Business development 28 March 2017

Four Easter marketing ideas for small business owners

Easter marketing ideas
Try to give yourself a few weeks lead up to the actual event to advertise your Easter marketing ideas

Writing for Business Advice, Rafferty Gifford, an SEO and digital marketing specialist at alternative finance provider Liberis, reveals some of the best Easter marketing ideas that could bring an extra sales windfall this holiday season.

Making the most of seasonal events is a great way to boost the visibility of your brand. We see it so often with holidays such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day, the branded marketing campaigns that produce a flurry of consumer activity, that we can forget how effective they actually are at building a loyal customer base and fostering a community amongst your clients.

What is important to remember is that, although it’s imperative that your business becomes and stays profitable, it’s equally as important to not over-spend when the return isn’t likely to match the costs. What is important to your client is the perceived added value to them. They can choose to go to any restaurant, shop or event, so why should they want to come to yours?

A well thought out offer and the right planning can make a huge difference to the success of the endeavour.

Try to give yourself a few weeks lead up to the actual event to advertise it, whether that’s on your own website, in local papers, partner blogs or flyers. You will need to have the promotion or event planned well in advance and the details nailed down so you can promote it effectively. Set yourself up for success and not a rushed mess.

If you’re stuck for inspiration on what to do, here are a few Easter marketing ideas we’ve come up with to help you.

1. Easter promotions or events

Creating a special event to run in parallel with the day is the most obvious way to make the most of a seasonal occasion. For example, if you own or run a restaurant, you could create a seasonal menu, using local produce, or themed foods. Lamb and rabbit are popular choices at Easter, as are chocolate and egg based dishes of course.

Don’t forget, adults love Easter celebrations too so splash out on an Easter themed cocktail or two.

If your business isn’t food related then you can still get in on the act and arrange promotional events with a theme, such as bonnet or basket making days, egg decorating, children’s book story telling hours, or a visit from the Easter Bunny.

The important point is to make these events seem fun, inclusive and “not to be missed”. Create a sense of ceremony and your clients will visit in droves and talk about you with friends, thus raising your brand profile. Win-win.

2. Social media competitions and content

If you don’t have the time or space to host an event at your premises, or if your business doesn’t have a premises, you could run an online event, such as a competition with prizes, best follower egg decorating, guess the name of the bunny, etc. Anything to get people talking, sharing and interacting with your social channels.

The number of social channels that allow you to use video and live-streams can’t be ignored now either. Whilst it’s not everyone’s idea of a good time, the pay-off can be great in terms of increased brand awareness and improved perception.

You could go live with a fun Easter based activity. For instance, you could get your staff outdoors and looking for the “Easter Bunny” – tracking him through the streets or fields. Or you could make a quick tutorial and post it online – for example Easter hairstyles, table decorating for the Easter feast or flower arranging.

Don’t forget you can also use social channels like SnapChat and purchase Geofilters that can be used in your shop, buy the area by the square foot, make a branded Easter filter and then start snapping away, get as many of your customers to share their silly pictures as possible and spread the giggles!

The added brand awareness alone is enough to make this worthwhile – it’s an almost free advertising tool, so perfect for cash-strapped businesses. Social media gives us an opportunity to up-sell as well – by posting content like tutorials you can highlight the skills you might have as a stylist or showcase your hair accessories.

Think laterally about what “value” you are giving your followers and you will make loyal brand ambassadors of them.

3. Easter egg hunt

Invite all your customers or clients to an Easter egg hunting extravaganza, hide eggs (chocolate or not) around your premises and let them go wild rooting them out.

If you’re using chocolate eggs, make sure there are plenty to find as this will be the reward in itself. If you choose to use real eggs or paper eggs then the person who finds the most can be declared the winner and awarded with a prize.

If you hold an adults only event then this would be an ideal opportunity to promote something you sell, or give away an “experience”.

Making this event a success is key to seeing the ROI on it. We recommend thinking about a merchant business cash advance if you want to make sure you have the cash flow in place for the big day, especially if you want your plans to have the highest impact and return.

Complementary events can be planned in the lead up to the big day, such as decorating your own egg collecting baskets; this is a particularly good one for children.

This type of one day event will create a real clamour for attendance, especially if the prize is particularly enticing or the entrance is free or very cheap.

This sort of publicity can’t always be bought and will generate interest that your customers can talk about for weeks to come – increased foot traffic to your door is always welcome as once in the store you can encourage sales.

4. In-store Easter marketing ideas

In-store Easter marketing ideas can be as simple or as crazy as you want to make them – the things that will hold you back are space, time or finances.

If it’s space then try running a promotional discount, maybe a loyalty card with a limited time offer so that your customers will have to visit several times or make a few purchases to gain their freebie or discount.

This works well in coffee shops or small gift shops. Clothing stores can glorify their rails and walls with fun new Easter decorations like little bunnies, eggs, chicks and flowers – it shouldn’t take up much room and will be a festive nod to the day.

If you want to try something a bit more time intensive but very cool, then a virtual egg hunt with geo-caching could unlock a discount for dedicated customers.

If you have a store with numerous customers who are parents then treating the kids is always a welcome relief to flustered shoppers. A free colouring stash for children who come in with parents (some simple printed colouring pages and inexpensive crayons) will put a smile on their faces and wouldn’t have to cost the earth.

In-store marketing can help set the tone and turn your promotional campaigns into profitable sales by theming your store to mark the occasion. By giving your business an Easter feel, you can link the meaning of the holiday with your product or service.

Give whatever bargain deal or offer you come up with an authenticity and by linking it to a known holiday you give consumers a reason to shop. In addition, a well decorated and inviting store can draw in potential customers.

Rafferty is a digital marketing professional at Liberis, a small business alternative finance provider in the UK. Specialising in PPC advertising, SEO and social media, her role involves attracting and engaging customers online.

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