Turning Annual Observances Into Marketing Gold Mines

Columns - PPMA Pulse

As a business owner you might be hesitant to believe that any national observance day is actually worth the investment of marketing dollars. But, in some cases, they absolutely are.

September 10, 2020

Awareness weeks: We’ve all come across them on social media. From National Donut Day to National Make Your Bed Day, it seems like there’s a day devoted to just about anything (and everything). As a business owner though, you might be hesitant to believe that any of these designations are actually worth the investment of marketing dollars. But, in some cases, they absolutely are. While we leave participation in National Mac and Cheese Day up to you, it is important to choose designations that are meaningful to you and align with your business’ core values and services because such designations provide a great touchpoint opportunity with consumers.

The purpose of awareness days, weeks and months is to spark dialogue on a given topic to elicit meaningful conversations that raise awareness and engender change. Niche causes that otherwise may get drowned out any other day of the year have a chance to be heard by the masses, creating an opportunity to build brand awareness among target audiences and inspire them to take action. To help incorporate awareness designations into your own marketing programs, we’ve put together the following punch list to ensure you’re not missing out on an easy opportunity to connect with both new and returning customers.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT DESIGNATIONS. Each year, social media is flooded with promotions centered around holidays like Christmas and New Year’s Eve. While it’s great to take advantage of these events with sales on products and services, the real opportunities lie in promoting smaller designations that more closely fit your brand’s message. Take National Hamburger Day, for example, which is celebrated each year on May 28. While you may be wondering what possible connection there could be between professional pest control and hamburgers, it’s actually the perfect time to remind homeowners of the importance of backyard pest prevention before they fire up the grill. Try making a fun image in Canva and sharing it on social media, encouraging your followers to share it and tag your business to increase engagement on the post.

For a more obvious connection, the Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA) also designates five awareness celebrations each year that are recognized by Chase’s Calendar of Events to raise public awareness about common household pests. Next on the calendar is Rodent Awareness Week, Oct. 18-24, which is the perfect opportunity for pest control companies to not only help raise awareness of the dangers posed by rodents, but gain new customers as well. To help aid in your promotional efforts, PPMA creates customizable content tied to each awareness week and makes all marketing materials available ahead of time on Mainframe to subscribers.

MAP OUT YOUR STRATEGY. Once you’ve landed on a few holidays you’d like to align your company with, it is important to develop a content calendar to ensure a steady cadence of posts throughout the year. While it’s great to have posts lined up for the specific day or week itself, the promotion you do ahead of time is equally, if not more, important. Consumers often search for relevant content before a holiday arrives so, to capitalize on this early search volume, consider posting on social media, using any relevant hashtags, multiple times the week prior. When consumers search using the hashtag associated with that specific awareness designation, your company’s posts will show up in a curated view of all content relevant to that specific holiday, beating everyone else to the punch.

What you post is also equally as important. According to SocialPilot, video posts get at least 59 percent more engagement than other post types, so consider incorporating pest-related videos, also available on Mainframe, to boost engagement rates. Posts published between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. EST also perform the best, and it is recommended they be less than 50 characters. So, be sure to keep these considerations in mind as well when developing your posting strategy.

GO ALL-IN ON PROMOTION. With more than 2.6 million active monthly users, Face-book is the go-to place for businesses to market their goods and services. While this platform is essential to any successful marketing program, businesses can no longer rely on organic posts to drive traffic to their virtual doorstep. According to Inc., less than 0.5 percent of your fans, on average, will actually see your updates. In order for your content to be visible to both new and returning customers, you need to incorporate Facebook advertising into your overall marketing strategy.

In light of the fact that 94 percent of social media marketers use the Facebook ad platform, it’s safe to say this tool is extremely manageable, even for those who aren’t necessarily social media savvy. You don’t need a huge budget to get your content seen, either. With just a $50 spend you can get your post in front of anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 people, according to Inc. To get the most out of your ad spend, consider incorporating targeting strategies that allow you to push your content to specific users based on age, location, demographic, gender, interests and more.

Awareness designations, while a dime a dozen, present an amazing opportunity for business owners, should they choose to capitalize on the right one. By identifying a holiday that aligns with your company and its core values, developing a posting strategy to ensure a healthy cadence of content and putting enough spend behind your initiative to make it worth your while, you’ll turn just another awareness day into a gold mine for your business.

Cindy Mannes is executive director of the Professional Pest Management Alliance and senior vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association. For more about PPMA, visit www.npmapestworld.org/ppma.