Fall is an ideal time to promote your business: people are back in town after vacation, kids are back to school, and everyone’s ready for a fresh start. Take advantage of the season’s opportunities with these marketing ideas.
1. Launch an Instagram photo contest: Invite customers to post pictures of themselves engaged in their favorite fall activities (apple picking, flag football, etc.) with a designated hashtag. Choose a winner and offer them a free gift, and re-gram the photo on your account.
2. Hold a “can-do” event: Email customers offering them a discount when they bring in canned and other nonperishable food items to donate to a local food pantry.
3. Put your name on it: Ditch the paper or plastic bags (at least temporarily) in favor of reusable shopping bags featuring your business’s name. You could also encourage customers to carry it by offering a discount when they bring it into the store.
4. Sponsor a team: Support young athletes in a way that fits with your business. For example, if you sell women’s clothing, maybe partner with a girls’ soccer team. Or if you run a restaurant, make your establishment the official pregame coffee spot for parents or postgame hangout for players.
5. Advertise on local blogs: Identify the most popular blogs in your community for news, style, food — whatever best aligns with your business — and advertise special promotions for readers. Not only are the rates less expensive, but you can more easily reach your target market.
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6. Hit the festival circuit: Chances are that organizations in your area host a fall fair or Oktoberfest, so find out how to set up a booth or get involved in sponsoring the event.
7. Host a social IRL party: Invite all your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram followers to meet up in person at your store for a shopping party with special promotions and giveaways.
8. Offer an appealing deal: Entice people in by offering a discount. You can promote your sale via window signage, social media posts, or Square’s email marketing software.
9. Lend your space: Reach out to a favorite local charity, like an animal shelter, and offer them your shop for a fundraising event.
10. Celebrate new holidays: Halloween and Thanksgiving get all the glory, but you can make your business stand out with fun, social media–friendly holidays unique to your business, like a “Sweater Weather Saturday” sale or a “Pumpkin Spice Appreciation Day” event.
11. Start a deal-of-the-week email: Send targeted messages to customers with Square’s email marketing tools offering special discounts on specific items or services.
12. Team up with local businesses: Work with other neighborhood shops to pool your resources (and social media reach) to throw an autumn-themed weekend event with food, entertainment, and lots of special promotions.
13. Bring in the experts: Identify common problems among your customers (home organization, wardrobe ideas, hair updates), and designate a day to offer the expertise of your staff and outside consultants with free in-store consultations.
14. Throw a “treat yo’self” party: Email your best customers (it’s easy to identify them with Square’s tools) and invite them to a special event with complimentary manicures, chair massages, and makeup application along with cocktails and appetizers.
15. Spend now, save later: Holiday shopping season is looming, so tempt your customers with a deal: if they spend a certain amount now, they’ll get a designated amount off their purchase after Thanksgiving.
16. Get media savvy: Reach out to local TV news, radio shows, and podcasts to pitch seasonal stories that relate to your business, like fall fashion updates, seasonal recipes, and more.
17. Hire fresh talent: Need new photography, graphic design, or social media help? Reach out to local high schools, colleges, and design schools for talented young employees who can give your business a fresh perspective (and audience).
18. Donate to local auctions: Fall is a huge fundraising time for schools and charity organizations, so reach out to some of your favorites and offer goods and services for raffles and silent auctions. You’ll raise awareness about your business and be a good neighbor.
19. Host a swap party: Create a Facebook invite and ask all your fans to bring in one good-as-new item for a clothing or home goods swap and shopping party. Donate any unclaimed items to charity.
20. Get some, give some: Promote your store’s personalized Square gift cards for preholiday shopping by offering a deal for buying in multiples, like get a free $15 gift card for every $100 you spend on gift cards.
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