Who doesn’t love holidays? We eat, we laugh, we party, we get to spend time with friends and family. What’s not to love? OK, some holidays are admittedly lame, as far as celebrations go – like poor, neglected Arbor Day. But for the most part, holidays rock!
So wouldn’t it be a brilliant marketing move to capitalize on all those good feelings and positive associations, by inventing your own holiday?
A bunch of smart companies have already harnessed the power of the party as a marketing tool. For example, did you know that yesterday, July 11, was 7-Eleven Day? All across the country, if you went into a 7-Eleven yesterday, you were rewarded with a free Slurpee. Of course, you had to fight your way through the crowds of kids and adults to get to the Slurpee machines, but everyone in the store was smiling and happy in spite of the chaos…because there was a holiday atmosphere!
Today just happens to be Cow Appreciation Day, courtesy of Chick-Fil-A. And yes, some of us here at Zen Media might just be dressing up like cows later on this evening, in order to partake of the free food they offer on this holiday. There’s no shame in that. Cows are cool.
The point is, these made-up company holidays are a blast, for employees and customers alike. And while you can’t quite give out free food as part of your online marketing plan, you can invent your own holiday, and celebrate it in a way that fits your company’s area of expertise.
So, how can your business benefit from a made-up holiday? And where does internet marketing come into all this? There are 4 reasons why making up your own holiday can actually be a savvy marketing move:
1. A holiday generates online excitement and publicity for your brand.
Everybody loves a party, right? Let the party vibe shine through in your social media marketing, your promotional emails, your blog, and your website content. Use your holiday as a reason to give something away for free online, whether it’s information or an actual product sample. Hold a contest, or give discounts – make it a real party for your customers by offering something that they really want. And the more generous you are, the more free online publicity you’ll get in return. Bloggers will spread the word about how to get your free gifts, customers will forward your emails to their friends…heck, your offer may even get featured on the local news as a service to the public, if you play your cards right.
2. A celebration is a show of strength.
Think about it. Are you more likely to hire someone whose business seems to be struggling, or someone whose business is booming? It’s natural to assume that successful businesses are really good at what they do, while failing businesses aren’t. Now, that’s not always the case, but it doesn’t matter – a customer’s perception of the situation is all that matters here. And do failing businesses party? No, of course not! By celebrating your company publicly online, you’re showing people that you’re successful enough to have a reason to party. Customers will be more likely to trust and patronize your business if they feel confident in its strength.
3. Your holiday is the perfect opportunity for some navel-gazing.
Customers want your business to be all about them, not all about you. So most of the time, going on and on about how great your company itself is will not bring in more clients. Sell benefits, not features, remember? But a birthday is all about the birthday girl or boy, so customers won’t blink an eye at shameless self-promotion on your very own holiday! Go ahead and write that braggy blog post you’ve been dying to get out of your system, or post some funny pics of your CEO as a kid – ’tis the season!
4. Once your holiday is established, customers will expect and look forward to it each year.
People will actually plan on doing business with you on that day, so they can get in on all the fun again. And the good will your celebrations inspire will make them want to continue their relationship with your business, even when the party’s over.