Fall brings cooler weather, warm sweaters and pumpkin spice everything. People are settling into routines after summer holidays, children are back at school, and potential customers are looking for a fresh start. Savvy entrepreneurs know this is an ideal time to attract new customers—provided that they market their products and services effectively.
In this article, we present six fall marketing ideas to help grow your small or micro business.
Launch an Instagram photo contest
As leaves begin to change colour, what better time of year for wonderful photo opportunities? Invite your customers to take and submit photos of themselves in such backgrounds as pumpkin patches, piles of leaves or corn mazes. From picking fruit to tailgate parties, hiking to building scarecrows, there are ample opportunities for your audiences to take selfies while immersed in their favourite fall activities. Choose a designated hashtag, and feature select entries on your Instagram account. You can even reward those whose photos are featured with a gift certificate.
Present yourself as an eco-friendly brand
Just as summer offers chances to put your logo on coolie cups and Frisbees, fall, too, has opportunities to get your brand before prospective customers. Consider having your logo or wordmark etched on reusable coffee mugs or screen printed on reusable shopping bags. You could even help out your local food bank by encouraging your customers to fill their branded tote bags with canned and other, non-perishable food items.
Give back to your community
With children back in school and involved in extracurricular activities, consider providing refreshment at an after‑school program. Consider sponsoring a pizza party for a youth sports team, or bring snacks to a pre- or post‑game hangout.
Reach out to a local charity and lend your space to a fundraising event such as an open mic night, talent show or poetry slam.
Host a seasonal open house
Offer your customers a tour of your workshop, warehouse or studio. Such a tour lets guests see your latest work and buy any leftover stock you’ve been trying to move.
Combine your event with a tasting or skill-sharing workshop. “Happy hour” events tend to be more relaxed and afford you the opportunity to speak to a captive audience about your expertise, how you got your start and what’s branded your business for success. Imparting your knowledge through a short workshop builds positive associations: you’ve donated your time to teach your guests a tangible skill.
Customers are more likely to engage with your business once they’ve had a chance to get to know you, hear your story and see where your magic happens.
Lower prices as temperatures drop
As the mercury dips, customers are looking to cozy up to warm deals. Draw them to your business with the promise of discounted prices. Offer a discount based on how low the temperature drops. Offering, say, a 30 per cent discount each day the temperature drops below freezing will allow you to close sales when people would otherwise stay home where it’s toasty and comfortable. Entice them further with hot chocolate, cider or gingerbread!
Partner with a non-competing business
Creating an incentive package is an ideal way to refer business to partners who share the same target audience. With more prospective customers thinking about such holidays as Thanksgiving or Halloween, a bistro could partner with a bed and breakfast to offer deluxe Thanksgiving dinner, followed by a night’s accommodation. Alternatively, a local photographer could partner with a makeup artist and costume rental shop to offer a photoshoot to document customers’ most ghoulish Halloween looks. Brainstorm with potential partners to develop a package that shows you understand your clientele’s unique needs. Each business could then market and sell the package, and the partners could divide the proceeds.
What other autumn marketing ideas have you tried? Let us know what’s worked for you by dropping us a comment. Lift Legal would love to hear from you.