If you’re trying to figure out ways to raise awareness about your business and attract new customers, taking a large overview of the important events and occasions throughout the year is a great way to think strategically.
So let’s talk about how holidays can be an important part of the year to focus your marketing efforts on, whether it’s Valentine’s Day or Christmas, summer or winter. Even if you’re not near a specific annual celebration or holiday right now we’d really encourage you to take a step back from where you are and think about the next 12 months. You could literally get a wall chart and mark out all the key holidays and national days of celebration. So for example, don’t just think about large holidays such as Easter but remember Mother’s Day as well. It’s also worth thinking about what the special events are in your particular industry, are there key festivals or annual events? For instance, if you’re in the music industry, when are all the key summer festivals that you should make sure you have a presence at? Or if you’re in at advertising industry are you aware that the big industry event in Cannes is mid June? And don’t forget, very often your customers will be planning some of their life around those key dates, so knowing what those are and when, will mean you’re able to show up at the right time and place! And that’s where some creative marketing ideas come into play. Have a look at our three sugestiosn and let us know what you think.
Put an instore event on
You might not have a physical location for your business in general. Perhaps you’re already using our Virtual Office to make sure you have a great looking London address to register your business at. But putting on an event can really show your customers that you care about them. So if you’re stuck for a location it’s definately worth checking out Appear Here, who can find alsorts of ways to put you in a physical shop location on really flexible short or longer term options.
If you’re able to do it, you’ll show your existing customers that they can have fun with you beyond just the thing they are buying from you and it’s a great opportunity to show your interest in them in an ongoing relationship. It also creates the opportunity for you to talk to them in a friendly personal environment and gives you the opportunity to find out what they are finding difficult or where they would like to see changes and additions in your product. For potential customers it can be a great opportunity to just come and meet you in a no pressure way and you get to hear what their questions, issues or objections might be all while creating brand awareness.
Putting on an event can also be a great way to get your customers away from their computer screens and out of the office and do that all important activity of social interaction in real life instead of through the web!
Make sure you think about your core customer base when going ahead with this. Are they going to love joining you for a bottle of beer and a pizza or would that do your brand image a disservice? Maybe you need to do a higher class affair with prosecco and fancy nibbles. There’s no right way here other than making sure you stay true to your brand and create something appealing to your core demographic. And obviously these types of event work really well at the big seasonal events such as Christmas!
Coordinate a summer street party
If you have a “bricks & mortar” based business (particularly if it’s consumer facing) chances are you’ll have a location with at least a handful of other shops nearby, maybe more. Why not take the opportunity to host a summer street party and get your neighbouring businesses involved too. In the summer most people like to get outside and enjoy the weather and with the added incentive of drinks and nibbles (for example) customers could enjoy themselves even more while shopping. If you decide to be the one who organises the event you’re also likely to strengthen your bonds with your neighbouring businesses particularly if they see the event is successful. And as before, it’s a great opportunity give something back to existing customers and show new ones what you’re made of.
Don’t forget to get everyone involved in promoting the event and be sure to give yourself a decent lead time into the event so that enough people will come along and have enough warning to plan it into their diary. Think about your theme too, for instance, in the town of Cagliari (Italy) every Thursday night in August is labelled “Shopping Under the Stars” where all the shops stay open until midnight. The event has a themed colour too for each week that the more eager shoppers wear as they go from shop to shop!
Host a live social media sale
This isn’t necessarily immediately related to seasons per say but it’s easy to use this options at key seasonal sale points throughout the year. With the huge uptake in social media use and a huge portion of people now using their phone for their main form of interaction with the internet, it’s a great opportunity to run a series of “flash” sales. Instead of just running some standard social advertising why not use your main social channels to post out extra spaecial sales on particular items.
For example you could run a 24hr sale with sale items changing every 4 hours. Take a picture of the item. Include the discount amount and code and when a viewer sees your post make sure clicking on the picture takes them to the relevant page on your website.
In the lead up to this make sure you use adverts and social posts to create awareness. Make sure that your followers know to have their alerts switched on so they don’t miss any opportunity and with Instagram and Twitter, use hashtags to create categories that people are already searching for to gain additional interest!
If you can make your sale items unusual or one offs that would never normally be on sale you’re also likely to get extra buzz around your company with some customers being amazed at the deal they got!
This is a great way to drive engagement and get people a following you on social media.