10 Marketing and Blog Ideas for December

via ThriveHive

It’s officially the holiday season! How are you going to market your small business? Here are 10 ideas to get your business noticed during the delightfully chaotic month of December.

PS we also have December Facebook Ideas and December Instagram Ideas

1. Update Your Google Business Listing

Holiday shoppers are going to be turning to Google for all of their holiday needs, whether for gifts, event services, home cleaning, appliance repair, travel, safety, and more. Make sure your business information is up to date so you can get found on search. Be sure to:

  • Verify your contact information
  • Update your holiday hours
  • Upload photos of your seasonal products and services
  • Create Offer and Event posts

There are many ways to optimize your Google business profile to stand out in search and attract customers—and no better time than now to do it!

2. Host or Participate in a Toy Drive

During the holiday season, it’s important to remember those less fortunate than ourselves. Host or participate in a toy drive and encourage your customers to do the same. Share photos of your participation on social media and tag the charity you’re working with. Ask them to retweet or share the post for a greater impact. Joining other local businesses to benefit children is a great way to get more involved with your community. For a list of toy drives, check here.

3. Get Personal

Share pictures or stories of your family and holiday celebrations on your blog and social media profiles. Do you have a favorite holiday memory that inspired you to open your business? What about a family recipe or tradition? Share yours and ask your followers what theirs are. This will help build engagement with and among your audience. This will help open up communication with your followers and build engagement.

Bakers can share a video or recipe on their blogs. Photographers can post their family Christmas pictures on Instagram or Facebook and encourage others to do the same. Personal trainers should encourage clients and potential clients to join them on holiday road races through social media. Share your life with customers to engage them online!

4. Host a Party

Events are a great way to market your business during the holidays. Have an open house and extend your business hours one evening. Invite local customers and other businesses to stop by and mingle. Serve some food and drinks or get them donated by another local business! The more the merrier during the holidays and a party is a great way to ignite some word-of-mouth marketing and build solid partnerships.

5. Dress up

Ugly sweater parties are popular during the holiday season, but why stop there?

There’s nothing that attracts customers like a fun attitude so take advantage of the festive spirit! Grab some reindeer antlers or wear Christmas pajamas if it’s appropriate for your business. Daycare centers can have fun dressing up and encourage a pajama day for students! Business professionals can have fun with a holiday-colored tie or socks to get in the holiday spirit. Of course, don’t forget to post on social media with the appropriate holiday hashtag.

6. Gift Guides

A gift guide is a great way to market your business during the holidays. Write a blog post about gifts for moms, dads, kids, and friends!

The gift guide can include some of your products but the best way to sell your business is not to sell it at all. Instead, showcase items that are related to your industry:

  • Gift Guide for Accountants (tech gadgets, ties, fancy pen)
  • Gift Guide for the Home Decorator (Christmas pillow covers, gold candlesticks, electric candles)
  • Gift Guide for the Fitness Enthusiast (ice cleats for running outside, winter hat with Bluetooth headphones, Epsom salts for tired muscles).

People are always looking for gift ideas! Show potential customers how helpful you can be!

7. Send Holiday Cards

Customers like to be appreciated. Send holiday or New Year’s cards or e-cards to your contact list. Marketing is about keeping your business on the radar of customers—new or loyal—so that your business comes to mind when they need your services. Something as simple as wishing customers a Happy Holiday or Happy New Year is an easy way to get people to check out your website and keep your business in mind.

8. Tip or Product of the Day

Take inspiration from the 12 Days of Christmas and feature a tip or product of the day on your blog or social media feed. Fitness-related businesses like personal trainers or health centers can give an exercise of the day to fight off gaining holiday weight. Flower shops can feature a wreath or bouquet of the day featuring different holiday colors or flowers. Restaurants and bars can showcase a cocktail of the day for the holidays. You could also run a different deal or offer for each of the 12 days.

9. Go Behind the Scenes

Show customers what your business is like during the holidays with video marketing! Are you a busy baker who is making cakes and cookies? Take customers into the kitchen with a video of preparations for the holidays. People are curious by nature and giving them a sneak peek of new products or behind-the-scenes action will set you apart from your competitors!

10. Photo Opportunity with Santa or a Winter Wonderland

Last but not least, save time and money with consumer-generated content during the holidays.

Stage a photo opportunity at your store by inviting Santa to come or set up a winter wonderland for customers to post in front of. Everyone wants a picture with a gigantic polar bear so give customers the opportunity to market your business for you by having something fun to take pictures with!

Pick up some props like Santa hats or tinsel garlands and let customers go to town. Make sure to include a hashtag with your company and share, retweet, or regram customers’ photos on social media.

10 Marketing and Blog Ideas for November

via ThriveHive

November is upon us! What better way to kick off a new month than with a list of great marketing ideas? Here are some ways to boost your marketing and blogging for the month of November.

