We’re all familiar with Valentine’s offers from florists, restaurants, jewellery retailers, or other directly related products and services. But, what about the rest of us?
Can, and should, those of us in totally unrelated industries use these sorts of calendar dates as marketing opportunities?
Unequivocally, I say yes to this one. It certainly needs some careful thought not to come across as trite. But, there are definitely ways to make use of dates like Valentine’s, Easter, etc. to boost engagement with your business.
Six simple marketing ideas you could have used for Valentine’s Day:
- Send a customised card to existing customers saying that you’ve loved working with them.
- Send a customised card to prospects saying how much you’d love to work with them.
- Write a post or poem about how much you love what you do.
- Set-up a digital game of some kind where people find and click on hearts or flowers around your site.
- Update your social Avatars and cover images for the day – Google does this brilliantly.
- Run a ‘spread the love’ campaign with an incentivised ‘customer-get-customer’ campaign.
The very best example I saw this year was from Desynit, the Bristol-based Salesforce development specialists, who put together a post about the unlikely love story between marketing and IT. But, they didn't simply put it on their blog. It was so good that Salesforce featured it on their global blog as a guest post.
My own use of this as a date was to send a love poem to my email subscribers. There were three versions, one for people who'd left a book review, one for those who've registered their book but not left a review, and one for email subscribers who (to my knowledge) do not yet have a copy of Watertight Marketing. I received 5 lovely replies - one even included a poem, 3 new book reviews, and my first ever spam complaint in five years. This is the risk you take with using these sorts of dates.
More seasonal marketing opportunities on the horizon
There are marketing opportunities linked to seasonal diary dates in almost every single month of the year. Why not take moment to think about how your business could use these imaginatively?
A few years’ back, the small business ISP and VOIP provider Gradwell, ran an excellent Easter campaign, in the form of a digital Easter egg hunt. They placed Easter egg images all over their site. When you found one, you clicked it to reveal a code. On inputting the code on their system, you revealed whether or not you’d won a prize. It was great fun, and timed around the release of a revamped website, so had the additional benefit of taking people on a tour of the new site.
If you missed Valentine’s Day, why not think ahead now to what you could do for these upcoming seasonal events:
- St Patrick’s Day
- St David’s Day
- Financial year-end and new financial year
- Spring equinox, and the longest day of the year
- May Bank Holidays
This is the Seasonal element of what I call Three S Timing. When combined with an understanding of Selective attention, and Scheduling – you can be pretty sure that your business will always show up when the right people are looking for what you have to offer.
With a bit of forward planning, and creativity, any business can make these seasonal dates an effective part of their marketing calendar.
© Bryony Thomas – The Watertight Marketer
Author and Founder, Watertight Marketing
Bryony is an inspirational marketing speaker, and author of Watertight Marketing (Panoma Press, £14.99). Billed by Start Your Business Magazine as “a must for small businesses.” It was described by one MD as “the entrepreneur’s essential marketing manual”. By another, as the “best business book I’ve ever read.”