How to Use Nontraditional Holidays To Market Your Business

National I-Am-In-Control Day (March 30), National Donut Day (first Friday in June), #SwapIdeasDay (September 10). Who knew every date on the calendar has its own holiday? It’s a great way to highlight a cause, pay tribute or just have fun. It’s also an opportunity to promote your business. Ever heard of Christmas in July? Read on to learn how to use nontraditional holidays to market your business.

It’s common for entrepreneurs to use the big three to promote their business—Halloween, Christmas, President’s Day. They’re recognizable and predictable. But with everyone promoting at the same time, it’s easy for your message to get lost in the clutter.

That’s what makes nontraditional holidays so attractive. They’re unexpected so it gets people’s attention. And you’re competing with fewer promotions. That means your message has a better chance of getting through.

So what are these holidays? Take a look at these lists to see what’s available on a given day: National Holidays for Small Business, Weird Holidays to Celebrate on Social Media, Hashtag Holidays, Fun Holidays.

4 Ways to Use Nontraditional Holidays

Before you start celebrating Lost Sock Day (May 9), take a look at these ideas for using offbeat holidays:

Choose the Right Holiday

While it might be fun to celebrate National Chocolate Chip Day (May 15), it may not be appropriate if you’re running a diet counseling center. So select a holiday that’s compatible with your business. National Taco Day (October 4) is a natural for a restaurant. Compliment Your Mirror Day (July 3) might be a good match for a barbershop or hair salon.

There are some holidays that could work for most businesses. For example, National Trivia Day (January 4) offers a chance to highlight little known facts about your product or service. Some businesses use their social media platforms to conduct a contest with prizes or discounts given to followers who respond with the right answer. Others use National Selfie Day (June 21) to get customers to post photos using their product.

Show Local Pride

Not all holidays need to be national. Look for opportunities to highlight local connections. For example, dedicate a day to the street where your business is located. It’s an opportunity to remind people where they can find you. 

Another idea is to celebrate a famous local resident, especially if they relate to your business. Imagine the buzz a hardware store might create with a day to honor the shop teacher at your local high school. A personal appearance by this individual could be combined with a demonstration of a new gadget you’re selling.  

Support a Cause

Holidays like World Cancer Day (February 4) can be an important way to demonstrate your commitment to a specific cause. The key is to look for causes you genuinely support. 

Think carefully before you pair a cause-related holiday with a sale. Doing so can seem disingenuous. Instead, focus on providing information, volunteering or raising funds for the organization. The reward is in positioning your business as socially responsible, a quality consumers look for when selecting a business.

Be Prepared For A Rush

The whole point of using nontraditional holidays is to generate activity. So be sure you’re prepared to handle the increased attention. Nothing is worse than getting people excited, and not being able to meet their demand. 

If you market online, that means looking at bandwidth to be sure you can process an increase in traffic. For brick-and-mortar businesses, check to be sure you have enough stock on hand and staff to serve customers and ship orders. 

In either case, have a contingency plan ready if demand exceeds your capacity. That might include giving rain checks, extending a sale, or offering free shipping for delayed orders. 

Nontraditional holidays can be a unique opportunity for businesses. It’s an effective way to get the attention of customers without having to fight for attention from bigger holidays. Start with these ideas to take advantage of this valuable marketing opportunity.