10 Ways to Market Your Business in November

1. Update Your Google My Business Profile

With Google’s ever-improving search results, consumers are getting the information they need to engage with a business without even having to visit their website. This is why it’s crucial to have a complete and updated Google My Business profile. By communicating your products, services, hours, and location to Google, it can know which searches to rank you for; and by keeping your profile and active (such as by updating it, collecting reviews, and answering FAQs), Google can feel more confident in ranking you higher and for more searches. Here are some things you can do to optimize your Google My Business profile for November:

  • Provide your Thanksgiving Hours
  • Upload pictures of any November- or Thankgiving-themed products or services
  • Create Google posts about Thanksgiving, Black Friday, or Small Business Saturday promotions
  • Ask and answer questions related to visiting your store, especially if you expect more traffic on Small Business Saturday

2. Take Part in Movember/No Shave November

Movember or No Shave November is a movement for men’s health issues. Participants can sign up here and are encouraged to grow a mustache for the month of November to bring awareness and raise donations for men’s health and cancers. Some companies host Movember competitions between employees or among customers. Movember is a fun way to host contests or showcase your facial hair for men’s health on social media. Get involved in the chatter on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

2. Honor Veteran’s Day

Vereran’s Day is November 11 and comes up fast! Schools may have off and many workplaces are closed. While this could be a good time for sales, it’s also a great time for your business to make a push on social media thanking veterans for their hard work and sacrifice for our country. If you have a veteran who works for you, showcase them on your blog or website. A simple “Thank You” goes a long way and let’s customers know that you care about people, not just sales.

3. Celebrate Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

Women’s Entrepreneurship Day occurs every November 19. On this day, post some compelling stats about female entrepreneurs to your Facebook or Instagram profiles. If you are a female entrepreneur, share some milestones about your business. If you are not a female entrepreneur, highlight one in your community or network.

4. Participate in America Recycles Day

November 15 is America Recycles Day and a great day for showing that your small business cares about the environment. Does your business recycle? Include some facts on your social media or suggestions on your blog on how to recycle. If you don’t already recycle, now is a great time to start! Get a recycling bin and let customers know that you’re taking steps to help improve the environment for everyone! Participate in America Recycles social media efforts (#AmericaRecyclesDay and #RecyclingSelfie) to show off your recycling efforts and encourage others to do the same!

5. Support November Causes

Movember gets a lot of attention, but November is also host to other awareness efforts like lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and adoption awareness. Is your business affected by any of these issues or do you feel strongly about these causes? Make a difference and help raise awareness this November using social media. November is also the month of the Great American Smokeout when people pledge to quit smoking. Help support someone you know who is trying to quit!

6. Partake in Sports

November is a time when the NFL, NHL, and NBA are in full swing! Show off your team spirit by dressing up in team jerseys or decorating your business with team colors. Going to the game? Tweet about it or post pictures of employees at a game. Showing personality and friendly competition is a great way to market your business!

7. Run a Thankful Campaign

November is the month of Thanksgiving so don’t forget to give thanks. Post what you’re thankful for on social media and ask customers to participate. Make sure to thank your customers for their support!

8. Promote Holiday Buying Guides

December will come soon enough and customers are starting to shop for the holidays. Now is the time to start marketing with gift guides, either in written or video form on your blog, to help customers shop for the special people in their lives.

Free eBook: 50 Creative Holiday Marketing Ideas

9. Run a Food Drive

It’s easy to get caught up in planning for Thanksgiving but don’t forget those who aren’t as fortunate. Hosting a food drive is a great thing to do to help others enjoy the holiday who are struggling to make ends meet. Encourage customers to donate canned or non-perishable food. Offer a discount on a service to customers who bring in a bag of food. Host a contest where each can of food gives participants a chance to win. Donate the food to a local food pantry, church, or charitable organization and give back to the community.

10. Offer Thanksgiving Specials

Thanksgiving is the holiday star of November and a great chance to market your business. Offer specials at your restaurant or cooking classes for great Thanksgiving side dishes or how to use leftovers after the holiday. Gyms and heath-focused businesses can host or participate in Thanksgiving races or an after-Thanksgiving bootcamp class! Your pet grooming or boarding business can write a blog post on Thanksgiving foods that can be toxic to pets. The content opportunities for Thanksgiving are plentiful!

11.  Small Business Saturday (November 29)

Last but certainly not least, don’t forget Small Business Saturday! This is perhaps the best time of year to get your small business noticed. Register your business HERE and make a push on social media, your website, and your blog for supporting small businesses!

For more Small Business Saturday ideas, visit these posts:

10 Marketing and Blog Ideas for October

via ThriveHive

October is upon us! What better way to kick off a new month than with a list of great marketing ideas?

Here are some ways to boost your marketing and blogging to celebrate the beginning of fall and get in the spirit of Halloween!

Showcase a Fall product or service

Celebrate Fall and the cooler weather with the introduction of a new Fall-inspired product like a pumpkin flavored treat for your coffee shop or bakery, a Fall colored bouquet for your flower shop, a cinnamon flavored sangria for your restaurant, or a pumpkin painting night at your pottery studio. The possibilities are endless!

Be social on social media

Tell your customers about this new product or service through a newsletter, blog, Facebook, or Twitter posts. If your business uses Pinterest or Instagram, take pictures of the product and post how this is a limited time offer for the Fall or Halloween season only.

Share a recipe or tutorial on your blog

Show customers how to make their own Fall or Halloween inspired craft or recipe. A blog post with a video showing how to decorate a mantle with fall flowers and miniature pumpkins or a newsletter that contains menu ideas for a kid’s Halloween party are great starting points, depending on your business.

Share a recipe or tutorial on your blog

Show customers how to make their own Fall or Halloween inspired craft or recipe. A blog post with a video showing how to decorate a mantle with fall flowers and miniature pumpkins or a newsletter that contains menu ideas for a kid’s Halloween party are great starting points, depending on your business.

Related: Business Blogging 101

Open your doors

The weather is beautiful so literally open your doors! Get some fresh air into your business. Open doors makes your business more customer-friendly by removing a physical barrier between you and the customer. Place a chalkboard outside with your specials or stand outside when you get some down time and chat with people passing by.

