On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish. And with the luckiest of all holidays falling on a Friday this year, it’s sure to be a raucous celebration indeed. No matter how your small business decides to celebrate, remember that social media, email, and event marketing are your friends. Here are some St. Patrick’s Day marketing ideas to help you start planning and getting the word out now, before you even hang your first shamrock.
Offer discounts for green attire
St. Patrick’s Day is a celebration in honor of the Emerald Isle, so it’s no surprise that the color green plays into many of the best St. Patrick’s Day marketing ideas. So, offer a discount for those customers who really get in the spirit. If a customer goes all out and dresses head-to-toe in green, up the ante with a freebie such as a free appetizer, dessert, product sample, or additional service.
Be sure to alert your fans and followers on social beforehand so that revelers know to come decked out in their St. Paddy’s Day finest (Word to the wise: it’s St. Paddy’s Day, not St. Patty’s Day. Some people have very strong feelings about this and other St. Patrick’s Day tropes.)
Hold a “lucky” contest
Go beyond a costume contest or a raffle to win a free trip to Ireland and tap into “the luck ‘o the Irish.” For this St. Patrick’s Day marketing idea, think about what your customers would consider a lucky win. An extremely generous gift certificate to your store or restaurant? A bottle of rare Irish whisky? Maybe even a bar of gold? Think outside of the usual prizes offered in these types of contests to generate excitement among your customers and exposure for your business.
Hold a themed event
This is an extremely popular—and just plain fun—St. Patrick’s Day marketing idea. Green beer on the taps and an Irish band are standard for St. Paddy’s events, but you can also mix things up by hosting an Irish-focused trivia contest, karaoke night, or whisky tasting. Restaurants can mix up your menu with Irish dishes or by incorporating more orange, white, and green ingredients to reflect Ireland’s flag. Salons could hold an event offering discounts on curly up-dos, buns, and wigs a la Irish step-dancers. Irish culture is rich and varied—go beyond the usual clichés to find a unique angle for an event at your business.
Turn St. Patrick’s Day into a weekend-long celebration
Because St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday this year, no one will hold it against you if you extend the fun right through Sunday. If you’re holding a contest, this allows more people to enter (and you to attract even more customers).
Put anything that’s green on sale
If you sell green products—clothes, accessories, gadgets, etc.—put them all on sale for just the day (or the weekend). If you own a spa, consider offering “green” facial masks. Don’t forget, green can mean “environmentally friendly” or the color green, do what works for your business.
Discount items in groups of three
Contrary to popular belief, the shamrock (with three leaves) is the symbol of St. Patrick’s Day, not a four-leafed clover. To show you know your St. Paddy’s lore, pull the shamrock into your St. Patrick’s Day marketing by offering a discount on the purchase of three items or by running a buy-two-get-the-third-free promotion.
Create a St. Patrick’s Day board on Pinterest
No need to get gimmicky here. A board that contains nothing but beautiful landscape, cityscape, and travel photos of Ireland would do the trick! Bonus points if the photos are yours or belong to one of your employees.
By Monika Jansen