Independence Day is a holiday that resonates with all Americans, regardless of their age, religion, or cultural background. It also spurs consumer shopping, with the average American spending $300 during the days leading up to July 4. In fact, Independence Day spending rose 58% between 2012 and 2013 alone. It seems to be that the 4th of July and SMBs go hand in hand, considering that small business is the backbone of America. Needless to say, the holiday is a fantastic opportunity that small and medium businesses should capitalize on. Here are three promotion ideas that your business can implement to engage customers and increase sales during the weeks surrounding our nation’s birthday.
Utilize Social Media Channels
Social networks are excellent platforms for interacting directly with customers. Consider holding a Facebook photo contest where entrants submit their most patriotic photos; whoever receives the most votes will receive a giveaway from your company. If your business sells products, have entrants pose in patriotic attire with your product. Require that an entry form be filled out upon submission of a photo. Doing so will allow you to capture valuable customer data.
If your business has a Twitter handle, create a limited-time special offer campaign. For example, provide a discount code to anyone who retweets a particular post or uses your company’s unique holiday hashtag. Consider making the special offer available for 1776 minutes after your company announces it. Not only is the number 1776 significant of Independence Day, but making the offer available for a limited time will create a sense of urgency in your customers and may prompt them to make a purchase much more quickly than usual.
Another way to promote your business on social media is by posting a video on your company’s website and social profiles. Employees can say happy birthday to the U.S.A. or thank veterans and active troops for their service in the video. Customers may even share the video on their own social pages.
Design social collections of special sale items or of all the red, white, and blue merchandise that your company sells. Do this using a themed Pinterest board or a Facebook Look Book, both of which are highly shareable. Be sure to add links to relevant items in order to drive ecommerce. If your company doesn’t sell any patriotic products, try creating a board or lookbook with holiday-themed cocktail and recipe ideas, or with fun games and events to try on the 4th. You could even create an interactive map with all of the fireworks displays and holiday celebrations that are happening in close proximity to your business. Visuals like this will engage your customers and add value to their holiday celebrations.
Design Patriotic Signage
Consumers will instantly recognize an Independence Day special if the colors red, white, and blue are used in promotional materials. Other patriotic images that can be incorporated are stars and stripes, Uncle Sam, any of the founding fathers, or a bald eagle. If your business’s products are produced domestically, now is the time to let customers know that your goods are “Made in the U.S.A.” There are many ways to get creative with signage. Beverage companies, for example, could create a sign with an image of a tired Paul Revere on his horse recovering from a long night of riding through the city with your business’s cold beverage in hand.
Be Present at Community Events
Between parades, picnics, firework displays, and festivals, there is no shortage of local community events to promote your business at on Independence Day. What’s more, 4th of July celebrations can take place during the whole week surrounding the holiday, providing even more opportunities for your business to take advantage of. Events like these provide your business with a way to mingle with current customers, as well as attract new ones. In some cases, the media will be present at local events, giving your business the chance to gain additional exposure.
Entry costs for parade participants are often inexpensive or free. Create a float that will catch consumers’ attention. If creating a float is not possible, get a team together to stand somewhere in the parade route. Have them pass out cold beverages, snacks, or branded merchandise. A similar team could be employed at an outdoor concert, block party, or any event that draws a crowd. If your business really wants to go above and beyond, host your own party! Not only will this attract customers, it will keep the focus on your business’s role in the community.
If you decide to be present at community events, be sure to have items to share with consumers that will give them something to remember your business by. There are countless items that your business can pass out to customers, regardless of your budget. Free samples of your product, patriotic apparel, flags, flyers, or bottles of water with your company logo are all examples of the types of items you can hand out to customers. Aside from handing out free merchandise, make sure representatives from your company are present to provide information about your products/services and to answer any questions consumers may have about them. The combination of a physical takeaway and increased knowledge of your business’s products and services is sure to captivate consumers.
Seasonal holidays bring consumers out in droves. Don’t allow competing brands to detract customers from your business because you neglected to partake in Independence Day promotions. Regardless of what promotion ideas your small business decides to use, remember to connect with consumers directly whenever possible. Keep in mind that a little creativity can go a long way!
Victoria is a Marketing Associate at Repsly, where she leads the company's P.R. and social media efforts. You can also catch her prepping for slew of exciting industry events. A New England native, Victoria has spent time living in Italy and traveling throughout Europe before settling back in Boston. When she's not planning her next trip, V is probably tasting wine or brushing up on her Italian.