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It’s tough to make your marketing stand out any day of the year. It’s especially difficult around major holidays like Labor Day weekend, when seemingly every business is fighting for your customers’ attention. But it’s doable. Here are five unique marketing ideas to help you create more sales opportunities and memorable customer experiences, even during the busiest marketing moments:
1. Connect with customers, even if it’s not for sales
Labor Day weekend isn’t a typical sales opportunity for, say, accountants and software providers. But you can still leverage the holiday for growth. An easy way to stand out is to throw a small (or large!) event — a cookout, an after-hours, a meetup at a sporting event, an open house at your office, etc. Use the holiday as an excuse to bring your customers together.
Through this, you’ll create community, which strengthens your customer relationships. Your customers will have a good time (which is another mark in your favor), and upsell or referral conversations will naturally flow, because what else are you going to talk about if not work?
If your business’s actions or values align with Labor Day, consider sending a letter from the CEO about why the holiday is important to you and your team (e.g., you’re creating better working conditions). Use it as a brand-building moment — but only if it’s genuine. Do not fake it.
2. Promote early and often
Think about your own holiday marketing experiences. The first ad or two you see for a holiday stands out. It’s fresh. It’s new. By the fifth, you don’t even know who’s advertising to you, and you don’t care. To stand out, you need to promote your event, sale, offer or whatever you have going on before the other businesses start. Then make sure you promote it all the way through Labor Day weekend.
3. Be everywhere
Customers are like children here — they remember who shows up. When thousands of businesses are peppering them with offers, the businesses that stand out will be (a) physically close by, (b) repeating a message over and over and (c) providing something customers actually care about.
Digitally, it’s possible to always be close by. Your website or product is only a click away. It’s also relatively easy to market to only your target audience — use an existing customer list, and upload it to an ad platform for retargeting and to create lookalike audiences. Then you need to make sure that you are everywhere your target customers are (or in as many overlapping places as you reasonably can be), and that you’re repeating a clear and consistent message. This is where most brands don’t do a great job. It’s where you can stand out.
A few channels everyone needs to cover: text messages, email, Google and Bing search ads, display or retargeting ads across the web, social media ads, organic posts and making sure your offer is on your website home page and landing page(s). Some extra channels that help, as applicable: physical signage or billboards, event and partner sponsorships, OTT or video ads, earned media (PR, podcasts, interviews, etc.) if you can get it, association sponsorships and radio ads. The more coordinated your efforts are, typically, the more effective you’ll be at driving traffic and sales.
4. Create a gimmick
If you want to stand out, you’ve got to do something unique that gets customers’ attention — like Geico’s talking gecko. It doesn’t change the offer, but it grabs your attention. Think about things you can do so customers will pay attention to you instead of to someone else. Extra points if it’s on-brand.
Here are some ideas to get the juices flowing: an activity for kids to do while you’re selling their parents, a raffle, giant inflatables, a custom gift or product that’s created and used only for this event, something from one of your partners who customers may care more about, crowdsourcing photos or testimonials for a chance to be featured on social media channels. Think: What can you do to simply get people interested?
5. Offer something lasting
Use the holiday as an opportunity to keep people around all year. This opens up holiday marketing to just about every industry, not only retail. You can offer a complimentary service and then upsell a contract. You can offer a discount on recurring subscriptions or a perk for referring a friend. You can waive a setup or onboarding fee, or offer a perk to existing customers who come back.
If you’re unsure what you may be able to offer, think about the biggest sales objections you get year-round. Whatever that top hurdle is, completely remove it for your Labor Day weekend campaign. Show potential customers that it’s never been easier to work with you (and that it might not happen again, to create urgency).
These marketing tips work year-round, not only for Labor Day. But Labor Day weekend, and the days leading up to it, is when customers are expecting brands like yours to do something special. So, now’s the time to do it.