Domestic Violence & Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence and  Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Get involved with a local charitable organization to support these causes and get your name out into the community. Host a Facebook campaign where you donate $1 for every “like” your page receives during the month to a local domestic violence shelter or breast cancer group. Check here for information on charities.

Related: Marketing Without a Budget

Decorate for Fall and Halloween

Get your business in the spirit of the season by decorating for Fall or Halloween. Flowers, pumpkins, gourds, hay stacks, burlap, spooky skeletons, spiderwebs, ghosts–get creative! Check out our Pinterest boards for Fall and Halloween decorating ideas. Carve your company logo into a jack-o-lantern to place in your storefront with an electric candle at night.

Host a Contest In Store

Have a guessing contest to get customer email addresses in store. Put a candy corn or Halloween colored jelly beans in a jar and have customers guess how many items the jar contains. The winner gets a prize (perhaps a free meal or service at your business). Customers enter the contest by writing their guess on the back of their business card or by filling out a form with their contact information.

Dress up for Halloween

Employees and business owners can create a fun Halloween atmosphere by dressing up during the week of Halloween. Not every small business should take this advice but the ones that cater to children definitely should! Want your patients to have a good experience at the doctor or dentist? What’s more fun than a dentist in costume? Keep costumes fun and safe–farmers, dogs, cowboys/cowgirls, and pirates are good costumes. Clowns and vampires might scare young children. Remember to keep costumes culturally sensitive and neutral.

Halloween Costume Contest

Have a costume contest or a pumpkin carving contest for your customers, staff, or even customers’ dogs. The winner gets a prize! Share the pictures on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter and ask customers to vote on for the winners! Follow up after the contest to share pictures of the winning contestants.

Participate in a Fall Event

Engage the community by participating in a fall event like a harvest festival, Halloween zombie race, or business trick-or-treating! Use social media to get the word out to customers that you will be participating in the event and invite them to come along. Take pictures and share them on Facebook, Twitter, or in a blog post!

Creative September Marketing Ideas

via ThriveHive

September brings students, sales, and new marketing ideas. Here are 10 creative marketing ideas to promote your business this September!

September Google Marketing Ideas

Consumers use your Google listing to make decisions about your business before even visiting your website, so make sure your Google My Business profile is optimized for fall.

Publish Fall-themed Google My Business Posts

With Google My Business, you can post about news, events, promotions, and products. Do you have any fall-themed products you can highlight? Are you running a back to school special? Promote them on your Google My Business profile. These posts will appear whenever your listing appears on Google.

Add Relevant Questions to your Q&A Section

You can, and should, populate your own Q&A section on Google. This helps you to get ahead of common customer questions and increase their confidence in choosing your business. Take this time to think of any questions that may be particularly relevant for fall.
Do you have student discounts?
Does your back to school package include sauna use?
Do you have the back to school supply list for my local elementary school?
What are your hours on move-in weekend?

Update Your Fall Hours on Google My Business

If you have a seasonal business, make sure to reflect any changes in your hours on your Google listing.

Run a Back to School Promotion with Google Ads

Although Google My Business certainly affords you free advertising on Google, paid ads are still the only way to guarantee top ranking for specified searches. When set up and run properly, Google Ads can give your fall promotions a significant lift.

September Marketing Themes and Ideas

1. Back to School Marketing

Any type of business can participate in the back to school season. Run student discounts, a back-to-school promotional week, or offer back-to-school themed products. If your business services a college town, this is a great time to generate buzz on social media or by partnering with student organizations for events.

For more ideas, download our free Back to School Marketing eBook.

2. Customer Loyalty Program

As September marks the start of the school year, many consumers are receptive to starting new things—like your customer loyalty program! If you don’t already have one, take the time to create a customer loyalty program to encourage repeat business and improve customer retention. It can be as easy as creating a punch card toward a free or discounted product or service or just asking customers for their email addresses.

3. National Read a Book Day

An intellectual marketing day, National Read a Book Day is a creative way for preschools, tutors, education-oriented businesses to market themselves.

What if your business isn’t related to education? That’s OK! Use this September holiday as an excuse to read a book that’s related to your industry. If you liked it, recommend it to your followers via social media or in a blog post. Tell your readers what you learned from the book or how you implemented some of the lessons.

This is also a good way to give back to your community by reading a book to children or the elderly. Volunteering is not only a nice thing to do and will make you feel good, but it’s also a bonus marketing opportunity to increase brand awareness in your local market.

4. Labor Day

Labor Day is a national holiday in September. Offices and banks are closed and schools are off for the long weekend. Labor Day is a good opportunity to attract new customers visiting your town for the weekend or invite existing customers back after the summer. If you have a customer loyalty program, send an email newsletter out to your email list offering incentives to returning customers.

5. NFL Opening Night

Nothing says fall like football! Opening night for the NFL falls in September. Celebrate the season opener with creative marketing for your business.

Here are some ideas:

6. Grandparents Day

Grandparents Day is the first Sunday after Labor Day. Celebrate our older generations with specials and discounts for grandparents.

7. National LGBT Awareness Day

Market your business for this day by showing your support for equal rights on social media. Get involved in local events or hang a sign or flag in your shop window to let customers know that your business is LGBT-friendly.

8. First Day of Fall/Autumn Equinox

The first day of Fall is coming sooner than you think. September 23rd is the Autumn Equinox, which means that there are the same number of daylight and nighttime hours. This celestial holiday marks the official end of the Summer season.

