It’s the start of a new year and I am so excited for 2019. I’ve pulled together 30-plus ideas for marketing and promoting your business over the next three months. Plus ways to appreciate your employees, customers, vendors and clients.

The key to these activities is making sure they feel authentic for your business. Are you from the deep South? Then having a Mardi Gras party when you now live in California is a fun way to have customers know you better personally.

People buy from people. Staff matters. Good customer service matters. And tying your business or sale in a with seasonal events can get you positive buzz for little investment.

JANUARY

Popular Hashtags for the Month

#January #January2019 #newyear #2019 #happynewyear #resolutions #focus #goals #motivation #healthy #organized #inspire #fitness #winter

January Subject Lines/Blog Ideas

  1. New Year. New Deals.
  2. Best Tips For ____ In Winter
  3. 5 Secrets You Didn’t Know About ____
  4. New Year’s Goals For Your ____
  5. Our New Year’s Resolutions on Client Service
  6. It’s #GetToKnowYourCustomersDay – send us your feedback
  7. First #Freebie of 2019 – download now

Holidays and Special Days of Note

  • 1 New Year’s Day
  • 9 National Take the Stairs Day – second Wednesday of month
  • 12 National Pharmacist Day
  • 15 National Hat Day
  • 17 Get to Know Your Customers Day
  • 21 Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday, celebrated on the third Monday
  • 24 Compliment Day
  • 28 Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day – last Monday of month
  • 28 Data Privacy Day
  • 28 Fun at Work Day
  • 31 Inspire Your Heart with Art Day

National Blood Donor Month

Another strong community event would be to arrange a blood drive at your organization this month. Let customers, friends, vendors and employees know when this event will happen for them to join. Be sure to get some pics of the day – CEO donating, group shot, etc for the social media, newsletter and thank you email after.

Winter Wonderland Thoughts

Stay on the warm side of winter in your posts and image sharing – greater chance of being shared. Think cozy, comfort, sitting by the fire or scenic beauty and snow fun.

Offer “Free Lesson Fridays”

to help explain and demonstrate your products or services to prospects and current customers. By seeing how to get the best use out of your products, customers are more likely to buy a range of accessories and essential items to help them achieve results. Works great for many businesses – lessons on make-up, sewing, hair styling, skin care, gardening, building a pergola/deck/retaining wall…the list is endless.

Employee Engagement: Soup-off!

Celebrate National Soup Month by having a soup-off at work. Have people bring in soup for others to sample (those who don’t cook can bring bread, crackers, small cups for tasting, etc.) Share the event on social. Create a fun sash for the “Soup-er Royalty” winner.

Vehicle wrap or car magnet

Turn your company vehicles or your own into mobile advertising for your business. They work especially for service businesses. If you have one already, check to ensure it’s not faded, scratched or ready for a refresh.

Donate to a charity auction

A low-cost way for great local PR is donating an item or service package to a local charity’s next fundraiser. They are always seeking auction items and it’s a good way to get your name out there. Reach out now to the organizations you already support – this also asssures you’ll make the program books, supply an ad, etc.

It’s Cookie Time!

If you live in America, you know about Girl Scout Cookies which will kickoff this month. Get in on the fun with your local troop – share social media pics/video of ordering, getting cookies delivered to the office, saying the GS promise with them if you were a GS, etc. It’s a wonderful community connection and show of support.

FEBRUARY

Popular Hashtags for the Month

#blackhistory #valentinesday #heart #lovestory #EmployeeAppreicationDay #NationalDayOfUnplugging #RandomActsOfKindnessDay #WorldCancerDay #February #February2019 #Winter #ILoveWinter #Snow #SuperBowl #SuperBowlSunday #HalftimeShow #PresidentsDay #Oscars2019

Valentine’s Day Subject Lines/Blog Ideas

  1. Our Top 10 Favorite Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas
  2. 5 Must-Haves/To-Dos for February Success
  3. Will You Be Our Valentine?
  4. An Early Treat For Valentine’s Day – $50 Off!
  5. Gift inspiration for Valentine’s Day
  6. Happy (early) Valentine’s Day! See our new items!
  7. A Valentine’s Day Giveaway (we love our customers!)

