Supermarkets have been selling Easter eggs since January – they have large budgets and teams of marketers planning campaigns throughout the year that tie in with public holidays, the seasons and the buying habits of customers.
As part of a new monthly series on Perfect Balance Marketing I’ll be looking at the themes that you can tie in with your marketing to keep customers and visitors engaged with your business.
Read on for this month’s themes including Easter, Mothers’ Day and gardening.
New beginnings, Spring cleaning, lighter evenings, decluttering and fresh air are just some of the things I love about this time of year.
With the arrival of Spring comes a sense of newness – new home interiors, new clothes, new shoes, time to clear out old homewares and open up the windows to blow away the cobwebs. Woohoo!
What changes are you making at your holiday business in preparation for the new season? Any refurbishments to properties or rooms you can share with your online audience?
We love to take a look behind closed doors to see a development in progress before it’s officially unveiled to guests so share photos of work being done with your social networks – this generates interest but also a bit of buzz from guests wanting to stay in the newly refurbed properties.
Last weekend I ventured into the garden for the first time since November – with mixed feelings. The joy and optimism of the brightly coloured daffodils versus the untouched and neglected weeds and overgrown borders….
The garden centres capitalise on this annual trauma that many of us go through in March by packing their shelves with vibrant flowers and expensive garden maintenance tools.
Compost bags line the supermarket aisles, clothes shops replace Winter woolies with gardening gloves and lightweight jackets, and sales of oil and WD40 spike as lawn mowers get the annual service.
What’s happening in the countryside around your holiday business? Take photos of the Spring flowers, the early morning frosts, the first sunny days of the year and share them on your social networks – counting down to the new season of visitors.
Could you also offer garden breaks? Or link a short break offer with a local flower show?
Finally an excuse to share photos of our dogs and cats to our Facebook business pages! Yippee!
National Pet Month is a registered charity and runs throughout April, encouraging responsible pet ownership and raising money for pet charities through events and sponsorship.
Are your properties dog-friendly? Shine a light on them buy writing a blog post featuring dog-friendly beaches and pubs nearby while also showcasing the cottages where well-behaved family pets are welcome.
Do your staff have pets? Behind-the-scenes personal posts work really well on social media, so ask your team to take a photo of themselves with their pet and share in an album on your Facebook page.
Could you arrange an event to raise money for the charity?Perhaps a sponsored dog-walk along the local coast path? Just take care to keep those doggies on their leads, clear up any doggie-doos and stick to dog-friendly beaches and paths…
If you offer holidays or products and services to tourists, you’re already working in the wellness industry, because you help people to unwind and relax. What better time to highlight this benefit than National Stress-Awareness month?
Held every April since 1992, this event is an opportunity to discuss the key causes of stress, symptoms to be aware of and how to reduce stress in our everyday lives.
Why do people go on holiday? One of the big motivators is to relax and get away from the pressures of daily life. Highlight the health benefits of taking even just a short away by and run a special offer to encourage people to escape to your holiday business for a few nights this April.
Run a partner offer with a local spa to give guests a reduced price treatment during their stay, or offer locally-produced spa products to the first ten bookings as an incentive to book.
Whoopee cushions, cling film on the toilet seat, fake dog poos on the lounge carpet – plenty of cheap and cheerful ways to put a smile on your loved one’s face (or more probably a frown and a tut if they’re older than 8…).
Also a time when corporations have fun coming up with amusing and entertaining stories to share with their social media fans…
How about new bouncy aisles being introduced by Tesco to help us reach those top shelves?
Introducing: Bouncy Aisles, in-store from Friday.
Those pesky products on high shelves better watch out… pic.twitter.com/qevQkG4gYn
— Tesco (@Tesco) 1 April 2015
Or this one from Dr Oetker – spicy beef meatball sprinkles anyone? Ugh.
— Dr. Oetker Baking UK (@DrOetkerBakes) 1 April 2015
What fun could you have on April Fools’ Day? Perhaps offer mole-watching short breaks? Or announce a new special offer where guests who arrive by surf receive a free cream tea?
You may discover your gag backfires (as it did for the Tactical Kilt, featured above) when your guests are so taken with the concept that you have to genuinely consider offering it in future! The tactical kilt is available from all good outdoor clothing specialists…
Or maybe you could offer people an escape from the jokes and tricks with a personalised gift experience, or a luxury hamper of products to enjoy while they hide away from the pranksters?
Earth Day is an annual movement that focuses on environmental issues including climate change and renewable energy.
How green is your business? Many customers will choose to stay at a property because of its green credentials and environmental policies so clearly share yours online and in all your communications.
Show your support for Earth Day – support local suppliers, take steps to reduce your carbon footprint, organise a rund-raising event – you may even enjoy some free press coverage if you publicise what you’re up to.
[Don’t forget to register any local events you’re involved with on the website].
Celebrate the Patron Saint of England who notoriously slayed a dragon on this national day
Run a special St George’s Day offer where the first five guests to book receive a cream tea on arrival (it’s red and white so that counts as relevant, right?). Or consider putting knights and dragon activity packs in your accommodation for families with children – include a colouring sheet, small toy dragon, colouring pens and perhaps instructions and materials to make their own cardboard knight’s helmet!
Get creative and have fun planning an amazing short break package that families with young children will love, then promote it to your email subscribers, previous guests and social media audiences.
Kind of like Christmas, Easter has become a major retail event. Large family get-togethers, huge banquets of carved meats, chocolate egg hunts and yellow chicks are plastered around the stores from January.
It’s also when the kids get a couple of weeks off school, so millions of families around the country are looking for fun things to do away from the TV and the devices… could you provide an answer?
Here are some ideas you could try:
Tailor your Easter activities to things your customers may like – do they have kids, will they be working, would they prefer traditional Easter messages or the more modern commercial ones?
Do you have any dates I’ve missed? Add them in the comments below (along with any other suggestions related to the events above).
Click to start planning and see May’s marketing themes here.