Fall marketing and advertising should be at the forefront of your mind with autumn officially beginning September 23rd. The days of “sizzling summer sales” will soon begin to be replaced with “FALL-ing into savings.” How can you take your business to the next level this fall marketing season? Below are 8 fall marketing and advertising tips to make sure you stand out against the crowd this autumn.
1. Put a pumpkin on it.
What is “it,” you ask? Pretty much anything. During the fall season, you will notice that pumpkin spice makes its way into everything. The food and drink industry puts pumpkin into lattes, muffins, pancakes, or beer–if you can ingest it, restaurants and cafes will pumpkin spice it. If your business doesn’t have the ability to put actual pumpkin into its products, you can still poke fun at the trend. A realtor can offer pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin pies at an open house. Or, for a more comedic approach, a mechanic shop could advertise pumpkin spice oil changes. Have some fun promoting these products on your website and to your email subscribers and social media followers. Add a festive touch to your logos and profile photos on social media and continue this throughout the holiday season. You can use a jack-o-lantern during Halloween, or a cornucopia close to Thanksgiving.
2. Sponsor a team.
The beginning of fall also marks the beginning of back to school. (For back to school marketing tips, see our previous blog post.) This means many students will be participating in sports. Support young athletes in a way that fits with your business. For example, if you sell women’s clothing, maybe partner with a girls’ soccer team. Offer to provide jerseys for the students in exchange for your logo to also be present on them. Or if you run a restaurant, offer a discount if a customer brings in a game ticket stub–which will of course have your company name listed on it. There are many ways to provide your services fairly cheaply in exchange for publicity.
3. Get involved in your community.
Speaking of publicity, there are tons of opportunities to become more involved in your community and in doing so–getting your name out there. One of the key factors of marketing is making sure that people know your company exists. Chances are that organizations in your area host a fall fair or Oktoberfest, so find out how to set up a booth or get involved in sponsoring the event. Join up with local, non-competing businesses to organize trick-or-treating events to get customers (existing and potential) to make the rounds in your downtown or shopping district, hand out candy to kids and maybe market yourself to their parents. Make it a goal to add one new networking event to your calendar this month. Marketing isn’t just about paid advertising, websites, and logos. It’s about putting your business out there and building relationships and networks of people who will recommend you to others.
4. Do a fall photo contest on social media.
We live in the era of the selfie–who doesn’t love taking pictures and sharing them on social networks? Let your social media followers do your marketing for you! Encourage your audience to have some fun and invite customers to post selfies or pictures of their kids and pets doing their favorite fall activities like jumping in a pile of leaves, getting a pumpkin spice latte, or dressing up in a Halloween costume. Choose a designated hashtag for your followers to use, and encourage them to SHARE the post with their friends. This way, more people will see the post, and in turn, your company. To give them an incentive, offer a prize to the winner. This prize could be something as simple as a gift card to your business. A social media contest is not only a low-cost marketing and advertising opportunity, but also another fun way to get involved in your community.
5. Create a fall marketing campaign page.
Once you know what fall campaign you’re going to run, you need to create a specific page within your website which is focused on that campaign. Having a specific page for your campaign will result in better conversion rates (because your traffic is more focused on a single goal) making it easier to run ads, and make it easier for you to track the success of your campaign.
6. Get in the fall holiday spirit!
Holidays are a great way to theme a sales event. For Halloween, you can use language like “spooktacular savings” or a “monstrous sale!” During Thanksgiving, on the other hand, consider puns around gobbling up savings or maybe some sort of ‘leftovers’ clearance sale.
Halloween and Thanksgiving are the big holidays that stand out, but there are many fun holidays in autumn that you can take advantage of to promote your business. Examples include: Grandparents Day, Columbus Day, Boss’s Day, the end of Daylight Savings, Veterans Day, First Day of Fall, You’re Welcome Day), and Small Business Saturday. Create special offers or quick, one day deals based on these holidays. For example, offer a BOGO special on coffee so your customers can bring their boss a free drink on Boss’s Day. You can even make up your own holidays that are related to autumn imagery and create special offers for your fake holiday.
7. Keep the next holiday season in mind.
While it may be fall now, Christmas is just around the corner! Offer “spend now, save later” promotions to your customers. If they spend a certain amount now, they’ll get a designated amount off their purchase after Thanksgiving. You also need to start preparing for the biggest shopping day of the year–Black Friday! Consumers start researching early so that they can strategize their holiday shopping. If possible, start advertising what sales and promotions you will have for the event early so that customers will know what you’re offering before the big day.
8. Diversify your fall marketing.
When it comes to fall marketing, you want to make sure you don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Consider social media marketing, networking in your community, digital marketing, and direct mail marketing. While the advertising world is becoming more digital, DO NOT underestimate the effectiveness of good old fashioned mail. Whether it’s a postcard, self-mailer, or letter in an envelope, looking at a piece of physical mail takes more time and attention than digital advertisement does. This captured attention means more opportunity for sales!
The most important piece of advice for fall marketing is to DO IT. Simply put, if you miss out on marketing–you miss out on business.