Need help with graphics? Contact me!

Is developing visuals for your social media posts the part that’s slowing you down every month? Going a little crazy with the changing sizes of visuals? Starting at $250, I can help with a custom quote based on the amount, how many profiles you have, etc. Send me an email and let’s get to work.

Holidays and Special Days of Note

  • 1 National Wear Red Day®
  • 2 Groundhog Day
  • 3 Superbowl Sunday
  • 4 Thank a Mailman Day
  • 5 Chinese New Years
  • 8 Boy Scout Day – celebrates the birthday of scouting
  • 9 National Pizza Day
  • 11 Clean out Your Computer Day – second Monday of Month
  • 11 National Inventors Day
  • 14 Valentine’s Day
  • 17 Random Acts of Kindness Day
  • 18 President’s Day – third Monday of month
  • 24 Oscar Night
  • 28 Floral Design Day

Employee Engagement: Wear Red

On the first Friday of every February, which is designated as American Heart Month, the American Heart Association encourages every American to wear red in awareness for the eradication of heart disease and stroke, particularly for women. Take some time today to let your employees know their health matters to you. Encourage everyone to wear red – share a blog post or tweet a group photo. Other ideas can be found on the AHA page.

Time for new shirts?

Invest in a good designer and quality shirts to turn yourself, staff, volunteers and key supporters into walking billboards. Giving away a fun or fashionable shirt will have people eager to tell friends and family where they got it.

Slow time for your outdoor business?

Consider hosting a guest speaking event with a Master Gardener, Landscape Designer, Hiking expert at this time of year. It will get people into your business. It’s great cross-promotion for the speakers as well and you can develop a coupon for both businesses and share mailing lists.

Free Professional Advice

During your slower time, head to Facebook Live and answer customer questions. Promote offline and on when you or a imdustry expert will be live. Use the recordings for on-going content throughout the year. Grab emails and send a promo code or in-store coupon they can use.

VistaPrint’s Promo Box Subscription

If you are a “business of one” like I am or just getting started, you may be interested in this cool thing I learned late last year. Many of us are familiar with getting promotional items from companies – well, you can get samples from VistaPrint with your logo on them. It’s $25 a month. I just got my first box and it was awesome. To see your logo on promo items helps cement the reality of your business – plus it’s useful to have items on hand to give prospects (without having to buy 500 of them for a decent deal). Check it out here (and no, this is not an affiliate link, just me sharing.)

#FebruaryFavorites

Spread the love by highlighting other local businesses as your #FebruaryFavorites this month on social media. Some might just love you back!

MARCH

Popular Hashtags for the Month

#March2019 #WomensHistoryMonth #WomensHistory #DayLightSavings #HappyMardiGras #FatTuesday #WomenSupportingWomen #WomensDay #PiDay #StPatricksDay #ImIrish #WorldWaterDay #EarthHour #TipTuesday

March Subject Lines/Blog Ideas

  1. Get Lucky, Shop Green
  2. Introducing our 2019 Spring Collection
  3. 5 Little Known Ways to _______
  4. What Everybody Ought to Know About _______
  5. March Madness Specials for You!
  6. Celebrate Mardi Gras with us
  7. This is the sale you’re looking for

Holidays and Special Days of Note

  • 1 Employee Appreciation Day/National Salesperson Day – first Friday in the month
  • 3 Caregiver Appreciation Day
  • 5 Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday – date varies
  • 6 Ash Wednesday – date varies
  • 6 Dentist’s Day
  • 8 International (Working) Women’s Day
  • 10 Daylight Savings begins at 2:a.m. – date varies
  • 12 Girl Scouts Day
  • 14 National Agriculture Day – date varies
  • 17 Saint Patrick’s Day
  • 20 International Earth Day
  • 20 Spring (Vernal) Equinox
  • 21 Purim – begins at sundown, date varies
  • 25 Waffle Day
  • 29 National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day
  • 30 National Doctor’s Day
  • 30 Take a Walk in the Park Day

Employee Engagement: Employee Spirit Month

March is “employee Spirit Month” so check on yours. Make time this month to meet with department heads. Block time to be able to walk around to observe and check in with your staff. Surprise them with a special breakfast or lunch. Morale absolutely effects the bottomline and your brand word-of-mouth.

