4 ways your small business can leap to success in 2016

Editor’s note: This post comes from our Constant Contact UK office. You can view all the posts from our UK team here. Or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Some of the best marketing ideas come from being in the moment. Capturing the zeitgeist. Having your finger gaffa-taped to The Pulse — whatever that is.

With 2016’s Leap Day whirring towards us, here are some ideas to get you thinking about how you can pay homage to Leap Year while engaging your target audience with novel promotional ideas.

But first, spare a thought for the leaplings…

There are around four million people in the world who were born on 29th February. ‘Leaplings’, they are called — and 2016 has dealt them a dud hand. Imagine waiting for four years to celebrate your birthday, only to find out — when it finally rolls around — that it falls on a Monday.

Be a good sport and let it be known that all leaplings can claim a free gift from your business if they offer proof of their birthday. Okay? Good.

As the world prepares to spoon itself an extra helping of day, here are four more marketing ideas for any business wishing to get creative.

1. Leap Day, Cheap Day

As anyone who has been elbowed in the ribs during the annual chaos that is Black Friday will tell you, nothing incites consumer action like a flash sale.

Leap Day is the perfect opportunity to offer a 24-hour discount on your products (29% off would tie in nicely). It’s perfect for e-tailers and sure to spread on social media.

No online shop? No problem. You can also promote in-store discounts or time-limited discounts on your services. Make it work for you. And whip up some emails to give your loyal subscribers a heads up.

2. Reduce your prices by leaps and bounds

Okay, this one only works as a local promotion, but it could be fun nonetheless. Cordon off an area inside/outside your shop or office — complete with tape measure — and invite customers to leap as far as they can. The further they jump, the bigger their discount.

For extra goodwill, you could charge a small fee to have a go (50p, for example) and donate the proceeds to a local charity. You get more sales, your customers bag a discount and a local charity gets a donation. Win, win, win.

3. A day in the life of…

Run a competition inviting people to submit photos of themselves using your products. You can theme it however you want. This one’s great for generating social media and email marketing content — and allows you to smash down some of the traditional barriers between business and customer. Time to get personal.

4. Leap of faith?

Blogging is a key part of any good marketing strategy. But most marketers feel like they could do with a little extra input from time to time. So how about running a writing competition around the theme of leaping?

If you offer a decent prize and promote it well, the entries are sure to come. Publish the best ones and — hey pesto — you have ready-made oomph for your blog and marketing emails.

The trick is to tie the theme into the kind of products or services that you provide. For example, if you sell travel insurance, you could ask readers for stories about a time they have taken a leap into the unknown by travelling somewhere new. Run a sports physiotherapist? Ask for stories about a memorable sporting or exercise moment when customers have had to take a leap of faith. You never know what kind of tales you might unearth. And it’s great for boosting web traffic.

Golden rule: Tie your campaign into your business

The difference between okay marketing and great marketing is how you tie it into your business. You have to think about the interactions between the theme (leap year), your business (the services or products you sell) and the target audience (their needs, desires, fears and ambitions). Find a sweet spot between the three and you will find it far easier to create a winning campaign.

Get ready to leap at the opportunity.

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