Do you ever feel bored with your own marketing? Like you’re in a rut that just isn’t exciting your audience? Sometimes all you need is a little tie-in to what they’re already thinking about. Here are some quick themes you can shape into discounts, specials, social media posts, and your editorial calendar.
#1 #SCTaxFree Weekend
The SC Department of Revenue annual hosts a Sales Tax Holiday the first Friday of August through that Sunday.
Ideal Demographic: Locals, especially those in the market for exempt items as listed by SCDOR; This usually includes clothing, school supplies, computers, and more.
Hook: This is a great time for many to save money when purchasing big-ticket items or larger shopping sprees.
Bottom-line Message: Promote specific items that are included in the tax-free holiday to get customers in your store.
Social Media Bonus: SCDOR has a Retailer Toolkit with done-for-you images and easy fill in the blank messages you can use.
#2 Back to School
According to the National Retail Federation, in 2021 “Families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend an average of $848.90 on school items, which is $59 more than last year. Total back-to-school spending is expected to reach a record $37.1 billion, up from $33.9 billion last year and an all-time high in the survey’s history.
“College students and their families plan to spend an average of $1,200.32 on college or university items, an increase of $141 over last year. Over half ($80) of this increase is due to increased spending on electronics and dorm furnishings. Total back-to-college spending is expected to reach a record $71 billion, up from $67.7 billion in 2020.”
Ideal Demographic: This theme is perfect if your business sells to parents, kids, educators, and others associated with school.
Hook: Even if your business has nothing to do with back to school, you can still offer back to school sales playing up how it’s an expensive time of year for parents and you’re doing your best to help them cut costs. For example, if you have a salon, offer pampering packages for frazzled parents.
Bottom-line Message: You can incorporate back to school in a number of ways but your message should be about savings, saving time, helping reduce stress, and other factors that busy parents need.
Social Media Bonus: Don’t forget back-to-school in your social media posts too. Share pictures of you or your staff as young students or show the zaniness behind your own back-to-school prep.
Ideal Demographic: This theme works for parents, kids, sports enthusiasts, and others who associate with school or professional sports. For instance, get into Friday night football (high school), Saturday games (college) or the NFL on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays.
Hook: You can offer discounts if your team wins, spotlight a local athlete, or offer a free item if the score is a specified number. Create your own competitions in store or on social media by comparing two things you sell and inviting your audience to vote on their favorites.
Bottom-line Message: Use competition for fun marketing.
Social Media Bonus: Run “this” or “that” posts and have people choose their favorites. It’s a great way to drive interaction.
#4 Fall Foliage
Depending what part of the country you’re in, fall foliage can be a big draw.
Ideal Demographic: Anyone who loves beautiful colors and/or driving country roads.
Hook: From fall foliage countdowns (watching the colors and letting people know when they are really spectacular to harvests and sampling, there are many ways to use the colors, tastes, and crispness of fall in your marketing.
Bottom-line Message: Messaging should be about relaxation or adventure, exploration.
Social Media Bonus: This is a beautiful time of year. Invite people to post their favorite pics of leaves, fall colors, or fall fashion.
Halloween this year begins right after Labor Day so don’t worry about starting your marketing too early.
Ideal Demographic: People who enjoy dressing up and fun. All ages.
Hook: From fear to mystery, fun and frolic to pretend and fantasy, Halloween means escape for people. Think about your ideal demographic and what Halloween means to them. For teens it might be haunted houses. For parents it might be family-friendly trick or treat locations. You can decorate your business to theme.
Bottom-line Message: Halloween is about being someone else for an evening. Play up creativity, fun, and mystery.
Social Media Bonus: Post pictures of your favorite costumes, your pet in costume, or scary stories or Halloween jokes. Think of ways what you sell can be used at Halloween. When in doubt create something that involves pumpkin spice flavor.
Fall is a wonderful time to amp up your marketing. It hits just before the holiday busy season and offers a lot of time for creativity and fun.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and WritersWeekly. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog. Christina is an introverted writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.