What’s the most absurd awareness holiday you have celebrated? Was it National Walk Around Things Day on April 4th? Or perhaps Answer the Telephone Like Buddy the Elf Day on December 18th? Or maybe you’re like me and celebrated National Sneak Some Zucchini Into Your Neighbor’s Porch Day on August 8th?
Regardless of which awareness day/week/month inspires you, we can all probably agree there is a tremendous amount of noise around awareness holidays. So much so that the notion to “celebrate every day” has entered an entirely different platform than what was initially intended.
In marketing, we are always looking for ways to communicate with new and existing customers that arouse a positive emotion the end user will relate back to our product or service. Awareness holidays sound like a great opportunity to do just that! But, before you google “full list of awareness holidays” and integrate as many as you can into your 2020 marketing plan, let’s pause and think about how to go about this the right way. After all, the last thing you want is a situation where people misinterpret your well-intended message. If Burger King can take a miscalculated step, so could you.
Here are 5 tips for leveraging awareness holidays in your overall marketing strategy.
Identify which awareness campaigns are right for you.
You have plenty to choose from, so make sure you pinpoint awareness days, weeks, or months that align appropriately with your company. Use the opportunity to be creative and think outside of the box. Everyone expects a retail sale on Memorial Day and those same retail stores to be donned in pink during the month of October. You can expect to hear from your dentist during Dental Health Month in February and you may be inspired by stories from friends on National Prematurity Awareness Day November 17th.
Can you utilize an awareness holiday to share a unique fact about your business? For example, do you have an international or ethnic tie-in? Or, does the history behind the colors of your brand fit the campaign story?
Plan your content wisely.
Do not approach this as just another blog or social post to fill empty slots for content. Get creative and ensure your message stands out amidst all of the #celebrateeveryday chatter; whether it be a whitepaper, event, or an ad.
If you are a business located near a school, celebrate National Walk to School Day by handing out water, coffee, muffins, and a smile. Snap a few pictures and share these on social platforms. If you are a retailer, catch your customers being kind and offer them a special discount on National Do Something Nice Day. If you have an employee who battles diabetes and is willing to talk about it, profile them in a blog post during November and highlight their dedication to successful diabetes management and commitment to their role at work.
In the end, if you are unable to tie the messaging back to your organization’s overall initiative (i.e. sales, promoting culture, improving health), it probably isn’t the right fit.
Timing is everything.
Once you have identified awareness holidays that are right for your company and how you want to incorporate those into your overall marketing calendar, be mindful of your goal in the timing of these tactics.
If you are placing an ad in a trade publication you will need to begin working on this weeks or even months in advance to ensure placement and ample time to complete the ad. If your content includes a blog post or whitepaper, you might consider posting in advance of the holiday if your goal is to promote search engine traffic. You can always repurpose the content during the actual holiday with a link back to the original.
Engage in the conversation.
Successful marketing is a two-way conversation. If an awareness holiday aligns with your company, you should be following the hashtag and engaging in the conversation.
Share strong content that makes sense and certainly acknowledge any responses to your own content. Mindful observance of what your competitors and industry partners are doing is a great way to fine-tune your own marketing efforts.
As with anything in marketing, spend some time evaluating how you implemented the campaign. Was your message clear? Did you achieve the overall goal? How much time and effort was put in and was it worth it?
In the end, you may decide leveraging awareness holidays is not a good strategy for you. But if you like the idea, begin to hone in on which campaigns resonate with your audience and align with your mission and begin planning.
As for me, I think I will go ahead and mark my calendar for National Clean Out Your Computer Day, the second Monday in February, as this is a task that is continually put at the bottom of my list.
When you brainstorm creative ways to showcase your business, give Baker Labs a call – we would love to help.