Plan Ahead to Summer

Now is the time of year to start thinking about what promotions and specials you’ll offer in June. Give you and your team the time to brainstorm and create materials – your message will end up clearer and stronger.

Give in to the “Luck of the Irish”

Thirty-four million Americans – almost nine times the population of Ireland itself – claim Irish ancestry, so it’s no surprise that St. Patrick’s Day is widely celebrated. Consider a special sale playing up the “lucky” association – have customers draw one lucky green sales tag offering a discount (you could place a range) from a “pot of gold.” Send out an email discount under “We’re lucky to have you as a customer!” Decorate your business for the month of March in green.

Spruce up your curb appeal

Take the time and spend the money to improve your signage. Consider allowing a graffiti artist to use his artistry on your shutters or paint a mural on the side of your building.

Take us on a field trip

Give a behind-the-scene tour of your lab, farm, kitchen etc. Use Facebook Live or just hit record with your smartphone and upload later. Share an important part of your process that few people get to see – the roasting of the coffee beans, how you pull your paint palette together, a hunt through a fabric store, etc.

Food of the Day

There is no shortage of national food days being celebrated. If your business connects with food, consider posting a recipe to your site and share on social, offer a special discount on that menu or product for the day (tap into the “Fear of Missing Out” mendset by making people aware the deal “end at midnight”). Even an art studio could have fun with an “Ode to the Avocado” or tomato still life painting class. While this calendar is for 2018, it’s easy enough to google and verify the day is still the same.

March 14: National Agriculture Day

National Ag Day is organized by the Agriculture Council of America and falls during National Ag Week, March 10-16, 2019. The ACA has several promotional tools and ideas if you want to to recognize the contributions of agriculture. If your organization does work with farms in any way, I think this is a great day to be part of online and off.

March Madness

Join the fun of this NCAA sporting event. Allow employees sport their team colors. Set up a company group for the bracket challenge on ESPN.com. Invite clients to join in too. Maybe set up a TV in the lunchroom. Park nearby? Set up a company free-throw contest. Take pics and share online.

SAVE THIS ARTICLE

Did you enjoy this article and find it helpful? Save it for future reference by pinning this image on Pinterest.

Imagine this list being custom for your business

This sampling of ideas is part of what I do and I’d love to develop a custom “plan of attack” for your business. To get started just send me an email and we can go from there. Custom plans begin at $250 for 90 days depending on resources, goals, etc.

Jeny Dowlin, PCM launched The Khaki Giraffe in 2011, after more than 15 years of experience in the marketing communications industry. She has earned the American Marketing Association’s Professional Certified Marketer designation and is a published writer and marketing strategist, adept at developing communications that attract attention, change minds, and motivate behaviors thus moving organizations closer to their goals.

Other Posts You May Enjoy

#SensibleBranding Freebie – August 2019

#SensibleBranding Freebie – August 2019

Social Media Graphics — September 2. Labor Day (#LaborDay and #LaborDayWeekend). Just click the images for the full size to download. SOCIAL MEDIA POST - SQUARE SOCIAL MEDIA POST - RECTANGLE Social Media Graphics — September 23....

#SensibleBranding Freebie – July 2019

#SensibleBranding Freebie – July 2019

Social Media Graphics — August 9. National Book Lovers Day (#BookloversDay). Just click the images for the full size to download. SOCIAL MEDIA POST - SQUARE SOCIAL MEDIA POST - RECTANGLE Social Media Graphics — August 24. National...

4 Tips to Avoid Getting Sidetracked

4 Tips to Avoid Getting Sidetracked

54% of marketers feel they’re not maximizing their use of Instagram to achieve their goals. Below are five ideas to help improve the alignment between your goals and Instagram.