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July 4th is just around the corner – do you have an Independence Day marketing plan ready to go?

As with any holiday, there are a few best practices you should be implementing. And there is one big mistake you should avoid. Elsewhere on CodeFuel, we cover holiday marketing best practices in detail.

In this article, we’ll cover the biggest mistake that marketers make when it comes to holiday marketing – and Independence Day marketing in particular.

But first, let’s look at the potential profits:

Independence Day Means Money

In America, holidays mean profit…especially commercialized holidays such as Independence Day. Here are some fun stats that show how much Americans spend around July 4th:

  • About 68% of the population, or 160 million people, celebrate July 4th.
  • Almost $1 billion are spent on fireworks every year. Of that, 2/3rds is spend by homeowners shooting off their own fireworks in their backyards.
  • Almost 80% of Americans own patriotic merchandise.
  • There are around 14,000 local fireworks displays.

Obviously, July 4th is a big holiday and plenty of money gets spent on everything from fireworks to hot dogs to patriotic merchandise.

But there are plenty of ways to make money from this holiday, even if you aren’t selling one of those things. In fact, you don’t even have to be a retailer or an ecommerce business to earn profit from the Independence Day spending spree.

And that brings us to the biggest mistake businesses make when it comes to Independence Day marketing:

The Big Mistake: Not Using Independence Day…At All

Some marketers and businesses just skip over the holiday all together.

There could be a number of reasons for this: there’s not enough time in the day, you just don’t feel like there’s enough reason to do it, there isn’t a big enough budget, there’s no real relation between the business and Independence Day, and so on.

Here’s why these reasons are just plain wrong:

Holiday marketing doesn’t have to take lots of extra time. In fact, assuming that you’re running regular marketing programs, all you have to do is add July 4th-themed elements to your current program.

It doesn’t have to be expensive. There’s no need to go crazy. You can still implement an Independence Day campaign on a budget, even if that means just changing a few headlines and adding some creative copy here and there.

Independence Day doesn’t have to be related to your business. Whether you’re an app developer or a local brick-and-mortar retailer, you can throw together a campaign that simply uses July 4th as its focus…even if your business or products are totally unrelated.

Here are a few quick tips for creating an affordable Independence Day marketing program:

  • Have your content marketer include holiday-themed content before and during the holiday. Creative content strategists will be able to develop content that relates to the holiday and adds value to your audience. As always, don’t just create, but curate.
  • Have your social media marketer spread the word across social media, use hashtags, and take advantage of top Independence Day trends.
  • Throw in some affordable graphics and design elements on your site, in your email campaigns, on your social media accounts, and so forth. Even something this simple will help you connect with your audience.
  • Run a sale, even if it has nothing to do with the holiday. Simply creating a deal, labelling it “Independence Day Sale,” and promoting it through your channels is enough to boost sales around the holiday.
  • Get your customers involved on social media. Run contests and incentivize participation with prizes that are relevant to your business and the holiday.
  • Make your holiday campaign related … but not too related. Independence Day is patriotic in nature, though the focus is more on family, friends, food, and fireworks. Make sure you include both of these elements in the right balance, while promoting your own product or service.
  • Run paid advertising campaigns. Again, these campaigns can be as expensive or cheap as your budget allows. You can ramp up spending or simply replace an existing campaign with a themed campaign until the holiday is over.
  • If you have a physical store location, consider holding an in-store event. Focus on connecting with all your core demographics, from kids and families to the beer-drinking adults. Family-friendly activities are great to run during the day, but you can still offer deals and steals to the parents who plan on partying.
  • Consider joining a parade. This is especially true for local businesses. It’s not always the most affordable option, but marketing is a core function that’s critical to the success of any business. So you should be thinking more about long-term community involvement, reputation, and presence, both offline and on. Naturally, parade involvement will translate to more online marketing potential, especially on social media.

While there are affordable ways of marketing during the holidays, you get out of it what you put into it. The more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it.