9. Fall Inspired Decor

Put away the Summer decorations and start decorating your business for the fall. The end of September is the time to visit a local farm to pick up corn stalks and hay bales to decorate the outside of your brick and mortar location. Take pictures and show off your new decor on social media, remembering to include fall hashtags to increase engagement and reach of your posts. You may even want to upload photos of your fall-themed decorations and products to your Google My Business profile.

10. Host an Instagram Giveaway

Once you have your fall decor up and running and your loyal customers following you on social media, now’s the time to take advantage of it! Think of a new product or service that you’d like to offer and get organized. Follow these tips on how to run an Instagram contest or giveaway to get started.

AKJxPCM :: Events and Private Clubs

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AKJOHNSTON has worked with some of the most exclusive clubs like Shady Canyon Golf Club, Pelican Hill and many others to execute one of a kind member events.

Join us for our Thought Leadership Discussion with Austin to hear his expert opinions on how to provide activities for you members and guests so summer can still be enjoyed, but in a healthy and safe manner as well as ideas on how to prepare now for the holiday season.

10 Creative Marketing Ideas for August

via ThriveHive

August is a great time to round up your summer marketing efforts to prepare and plan for the fall. But without any major holidays, a lot of business owners struggle trying to figure out what to write about on their blog and what to post on social media. If you need some ideas for your marketing, social media, and blog content, we’ve got the answers! Here are some fresh ideas to round out your summer marketing in August!

1. Optimize Your Google My Business Profile

Your Google My Business profile appears in Google Maps search results as well as local results for regular Google searches. It’s also the Knowledge Panel that displays on the right-hand side of a results page when someone searches your business. Make sure your Google My Business profile is optimized for August with:

2. Family Fun Month

August signifies the last few weeks of summer before children return to school. Encourage family relationship building by promoting family activities throughout the month of August that are related to your business. Hold special family-appropriate events at your business throughout the month to support families spending fun time together. If you maintain a blog, compile a list of ideas for local family-friendly places to bond.

3. National Golf Month

Improve business relations by inviting clients to the course to play a round of golf. Golf is a notoriously great way to connect and create potential business leads for any industry. Golf is a sport that can be fun for any skill set, so regardless of your level of expertise, it can be an enjoyable time.

This is a perfect holiday for fitness establishments as they can use it to motivate their members to get outside and get active. One idea to take advantage of this national holiday is to give away free branded golf accessories, like golf balls or tees. Not only does this indirectly advertise your business when customers use them, but it’s a nice way to give back to your customers with a useful gift.

4. Simplify Your Life Week (August 1st-7th)

The beginning of fall is a hectic time with the start of a new school year. Simplify Your Life Week is a perfect time to get your business organized for the upcoming chaos. For starters, use this time to get your business in check and your workplace organized in preparation for fall. In addition, there are a variety of businesses that would benefit from promoting their services during the time.

In particular, interior designers and personal organizers should promote this time to their clients. Send out an email newsletter with your top organizing tips, or write a blogpost doing the same. Another way to take advantage of this week is to post on social media a daily organizing tip. Encourage your clients to step back and take a look around them, so they won’t be overwhelmed and bogged down later on (like when back to school season is underway.)

Related: Free Summer Marketing Guide

4. Friendship Day (August 2nd)

One of the best ways to find business is from your current customers! Take advantage of their raving reviews and referrals on National Friendship Day. Hold a promotion for customers that bring in their friends on this day. Offer incentives to both parties for participating, whether it’s a discount or a freebie, anything offer is enticing.

5. National Relaxation Day (August 15th)

Spas and salons can use this holiday to offer special beauty treatment deals to unwind from daily stress. Other types of businesses can offer special relaxing promotions on this day as well. For example, restaurants can give out free drinks, while fitness centers can hold special yoga and meditation classes. If you work at a spa or yoga center, partner up with other companies to arrange for a day of in-office relaxation. This will help you improve the reach of your company and get new clients!

Although you can take advantage of this day to engage customers, it’s also important to allow your staff to relax as well. Close up shop early after promoting relaxation to allow employees to enjoy some hard-earned rest.

Motivate your social media followers to take a step back from the daily chaos and take some time to themselves as well. Whether this means using your services or not, customers will appreciate the personal approach in encouraging taking time to rest.

6. World Humanitarian Day (August 19th)

The purpose of World Humanitarian Day is to recognize those that lost their lives working for humanitarian causes. Use this day to not only donate your time or money to an important charity, but to encourage your customers to do the same. Pay it forward to your local community, and share with your customers how they can contribute as well. Post on social media about your favorite cause and why it’s important to you. The day is all about giving back, so there’s no limit to your effort.

7. Senior Citizens Day (August 21st)

While some businesses offer year-round discounts to senior citizens, senior citizens deserve their own special day. Honor the older folks with discounted or free services, they deserve it! Contact local senior centers and find out if you can sponsor an event or stop by with catering or manicures to brighten up someone’s day.  It’s important to remember that when marketing for an event targeted at this demographic, try to stick to offline marketing, as most senior citizens don’t use social media. (Or check out our post on How to Market to an Older Demographic)

8. State Fair Season

Many state fairs are held in August, stretching through the early fall. These are a great way to market your business and services by setting up a booth. Thousands of people flock to state fairs, sometimes from across the country! If your state fair is coming up soon, find out how you can make an appearance.

While there are many fairs taking place in August (Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming), many are scheduled later on for the fall so use this time instead to get on the list of vendors and plan your approach.

