From memes to music festivals – how to stand out
For many marketing departments, summer is a time to slack off a little. There are no new network TV shows, so why not hold off on running new spots? Most of your clients take vacation time, making email campaigns and direct mail easy to overlook. And people in general are spending time outdoors and – gasp – not buried in their phones (well, not as much), so you may be tempted to decrease your digital ad spend or content marketing efforts. Sound good?
Hold up. Before you start blending piña coladas and floating down the lazy river, keep in mind that this downtime presents the perfect opportunity for you to dust off that to-do list or experiment with new tactics. Here are our top picks for this summer:
Get your SSL certificate
Get my S-S-what? Glad you asked. SSL stands for secure sockets layer, and it refers to a standard protocol between a server and browser that ensures a safe connection. You may recognize it by the padlock icon you see next to certain urls. So why make an SSL certificate a priority now? Because starting in July, Google (at least via Chrome) will penalize sites without an SSL certificate by flagging them as not secure. Essentially, an SSL certificate can boost your rankings.
Make sure your mobile site is sweet
You can thank Google for this push, too. After years of preparing businesses for the shift, Google finally began rolling out mobile-first indexing in December. That means that Google now uses your brand’s mobile site (as opposed to your desktop version) when building its almighty index. The better your mobile site, the higher your ranking. Also, it just makes sense, considering nearly 60 percent of consumers say they would not recommend a brand with a poorly designed mobile site.
Leverage local events
Communities seem to come alive in the summer, don’t they? From 5k charity runs to outdoor yoga classes, farmers’ markets to music festivals, there is no shortage of local events… for your brand to get involved with! By sponsoring an event, you can get your name out there on signage and promotional materials, as well as on swag bag items. If the event has an expo, you can rent booth space and do a little networking. In any case, getting involved with local events is a great way to strengthen your ties in the community and showcase your brand’s human side.
Stream live video
While you're rocking the community events, consider Facebook Live streaming your experience. Or, maybe you have a fun company picnic or outing? Are you attending a conference? Start wracking your brain for stream-worthy content because 1. last year, 75 percent of all internet traffic came from video streaming, 2. Facebook sends your followers push notifications every time you stream and 3. it’s summer – people are lazier than usual and don’t want to read about you. Seriously. Just try it! Video is the way forward. (Don’t have Facebook? Consider Vimeo Live.)
Experiment with emojis, gifs and memes
The sun is shining. Everyone is chill. Don’t disrupt the vibe, man. Summer is the perfect time to loosen up and give some nonverbal communication a try. Studies show that Millennials prefer emojis and gifs to text-only communication, with nearly 80 percent saying that emojis and gifs actually help them better interpret thoughts and feelings. And memes? Well, they’re just so darn fun! Just remember to keep the casual tone within the outer boundaries of your brand personality (and limit yourself to a couple emojis max per post). If this kind of playfulness is too left field for you, maybe pass. And try to work in some lightheartedness another way.
Of course, make sure you don’t forget the low-hanging fruit this summer like promotions based on Father’s Day, the Fourth of July, Back to School and my favorite… Shark Week!
Need help refining your summer strategy? Give us a shout. If we’re not poolside and halfway through a fruity frozen beverage, we’ll be happy to help.
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