Successfully marketing a small business requires creative strategy, careful execution, patience, and sometimes, a little luck. This is especially the case when marketing around the holidays. The festivities can make it easier to build rapport and showcase your brand’s unique voice, but the holiday activities and flood of marketing messages can make it difficult to capture customers’ attention — something to remember with St. Patrick’s Day ideas on the mind.
3 St. Patrick’s Day ideas for marketing your biz
St. Patrick’s Day is Saturday, March 17, and it’s estimated that Americans will spend a record $5.9 billion celebrating the luck of the Irish. Here are three things to keep in mind if your small business is looking for some creative, holiday-marketing techniques to help drive more business on St. Paddy’s Day.
Create one focused offer.
Take advantage of the days leading up to St. Paddy’s.
Have a plan for March 18 and beyond.
Ready to rake in that pot of gold? Then keep reading.
1. Create one focused offer
Lacking focus is one of the biggest issues businesses face when coming up with St. Patrick’s Day ideas for marketing. To generate the best results, it’s important that all your marketing initiatives and brand messaging tie back to one focused activity.
Many businesses get caught up in the holiday and launch several different promotions and offers. While it might seem like you are maximizing your opportunity by offering multiple options, the lack of cohesiveness actually makes it more difficult to communicate your message and drive action.
Rather than spreading your resources across multiple promotions, create one offer and focus your marketing efforts on that single initiative.
Some St. Paddy’s Day ideas to build a marketing campaign might include:
A green-themed discount
This promotional offer taps into one of the most popular aspects of St. Patrick’s Day — the color green.
Pro tip: Try offering a discount to customers wearing green, or run a sale on all your green items (colored or environmentally friendly).
Example (jewelry store): Anyone who purchases emerald jewelry receives 15 percent off.
A lucky contest
Rather than offering a discount, maybe you want to run a giveaway to help drive traffic to your business.
Pro tip: Try being creative with your prize — find something that your target audience would value, and make that the reward.
Example (coffee shop): Every customer on St. Patrick’s Day is entered in for a chance to win free coffee for a year.
Throw a St. Paddy’s Day celebration
Instead of cutting margins with a discount or investing in an expensive prize, try putting that money into hosting an event.
Pro tip: If you’re a local business, collaborate with other companies to help mitigate the expense and provide a mutually beneficial opportunity.
Example (retail clothing store): Partner with local restaurants to cater the event in exchange for exposure and branded T-shirts to use for promotional swag.
Editor’s note: Want to drive more local traffic regardless of the holidays? Consider using a tool like Local Business Listings from GoDaddy. Showcase your business on listings like Google, Yelp, Bing and more, all from one, easy-to-use dashboard.
Try something completely off-the-wall
The issue with holiday-themed promotions is that most of the good ideas have been done before. Don’t be afraid to take a chance and try something completely off-the-wall; maybe it’ll be a hit.
Pro tip: Try running your idea by a few people before you start promoting it. Just because it sounds good to you, doesn’t mean it’ll be received well by others. Remember, your actions affect your brand image.
Example (candle store): Create a “Drunk-Leprechaun” candle that is only sold during the week of St. Patrick’s Day.
2. Take advantage of the days leading up to St. Paddy’s
With your promotional offer in mind, it’s now time to build a cohesive marketing campaign to drive consumers to your business on March 17.
Small businesses typically operate with limited marketing budget, so it’s important to be frugal. Therefore, focus your resources on earned and owned media rather than investing too heavily into paid channels.
Social media strategies
Social media is one of the best places to invest your resources leading up to St. Paddy’s Day. If you want to get the most out of social media without paying for engagement, try:
Creating custom images and videos. Tweets with images are retweeted 150-percent more than text-only tweets. Small businesses can utilize free resources like Canva to create custom social media images for posts leading up to St. Paddy’s Day. By using multimedia and images in your social posts, you can increase engagement.
Optimizing your social profiles. There are several ways to optimize your social profiles for St. Paddy’s Day. Some of the basic changes you might want to make include restyling your logo using green, updating your social headers to highlight your special offer, and pining your promotional post to the top of your page.
