Annual events such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day or April Fool’s Day can be a powerful way to boost your online marketing campaign, connect with your audience, and ultimately achieve your business goals. However, there are a few things to consider if you want to make the most of these extra marketing opportunities.
Incorporating annual events into your annual online marketing strategy has several benefits your business can profit from.
Increase brand awareness
The more exposure your business gets online, the more aware people will be of your brand. Annual events provide a fabulous opportunity to create excitement among your audience while at the same time showcasing your expertise as well as the products or services you provide.
In addition to annual event discounts for your customers or seasonal sales, consider hosting online workshops or webinars that encourage people to become more familiar with your brand. Furthermore, annual events are the perfect time to launch a new product or service and gain extra exposure.
In 2018, telecommunications company Spark celebrated Māori Language Week by launching the app ‘Kupu’, an AI-based app that allowed users to translate objects in pictures into te reo Māori. Spark managed to not only make learning te reo fun and desirable. It also drastically increased its brand presence around the country. The app was downloaded more than 177,000 with 2.7 million translations in the first week.
Depending on how you choose to market each annual event, you can generate new leads by attracting potential customers that are interested in the topic or theme of the event. Giveaways or prize draws are a great way to collect contact information that can be used for follow-ups or future promotions.
Grow your network
Annual events provide plenty of possibilities to collaborate with other organizations or companies, helping you to extend your network and create new business opportunities.
Increase customer satisfaction
You can use annual events to engage with existing and potential customers by providing extra value or entertainment relating to the event. Furthermore, you can build trust and increase their loyalty by showing your appreciation with freebies and special discounts.
Steps to market annual events
Whether you are focusing on seasonal events such as the beginning of spring, on holidays such as Christmas and Easter, or commercial events such as Valentine’s Day, April Fool’s Day or Black Friday, planning ahead is vital if you want to make sure you stand out from the crowd, get people’s attention and stay aligned with your company goals and philosophy.
Depending on the industry you work in, not all holidays might provide a suitable occasion to showcase your business. Have a look at annual or seasonal holiday calendars as well as specialized days that might be perfect for your business. For example, a pet shop might want to celebrate National Dress Up Your Pet Day, Irish Pubs traditionally go all out on St. Patrick’s Day, while IT companies might be better off engaging with their audience on Innovation Day.
Incorporating annual events into your marketing campaign means knowing who you want to target with each individual event and what you want to achieve. April Fool’s Day might not be the best time to drive sales, but it can provide an excellent platform to raise awareness around your brand.
Christmas and Easter on the other hand are perfect to drive sales with special promotions and discounts. Other events might simply help you generate leads. Knowing who you are targeting and why will help you deliver a stronger message and ultimately achieve your goal.
Choose your format
Different events may call for different marketing approaches. At the same time, your chosen audience and goal will have an impact on which format is most suitable to promote each event. Email marketing is great to send out personalized invitations or reminders, while social media platforms are more suitable to engage your audience with posts, stories, and advertisements surrounding the event.
Air New Zealand launched a special Christmas campaign in 2017 with the goal to celebrate the country’s unique culture and accent. Part of the ‘A very merry mistake’ campaign was a video that showed Santa misinterpreting the wishes of Kiwi children due to their accents, resulting in hilarious presents under the tree on Christmas Day.
The video was shared on social media more than 400,000 times and generated more than 13 million views. The campaign also featured a website where people could test their knowledge about Kiwi slang and win prizes.
Create a call to action
Every marketing campaign needs an offer and a call to action that entices people to engage with you. To successfully market your brand, business, product or service during a special event or season, your offer needs to be compelling enough to distinguish itself from the competition who will most likely run their own campaign.
Decide which call to action aligns best with your chosen goal. For example, getting people to register their interest or sign up for a newsletter will be great to generate new leads, while offering discounts to those that make a purchase will help you boost your sales.
In 2022, New Zealand clothing company Kathmandu launched their new outdoor range with the slogan ‘Summer never sleeps’. In addition to TV ads and social media posts encouraging Kiwis to explore the outdoors, the company ran a competition to win a trip to a destination in New Zealand or Australia which helped generate thousands of leads.
Track your results
Whether it was worthwhile running a special campaign during the event of your choice will be determined by the results it produces. Make sure you track your results throughout the campaign, using tools such as Google Analytics, and evaluate your campaign’s success against your goals. This will give you helpful insight and likely influence your decision if or how to run campaigns for similar events in the future.