Costumes. Columbus Day. Candy Corn.
October is home to Financial Planning Month, LGBTQ History Month, Domestic Violence Month, and more. It’s also when we celebrate Do Something Nice Day, Black Poetry Day, Women in Business, and apparently, handbags. The point is, there are so many opportunities for creative and meaningful marketing that will help you to authenticate your brand voice and stand out.
And we’re covering all of them in this post—creative ideas for blog posts, social media, email, and more, with examples!
Marketing around awareness causes affords your business many opportunities—to support a cause, to help your customers accomplish something fulfilling, and to build up the community around you. Here are the diversity, equity, and inclusion-focused causes in October that you can use to celebrate and foster a sense of belonging for all walks of life. October is the national awareness month for:
And here are some specific national days in October that can help you incorporate DEI in your marketing:
There even more monthly observances in October. You can see the full list at the bottom of this post, but here are some highlights. October is the national awareness month for:
There are dozens of national days for every month of the year, but let’s take a look at some notables:
And let’s not forget Produce Misting Day…
There’s also a full list of October national days at the bottom of this post.
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Alright, now it’s time for the ideas. Let’s start with the ones that embrace DEI. Note that you may also want to check out our roundup of diversity, equity, and inclusion resources.
According to this USA Today article, 49% of children in grades 4-12 report being bullied at least once a month. This October awareness cause is particularly relevant to schools and education-based verticals, but also to businesses whose target market is made up of parents of school-aged children. You can promote this cause through your marketing by:
Business Women’s Week is a time to acknowledge and applaud female leaders in business. During this week:
NDEAM happens every October and is aimed at recognizing the important role people with disabilities play in the American workforce and facilitating inclusive employment policies and practices. This year’s theme is “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation.” The NDEAM Social Media Kit is a great resource here, which includes social accounts to follow, images to share, sample posts, and disability employment influencers. Here are some examples:
Are you still experiencing effects of COVID-19 that make it difficult to do your job? If so, you may be entitled to workplace accommodations. Learn more. https://www.dol.gov/agencies/odep/topics/coronavirus-covid-19-long-covid
You can also download the Department of Labor’s free poster or order it by mail.
Here are some more ways to use October monthly awareness for cause-based marketing.
To help raise awareness for domestic violence, you can:
To incorporate breast cancer awareness into your marketing content this month, try out these ideas:
If you’re in the industry, write an article sharing industry stats or your own perspective, and promote it on LinkedIn with key takeaways in the post itself. Make sure to include a #sustainableenergy hashtag, as this is a specific topic that will get searched by those who are interested in reading about it.
Another approach would be to share some DIY sustainable energy ideas, whether in the home, office, or classroom.
Customer Service Week occurs the first full week of October. This week affords local marketing opportunities both internally and externally:
These initiatives will highlight the importance you place on quality customer service, and consumers are attracted to customer-centered businesses.
Emotional wellness is a supremely versatile topic, whether you’re a plumber or an interior designer; a SaaS company or in ecommerce. Here are some ideas:
As with every other month of the year, October is jam-packed with plenty of national [insert just about anything here] days that can take you 90% of the way when coming up with unique marketing ideas. All you have to do is find a way to tie it back to your business. Let’s take a look. (And you can find tons of October social media ideas here, too.)
World Vegetarian Day occurs every October 1st. This is, of course, a great time for restaurants or shops with a largely vegetarian audience to give themselves a good ol’ pat on the back on social media or their website.
But regardless of industry, you can still get creative with this one:
World Smile Day is celebrated on the first Friday of October every year. Here are some creative marketing ideas you can try out:
National Cake Decorating Day is held every October 10th. Instead of a cake decorating contest, you could:
This October observance day happens on the 12th of the month every year. It’s about having a savings account, so it’s a great topic for financial advisors or accountants. But also, who doesn’t want to save money?
Here are some ways to market your business on this day:
In their #ShareMySave contest, it invited its audience to share images of their most treasured keepsake on Instagram or Twitter and explain why it’s special to them. By including the hashtags #ShareMySave and #Contest, they were entered into a contest to win weekly prizes of $500 and a grand prize of $10,000.
This Facebook- and LinkedIn-friendly holiday occurs every October 16th. You could:
Get to Know Your Customers Day occurs on the third Thursday of the first month of every quarter, and only when the earth is tilted at 23.4 degrees (just kidding on that last part). This is a blatantly awesome marketing day in October, January, April, and July.
