Last-Minute Tips for Promoting your Business for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Graduation

YP, local, local marketing, small business, SMB, mother's day, father's day, graduation, promotions, holiday, gift giving
Posted by: Richard Maraschi – VP, Marketing Products

You’re a business owner, and the spring trifecta of Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and graduation are fast approaching. You’ve been busy running your business (not to mention your life), but in the back of your mind, you know you should be doing some kind of seasonal marketing promotions. You may be telling yourself it’s too late to get started. Consider this first.

Last year, American consumers spent or planned to spend an estimated $38 billion on gifts for moms, dads, and grads (see the National Retail Federation Holiday Spending Totals and Graduation Spending Summary for more details). During the Spring, businesses have the opportunity to reach willing consumers who are looking for a wide range of products and services to celebrate their loved ones. Yes, having the perfect multi-channel marketing plan with all the trimmings would be ideal. But running a simple promotion through your owned or managed media channels is a much better alternative to sitting the season out.

Here are four simple tips for creating successful seasonal promotions:

  1. Make It Interactive. Make your promotion stand out by asking customers to do something or submit content for a reward. Contests and other interactive promotions are great ways for customers to engage with your brand and inspire sharing with others. Offer a free gift for the customer who posts the best mom or dad advice on Twitter  or Facebook. Give a special offer to grads who come into your shop in a cap and gown. Be creative, promote by email and social media, and make sure the reward is worth participation. As an added bonus, you may get some great user-generated content to share on your website and social media channels. Be sure to follow all laws and the rules of social media sites pertaining to sweepstakes and contests.
  1. Get Personal. Don’t be afraid to add a personal touch to promotional campaigns. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and graduations are warm and sentimental occasions for most. Try supporting your promotion with a short video series of you and your employees telling your favorite stories about mom or dad or graduation. Get someone who’s good at shooting smartphone video (or look for tutorials online) to create something worth sharing on the fly. Making that emotional connection with potential customers sets you apart from businesses that are simply seeking a purchase.
  1. Stand Out. Before you hit “send” on that promotional email, make sure you’ve followed some best practices so your message doesn’t get classified as SPAM. First, your email list should only contain people who have given you permission to email them. Second, follow some basic tips for crafting an effective subject line: avoid using all caps and don’t overuse phrases like “free,” “save money,” and “limited time offer,” if possible. Also, your email vendor may offer a SPAM testing feature and additional best practices. If not, use this free SPAM check to cover your bases.
  1. Be Social. If you have social media channels for your business, make sure to feature your promotion there, too. Seasonal holidays are also a good time to grow your social media follower base by joining conversations. An easy way to boost your Facebook views during this season is to sign in as your page (not your individual profile) and surf around for mutual interests related to moms, dads, and grads. Add to the conversation by leaving relevant comments (don’t advertise) or by liking comments others have left. This practice will organically draw traffic to your Facebook page from curious users. Remember, when sharing socially as your business, stay away from controversial topics and comments, as those risk alienating potential customers.

Small business owners wear a lot of hats and may be challenged to find the time to develop extensive marketing plans for every holiday season. The important thing is not to give up, and to continue doing the small things that you can do. By focusing your owned and managed media – your website, social media channels, and email distribution list – you can quickly and easily put together an effective promotional campaign that can give your sales a significant boost during busy shopping seasons.


Photo Credit: Adobe Stock (Standard License)


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