Every year there are a whole host of events that brands can, and usually do, make the most of. However, there are still plenty of business out there that let these annual days pass them by.
There are plenty of dates in the calendar year that present prime marketing opportunities. And while you shouldn’t overdo it, this handy list will let you know just what’s coming up for the year ahead so you can carefully plan your digital marketing strategy.
But for a few quick highlights, here are some of our favourite annual events that are popular with marketers to encourage engagement and spur on sales.
1) Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it is one of the most popular days for couples to get engaged, with an average of 6 million partners popping the question annually. Last year alone 76% of the UK population celebrated the holiday, making it a great opportunity for marketers to get the most of.
In 2017, Idris Elba teamed up with Omaze to raise money for W.E Can Lead, a charity that helps give children in Africa access to schooling. In the incredibly adorable campaign, Elba receives Valentine’s Day advice from children and offered up a chance to win a date with him on the day in question.
2) April Fool’s Day
Increasingly, brands are using humour to increase engagement with consumers, and April Fool’s Day is the perfect time for a practical joke – it’s a prerequisite for the holiday!
April Fool’s marketing isn’t new to the digital age, but the prevalence of social media makes it much easier, and much more effective.
In 2019 Microsoft banned public facing pranks for its company because they felt it had only a limited positive impact. However, after the last two years, lightening the mood is a positive impact that we all sorely need. And any company, large or small, with a sense of humour can make the most of it.
Halloween is great time of year for companies to inject a little a little spooky fun into their marketing campaigns. Costumes, trick-or-treating, scary movies in the dark while it’s cold outside – it’s the perfect opportunity for you to push the boat out.
From Burger King’s spooky dig at McDonald’s where they offered free burgers to the first five hundred customers who came into store dressed as the far-too-creepy-to-be-a-children’s-clown, Ronald McDonald, to Dior teaming up with influencer Bella Hadid to create a series of Halloween how-to videos, there’s potential for fun whatever your brand.
Speaking of influencers, in 2018 fashion retailer Urban Outfitters released a Halloween costume poking gentle fun at the influencer lifestyle. Their #influencer costume mimicked an outfit worn by Kim Kardashian: yoga pants, sports bra, sunglasses, and baseball hat, and was priced at £45. (Of course, if you wanted to dress as an influencer for Halloween, you could buy this ‘costume’ anywhere, but it was funny all the same, and most importantly, it got people talking – as any good marketing campaign should.)
4) Black Friday
What began as an American shopping day following Thanksgiving has taken on an international life of its own in countries that don’t actually celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s believed that the term Black Friday comes from the idea that businesses typically operate at a loss ‘in the red’ until the day after Thanksgiving when sales and the lead up to Christmas would ‘put them in the black’.
However, more recent research has shown that the phrase dates back earlier than this 1980s definition, to the use by city police forces who would be overwhelmed by the influx of shoppers from the suburbs looking to snap up a deal. Wherever the origin of Black Friday comes from, it has become one of the best annual events for brands to include in their marketing strategy.
It doesn’t all have to be about boosting your profits, however. In 2016, Pieminister gave away hundreds of pies to Manchester’s homeless on Black Friday, using the event to aid a good cause rather than for their own gain. They followed this up in 2018 with the punny Black Pie Day, with every penny of their limited-edition black pies going to the charity Shelter.
This list would not be complete without what is probably the most obvious time of year for Marketing, Christmas. With festive cheer in the air, and mulled wine flowing, you can interject some merriment into your marketing.
From funny and heart-warming adverts that compete for our attention and the crown of best Christmas advert of the year, to interactive social media campaigns to get customers engaged, the possibilities are endless.
Even Google have got in on the game, and their yearly Santa Tracker, introduced in 2004, has become one of the pinnacles of the festive season, offering education and entertainment to kids all over the world.
Every year there’s a whole host of events you can use to sure up your strategy and dip into the marketing gold mine. Even if you don’t increase your sales, you can use it as an opportunity to get people talking about your brand.