As the weather brightens, we say goodbye to springtime, and hello to wondrous summer. How do we know summer is on the horizon? Because Memorial Day is just around the corner! This year, Memorial Day is on the 27th of May. As we all know, this holiday traditionally marks the start of the glorious vacation season. We can pay homage to those fallen in combat, and look forward to the adventures and memories that will be made during the summer months.
Whilst Memorial Day is a time for celebration and remembrance, it can also be a time for business. This is a hugely popular and prominent federal holiday. It is talked about in the media – the whole country joins in the celebration. You can utilize this to your advantage and create some awesome Memorial Day marketing strategies. In the text below, we provide a little background history about this day. We also look at 8 marketing ideas to skyrocket your business for Memorial Day.
Why is Memorial Day an important US Holiday?
First, let’s take a look at Memorial Day and its origins. Below is some basic information about this annual holiday:
– Celebrated on the last Monday of May (This year it’s the 27th)
– From 1868 to 1970 it used to be celebrated only on the 30th of May
– It is officially a day to honor those who have died whilst serving in the Armed Forces
– Unofficially, it marks the start of summer vacation in the US
This is a time when the people of America join together in celebration. We remember people who died whilst serving in the armed forces – this covers any conflict and theatre of war including WW1, WW2, the Vietnam War and more. We also consider that they made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could know freedom.
Origins and History
The exact origins of Memorial Day are mired in controversy and confusion. President Johnson created the official birthplace of Memorial Day – Waterloo in New York. It is said that in 1866, Henry C. Welles and John B. Murray first started the tradition and thus are official founders of the holiday.
Despite this official history, traditions vary in the North and South. In the North, for example, it is held that General Logan first started the tradition. He called for a national Decoration Day on which the public should decorate the graves of fallen soldiers. In the South, however, many believe the tradition was started by ladies from Columbus in Georgia – they would lay flowers on soldiers’ graves in a similar manner to the Decoration Day in the North.
Many celebrations take place on Memorial Day. The most prominent is the National Memorial Day Concert. This has been held since 1989 and is broadcast live on national TV.
The raising and lowering of the US flag is also a tradition that is widely observed. Parades are usually held in towns and cities – these are performed by both active and retired members of the Armed Forces. Military cemeteries are often visited by families, and flags or flowers are laid on the graves of their loved ones.
How can you use this important US holiday to boost your business?
National holidays are a prime time to ramp up your marketing strategies. It is common practice for businesses throughout the States. Christmas, New Year, Easter, Thanksgiving – each has its own unique style and typical marketing. Memorial Day is no different. This is the most important military-based holiday next to Veterans Day. It therefore gains wide publicity and the American public is heavily invested in celebrations during this time.
To make the most of Memorial Day, why not create a unique marketing campaign? As a business, you can join in the celebrations and have some fun. You can also potentially gain publicity and exposure whilst honoring our fallen heroes. Below are 10 fantastic marketing ideas that could make your business shine during this federal holiday:
1. Add patriotic elements into your media
Red, white and blue. These are the colors you will predominantly see over Memorial Day weekend. These are the patriotic colors of the United States and are represented on our national flag. Due to this fact, these are the colors usually associated with this day. Soldiers’ graves and memorial statues are usually decorated with US flags. Banners and streamers are erected in streets and houses.
As a business, you should also show your patriotism! Turn your website and marketing into a wash of red, white and blue. Alternatively, you could use retro styling or old war photos to pay homage to previous conflicts such as World War I.
Be creative! Most of all, use your digital media to promote Memorial Day and what it stands for. Crello has a multitude of Memorial Day themed media such as blog headers that you could incorporate into your website. We fly the red white and blue proudly!
2. Include sincere words of remembrance in your marketing content
Memorial Day is a time of remembrance – don’t forget this. Before you do anything else, you should create a dedication on your website and marketing outlets. This should be a simple paragraph or sentence to commemorate the event. Show that you genuinely care. Let the public know that you understand the importance of this holiday and what it means.
If you have lost a family member or friend, create a dedication to them. Whilst these actions may not directly increase business, it will improve your reputation. The public will see that you care and their opinion of your company will increase.
3. Host a Memorial Day event
This holiday is a time for both celebration and remembrance. Friends and families join together to have fun and share memories. What’s more, temperatures are usually improving and the sun is shining brightly. What better way to promote your business than to host a sponsored Memorial Day event? This is common practice for many businesses. The following are some event ideas:
– Memorial day cookout
– Neighborhood Bake-off
– Pool party
– Picnic at a public park
– National Park hiking day
The possibilities are endless! You can, of course, promote the event through social media and your website. To do this, you could use some of Crello’s Memorial Day social media templates that showcase the US Flag among other patriotic items. Furthermore, those who attend can be given promotional materials such as business cards and brochures. The primary aim is to have fun and celebrate. This doesn’t mean you can’t promote your own business at the same time!
