve talked about this before. Before it was towards the beginning of the pandemic when people were just grasping at information, and we were all just trying to figure out how to pivot and see whether there was a timeline associated with these changes. Now, we’re still grasping at information, but we are better informed about the virus itself. While things are starting to open up fully, you need to be aware that your customers will have varying degrees of comfort with where we are at in the reopening process. While it can be easy to say that it doesn’t matter, the varying degrees of comfort mean that you may need to keep some measures in place even though you have customers who are acting closer to “normal”. For example, some of your customers, may still only feel comfortable doing curbside pickup, phoning in their order, masking in your store, etc.

This reopening has to be a walk for business owners before we can all run together. Ignoring one group and favouring the other means you may lose customers!

Be extra social

I have also talked before about putting the social back in social media for business. We get so caught up in the mechanics of creating and posting content that we forget to actually engage with followers, potential followers, and just the community at large. When it comes down to it, if you’re not having fun on social media, something is missing.

You might have to work a little harder to break through the summer vibes as a brand on social media as well. A lot of people are on vacations (or staycations right now) and they are just living that relaxed life. It’s also a time where a lot of people unplug and spend less time on social. The pandemic has really enhanced this for a lot of people who have seen it take a toll on their mental health. As a brand, you need to shift your engagement strategy to be a lot more personal (AKA it’s not just about the emojis), focused on meaningful dialogue, and more frequent – even if it’s in short bursts. That way if someone is spending less time on social media, their interactions with you are more meaningful and memorable even if they only engage with you a few times. Being on social more frequently means that you won’t miss your window to engage if you are checking to see if you have any comments or messages.

Don’t give up on your digital strategies

Your digital pivot got you through the past year. Nurture it and find a way to incorporate it into your summer strategy now that we are reopening. Think about it like adding another layer to a cake. Layered cakes are delicious, and an extra layer means more to go around. It does come back to your customer behaviour and making your products and services accessible to more people. That summer/reopening sale you were planning on running in-store? Why not run a similar thing online? Why not incentivize people to order online and pick up in-store so you can welcome them back with COVID-safe activities? It’s all about marrying the digital and non-digital worlds together.

Sale, sale, sale!!!

OK. Hear me out. I am not always one to offer deals on things regularly. I do think it can affect the way people see your brand if you offer deals too often. However, summer is always a great time to have a sale when people might be more inclined to enjoy the weather than shop. And now that EVERYONE is reopening, you need to entice customers to visit you and not your competitors.

So, get creative. Don’t JUST think about the lowest price you can offer. It could be about an enhanced experience (ie. A free ice cream cone when you leave the store or a gift with purchase that they can use in the summer). And try to tie it in with summer – Summer Clearance, Back to School Sale, Glamping Gone Wild, Enjoying the Great Outdoors with [insert your brand], etc.

While you can definitely get back to a more normal summer marketing campaign, there is no denying that 2021 summer will be different. Embrace it and move forward. If you are stuck and you’re not sure how to make the most of this summer of the great reopening, then book a free 20-minute consultation with us and we can chat!

GOOD LUCK AND STAY SAFE!

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