Simple but Effective Memorial Day Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business

For many consumers, the Memorial Day holiday is a perfect time to shop – lured by sales, a long weekend, and excitement that comes with the unofficial kick-off of summertime.

This can be good news for small business owners because the increased sales activity has been known to also generate a significant revenue boost for some local businesses.

The week leading up to Memorial Day is the fourth-best week of the year for revenues at local bars and lounges, gardens and nurseries, and landscaping and gardening services, according to data compiled by Womply, a commerce platform that provides apps, APIs, marketing, and financial tools.

This year’s holiday will mark a welcomed change for both customers and businesses -- compared to last year’s Memorial Day weekend, when the pandemic was in its early months and face-to-face activities, including shopping, was limited.

That’s why marketing experts say this is a great time for small businesses to take advantage of a more-open Memorial Day holiday to promote their products and services – a chance to provide a lift to brand awareness and potentially sales. Here’s how:

Go With an Outside, Summer’s Here Theme

Welcome the season’s pleasant weather and customers to your business with a summer-themed promotion.

See if your business can participate in a local barbeque or other organized outdoor activity in your community. Consider hosting or sponsoring an event of your own or get involved in a local organization’s such as the Chamber of Commerce.

Do a sidewalk sale to bring attention to your products and store. If you don’t have a physical location but have products to sell, find a venue to set up a pop-up shop. Perhaps there’s a Memorial Day weekend event in your community that you could join, alongside a parade or other celebration.

Offer Discounts To Active Military, Veterans And Families

“Sometimes the simplest campaigns are the most effective,” says Micah Pratt, online marketing manager for Business.org.

Memorial Day is the perfect time to honor a veteran, active military member, or their family with an exclusive offer.

“Creating an offer especially for service members and their family goes a long way to making them feel appreciated,” Pratt writes in a Business.org post.

Offer a Twitter Coupon

Whether it’s by percentage coupons, buy one get one free or QR code, consider creating a Memorial Day coupon that is exclusive to Twitter followers.

The coupon not only has the power to generate some business, it could expand your company’s exposure and lead to new Twitter followers – and customers.

Personalize Your Memorial Day Promotion    

Come up with a new or special product with a Memorial Day spin or host an onsite event to draw attention to your business and brand.

For example, if you run a coffee shop, bakery or other food business you could prepare and sell pastries, special dishes or drinks with Memorial Day themes, i.e., using the colors red, white and blue or a flag.

Or incorporate symbols associated with popular summer activities, like campouts, the beach, swimming, etc., into your Memorial Day items.

“Not all retailers sell merchandise that can be deemed seasonal, but there are ways to make it relate at least tangentially,” writes Michael Chalberg in a post for POS software company KORONA.

You could also create branded swag to hand out at an event or to shoppers who stop by your store or as a bonus with a purchase. Examples include sunglasses or water bottles.

If it’s not feasible to create a product with a Memorial Day twist but you have a physical location, be sure to add bright holiday decor inside and out, i.e., signage, balloons, streamers, flowers, etc. In addition to the attention it brings to your business, the decor will serve as a colorful invite to local shoppers.

Acknowledge The Holiday On Social Media

Seems like a given but don’t let your Memorial Day promotions and sales messages take up all your social media presence during the holiday weekend.

Because it’s important for your small business to acknowledge the meaning and purpose behind Memorial Day, which was first begun after the Civil War.

Create social media posts with quotes or images that show that your business honors those who died while serving in the U.S. military.

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