It’s that time of year again… Long hot days, vacations and summer fun is winding down and it’s time to shift your focus to fall marketing ideas and connecting with your customers around what’s important to them right now. While fall is a favorite season for many, it’s also a busy one. Cutting through the online clutter will be challenging; but this time of year also lends itself to really being able to offer fans something useful, fun and relevant.
As you plan your fall strategy, check out these 12 marketing ideas and themes to help build your content calendar.
Back-to-school time brings a level of excitement but also stress. Earlier days, homework and after-school activities now dominate the lives of families everywhere; quite the change from lazy summer months. Be one step ahead of moms and dads everywhere… Start thinking early about teacher gifts, school breaks, important school events (homecoming) and how your brand can tie into these big events.
2. Youth Sports
Traditional fall sports include soccer, football, hockey, cross-country, tennis, swimming and golf. Equipment, safety, rules, overall fitness and good sportsmanship will be front and center once again.
Costumes, safety, party ideas, unique and creative recipes and decorations are the obsession of moms everywhere. The Halloween chatter starts early, August isn’t too soon to start your content sharing and the online conversation.
4. Fall Love
Pumpkins, holidays, rich colors, crafts, do-it-yourself… If you browse Pinterest anytime August through December you’ll find the majority of people are focused on these themes. Get in on this obsession! Remember, create your content early – people are already pinning fall and winter stuff mid-summer. You want time for your content to organically grow and circulate; don’t post a Thanksgiving do-it-yourself craft or blog post one week before the holiday. Post it early fall and reap the rewards as people pin and share over the following months.
5. Holiday Saving
As many people gear up for gift buying, they pinch pennies in other areas. Relate to this need and show that you understand, and that you are their partner in purchasing smart. Help with fall planning, smart ways to save money or budget and give a sneak peek on sale dates and items.
6. Holiday Spending
On the flip side of saving is the spending! Labor Day sales, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas shopping consume messaging during November and December. Get creative with your marketing efforts and go beyond the general “sale” announcements. Use headlines and subject lines that tell more of a story or explain how someone will benefit by taking the time to read your material.
7. Daylight Savings
Not a huge deal, but something some brands are able to get creative and have fun with. In 2013, Krispy Kreme did a fun “Lose an Hour, Gain a Doughnut!” promotion to get extra people in the door. Silly? Yes. But for their brand, it worked.
8. Election Time
Religion and politics are two topics we generally want to stay away from, but nobody can deny the importance of voting and educating yourself on important issues in your community. There are a ton of brands that have creatively used this time period to engage their audience while successfully staying away from politics. Purina did a fun “America’s Pet Debate” and Chipotle has been known for giving away free burritos to those who come in with their “I Voted” sticker.
Tailgating, game/viewing parties, snacks, good old-fashioned friendly competition – a good portion of America rejoices when pre-season football starts in August and it doesn’t stop until The Big Game in February. This is a topic where fans can get really fired up – have fun with it and play along!
10. Gratitude & Thankfulness
While your fans are thinking about what they’re thankful for, make sure you use this time to show them why you’re thankful for them too. Show them that you are listening and taking action on feedback, that you appreciate the time they spend to use your product or visit you online and that they help make your brand better.
11. Holiday Parties & Corporate Gifts
Holiday office parties and gifts for clients or the boss can be a stressful thought. Show why your product or brand will make this decision easier on them. Early bird rates for venue or catering services, thoughtful and appropriate gift ideas, suggestions on budget limits and easy yet nice gifts for co-workers will all be welcomed advice.
12. Winter Preparations
Like with the fall Pinterest craze, winter is right around the corner. New Year’s Resolutions, The Big Football Game, Valentine’s Day, snow, cold weather home preparations… This is content you’ll want ready to go in November! Spend August and September nailing down your fall marketing strategy and then dive right into winter.
These twelve fall marketing ideas can help you build a full content calendar rich with value, fun and topics for engaging your fans. Have fun with it!