One of the best marketing strategies is merely having ‘news’ to share. A new and timely message leads people to turn their heads and give you their attention, even if just for a few moments.
But how do you come up with relevant news that will increase your sales?
Local (or National) Sports and Entertainment Events
Sports events are community events. People talk about them. They gather together to watch them. They follow the storylines for local teams and specific players. In some cases, sports correlate with national or regional pride.
Depending on your industry, your business can tap into these feelings. Tapping into feelings has exceptional power when there’s a local connection, such as a tennis player from your city who makes it to Wimbledon, or an event in the Pan American Games where your country expects to excel.
Some well-known mid-year sports events with eCommerce marketing potential include:
- MLB All-Star Game
- NFL Season Kickoff
- Tour de France
- Pacific Games (South Pacific Islands)
- British Open (golf)
- Pan American Games
- Summer X Games
- US Open (tennis)
- FIBA Basketball World Cup
You can see an even longer list of sports events from around the world here.
The thing to remember with sports events: The team or person you’re aligning with doesn’t have to win for you to make sales. The more profound appeal of sports comes from the storylines, not just the outcomes. When you figure out a way to sync your business with the stories of significant sporting events, you can reap big rewards.
For instance, the Jordan shoe brand released a brand new sneaker at the 2018 NBA All-Star Game and made it available on social media ONLY to people within a certain distance of the Staples Center in Los Angeles where the game was being played.
That hyper-targeting and exclusivity garnered a flurry of activity, and the product sold out in 23 minutes.
The same potential for targeted sales opportunities exists with other entertainment events, such as local music festivals, film festivals, specific movies, TV shows, and other local events.
How can your eCommerce business take advantage of national or local events to increase sales?
Wacky Holidays and Months
Looking for something to say in the next few months to boost your eCommerce marketing? Find a weird holiday that can connect to your business in some way. Sure, you can go after major holidays like Labor Day and July 4th in the US, or back to school week. And you probably should.
But what about July 6th – International Kissing Day? Or how about these:
- July 2nd – World UFO Day
- July 7th – Tell the Truth Day
- July 12th – Simplicity Day
- July 28th – Milk Chocolate Day
If July is too soon for your planning, here are some great ones in August:
- Aug 2nd – International Beer Day
- Aug 13th – Left-Handers Day
- Aug 21st – Spumoni Day
- Aug 31st – Eat Outside Day
July is also Ice Cream Month. And, if you’re in finance, July is Bank Account Bonus Month.
Have a salon business? August is Anti-Frizz Month. It’s also Peach Month and Inventor’s Month.
Where to Find Weird Holidays and Months
So many goofy months and holidays exist these days – you’re sure to find several creative ways to capitalize on them. You can find complete lists of wacky holidays on Days of the Year and Time and Date.
Seven eCommerce Marketing Strategies for Events and Wacky Holidays
The question is, what can you do online to use these opportunities to tell stories, create news, and draw attention to your eCommerce business this summer?
Briefly, here are seven marketing strategies you can use to grow your eCommerce sales:
1. Incorporate Stories Relevant to Your Audience
They don’t have to be true stories. Some great ads feature fictional characters. Other businesses use mascots. And you can (and should) also use case studies and customer testimonials. But tell stories that connect with the people who need the product solutions you’re selling.
A yard furniture business can quickly identify with just about any sports event – “Watch the games outside in our furniture.”
But with a little more brain juice, just about any other eCommerce business can find a connection with a cultural event. Yes, even a tax preparation service! Here are some quick sports-based marketing stories for a tax business we thought of in just a few minutes:
- “Even professional athletes need help with their taxes to stay at the top of their game.”
- “How much will Bryce Harper pay in taxes after signing his $330 million contract? If he were working with us, it would be a lot less.”
Relevance. News. Attention. Timeliness. These things all relate to storytelling, and storytelling depends on having something to talk about that matters to your audience.
2. Create Special Products Exclusively for These Events and Days
The Jordan example shows one way this can work. They created a unique shoe that almost no one could buy. Why? Because it allowed them to raise the price and generate buzz. They created a story, powered it with exclusivity and targeting through social media, and in so doing, skyrocketed the demand.
This kind of campaign takes planning for some businesses. But for others, you need to add a new menu item or rename a product that’s already on your eCommerce site.
3. Take Part in the Event
Especially for local events, find a way to be part of it. Show up. Make your business a destination, or a stopover, that people feel like making part of their event plans.
How can an eCommerce business do this? One growing eCommerce trend is to blend your physical and online stores. These are not separate entities anymore for most businesses.
Many businesses that started purely online now have physical stores.
You can run eCommerce specials and make people show up at the event to claim a prize or bonus. Or, done in reverse, offer everyone you meet at the event an online-only special, right there on their mobile devices.
Don’t keep your eCommerce store separate from a physical presence. It’s both/and, not either/or.
4.Create Well-Targeted Facebook or Google Ads
WooCommerce offers select extensions that can help you create social media and online ads for your eCommerce marketing.
The Facebook extension helps you track conversions, optimize, and retarget using the Facebook Pixel. Likewise, the Google Ads extension allows you to geo-target your Google Ads, as well as a target for specific product categories.
Once you have a story to tell around a holiday, event, or something else relevant to people’s lives, you can build your marketing campaign around it, including your online and social ads.
You’ll have even more success at this if you connect those ads to specialized landing pages specifically created for only that offer – not just your home page or generic product page.
5. Run a Targeted Sale
Events and holidays are great, but marketing always eventually boils down to the offer.
Maybe you want to run a close-out sale. Or perhaps you have a product only available for a limited time because quantities won’t be restocked.
For situations like this and many others, some eCommerce stores are utilizing Amazon. If your business sells through Amazon and you want to connect that to your summer marketing campaign, WooCommerce developed an Amazon extension to help keep customers on your site even while buying through Amazon. With this extension, you can also convert between currencies.
This way, you won’t lose customers to Amazon’s site, while still benefiting from the systems they’ve put in place that so many people feel comfortable using.
6. Create Coupon Campaigns
eCommerce coupons have exploded in popularity in the last few years. Want to join the party?
You can offer so many types of special coupon deals:
- Percent-off sales
- Dollar-off sales
- Free shipping
- Bulk discounts
- Gift certificates
With eCommerce, the ease of creating truly customized one-time offers is so much easier than with a print campaign. And, WooCommerce has developed several coupon extensions. Here are 12 ways to use the Smart Coupon extension. We also created a special extension that allows you to offer a gift as part of an online purchase.
Use coupon specials to close more sales related to holidays and special events.
7. Create Exclusive Experiences at Premium Prices
Coupons are great, and people love deals. But what about actually making more money, rather than having to always discount, discount, discount, and hoping for more transactions to make up the difference?
Experience-based marketing has grown in popularity in recent years, as more businesses have discovered the power of experiences to generate new revenue.
This works because, while many products seem to have a specific perceived value, defining the monetary ‘value’ of an experience is much harder.
For instance, we know how much a beer should cost. But on August 2nd, International Beer Day, how much should it cost for a group of 10 to get a special, one-time-only tour of your brewery from the CEO and a local celebrity, and then attend an exclusive after-party featuring free samples and a live DJ? There’s no natural price point for something like that. You could charge $2500, $3500, or probably $7500, and people will pay it.
Sold to the right crowd, you can charge thousands for an experience like that and turn a silly holiday into a golden cash cow event.
There are many different ways to take advantage of events to connect your brand to the excitement they bring. You don’t have to do it perfectly, but as long as you’re timely, relevant, and attract attention, your store will benefit from the effort.