Summertime has finally arrived and that means the beginning of the traditional “slow period” for florists. But that doesn’t mean we need to slow down our marketing efforts as well. In fact, it’s time to do the opposite - it’s time to reach out even further in order to attract customers and it’s time to get creative.
Advertising can be expensive which makes it a pervasive candidate for the chopping block for many small business owners looking at ways to scale back on expenses during the lean summer months.
Unfortunately, that approach to business typically does more harm than good in the long run by decreasing visibility at a time when many shops could probably use it the most.
The good news is there are many low-cost – or sometimes even free - ways out there for you to market your business. Here are several ideas that may help you increase exposure without breaking your budget.
1) Customer referral program – Reward customers who bring in new business with a referral program. Word-of-mouth advertising is extremely effective because it comes with a built-in testimonial, so turning your customers into ambassadors for your brand is a win-win for everyone.
2) Industry partnerships – Forming partnerships with other local businesses can help increase your viability, and cross-promotion could place your products in areas you may not have had access to before. Try contacting local real estate agents and offer to make centerpieces for their open houses.
3) Host an event or class – Periodically hosting “behind the scenes” tours of your shop, or interactive workshops for children, adults, or families, builds excitement for your brand and allows you to get to know your customers on a more personal level.
4) Community events – Have some balloons, fidget spinners, t-shirts or other small trinkets branded with your logo and ready to hand out at parades, farmers’ markets, art and craft fairs and other community events.
5) Sponsor a youth sports team – Not only can sponsoring youth sports build goodwill and a positive image in the community, it also provides you with the benefit of having your logo prominently displayed on team uniforms, signage, etc. You can even print up extra t-shirts with your logo on them for the parents to wear.
6) Props – Reach out to local theater groups or schools and allow them to use your products as props in their performances in exchange for acknowledgment in the printed programs.
7) In-kind non-profit sponsorship – most non-profit organizations welcome in-kind sponsorship for their events. This not only increases your reach, but also puts your products in the hands of potential new customers.
8) Contests – Have a weekly contest and give away flowers, gift cards, or other gifts from you shop as prizes. Contests can be held online or in-store. Business card drawings are a tried-and-true tactic that also helps build your customer list by collecting information from the business cards and is usually popular since there are no forms to fill out.
9) Targeted messaging – Online marketing allows you to market directly to the mobile devices of current customers and potential new customers. You choose the exact demographics and message and only pay for the customers you reach. It is the most efficient form of marketing today and is fairly inexpensive compared to traditional forms of advertising.
If you need some help kick-starting your summer marketing, we’re here to help! Give us a call today at (941) 806-1911 or leave a comment below. We’ll help you explore options and decide on a strategy that’s best for your shop.