Celebrating Moms, Dads, and Grads with Spring Marketing Tactics
Originally published on Small Business Bonfire on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. Edited version below.
Spring is a busy time of year. The longer days and the arrival of warmer weather make people want to get outside and do more. Aside from the change of season, though, many people look forward to Spring because it’s a time to celebrate loved ones and spend quality time with family. After all, you have Mother’s Day (May 14), Father’s Day (June 18) and a whole slew of graduation ceremonies sprinkled in between.
With all these holidays and events bubbling up at the same time, people seem to be in a constant search for the perfect gift – even if it’s just something simple, yet sentimental. Obviously, some businesses are primed to benefit from increased spending this time of year (flowers or greeting cards, anyone?). But the truth is that practically any ready-to-help business can tap into Spring fever in an effort to build stronger connections with ready-to-buy consumers.
Here are a few strategies to keep your brand or business top of mind as the Spring gets into full swing.
It’s hard to resist a great deal when you’re on the hunt for that perfect gift. Announcing a special sale or offering a free gift with purchase around these springtime holidays may do the trick for helping a consumer make a purchase decision faster (and in your business’s favor!). Remember, this rule doesn’t only apply to those of you who run a flower shop, a chocolate shop and the like. It applies to all businesses. For example, a home cleaning service could offer a Mother’s Day special – and, let’s be honest, what Mom wouldn’t want that over flowers?
In 2016, searches on yellowpages.com for florists increased 240 percent on the web and 279 percent on mobile web during Mother’s Day weekend (May 13-15) from the prior weekend (May 6-8). But that doesn’t mean people are only searching for things related to Mother’s Day. We still saw a good amount of searches for things like clogged drains and car repairs. Just because these don’t necessarily rank as “typical” during this time of the year doesn’t mean you can’t create a unique promotion to give Mom an unexpected, but ultimately useful surprise on her special day.
As a business owner, you are constantly seeking out new ways to engage your customers. One great and easy way to do this is by featuring them on your website or on social media (or both!). It can be something as simple as sharing a positive customer testimonial or something more complex, like a customer-hosted Twitter chat. And in the Spring holiday season, make these customer spotlights revolve around the theme of “Moms, Dads, and Grads.”
You can also weave your customers into a seasonal promotion by asking them to take a specific action – like submitting a photo or video on social media – in order to receive a special deal or participate in a contest. Here are a couple ideas. Offer a free gift to the person who posts the best Mom or Dad advice on your Facebook page or offer an on-the-spot discount to any students who shop in your store dressed in cap and gown (be sure to post pictures online!). The possibilities are as endless as your imagination. Just be sure to follow all rules related to sweepstakes and contests, should you plan to run your promotion via social media.
A great way to connect with customers is to share your business’s more human side. Doing so comes across as genuine and authentic. Consider developing content about yourself and your employees. For example, try creating a video series where your employees share their favorite memories about their parents or offer up their best advice to new graduates. Remember, these videos don’t have to be cinematic quality either. Smartphones have incredible video cameras, making this a quick and easy DIY effort. At the end of the day, it’s all about creating an emotional connection with customers; that’s your recipe for success for building a long-term relationship with them.
People spend an inordinate amount of time on social media today. So, be where consumers are and make sure you feature promotions and other seasonal content across the social media channels you regularly use. While you’re at it, use this as an opportunity to grow your social media following. An easy way to help boost your Facebook presence, for example, is to sign in as your business page (not your individual profile) and search for trending topics or keywords related to moms, dads, and grads. Add to conversations by leaving relevant comments – not shameless plugs for your business – on the conversation thread or by liking comments others have left. This is an opportunity to engage potential customers in conversation, not to sell. Also, and this is important, when sharing socially as your business, stay away from controversial topics as this may work against you and alienate potential customers.
These are just a few ideas to help local businesses connect with consumers during the Spring holiday season. And since these ideas can all be done on your own – via email newsletters, your business website, or via your social media pages – they won’t take much time or money to pull off. That alone is worth celebrating!