The equinox is almost upon us, and the days of long afternoons and sweltering barbecues are already fizzling into fond memories. But there’s no need to mourn the summer when we’re only weeks away from autumn’s beautiful burst of burnt colours and cold, crisp mornings!
Even leaving aside all its sheer natural beauty, autumn’s worth looking forward to for all the opportunities it presents to small businesses. Seasonal marketing campaigns are as old as marketing itself, but they work. And with so much going on in the autumn months, what better time could there be to adapt your marketing and get your profits soaring while the leaves fall?
Here are a few autumn marketing ideas to help your business have the greatest Fall since Humpty Dumpty.
Now before we get started here, we’ll add a little disclaimer. The fundamentals of your branding - core elements like your logo, tone of voice and typography - should stay consistent whatever the season. Suddenly deviating between visual or verbal identities will only serve to confuse customers and sacrifice your hard-won reputation and brand recognition.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t adapt the look and feel of your marketing materials to fit different themes. The autumn will see the world take on a dazzling range of distinctive hues, from deep amber to vinous purples; luxurious yellows to enigmatic shades of black. This gives you a whole colour pallet to use across your marketing inventory.
As a practical example, you could make some subtle changes to the colour scheme of your website - maybe adding a stately orange border to clickable boxes and buttons. Don’t get carried away with the seasonal aesthetic though - the last thing you want is a website that looks like a teenager’s MySpace profile circa 2005!
We could rhapsodise about why content is such an essential component of marketing till the leaves are all clean off the trees. Simply put, creating and publishing quality material can and will pay dividends for your business, if done right, and the changing of the seasons is a fertile time to compose content around.
However, it’s not enough to stick a picture of a few crunchy leaves on an otherwise unconnected blog piece and call it autumn content. Whatever seasonal content you create should both something of genuine and specific value and use to the target reader, with a clear application in the context of the autumn months.
For instance, a restaurant or grocers might publish a piece on their blog called ‘5 Special Recipes for Autumn’, featuring tips on making warming soups or pumpkin-based dishes. Similarly, a tool merchants might run a feature profiling the best leaf blowers currently in stock.
There’s lots of space to be creative with your content, but make sure it doesn’t come across as tenuous, opportunistic or, worst of all, useless.
Autumn is packed to the brim with big dates in the calendar. Freshers Week, Halloween, Guy Fawkes Night, Diwali, even Black Friday - the list goes on. Public dates provide the perfect springboard for marketing activities of all types, from time-limited promotional sales down to a simple Tweet.
Obviously not all of these dates will be relevant or appropriate for you to market around, but with such an abundance of big occasions in such quick succession, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to take advantage of at least one or two.
That same volume of significant dates means you’ll be better prepared to harvest all their marketing opportunities (if you’ll pardon the pun) if you start creating your autumn marketing calendar now. Identify the dates you want to work around and sketch out a plan for how you’ll hit each one. That way, you won’t spend the evening of 4th November scrambling to put together a Guy Fawkes Night promotion!
Every year, the autumn months seem to bring a new public initiative designed to help people make positive changes to their lives, like Stoptober, or a fun scheme encouraging people to try something new in a way that will help others, like Movember.
With everyone else striving to better themselves by foregoing bad old habits and stepping into the unfamiliar, why not do something new for the good of your business?
One positive step you could make this autumn is to add a new channel to your marketing mix. This could be as big or small a move as you like - whether it involves finally setting up that Facebook page for your business or launching a fully-fledged Pay-Per-Click campaign on Google Ads, an extra means of connecting with customers rarely goes amiss.
With a canopy of deepening, dazzling colours over your head, crispy leaves underfoot, a hearty stew in the oven and a big stream of customers drawn in by your savvy seasonal marketing ideas, this autumn should be yours for the taking.
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