Labor Day came not that long ago. The weather where I live appears to believe that fall indeed starts at Labor Day rather than September 22. Suddenly, the highs weren’t that high anymore and the lows were getting lower. A week after Labor Day and the top temp didn’t even reach 50 degrees.
Fall is definitely in the air. Can you smell it? It’s not a cliche; there really is something different about the smell of crisp, cooling air. In the US, we have two New Years – January and September. Even though January is the official new year, the start of the school year in September feels like a new beginning for everyone, even if you are no longer a student and have no kids in school.
With two seasons of new beginnings, you don’t have to think of January as the best opportunity to start a new marketing strategy. September is just as good a time to make a fresh start. A good marketing strategy lasts all year. A great marketing strategy lasts all year, but also takes advantage of the particular events of each season.
When you’re putting together a marketing strategy, one of the key things to focus on is customer participation and excitement. This works for both online and traditional marketing. The more your customer is excited about your company and products, the more likely they are to buy. Plus, when your customers have loads of opportunities to interact with and participate in the company, the more they’ll feel like your company is a vital part of their life, and the more they’ll buy.
Let’s take a look at how you can customize your marketing strategy for fall:
Fall Marketing Strategies
1. The School Year
Who is your target audience? Kids? Young adults in their teens and twenties? Adults in their thirties and forties? Older adults? Nearly everyone has ties to the school calendar. Perhaps they’re students themselves. Perhaps they’re the parents or grandparents of students.
Here are a few ideas to capitalize on back-to-school for your marketing strategies
- Back to school discounts
- Back to school videos
- Choose a topic related to your product and target audience: Fall fashion, school/work lunch ideas, safe Internet usage for kids, etc.
- Post a big jar of crayons on your social media channels and have people guess the number
- Hold a writing contest for “What I Did During My Summer Vacation” for whatever age group you target, whether they’re kid-aged or not
- Offer a new e-book or online course
- Everyone can go back to “school”
- Present your products and company in person to PTAs or universities
- Especially for universities, even if students aren’t your target customers, they’re a great source of future employees
2. The Holiday Season
I always think of fall as the holiday season. Sure, there are holidays spread throughout the year. But when Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all fall within a matter of weeks (not really, but it feels like they’re that close), autumn is a great time to target your marketing to the holidays.
- Dress-up time
- Video your staff wearing their favorite costume for Halloween
- Post holiday suggestions and ideas. Even if they’re not related to your company, everyone likes tips and tricks for the holiday season
- Costume ideas
- Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas disaster avoidance tips
- Post childhood holiday memories and ask your customers to contribute theirs
- Use #TBT (Throwback Thursday) to post funny/embarrassing holiday related photos
- Share your favorite funny and/or touching holiday stories
- Black Friday deals
- Deals leading up to all the holidays – Columbus Day, Halloween, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years
- Guess the number of candy corn, cranberries, red M&Ms in a jar, etc
- Costume contest! Have customers send in photos or videos of their costumes
- Recipe contest
- Writing contest for best holiday memories
Fall is a great time to craft a new marketing strategy, since you have both the new school year and the holiday season. The key thing to take away from all these ideas is (1) Customer Involvement and (2) Fun. Make your company a strong and positive presence in your customers’ lives and they’ll reward you for it.