Scheduling posts ahead of time. By using a social media management tool like Buffer, you can schedule all your social posts leading up to St. Patrick’s Day at once. This will give you more free time to focus on other marketing efforts.
Taking advantage of hashtags. Hashtags around the holidays always garner a lot of social engagement. You can try creating your own Irish-themed hashtag or simply trend-jack popular hashtags that are receiving attention.
In addition to social media, you should also use your website to promote your St. Paddy’s Day initiatives.
If you’re feeling creative, try re-theming your entire website. Using GoDaddy’s GoCentral Website Builder, you could create a completely custom, Irish-themed website in less than an hour.
If you don’t want to completely rebuild your website, you could still integrate a pop-up or landing page to highlight your promotional offer or countdown to your event. If you do integrate a promotional pop-up, add an email conversion to help build a qualified lead list.
Another less-intrusive website marketing strategy is to create St. Patrick’s-themed content for your blog.
Depending on your industry, there are several ways to use content to increase website traffic; it just requires some creative thinking.
Pro tip: Think about the problems your business solves, and then develop Irish-themed topics that connect to those issues. For instance, if you operate a domain registrar and web hosting company (cough cough), you might want to create an article on St. Paddy’s Day ideas for marketing small businesses.
Social media and website content are two of the most popular ways to market your business for St. Patrick’s Day, but there are some alternative strategies that can help you generate buzz.
Conduct outreach to local media outlets. If your holiday promotion is newsworthy, there is a good chance that local outlets might share your story. The more publicity you generate, the more business you’ll likely generate.
Utilize your current customers. Hopefully, you’ve collected emails or other contact information from your previous customers. If so, send an email or direct mailer to your customers highlighting your St. Paddy’s Day promotion.
Editor’s note: Need an easy way to create an email campaign this St. Paddy’s Day? Check out GoDaddy Email Marketing. Create emails that look fantastic on any device in a matter of minutes, and spread the word about your business.
Pay for engagement. While all the other strategies so far have only required time and resources, another way to generate buzz for your brand around the holidays is to pay for it. You can use social or search PPC to increase the impressions and traffic to your content. However, it’s important to set a clear budget and continuously optimize your messaging to make sure you generate the best return on your investment.
3. Have a plan for March 18 and beyond
The last tip for small businesses looking for help marketing this St. Patrick’s Day is to create a strategy to follow the holiday. In fact, what you do on March 18 and beyond is probably more important than what you did preceding and during St. Paddy’s Day.
For instance, if you operate a photography business, maybe you ran a promotion for the holidays where you gave away free Irish-themed photos for others to use on their blogs or social media posts. The recipients received the photos in email after completing a simple form on your website. Now, it’s March 18 and you have hundreds of contact emails from people who were actively looking for photographs — what do you do next?
Most businesses will appreciate the uptick in traffic and business they receive on St. Patrick’s Day, but the real value is in creating a lifetime customer. Below are a few questions to think about when designing your post-Paddy’s Day strategy:
- What measurables will I look at to see if this was successful?
- What personal information should I collect and why?
- Are these customers, leads, or neither?
- How can I get the most out of my effort?
You might not be able to answer every question, but it’s important to start critically thinking about your actions after the holiday ends.
For instance, if you discover that most of the information you collected was for leads, then you might want to create a drip email campaign to push them through the sales funnel. Additionally, you might decide that your measurement of success is total foot-traffic into your store — but if that doesn’t increase sales as much as you thought, you might want to adjust your measurable to sales for future campaigns.
Stay in the green this St. Paddy’s Day
Small businesses that fail at marketing for St. Patrick’s Day do so because they lack a strategy. While it does take some luck to succeed at marketing your small business around the holidays, it’s more dependent on your own decisions.
If you want to succeed at marketing this St. Paddy’s Day, then:
- Pick one promotional offer to build your marketing campaign around.
- Utilize frugal marketing tactics to promote your brand and your unique offer.
- Develop an actionable plan that maximizes the time and resources you invested.
And after, be prepared to build on the leads you cultivated thanks to the luck of the Irish. Happy marketing!