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7 October marketing ideas for small businesses

/ Kristen Sato

Crisp air, cooler weather, and for better or worse... pumpkin spice lattes. Fall is officially here, and it’s a great time to engage your customers before the big winter holidays begin. While this year has been challenging for small businesses due to the pandemic, it also presents some unique marketing opportunities using video and social media.

When you think of October, Halloween likely comes to mind. And while the black-and-orange holiday reigns supreme, there are other reasons to find inspiration and spread the word about your business next month. 

Here’s what’s happening in October:

  • Halloween (10/31)
  • World Smile Day (10/4)
  • Get to Know Your Customers Day (10/15)
  • Business Women’s Week (10/12)
  • National Customer Service Week (10/5)
  • National Bullying Prevention Month
  • Emotional Wellness Month
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month

For more marketing ideas by month, download our free 2020 Marketing Calendar.

Some fun marketing ideas to try:

1. Halloween costume contest

This is a tried and true way to get in the holiday spirit. Have your customers or employees submit their photos or videos (kids and pets make it even more fun!), then share them to your company’s social media channels. Whoever gets the most votes for best costume wins receives a prize from your company, and a spotlight or shoutout on your website. This contest can also be done with pumpkin carving -- best jack-o-lantern design wins.

2. Fall-themed product offering or service

Put a fall spin on your current offerings, or introduce a new version of your product that’s only available for a limited time. Think about fall colors and themes, come up with a fun name, and you’ve got a seasonal special that adds a little spice to your existing inventory. You can also advertise a fall promotion for first-time customers to grow your  business. We’d suggest a quick and easy-to-make fall video ad to share on social.

3. Celebrate Get to Know Your Customers Day

This is a golden opportunity to get feedback from your customers. Which products do they love the most? What would they like to see on the menu next week? Which item should you feature next month? Post a poll or short survey to your social media accounts and wait for the results. Be sure to read through your customers’ comments, too. Don’t forget to browse your company’s hashtag for user-generated content you can re-share from your brand’s account.

4. Participate in Business Women’s Week  WeVideo Business.

Celebrating Business Women’s Week is ideal for women-owned and women-founded businesses, but it’s also a great opportunity to show your support for the accomplishments and contributions of all working women. You can show your appreciation for the women who work at your company and feature an employee spotlight on your social channels or website.

5. Celebrate World Smile Day

Bring a few smiles to your customers and employees, and show off the fun side to your brand. World Smile Day encourages everyone to do an act of kindness, so why not consider giving back to your local community? You can also make a video slideshow of community service or acts of kindness in the community your company has done. You can also consider running a special promotion, and give your customers something to smile about.

6. Get decked out

It might seem cliche, but a little festive decor goes a long way. Pumpkins, gourds, apples, faux foliage, and fall scents can transform your business space. If your business can’t open its physical doors due to COVID-19, work with what you’ve got! Add fall graphics to your website, emails or blog. Or, create a GIF with a fall theme for your brand to share on social media.

7. Start a referral program

October is a great time to start a referral program or refresh an existing one. The goal is to bring in as many new customers as possible before the big winter holidays (and big spending days) like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Offer a reward for existing customers who spread the word, and an incentive for first-time customers to purchase.

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