9. Plan for Labor Day

Start gearing up for Labor Day toward the end of the month. Labor Day is a big end-of-summer holiday that many businesses take advantage of. It’s important to participate in the frenzy with sales during this time. Start marketing for your specific promotions at the end of August to increase excitement and ensure that everyone knows to support your business then.

Need help creating promotions for Labor Day? Try running an Instagram giveaway or contest promoting an in-store special or new product.

10. Back to School

Like Labor Day, Back to School sales are an American tradition. Even if you think your business isn’t directly student- or school-related, there are still plenty of ways to get in on the action. For example, salons can offer special deals for back to school haircuts. Of course, this time is especially crucial for childcare centers or extracurricular academic institutions to prepare for the start of the year. Businesses offering after school activities can offer early bird registration for their classes.

It’s important to remember not to exclude parents in your marketing efforts. Although a new school year is a big and exciting change for children, their parents are affected in the change of schedule as well. Once kids are back in school, parents have more time for themselves during the day. Salons and spas can offer deals on beauty treatments parents might need after a long summer with the kids. Personal trainers or fitness centers can offer discount packages on their exercise services. Healthcare businesses, like dentists or nutritionists, can promote healthy lunch ideas.

One way to engage parents is to reach out to current customers who might have been busy over the summer and offer them a returning client special. This is a great way to show customer appreciation and retain existing customers.

10 Marketing and Blog Ideas for July

via ThriveHive

July is here and we have some marketing and blog ideas to heat up your marketing efforts. Don’t just dip your toe in the marketing waters this summer—dive right in with some of these great ideas to promote your business!

1. Independence Day (July 4)

The biggest event this month is obviously the 4th of July. Almost any business can get in the spirit and show off their American pride. If you want to be patriotic, some ideas include:

  • Holiday discount: Many businesses hold special sales or promotions this time of year. Make sure you promote it as a July 4th special.
  • Blog about July 4th: If you run a regular blog on your business website, tie in the holiday to relevant posts. For example:
    • July 4th outfit ideas
    • BBQ and cookout recipes
    • Red white and blue desserts
    • Family friendly activities and venues
    • Firecracker safety tips
  • Participate in local events: Chances are, there are a ton of events in your community for the 4th of July. Whether it’s a parade or a town center fair, make an appearance and promote your business.
  • Show patriotism on social media: Don’t slack online! Keep up your social media accounts and post pictures of your store, employees, or customers celebrating our country.

2. Shark Week

Shark Week is a shark-based programming block for an entire week every summer. Shark Week has begun to be promoted heavily on social media, so get involved with the discussions and get in the summer spirit! Bakeries can sell shark shaped cookies, businesses can throw parties and show Jaws, and restaurants can offer Shark Week specials.

3. International Kissing Day (July 6)

February isn’t the only month for a romantic holiday—International Kissing Day is celebrated in July! Show your customers some love and offer a discount or prize to those who kiss and snap a selfie at your business. Dental offices can also mention this day as a way to promote better oral care—get creative and let us know how you can position this holiday with your business!

Related: The Ultimate Summer Marketing Kit

4. Get to Know Your Customers Day (July 19)

Although you should be making an effort every day to connect with your customers, there’s a specific day dedicated to doing just that! Also celebrated in January,  April, and October, this is a day to engage as much as possible with your customers. It’s important to always show your appreciation to those that consistently support your business.

Increase social media engagement with loyal customers by sharing their posts about your business or spotlighting them as a customer of the week. Make an effort to introduce yourself to customers in store and get to know them on a personal level!

5. National Ice Cream Day (July 16th)

We all scream for ice cream in July! In 1984, former President Ronald Reagan decided July was to be “National Ice Cream Month,” and the third Sunday, which is July 19th this year, to be“National Ice Cream Day.” This holiday is especially great for food establishments. If your business doesn’t sell food, you can still take advantage of the holiday:

  • Have an ice cream sundae party at your business and show the fun on social media.  Your delicious masterpieces are a perfect photo sharing opportunity. You can also bring in ice cream from a local store and give a shout out to business in the pictures you share by tagging them in it. This increases the reach of your post to engage with their customers.
  • Host a post ice cream sundae workout at your fitness center the next day (July 17th) to work off those delicious calories.

If your business does sell food, host a sale or promotion on National Ice Cream Day to show your love for the frozen treat. You can also feature special limited-edition flavors in honor of the month, or offer exclusive toppings and novelties.

6. National Grilling Month

July is National Grilling Month—summertime isn’t complete without a barbecue! July is a perfect time to host a company get together, grill up some delicacies, and share it on your blog or social media accounts.

Better yet, invite customers and allow them to get to know the people and personalities behind your business. If your store sells grilling supplies, have a sale on the essentials or create package deals. You could also give away a grill or grilling gift basket through an Instagram contest or giveaway.

7. Summer-themed Instagram Contest or Giveaway

Whether you give away a gift card or product from your store, Instagram giveaways are a great way to give your social media account a boost. Some examples of what to give away include a free personal training session, summer beach bag full of goodies (food or beauty products!), free salon or spa treatment, or a free cake order for July 4th. Use a hashtag in your contest so that it’s easily accessible on social media searches.

8. Traveling Contests

July is a big month for vacations. Many of your customers might be away, but don’t fear, you can utilize this to your advantage.

Either give away a prize or feature customers in a social media post if they travel and snap a picture of your products along the way. Similar to an Instagram contest, this can be advertised over social media and entered in a variety of ways that notifies your account. At the end of the contest, share all the submitted pictures over social media or in a blog post.

