Luckily for American businesses, there are many holidays that trigger content. When looking to increase the number of blogs, social media posts, campaigns or newsletters you share with your audience, these can act as simple inspiration. They won’t all necessitate the same actions for all industries, but here are some examples of opportunities for the major calendar dates for you to start marinating on:
- Monday, January 19 is Martin Luther King Day. This is a great day to share a quote that you find inspirational from Martin Luther King. I love to use goodreads.com for quotes because they pull from a wide variety of sources. This gem would be a great reminder of the wisdom that the Reverend Doctor shared with the world and could easily be shared on Twitter and Facebook. “Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.”
- Saturday, February 14 is Valentine’s Day. If you’re in the food industry, you better start planning your Valentine’s promotions TODAY! Popular promotions include pre-fixed dinners, two for one purchases, and freebies all themed to celebrate la amour. Retailers will often offer specialty items or gifts with purchase, even free gift wrapping can be of value. If you’re a realtor, this is a great time to send a “We Love Referrals” email as a tongue-in-cheek play on the holiday. Increasingly, there are Anti-Valentine’s Day campaigns as well. Hello singles mixer! These may not work for your audience, but you get the idea.
- If all else fails, there’s also the long weekend for President’s Day, February 16. There is a lot of competition with big-chain businesses offering discounts. You may be able to capitalize on shopping traffic.
- Tuesday, March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day. If you have a retail store, this is a great time to offer a discount on anything green. People are looking for items in this lucky color to wear or decorate with at this time of year. Try to start the sale a week before the holiday to maximize the weekend’s numbers. This is also a great time to create and promote signature cocktails and Irish dishes. You could even do a giveaway and capitalize on the theme of “luck.”
- Sunday, April 5 is Easter. You don’t have to specifically celebrate the holiday, though! “Spring is Sprung” campaigns are a nice alternative to religious themes. US schools also usually choose to time their Spring Break around the holiday. This is an increased time of travel and family get togethers. Attention! If you are a travel agent, this means you’ll need to start offering specials in March.
- It’s also a time when people do their spring cleaning. Whether that means cleaning your home and business up in order to donate items to a charity for positive PR or offering to help with a community event for Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22, you can find something worth tooting your horn about this month.
- Sunday, May 10 is Mother’s Day. The MOTHER of all holidays is always the second Sunday in May, but somehow people tend to forget it. Why not send out a friendly email blast the week before with some sort of tie in to the next week’s holiday. Whether it is a story about your own mother, a friendly reminder to book a table at your restaurant or a line-up of Mom-approved gift ideas, almost all of us have a mother figure that we like to spoil this month.
- Monday, May 25 is Memorial Day. This three day weekend is informally known as the kick-off to summer. This is a great time to introduce summer fashions or get rid of remaining winter items. It’s also a popular weekend for a White Party, thanks to Sean “Puffy” Combs. Start a new tradition with your staff by having a themed office party and share the pictures on social. Whatever you do, get geared up for the warm weather to come.
- Sunday, June 21 is Father’s Day. Much more toned down than Mother’s Day, this is a great time of year to celebrate manhood in general. Think tools, barbeques, camping, boating, workshops, Daddy daycare, men’s grooming and so on. You can put together an outfit grid to display a great Dad’s makeover to share on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (make sure to hashtag OOTD, short for “outfit of the day”). Do you offer goods or services? Consider doing a discount or a two-for-one. Whatever you do, advertise your special the week before and two days out at least and get your plans finalized by June 1st so you have time to execute them. If you’ve followed our suggestions, you’re mid-way through the year and you’ve already done 9 campaigns!
- Saturday, July 4 is Independence Day. We are SO lucky that this high holiday falls on a Saturday this year. Expect big turn-outs in retail the whole weekend long.
- Restaurants may be a little light on business this day, why not throw a Fourth of July pre-party on Friday. This is a great way to juice the lemon. If you can’t figure out a special for this day, send a simple message to your audience to have a safe and wonderful holiday. If you’re going to be closed at all over the weekend, send them a newsletter!
- Lastly, celebrate YOUR personal milestones! When did you open your business? Have you added any staff to your company? Is there a birthday to celebrate? Are you opening a new location? Did you hit a thousand likes on Facebook? Your communications with your audience don’t always have to be a promotion or sales pitch. Give people a look at who you are and what you are all about. This will make them feel like there’s dimension to your company.
As I said before, your company is not a cookie cutter and there is no way to design a one-size-fits-all calendar. This is just the beginning of a conversation. Take time to look at a holiday website* and chart out what makes sense for you. Another great tip that doesn’t cost anything? Subscribe to a national retailer’s newsletter list today. Next year, you may be able to use their publishing habits as inspiration. If you can find a competitor to subscribe to, then do it. A word to the wise, make these campaigns your OWN. There is a fine line between flattering imitation and copy-catting, your audience will probably know the difference.