Off-season gets a lot of hype but summer is still the most popular time of year for travel. The vast majority of Americans set aside money to travel in the summer, plus locals are out and about enjoying the longer days and rising temperatures.

How can your small business take advantage of increased summer traffic?

Here’s a few of our top summer marketing tips:

Get outside: Outdoor marketing tools— like banners, stickers, flyers, yard signs, rack cards and posters— can increase brand awareness, introduce your products and services and promote special sales and events. The goal of all outdoor marketing should be to get customers to think of your business first when they’re buying what you’re selling. In the summertime, you’ve got a captive audience craving new experiences, so be sure to position your items in places where vacationers frequent.

Be local: Most cities and towns have several community events throughout the summer— fairs, concerts, craft shows and outdoor events. Consider joining in on the fun by renting or sponsoring a booth. This is a great opportunity to introduce your product or service to potential customers and get immediate feedback.

Shades of Blue Interior’s blog article How to Sell Out: My Tips for Running a Booth is geared more towards vintage and home decor, but they’ve gotvaluable advice for every small business about picking the right event to attend.

Bribe to build your email list: Consider beefing up your newsletter contact list by running a sweepstakes online or in-store. If you make your prize a popular summer event— tickets to a water park, baseball game, theme park or concert— you’ll get plenty of entries.

Select a summer theme: Change up your menu or your inventory to include in-season produce, nostalgic novelties (everyone loves a popsicle on a hot summer day!), and products that people use frequently this time of year— beach towels, sunglasses, hats, picnic supplies, camping gear, etc.

Promote an unusual holiday:  Summer is made up of more than just the big three (Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day). Get travelers and locals’ interest piqued by celebrating lesser known holidays. June is National Candy Month,  July 29th is National Lipstick Day and August in National Family Fun Month.

Update social media: Most of today’s travelers use their smart phones to “decide what to do next.” Keep tabs on your Yelp page, post fun photos to your Facebook or Instagram account and promote all your specials and sales on your website or Twitter.

Even if they’re not traveling, most people have more flexible schedules during the summer months, making it a great time to experiment with your marketing tactics and introduce new customers to what you can offer them.

Bonus tip: If summer is a slow time of year for your business, don’t get too seduced by the sunshine: use this time to plan ahead for your busy season.