Another way to capitalize on traveling is to produce travel-related content relevant to your business. For example, personal trainers can post about how to get in a good workout without a gym, or financial advisors can offer tips about saving money on vacation.

9. Pinterest Board

Make a summer-related Pinterest board to market your business with ideas and plans for the season. This lets followers know that your business is in full swing for summer and promotes that mindset in store.

  • Preschools can pin fun outdoor activities for children or summer-themed crafts.
  • Fitness centers can pin outdoor exercise tips.
  • Salons can share heatless hairstyles that beat the summer humidity and frizz.
  • Bakeries can share special summer treats.

10. Hot Weather

It’s no secret that July is a scorcher, so market your products to the heat. People will be looking for handheld fans, hats, water bottles, beach necessities, flip flops, and cold drinks, so this is the best time to stock up on that merchandise!

You can also give away some of these essentials in gift with purchase promotions during the hotter days of the month to lure in more customers from the beach. Additionally, make sure to let customers know you have air conditioning to cool them off during the dog days of summer!

10 Marketing & Blog Ideas for June

via ThriveHive

June is upon us and we’ve got a new batch of 10 ways to promote your business through creative marketing and blog ideas. Round out the spring and welcome the summer with these great ideas!

1. Flip a Coin Day

The first day of June is Flip a Coin Day. Coin flipping might not be the most traditional marketing opportunity but with a little creativity, you can turn it into one! The holiday was made to create awareness about math. If math is relevant to your business, then this day is a no-brainer. For other industries, Flip a Coin Day translates into decision making or games of chance. Try out these coin flipping marketing ideas:

  • Flip a Coin discount: For each purchase, have customers flip a coin and call heads or tails. If the customer wins, they get a percentage discount based on the value of the coin. Quarter flips = 25% off, Dime flips = 10% off, and Nickel flips = 5%. discount
  • Blog about decision-making: Write a blog post about decision making in your industry with titles like:
    • “7 Signs You Need to Hire a Contractor” 
    • “Is This an Emergency? When to Call the Dentist/Doctor/Lawyer” 
    • DIY vs. Professional Marketing – What You Can DIY and What You Should Leave to the Pros

2. National Donut Day

As if you needed another reason to love Fridays or donuts, National Donut Day is held on the first Friday in June. This is a great day to shine for bakeries and donut shops. If you’re not in the industry of making round pastries, here are some other ideas:

  • Order donuts for your office and post on social media. Aside from being a delicious treat, pictures of donuts and people eating them are great photo opportunities for Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Search for relevant hashtags and use them to get your photos and your business found online.
  • Buy donuts from a local bakery and give them a shoutout on social media. Make sure to tag them on Facebook and Twitter to increase the organic reach of your post.
  • Host an after Donut Day workout at your fitness center. Donuts are delicious but not conducive to marketing a fitness center. Host or post a Day After Donut Day workout!

3. Flag Day

Hooray for the red, white, and blue! Flag Day celebrates the commemoration of the United States flag. Hang those flags and encourage customers to do the same. Participate in local Flag Day events or show off your flag swag on social media.

Related: The Ultimate Summer Marketing Kit

4.  Father’s Day

Promote your business through Father’s Day marketing. This is a no-brainer for businesses whose customers are men, but other types of businesses can join in the fun. Try out these ideas:

  • Father’s Day Gift Guide: Write a blog post with a Father’s Day gift guide with products that you offer or in your industry. Promote the blog post on Pinterest so that it links to your business site.
  • Father’s Day Gift Basket or Coupon Book: Put together a Father’s Day gift basket at your business to make it easy for kids and moms to shop for dad. Think outside of the standard tie box with:
    • Fitness class package – offer a deal on 10 classes just for Dads
    • Gift card for your restaurant with a bottle from a local distillery or winery
    • Gift basket of men’s grooming supplies at your spa or salons. Moms who come in to redeem their gift certificates for Mother’s Day massages and manicures will love the one-stop shopping!
  • Daddy and Me Workout: Fitness centers and gyms often have Mommy and Me yoga classes, but there’s no reason that you can’t do a Daddy and Me workout class too! Host a dad and child workout or soccer game at your fitness center or invite dads to attend their children’s classes at your martial arts studio!

5. Summer Solstice

Promote your business on the longest day of the summer with extended store hours. The extra hours of daylight mean that you can keep your business open for longer on this one day. Promote your extended hours on social media and, if you can, team up with other local businesses to stay open late. By teaming up with other local businesses, you can create more of a buzz together and encourage your community to shop at local businesses during these extended hours.

6.   LGBT Pride Month

Show your pride in June by letting the local Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender community know that you are one of them and/or that you support them. Use social media to tweet about local LGBT events and attend your local Pride parade – hang a rainbow flag, dress up your pets, and show some love for love!

Contact local LGBT community organizations to let them know that you’re a supporter and encourage community members to shop at your LGBT-friendly business. Not all businesses are welcoming, so if you are, make it known to both the LGBT community and supporters to encourage people to use or shop at your business.

7. National Safety Month

Safety first always but especially in June. Promote your business through safety during the month by encouraging people to stay safe during the summer as well as in industry-specific situations such as:

  • Promote helmet safety for your bike shop or write a blog post on “Helmet Buying Tips for Kids” or “8 Things to Watch Out For When Riding Your Bike on the Open Road”
  • Hand out sunscreen samples at your doctor’s office
  • Blog about travel safety tips at your travel agency or bed and breakfast

8.  Insurance Awareness Day

It’s not hard to figure out who invented Insurance Awareness Day but you don’t have to be an insurance agent to use this day to promote your business.

