Happy Chocolate Covered Anything Day!

Leveraging micro-holidays in your marketing campaigns to increase sales.

Today is a beautiful day dedicated to covering anything you can think of in chocolate. The possibilities are endless! Tons of people, from stay-at-home bakers and professional chocolatiers to news networks and liquor companies, are finding ways to get in on the action. The moment I heard this was a holiday, I knew I was ready to celebrate!

Unlike classic holidays which are rooted in origin stories and nostalgic traditions, micro-holidays offer little explanation to their roots; this is part of the genius though. No matter where you live, what your background is, or what you’re interested in, you can get involved and celebrate something fun that speaks to you. Interpretations and ways to celebrate most non-traditional holidays are left open for innovation on purpose.

These holidays thrive on social media platforms where anyone can add to the excitement with a cool spin on the theme. With days like today having topics that are strangely specific in title, yet, somehow, also vague through historical obscurity, there’s opportunity for playfulness between international and social boundaries.

Essentially, these holidays open a unique opportunity to highlight creativity, encourage playful discussion, and create new positive community connections.

There are increasing numbers of calendars and websites dedicated to these fun national holidays. They’re not just restricted to days either, you can find weeks and months dedicated to everything from National Play Catch Week to Increase Your Posture Month. Upcoming monthly observances for January include National Soup Month, National Mentoring Month, and the recently designated National CBD Month. Maybe you’ll kick off the new decade by celebrating Diet Resolution Week. If it turns out not to be your thing though, fear not, National Pizza Week will only be a few days away.

Are you leveraging these micro-holidays in your marketing calendar to increase your sales?

These niche holidays were largely created by companies and organizations as vehicles to promote brands and raise awareness for causes. The curators of websites such as National Day Calendar and Days of the Year take holiday designations seriously so that the market doesn’t get overly saturated. They’re, however, still open to continually expanding the calendar. And if you have a great new festive idea, they welcome suggestions that would be relevant to new markets.

While certain holidays, like National Pancake Day, are openly sponsored by IHop, who uses the day to raise money for charity, the celebration isn’t exclusive. On March 12 this year, people around the world got involved with National Pancake day, posting pictures and videos of their fluffy and artistic pancake creations. Many other corporations, including Comedy Central, also joined in sharing a classic Charlie Murphy clip from the Dave Chapel Show.

One of the greatest things about these holidays is their versatility. Today, for example, there’s no reason to restrict interpretations of Chocolate Covered Everything to food, chocolate has so many components and uses. Beauty brands with cocoa butter in a skin cream or lip balm could offer a 1-day discount to chocolate lovers so they can decadently cover themselves in chocolate. Have cocoa in your protein shake?  Share a special recipe that highlights the versatility of your product with a mouthwatering picture to catch people’s eye.

While you can choose to go a straightforward route, like pasta companies and Velveeta promoting National Noodle Ring Day, some companies have successfully gone a more imaginative and playful route. For around six years, Krispy Kreme donuts participated annually in Talk Like a Pirate Day. Krispy Kreme employed the days theme to offer a free donut to anyone who used a pirate Snapchat filter they had created. To sweeten the pot, they also offered a free dozen donuts to any swashbuckling patrons stouthearted enough to swagger into a physical store, dressed in their finest pirate garb. To many fans dismay, the tradition came to an end in 2018.

Not all non-traditional holiday campaigns need to be linked to your products or offerings either.

Fostering brand loyalty through positive corporate initiatives is another way to speak to and potentially grow your audience.

In 2017, two knights in shining armor strode through the doors of our Toronto office and handed our office manager a single yellow carnation. The bold and highly visible stunt was a small piece of a larger campaign to promote Medieval Times’ CSR program #chivalryinaction through celebrating Random Acts of Kindness Week and Administrator Appreciation Day. They were also seen on their social media accounts visiting people in hospitals and retirement homes and packing lunches for kids in need. By showing dedication to improving their community, Medieval Times leverages Random Acts of Kindness week to positively boost their brand both in person and through social media.

By picking the right non-traditional holiday, you might just hit on a golden opportunity to boost revenue in a historically slow month, move some products that you’ve been wanting to clear from your inventory, or strike a chord with your followers that will foster a deeper sense of brand loyalty.

Tips and strategies for incorporating fun national holidays in your marketing calendar:

1. Scour a few resources and identify the best potential day/week/month celebrations for you

  • Craft a list of holidays that have potential for a relevant connection with your brand. As long as you can make a clear, meaningful link between your brand and a holiday, you should be able to workshop a strategy for an engaging campaign.

2. Do your research

  • Dig deeper into those holidays you’ve listed to determine if they truly align with your overall marketing strategy and initiatives. Always keep your brand values in mind and, just as importantly, the values that are important to your audience.

3. Think globally

4. Be selective

  • Don’t overdo it and try to participate in every holiday that you can create a link to. Your research should have helped you narrow down your focus onto a few great options for potential campaigns. Match that data with your social media calendar to set out an actionable plan. Remember to allow time for your creative team to craft some engaging content!

5. Review your data

  • Look at your historical sales trends and determine which parts of the year your sales will need a little boost. Pick a holiday in this range to kick off a contest or promotional deal.

6. Have some fun!

  • Use the theme as an excuse to encourage interaction and discussion.
  • Get out from behind your desks and get into the action. Celebrate something silly together in your office, participate in a themed activity, or volunteer in your local community.
  • If you go for a full week or month campaign, you can change your social media banners or even stylize your logo to match your initiative. This strategy is often employed by large brands during celebrations like Pride Month and can really grab consumers' attention.
  • Host an event and invite customers or clients to attend with your team. Take pictures of the celebrations so you can highlight the festivities in social channels and newsletters.

7. Make sure your posts are optimized

  • Take the time to craft eye-catching content and don’t forget to double check you’re using the official hashtags for your chosen holidays. These elements will help people find your content, spark more interest, and lead to more potential shares.

Non-traditional holidays are a fantastic way to promote your brand and build customer loyalty. There’s no limit to the creative ways you can integrate these special days into your marketing calendar. Think outside the box, have some fun, and let’s make every day a new reason to celebrate!

Check out the links below for resources to help you find the perfect fun holidays to add to your marketing calendar.

Some more chocolate for you. :)

Here are some great resources for you to find a holiday that best fits your brand:

  1. Days of the Year
  2. National Day Calendar
  3. Chase’s Calendar of Events
  4. Sprout Social’s Hashtag Holiday Calendar
  5. Hootsuite
  6. Hubspot

Written by: Shona Turner, Accounts Payable Clerk