Fall means falling leaves, plentiful pumpkins, longer nights and cooling weather, but it can also mean great marketing opportunities for local businesses. Make the most of the changing seasons with fall marketing that brings customers in during the lead-up to the holidays.
Here are ten ideas to get you started:
- Focus on Fall Themes: Decorate your business in traditional autumn colors, and spread that theme to your website, social media and printed ads. The reds, yellows and oranges of fall naturally command attention, so use the autumn palette to draw eyes toward specific items you want to promote in your store. Print seasonal shopping bags that spread your fall-themed message all around town.
- Celebrate the Classic Autumn Holidays: Halloween and Thanksgiving are the two main holidays that fill the stretch between summer and Christmas season. Take advantage of the fact that these holidays are on customers’ minds by offering special promotions centered around Halloween and Thanksgiving themes. Offer trick-or-treating at your store on Halloween or give away special customer appreciation gifts at Thanksgiving time to create an instant holiday tie-in.
- Delve Into Lesser-Known Fall Holidays: Move beyond the holidays everyone knows and start making a point to promote lesser-known fall holidays such as National Coffee Day (September 29)and the end of Daylight Savings Time. If your business has a unique cultural angle, you might also want to introduce your community to related fall holidays from a different culture, such as the Chinese and Vietnamese Mid-Autumn Festival or the Hindu Festival of Lights.
- Make Up Your Own Fall Traditions: Instead of just jumping on the pumpkin spice bandwagon, you might consider coming up with your own fall-related themes that you can repeat every year. Temporarily add a seasonal apple-flavored product to your lineup, or start an annual tradition of handing out deep-discount coupons in the shape of fall leaves. Repeat the same promotion every year to build an association that customers start anticipating months in advance.
- Engage Customers with Athletics-Related Promotions: Fall is football season, so support your local professional, college and school teams with special promotions. Give special discounts based on wins or game scores so loyal fans associate you with victory, or offer a promotion that’s only available to people who show their game ticket stub or school ID.
- Create a Contest: Invite customers to enter a fall-themed contest with a gift certificate from your business as the prize. Halloween costume contests, seasonal coloring contests for kids and essay contests describing what the entrant is thankful for are some potential ideas you can use. Contests can be live at the store, or you can have people submit entries online.
- Bring Fun to Fall Festivals: From Oktoberfest to outdoor music events, local fall festivals are a great way to get your name out in the community. Sponsor a booth to sell your wares at festivals, or hand out promotional samples and coupons at events to generate interest with a huge pool of potential new customers.
- Share Seasonal Stories: Give the media fresh ideas during the often slow fall news cycle with press releases and story ideas tying your business into the season. Give interviews or post blog content teaching local residents about fall decorating, pumpkin carving, Thanksgiving cooking tips or seasonal home maintenance.
- Go Social with Posts About Fall: Spread the joy of autumn across all of your social media platforms with pins, posts and pictures that celebrate the sights of the season. Tie your seasonal contests into your social media by encouraging customers to post on your boards and share their own fall photos featuring your products. Award prizes for the best contributions or give rewards for user-generated pictures with the most shares and comments.
- Prepare Your Customers for the Upcoming Holidays: Fall is the lead-up to the busiest time of year for most businesses, so use it to help customers get ready for Christmas. Offer special sales and deals, such as buy-one-get-one promotions and buy-now-save-later coupons that invite people to shop early and to keep coming back as the holidays approach.
Fall can be a fantastic time to promote your business, and transitioning from sizzling summer specials to amazing autumn deals is easier than ever. Market smart during these often overlooked months to boost your business and reap the rewards all year long.