  • Lawyers and accountants can blog about the benefits of insurance for individuals and business owners.
  • Doctors and dentists can use this day to encourage patients to check out their insurance coverage to make sure they have adequate coverage or provide tips for connecting with insurance companies about procedures.
  • Massage therapists, chiropractors, and fitness centers should encourage clients to check their insurance benefits—many insurance companies offer coverage for massage and chiropractic treatments or subscriber discounts for joining a fitness center or gym.
  • Travel agents, bed and breakfasts, and hotels can use this day to blog about the benefits of travel insurance.

9. End of School

School’s out for summer! Promote your business for an influx of children, college students, and families.

  • Host an End of School Year sale to clear out old merchandise
  • Write a blog featuring things to do in your town during the summer—make sure to include your business in the list
  • If your town is quiet in the summer, get involved with a summer school or camp to host events for students and campers

10. Graduation

Celebrate the end of the school year with specials geared toward new grads with things like:

  • Discounts for graduates with your moving company to encourage new customers to use your company
  • Special discounts for graduates who post a picture of themselves at your restaurant wearing their cap and gown
  • Sponsor or attend the local high school or college graduation

May Marketing and Blog Ideas

1. National Small Business Week

First and foremost, National Small Business Week is the first week of May! Dedicated to raising awareness about small businesses and celebrating the hard working owners behind them, this week will be packed with ample marketing opportunities. Here are some ways to make the best of National Small Business Week:

  • Run a deal-a-day for the week, promoting different products/services each day.
  • Get return customers: Give out coupons with purchases this week, that can only be redeemed on an upcoming holiday or on the last day of Small Business Week.
  • Get more leads: Offer a downloadable, small business-themed piece of content that is of value to your target audience in exchange for their email addresses.
  • Increase your exposure: Use #NationalSmallBusinessWeek and other relevant hashtags in your social media posts and promotions.
  • Run an Instagram giveaway for a free product or service. Entrants post a photo to Instagram of themselves at your business, using a custom hashtag. Announce the winner at the end of the week.
  • Don’t forget that educating yourself about small business and networking with other small business owners is important for your marketing success as well. Attend local events, SBA events, or follow along via live streams.
  • Build community and expand your reach: Team up with other complimentary small businesses and create an event.
  • Make an extra effort to give back to your community by shopping at, posting reviews, and engaging in social media with other small businesses during the week.

2. Kentucky Derby (May 6)

Use the Kentucky Derby in your May marketing efforts. Get creative with derby fashion or horse-themed decorations, promotions, contests, and events. For example,

  • Change up your storefront with a derby theme to grab attention and attract customers.
  • Blog about derby fashion and outfits for men and women.
  • Throw a derby party with derby hat contests and mint juleps.
  • Host a cooking or cocktail-making class.
  • Run a derby hat contest on Instagram or Facebook.
  • Use derby hashtags such as #kyderby, or your own custom hashtag (like #derbyatjoes) so that people can find you and follow along.

3. Cinco de Mayo (May 5)

Cinco de Mayo falls on a Friday this year, which makes it all the more fun. There are many ways to infuse a Mexican-American spirit into your marketing. For example:

  • Food or fitness businesses can post recipes or videos of recipes on social media.
  • Give out coupons the day before or a few days before, redeemable on Cinco de Mayo.
  • Share a festive discount “code word” on social media, customers who mention the code in-store get 15% off.
  • Use a triumph or underdog theme. This holiday comes from Mexico’s unlikely victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla. Give your customers the victory over high prices, long lines, slow service, and more with particular deals.
  • Use the number 5 in your promotions, such as get the fifth one free, $5 specials, 5% off, 5 for 5, etc.
  • Throw a party or cooking class revolving around Mexican food and culture.

4. Teacher Appreciation Day (May 2)

May 2 is Teacher Appreciation Day—a perfect time for preschools to market themselves to new parents in anticipation of the new school year.

  • Throw a party for teachers or have students write thank you letters to show off on your blog, in email newsletters to parents, or on social media.
  • Update your website content with new teacher bios and pictures.
  • Did anyone receive a new degree or have a teacher accomplishment to share? This is the perfect time to showcase them in an “About Us” page on your website. Doing so not only highlights your teaching staff, but it also can improve your SEO.

5. Mother’s Day (May 14)

Mother’s Day is prime time for any business, not just the flower shops, salons, and spas (although it is advantageous!).

  • Flower shops and bakeries can offer special Mother’s Day products, and discounts for Mother’s Day gift givers, either on this day or the day before as well.
  • Salons and spas can create Mother’s Day themed gift certificates, or offer 2 for 1 deals for mothers and daughters celebrating together.
  • Combine products and/or services into attractive gift packages that make gift-giving easy.
  • Businesses that get a spike in traffic on Mother’s Day can hand out coupons with purchases that are redeemable at a later time (ideally a time when business typically gets slow).
  • Preschools can have their little ones create Mother’s Day cards or crafts to send home. Make sure to post the pictures on social media or follow up with a blog post or email newsletter to communicate with parents!

6. Memorial Day (May 29)

Here are some ways to show your patriotism and love for the good ol’ USA through your business marketing on Memorial Day.

  • Red, white, and blue themed recipes, outfits, flower arrangements, etc. and promote on Pinterestand Instagram.
  • Host a BBQ or picnic for your community, and give out branded swag  like sunglasses or water bottles.
  • Participate in or sponsor a local event.
  • Use quotes, images, and other posts on social media to show your support for those who have lost their lives for our country.

