By: Hilary Wickes, America Outdoors
Outdoor recreation business is booming this time of year. The weather is right, families have time to spend together, and the Fourth of July and Labor Day just don’t work inside- so they come to you! By now, you have learned to capitalize on holiday opportunities like these. But are you utilizing all the other outdoor holidays for your marketing purposes?
Even some of the more obscure or lesser known holidays can be used to your advantage. After all, any excuse to contact your marketing list can lead to a purchase!
How can you use these holidays in your business?
Run a Sale/ Offer a Discount
“National Day of Unplugging has us thinking of SUMMER! For this special holiday, we are offering a 20% discount on a family fishing trip!” Yes, it can be that simple! What makes these holidays so effective is that you have something NEW to say. Really, the message is the same (book with us now), but this gives you a creative, different way to say it. And the imagery you can create can be quite inventive and fun as well.
As you can see in the example above, you don’t need to overthink this. Your customers don’t need a long narrative about why you’ve decided to offer this discount- they’ll just be happy to have the opportunity to do their favorite activity for a special price.
If you prefer not to offer discounts, these holidays can still be an effective use of marketing time. Instead of running a sale, use this opportunity to remind your customers about why they need to prioritize outdoors experiences/ family time this year.
Do a fun social media post
Social media has its place in the sales funnel, but it’s important to remember to use it as a tool for engagement! Your past and future customers aren’t perpetually in a state of being ready to book their next vacation. In the meantime, remind them of the fun they had when they were vacationing. Using holidays in social media is a great way to virtually maintain relationships and can help you weave a positive narrative, two foundational engagement factors according to Robert Cialdini in his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.
Keep these posts light! Find funny photos and hashtags to connect the dots and get your customers in the frame of mind they were in when they visited you. This example, by Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch, demonstrates this perfectly. In this short post, they were able to convey the feeling of sitting in a hammock with all the time in the world AND they mentioned a commercial partner (Kammok)- win-win!
Now it’s your turn to have some fun. The sky is the limit! Take these fun examples and run with them! Creativity is key.
Get the list
Still need some ideas about which days to target? We have compiled a list of some fun outdoor industry celebration days to get you started:
January 1- First Day Hikes
March 1 - National Day of Unplugging
March 3- World Wildlife Day
March 12- National Girl Scout Birthday
April 20 – 28- National Park Week
April 22- Earth Day
April 26- National Arbor Day
First week in May- National Wildflower Week #NationalWildflowerWeek
May 18- Kids to Parks Day
June 1-30 - Great Outdoors Month #EscapetheIndoors
June 1 - National Trails Day
June 8 (Saturday)– Get Outdoors Day
June 22- Great American Campout
June 26 - National Canoe Day #canoeday
July 8-14 – National Forest Week #NationalForestWekk
August 3- Campfire Day
August 25 National Park Service Birthday #nps #findyourpark
September 28- National Public Lands Day #nps #findyourpark
September 28- National Fishing & Hunting Day
November 17- National Take a Hike Day
November 29- Opt Outside Day- #optoutside
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it should get you started with your outdoor holidays marketing efforts. Keep in mind- some of the dates may change for 2020, so make sure to check the links above next year.
*This list was made with the help of the following websites: Reserve America and Holiday Insights.
About the Author:
Hilary Wickes is the Marketing and Communications Specialist for America Outdoors, Where Outfitters Thrive. To connect with Hilary about membership, advertisement opportunities, partnerships or PR, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.