May Holidays & Marketing Messages – What to Do and Avoid

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may holidays and how to market during them

May holidays include shopping, celebrating, appreciation, and mourning losses. That is why it is important to get your messaging right.

Don’t only look at your marketing messaging and imagery, look at what your affiliates, ambassadors and influencers are saying. What these people say is a direct reflection on your brand.  You don’t want them creating a problem that will come back to haunt you if it blows up on social media.

That means check your:

  • Banners
  • Landing pages
  • Wording
  • Images
  • Newsletters
    • Consumer
    • Wholesale
    • Affiliate
    • Influencer
    • Ambassador
    • PPC
    • Media Buys

If you do work with third party channels that represent you, be proactive and share ideas for messaging and imagery with them before the holiday starts.  Also, make sure to talk to your customer service team too.  I get into that at the end of the post and share a big talking point we use with our partners in the Mother’s Day section.

Star Wars Day Teacher’s Day Cinco De Mayo Mother’s Day Memorial Day
Is it happy? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
What to say: Anything Geeky, Sci-Fi, May the 4th Be With You Thank You, Happy, We Appreciate You Happy Cinco De Mayo Happy, Celebrate, Love Thank You, We Remember, With Love
What to avoid: Star Trek, Copyrights, Hashtags Disney and Star Wars protect Talking about negatives like lack of funding and politics, or why your kids are being XYZ by the institution. Getting the celebration wrong. Its not Independence Day. Arguing with people who oppose Mother’s Day because they are not moms or hate their moms. Nobody wins, just let them be. Celebrating, Big Sales, Saying “Happy”
Should I have a Sale? Yes, absolutely. Yes, make sure it is for teachers only and teacher specific gifts. Yes, but it isn’t a shopping holiday.  Try deals on food, or do a co-marketing campaign with a topically relevant brand. Yes, but people need delivery before.  Try a “Shop Now and Save for Father’s Day”.  By doing this you can have some fun and say “Get Dad an equal gift to yours today”. For Military, Military Families and Veterans. If everyone, give the groups mentioned above more % off.
Imagery to use: Anything you have the legal rights to use. Teachers in the classroom, Teachers relaxing, School stuff Margaritas, Sombreros, Food Moms, Families, Moms with Kids American Flags, Arlington Cemetery, Wreaths, Soldiers
Other? Have fun, this is sci-fi! This is about the teacher. Make it about them and their impact, not about kids. It’s the battle of Puebla, not Independence Day. Pet Moms, Grandmas, Stepmoms, etc… count. Don’t leave them out. Military families and veterans are not having a good day. Be nice.

There are plenty more important holidays during the month like National Pet Week, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, etc… but this is a marketing blog so I talk about the big shopping holidays in the month.  I highly encourage you to learn, enjoy and celebrate each of the non-listed ones too.

Here are a couple of tips for creating campaigns, including talking points for affiliate managers, influencers and ambassadors.

Mother’s Day

Give creative options for multiple types of Moms. And remember that Moms aren’t just same race families!

Offer banners, text and landing pages for:

  • Mixed races
  • Non-white families
  • Lesbians
  • Different shapes and figures
  • Pet parents
  • Disabled
  • Grandma with a grandchild
  • Other

Mix it up and give your partners the tools to reach all types of audiences.  Moms come in all shapes and forms, including the nightshift server who takes care of the people who either don’t have families or were disowned by theirs.  If you’ve ever been that person at the diner (I was the nightshift server for a long time), you know what I’m talking about.

Bonus-tip: When helping your content creators create content, work with them to talk about how “Mom” will love the gift and her reaction to receiving it, not why they love the gift. Explaining how sharing the reaction the shopper will get as Mom opens the gift will resonate and help drive more conversions because you’re speaking to the consumer, not about yourself.

Memorial Day

If you’re not from a military family, or you are not active duty, Memorial Day means outlet shopping, BBQs, beach trips, white shoes, and the start of summer. But this is a day to remember the people who fought for our country and died. It is not for celebrations.

Check the following Monday, Wednesday and Thursday before you leave the office:

  • No banners or landing pages that say “Happy” or show smiling people.
  • Do not say “celebrate” safely, it is not a celebration.
  • Your affiliate and partnership managers send a newsletter with a reminder that partners should show solidarity and thank the military members that follow them.
  • If you are having a sale, make it military or veteran family only, or offer a larger discount for military and military families.
    • There are ID checkers and verifiers for most CMS systems and ecommerce platforms that can assist with this.

Customer Service Reminder

Remind your customer service team that Memorial Day weekend will have people on edge. Prepare your team to know people may lash out and teach them how to respond. That extra bit of kindness to military families will go a long way. And give your team alternatives to wishing someone a nice, happy or blessed day.  This is especially important if your customer service team is overseas.  Memorial Day likely does not exist there.

Note: If the person in live chat or calling your support team is military or a military family, thank them for their service. Also, try to think of alternatives that can be embracing and appreciative rather than telling someone to enjoy the weekend where they are remembering their friends and family that died.  It can be as simple as saying “thank you for being a customer.”

May holidays are across the board with how to celebrate. Some are happy, some are geeky, and some are not holidays at all. By having your May marketing messaging done right you can protect your brand, grow audience loyalty, and drive revenue when it is appropriate.

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