4. Sponsor a Memorial Statue
Throughout the United States, you can find war memorials and statues. These important monuments have been erected as a sign of respect and remembrance. Well-known memorials include Pearl Harbor Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial and Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Aside from memorials, there are also war cemeteries such as Arlington National Cemetery.
These reverent sites require upkeep. Maintenance is mainly possible due to public donations and sponsorships. Why not show your gratitude and make a donation on behalf of your business? By doing so, you are making a generous contribution. You can publicize the donation/sponsorship through your website and social media outlets. Additionally, you could ask the general public to help out and contribute their own donations.
5. Advertise exclusive Memorial Day discounts
Who doesn’t love a discount? Everyone likes to feel like they are gaining a bargain. One of the easiest ways to boost your business on Memorial Day is to create exclusive discounts. If you look at other websites you will see the same thing, “Memorial Day weekend sale”, “Exclusive Memorial Day discount” and similar promotions.
One particular type of offer is the limited time discount. Limited time discounts create a buzz. If you see an advert such as, “25% off Memorial Day sale – closes at 22:00 tonight” your brain immediately starts ticking, even if you are not particularly interested in the products. The wording and limited availability create almost a panic – you feel as if you don’t want to miss out.
Start advertising these promotions well in advance. Some businesses make the mistake of launching their promotions only on Memorial Day weekend itself. If you advertise your discounts during the week before, customers will have time to explore your products and gain interest. When creating your discount, always ensure it works out financially. Don’t put your own business at risk if you do not think the reduced price will pay for itself in increased volume.
6. Use social media celebrations
Social media is now one of the best channels for marketing. Millions of people use Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis. During national holidays, these platforms become saturated with holiday-themed posts. As a business, you should join in the social media celebrations.
The easiest way to do this is to create a Memorial Day dedication post on each of your social media accounts. This should show your enthusiasm for the holiday, and pronounce that your business fully supports it. Crello has a plethora of social media templates specially designed for Memorial Day. You can find Facebook advert templates and cover images, or even Memorial Day Instagram photos.
Furthermore, you should ask questions to promote customer engagement. Ask what their Memorial Day plans are. Showing genuine interest is a great way to expose your business in a positive light.
Don’t forget to use holiday hashtags too! If you search Twitter, you can find hundreds of Memorial Day hashtags – #memorialDay #veterans #sacrifice #memorialDayWeekend #soldiers – the possibilities are endless. Users may search for these tags, therefore your business can gain increased exposure.
7. Create special veterans’ discounts
As a business, you can take the Memorial Day discount one step further. Why not give special discounts to veterans and their families? This has a two-fold benefit.
Firstly, it shows the public and veterans that you genuinely care. You respect what they have done for this country – it shows that you want to try and give something back to the community. Secondly, it can also improve your business and sales.
By providing discounts to a specific group of people (i.e. veterans), you are potentially enticing customers that may not have used your site and products before. Take advantage of social media to promote these discounts too. Use one of Crello’s unique Memorial Day Facebook templates to create a poignant promotion that veterans can respect and enjoy.
8. Preemptive Memorial Day email campaigns
Email campaigns are still a powerful marketing tool. A dedicated Memorial Day email campaign can really get customers in the spirit. It can also be a successful piece of marketing. The key however, as with discounts, is to start the email campaign early.
Send two to three emails in total during the week running up to Memorial Day. The first could be an introduction – reminding people that the holiday is approaching. Next, the second email could contain hints of what to expect for the Memorial Day celebrations and what your business is planning. The final email would include the offers. The key is to build up expectations and suspense. Hopefully, when the big day arrives your customers will be excited and open the final email with great anticipation.
Remember the fallen and show them respect this Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a great time to boost your business. It marks the approach of the summer vacation season. The general public spirit is usually high. People are more willing to invest and spend. Using any of these 8 marketing ideas could help improve sales and exposure. Why not show the American public that you support our fallen heroes? Start your own Memorial Day campaign and join in the action.
Whilst creating your marketing strategies, don’t overlook the poignancy of this day. We can often lose sight of the true meaning of Memorial Day through all the activities and plans. As you develop your Memorial Day templates or advertise on social media, stop and think. Take time to consider the millions of United States Armed Forces personnel who have given their lives for our freedom. Pay them homage and show them due respect.