…or this one:
You could also search your company’s hashtag or location on social media and find some user-generated content to repost.
According to this source, the National Confectioners’ Association came up with Candy Day back in 1916 as a way to celebrate and support local candy shops and bakeries. During the war in 1917, the message morphed into “Get one for yourself and one for the boys overseas!” Once the war ended, four Michigan confectioners teamed up with the Red Cross to distribute candy to hospitals, orphanages, shelters, and homes across Michigan.
By 1929, it became official: National Sweetest Day occurs on the third Thursday of October and is associated with:
If you’re too scattered during October (or all the time) and don’t have it in you to coordinate a promotion during a specific week or day, try out any of these general October marketing ideas that give you some more flexibility.
While September has songs of summer and November has the whispers of winter, October feels like the only true fall month (P.S. why did I get so poetic just now). This month may be the time to really focus on one of your fall-themed products or services.
To get even more participants, make it a limited-time offer available only for the month.
There are plenty of October newsletter ideas here, but for a short list:
You may also be interested in these October email subject lines.
The best source for creative marketing content? A creative marketing event.
I mean, who wouldn’t want to sink their teeth into these…teeth. (Image source)
Farmers markets or pumpkin patches are abundant during October,
If you’re located on a downtown Main Street of sorts o if you’re in a part of the country where the weather is beautiful at this time, get some fresh air into your building. This makes your business more inviting to passersby. A chalkboard outside with your specials, an inspiring quote, or a fun fact is an added bonus.
What kind of October marketing ideas post would this be if I didn’t mention Halloween? Many of these Halloween marketing ideas are traditional, tried, and true, but with a little brainstorming and brand voice, you can always add that creative twist to catch your customers’ eyes.
Get your business in the spirit of the season by decorating your office, store, or even your website and social media pages with all the good stuff: mums, pumpkins, gourds, hay bales, burlap, skeletons, spiderwebs, ghosts, and the list goes on. This is more of a cliche marketing idea, but that doesn’t make it any less effective.
When you’re proactive with your business’s appearance, this signals to customers that you care about the impression you leave on them, and reminds them that yours is not just a business, but a passion. You might even get really crazy and carve your company logo into a jack-o-lantern to place in your storefront with a[n electric] candle at night.
Run a guessing contest to get customer email addresses in store. Put a giant canister of whatever sugary Octobery sweets you choose, and have customers provide their email addresses with their estimate, or write it on the back of their business card. This can be done virtually, too. The winner gets a prize (perhaps all of the candy) ((unless you’re a dentist)) or coupon or discount off their next purchase.
I cringe slightly upon giving this suggestion, but I think this could be a great idea for businesses that cater to children. Plus, you don’t have to be in a full-blown clown suit. Dentists and hair dressers can make otherwise scary appointments more fun with a friendly scarecrow, farmer, or cowboy costume. Clowns and vampires might scare the youngsters, so stick with safer or more neutral options.
This one is also pretty cliche but it’s never not a fun time. Have a costume contest for your students, customers, staff, or even customers’ pets. Share the pictures on your blog, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and ask customers to vote for the winners. The winner gets a prize and is featured in next month’s newsletter.
Participating in any Halloween events going on around you—zombie 5k’s, trick-or-trunk nights, kids trick-or-treat afternoon in the office, or any building-wide Halloween activities if you work in a shared space. It’s tough to stop when you’re running a business, but more often than not, the break away from your tasks and the added laughter can actually recharge you and lead you to be more productive in the long run. Plus, the more you can interact with the people in your community, the more you can learn about how to serve them and really make a name for yourself.
Running an October-themed marketing campaign is a great way to authenticate your brand, interact more with your local community, and try out new tools and platforms. While they’re fun and creative, they’re also effective and can help you to increase your exposure, attract more customers, and build up your reputation. Try out one of these easy October marketing ideas and get yourself armed and ready for your holiday campaigns.
Interested in more marketing ideas for every month of the year? We can help with that.
And for planning, check out this marketing calendar template from our friends at LOCALiQ.
Thanks to National Day Calendar:
As promised, here’s your full list, thanks to National Day Calendar.
Kristen is the Senior Managing Editor at WordStream, where she helps businesses to make sense of their online marketing and advertising. She specializes in SEO and copywriting and finds life to be exponentially more delightful on a bicycle.
See other posts by Kristen McCormick
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