Seasonal Marketing

Seasonal MarketingMarketing, for many authors, is an evil and sometimes terrifying concept. They would rather be left to get on with their writing and to live the quiet life of an introvert. However, like it or not, marketing is a necessary component in an author’s toolbox. How else will readers know their book(s) exist unless they are told about them.

Note: As usual for this website blog, this article is directed toward authors, nevertheless, others, such as small business entrepreneurs, may find some of the information useful.

A major difficulty many encounter is knowing how and where to aim their marketing and what to say. Engaging readers attention is no easy matter in an age when hundreds of thousands of books are published every year. Of course, authors with an established reader base have a starting point. But what about the new author and those seeking to attract new readers? How and where do they target their marketing? Naturally, it helps if they can establish the target audiences: likes and dislikes; where they like to spend their time; what activities they enjoy; etc. but that is not always possible when seeking new readerships. So what are they to do?

This is where seasonal changes and national celebrations may help. Every country to some degree or other experiences some alteration in season even if it is minor and every nation have days that are special. So why not link into these?

When utilising such times and events for marketing it is important the author ensures the content is relevant to the occasion. Everyone is now wary of anything that comes across as spam (being sent unwanted or unsolicited material). Marketing, unless in a newsletter, or similar, someone has subscribed for, should be done independently from personal contact e.g. through social media posts and genuine advertising.

To help concentrate the mind here are some of the major national and international holiday and celebration dates. This is by no means new information: over the years many authors, writing professionals, websites and blogs have shared similarly but it never hurts to be reminded and for those just coming to the craft it may prove helpful to see such lists.

USA National Days

Celebrations that occur annually in the United States of America.

Third Monday in January – Martin Luther King Jr. Day

1 February – National Freedom Day

14 February – Valentine’s Day

8-14 March – Mother’s Day (Floating but always a Sunday)

17 March – St. Patrick’s Day

Third Saturday in May – Armed Forces Day

15-21 June – Father’s Day (Floating but always a Sunday)

4 July – Independence Day

First Monday in September – Labour Day

31 October – Halloween

(In church calendar ‘Day of the Dead’ remembering those who have passed.)

11 November – Veteran’s Day

22-28 November – Thanksgiving (Floating but always a Thursday)

There are many more including the internationally recognised celebrations (see below).

UK National Days

Observed each year in the United Kingdom.

14 February – Valentine’s Day

1 March – St. David’s Day

17 March – St.Patrick’s Day (Northern Ireland but celebrated throughout the nation.)

March-April – Mother’s Day (Floating: 4th Sunday in Lent.)

23 April – St. George’s Day

First Monday in May – May Day

Last Monday in May – Spring Bank Holiday

6 June – D-Day

11-17 June – Trooping The Colour

(Celebrating Monarch’s Official Birthday.) (Always on a Saturday.)

3rd Sunday in June – Father’s Day (Always 3rd Sunday in June.)

12 July – Battle of Boyne (Northern Ireland)

14 July – Emmeline Pankhurst Birthday

Last Monday in August – Summer Bank Holiday

31 October – Halloween

(In church calendar ‘Day of the Dead’ remembering those who have passed.)

5 November – Bonfire Night

11 November – Remembrance Day (Informally Poppy Day.)

30 November – St. Andrew’s Day

26 December – Boxing Day

There are more including those referred to below.

Internationally Recognised Celebrations

Conventional holidays acknowledged, even if not observed, throughout the world.

1 January – New Year (Not in all nations e.g. China.)

March-April – Easter (Floating holiday and also dependent upon denomination.)

25 December – Christmas

Authors should bear in mind, when it comes to church calendar days, they are not observed by all and consequently they should frame the material sympathetically. For example, it is easy for those in the western world to assume Christmas is recognised and celebrated worldwide. However, the celebration is only relevant to those of the Christian faith though of course its commercialisation cannot be ignored. Naturally marketing my be linked to other religious celebrations provided it is done with respect.

Other Days of Note

Many charities etc. now have times when their activities are acknowledged and highlighted.

4 February – Breast Cancer Day

8 March – International Women’s Day

1 December – World Aids Day

There are many other notable days which may be identified through local knowledge or by an internet search.

Marketing Purpose

In author marketing, all marketing in fact, the aim is to try and engage the emotions and intellect of the reader. To make them aware of a product and why it is they would want it. Consequently, the author should try to format and word the material to:

  • Connect with the audience’s likes and aims (where known).
  • Evoke some sort of emotional response.
  • Get the reader to take some sort of action (a call to action button).

When utilising seasonal changes or national days the content should clearly relate. At first it may appear an easy matter to connect with these occasions but in truth, to be most effective, it takes time and it is wise for the author to look ahead and schedule their marketing material. Best approach is to look ahead at least four months: creating unique and eye catching material takes thought, effort and time. For example, New Year is not just about the actual day itself. There is the aspect of New Year’s Eve which most recognise more as the holiday than New Year Day itself. Then there is the fact in many nations New Year Day is also a major sports day. Also, in some countries, such as the UK, it is often the first day of seasonal retail sales. There are therefore three different aspects marketing material may be attached to. New Year is not the only holiday to which this applies. Take time to think through each occasion beforehand.

Conclusion

Except for the few, marketing is never easy. Not only is it difficult to know where to target but also how to format and frame the information. Seasonal changes (Spring; Summer; Autumn (Fall); Winter) and national days provide some assistance and variety.

Authors should ensure their marketing is relevant and done with respect and does not constitute anything that may be considered to be spam.

Religious and cultural differences should always be born in mind and treated with respect.

As mentioned, the lists provided above are by no means exhaustive. Most technological devices include calendars which already highlight important dates within the country/nation the device is recognised as belonging to. And, of course, there is always the internet.


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