7. Warm Weather

Take advantage of the warmer weather and provide information and helpful tips to your customers in accordance with your business.

  • Contractors, landscaping companies, and painters should boost their May marketing efforts to get new clients for the spring and summer months.
  • Now’s the time to run that gutter cleaning sale or post pictures on Facebook of your most recent outdoor paint job. Increase your SEO with blog posts about seasonal maintenance
  • Create success stories of successful jobs and promote them on your website and social media
  • Word of mouth marketing is important in these industries – offer existing clients a discount or incentive for each new client they refer who becomes a paying customer.

Related: Summer Marketing Guide

8. Flowers

April showers bring May flowers. If you own a flower shop, May marketing is your time to shine! (If you don’t, there are still opportunities!)

  • Host that flower arranging workshop you’ve been thinking about.
  • Start a Pinterest board to see if Pinterest is right for your business, or grow your Pinterest followingwith your creations linked to your online store or blog.
  • You don’t have to be a florist to use flowers in your marketing. Spruce up your office, restaurant, or store front with flowers. Nothing says “spring” like fresh-cut flowers that add a pop of color to your business space.
  • Buy flowers from a local florist and introduce yourself. Supporting other small business owners is the first step to getting more word of mouth referrals.

9. Weddings

May is the start of wedding season and a perfect time to market your business to new people who are in town.

  • Caterers, event planners, DJs, photographers, bakeries, and other wedding friendly services: Use social media to engage customers as much as possible. Whether you’re hosting the bachelorette party at your restaurant or baking their wedding cupcakes at your bakery, take pictures and share them on Facebook and other social media platforms.
  • Many couples ask guests to use custom hashtags on social media so that pictures of the events can be easily searched. For example, the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs. Burns might use the tag #BurnsInLove2015. Ask if you can use their hashtag to make your photos easily discoverable by wedding guests and the people in their social media networks.
  • Landscapers can capitalize on wedding venue owners looking to perfect their landscapes.
  • Fitness and nutrition businesses can provide workouts, recipes, blog posts, and tips on getting to your healthiest and best version of yourself in time for these heavily photographed events.

10. Final tips for Your May Marketing Events

Make the most of your May marketing events with these final tips:

  • Recap your events, promotions, and festivities in your next email newsletter or blog post so that those who missed out will want to join in the fun next year!
  • Send thank you and follow-up emails to any new leads for your business.
  • Encourage customers to use your custom event hashtag to follow along and/or to help promote it.
  • Post real-time photos of your event through Snapchat or Instagram Stories.

Free Resources, Tools and Financial Assistance for Clubs Hit by Covid-19

  • The Golf Relief and Assistance Fund was created so the PGA of America and other industry participants can support PGA Members and other golf industry personnel in qualified disaster situations. The PGA launched this fund with a contribution of $250,000. The fund will be administered by the largest community foundation in the world, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, of Mountain View, California.
  • CMAA has launched a learning platform called CMAA University: COVID-19 Resources: Include the new Healthy Habits eStart™ course, a 30-minute infectious disease awareness program that provides staff with critical information to prepare for, respond to, and prevent the spread of infectious disease – the common cold, flu and COVID-19/Coronavirus – in the foodservice workplace. Available to all members through CMAA University and to subscribers of the Club Resource Center.
  • The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced the creation of a Restaurant Employee Relief Fund (RERF) to support U.S. restaurant workers financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, and that industry icon Guy Fieri will lead a nationwide fundraising drive for the Fund via a Restaurant Relief America campaign.

  • Google is donating more than $800 million to support small businesses, health organizations, governments, and health workers impacted by Covid-19. The amount includes $340 million in Google Ads credits for small and midsize businesses with active accounts in the past year.
  • Telecom giant Verizon is donating $2.5 million to nonprofit Local Initiatives Support Corporation for its Small Business Covid-19 Recovery Fund, which will use the funds to provide grants of up to $10,000 to struggling businesses.
  • Amazon launched a $5 million Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund to provide cash grants to small businesses in and around the Seattle area that are impacted by Covid-19.
  • Facebook also created a Small Business Grants Program that will provide $100 million in cash and ad credits to 30,000 businesses in the 30 countries where Facebook operates.
  • To help local restaurants and bars, Yelp announced $25 million in relief in the form of waived advertising fees, free advertising, and products and services.
  • GoFundMe, the social-fundraising platform, has launched the Small Business Relief Initiative, partnering with Yelp to provide small-business owners with grants and resources. GoFundMe and Yelp have each donated $500,000 to the Small Business Relief Fund, and it is open for anyone to make a donation. There will also be $500 matching grants to qualifying businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe.
  • The James Beard Foundation, the national nonprofit culinary arts organization, has launched the Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund. The organization will draw support from corporate, foundation, and individual donors to offer micro-grants to restaurants, bars, and other independent businesses in the industry.

 

  • Lawyers for Good Government Foundation (L4GG), a nonprofit network of more than 125,000 legal advocates in all 50 states, launched the Small Business Remote Legal Clinic to offer free consultations for small-business owners to help them answer legal questions and better understand the help that's available. The pilot program starts with New York City businesses and will expand to other cities in the weeks ahead.
  • SixFifty, the tech subsidiary of law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, released free legal tools to help businesses manage employment issues related to the Covid-19 crisis, from automated policies developed by employment attorneys to questionnaires to gather employee information, manage tasks, and automate important communications. The firm is also hosting free webinars to guide businesses on how to use the tools.