Creative businesses require a special marketing touch. They tend to be smaller, carefully built, and often focus more on the connection between the creator and the end recipient than on driving massive profits. Though they do, of course, aim to earn money, they want do so in a more intentional, personal way.
If you own a creative business, you might think most standard marketing plans won’t work for you.
While you do need to consider the differences that make your business unique, you absolutely can use traditional marketing strategies, including holiday based promotions, to grow your brand. Today, I want to discuss how you can use contests tailored to your business to not just increase sales on one day, but grow your business year round.
Mother’s Day Marketing & Your Creative Business
In 2017, Americans spent $23.6 billion dollars for Mother’s Day buying cards, flowers, jewelry, clothing, and accessories for the moms in their lives.
If you run a creative business and think you only need to worry about promotions around Christmas and Black Friday, you are clearly missing out on a massive opportunity to grow your business.
For Mother’s Day, shoppers are more likely to look for unusual, creative, or personalized gifts – making it the perfect holiday to promote your creative businesses.
Consider the chart below, which outlines how most Americans spend their money on Mother’s Day gifts.
There is plenty of space in the Mother’s Day market, if you know how to tap into it.
As with any promotion, your goal should be not just to increase sales on a single day, but to grow your brand by building relationships and increase your sales for the entire year.
One of the most effective ways to build relationships with your customers is to run promotional contests and sweepstakes. Let’s look at some Mother’s Day promotion examples to help inspire your marketing efforts. I will offer a few examples so you can see how these ideas might work for your creative business.
Mother’s Day Contest Ideas for Creative Businesses
Ready to launch your creative business forward? There is a reason gamification has become a buzz word in the early 2010s. Adding interactivity into your marketing helps to increase participation and drive loyalty. This makes creating a contest the ideal way to build your creative business.
Here are a few examples of businesses using contests to increase profits and drive customer loyalty and ways you can adjust these ideas for your business.
Pin It To Win It
With more than 175 million monthly active users and 1 billion Boards, Pinterest is one of the most effective platforms for creative businesses. According to Pinterest, users most often search for food, fashion, and beauty tips, making a Pin to Win contest the perfect fit for a Mother’s Day promotion.
Take, for example, this Pinterest contest hosted by Lady Scorpio, a blog and eCommerce store focused on spiritual and mystic topics and products.
They used a Pinterest contest to increase engagement and also to drive users to their Facebook and Instagram accounts through an optional Follow/Like buttons:
To tailor this to Mother’s Day, you could offer two $50 gift cards – one to keep and one to gift to their mother.
You might also consider creating a “Mother’s Day Gift Idea” board on Pinterest. You could add just your own products, or invite others to add their ideas on a Group Board.
Build Your Email List with A Sweepstakes
As a creative business, your email list should be one of your most powerful tools. It gives you direct access to your customers and, unlike ads, does not require you to pay just for the chance to reach your audience.
Instead, users are inviting you into their space and signaling that they want to connect with you. Plus, by growing your email list, you are building relationships instead just promoting one-off conversions.
Domino’s, the popular pizza restaurant, recently ran a promotion with the goal of increasing email sign-ups.
Looks like a great way to increase your email list, right? But Domino’s went one step further and targeted the contest. This information allows you to segment your emails and gather even more information about your audience.
I know it is easy to look at a big brand like Dominos and assume this would never work for you, but look at those customized questions.
Customizing the contest questions allows you to gather relevant information about who your audience is and what they like. Here are a few ideas specific to creative businesses:
- For creative businesses selling child-specific items (children’s clothing or bedding, wooden toys, cloth diapers, baby carriers, etc.) ask questions about the age/sex of children in the home. This information will allow you to target, for example, specifically parents of preschoolers.
- For creative businesses selling fashion items, ask about favorite colors or designs. For example, a company making leggings might ask what type of patterns or fabrics are preferred.
- For creative service businesses, ask what would make their life easier or what holds them back. For example, a small design and marketing company might ask what stops entrants from hiring a social media manager.
Remember, being a creative business does not mean you need to completely reinvent the wheel. It does mean you need to tweak traditional marketing practices to fit your business and your audience.
Host a Photo Contest
Today, nearly three-quarters of Americans carry a smartphone equipped with a camera everywhere they go. It has never been so easy to take and share photos. Which offers an opportunity for small creative businesses without a massive budget for professional photographs.
Berricle, a fashion jewelry site, is using a fan photo contest to increase engagement on social as well as drive likes and follows on their Facebook and Instagram pages.
If you are looking for a way to earn more social proof, consider hosting a branded photo contest.
You could ask users to share a photo with their mother to win a prize package with a gift for each of them. For example, if you make necklaces offer a prize of a mother and daughter necklace set or two smaller gift cards instead of one large one.
Remember: A photo contest is a great way to increase your social proof through encouraging customers to share their own photos. Just remember you can’t use the photos yourself without getting permission.
How to Grow After the Promotion Ends
Promotions can be an effective way to drive sales and increase your customer base. However, to get the most out of your efforts, make sure to follow through and stay connected with your audience after the promotion ends.
Here are a few ways to do that.
- Create a drip campaign of 5-10 email for new subscribers. Use the series introduce them to your brand and share useful resources and guides.
- Offer everyone who entered your contest a discount code to thank them for playing (and entice them to buy!)
- Increase engagement and create more social proof by showcasing the winner. For example, write and publish a blog post about them or share follow up images of the winner with their prize.
Remember, the goal is for your promotion to be the start of a long-lasting relationship, not just a one-time connection.
Final Thoughts About Mother’s Day Promotions
For many creative business owners, the ‘business side’ of things might not feel as natural as the creative side. But with a bit of adjustment, you can use the same marketing principles that many other brands use to build strong relationships, grow their business, and increase profits.
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