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Including a content calendar in your marketing plan can help keep you organized and keep your customers engaged with consistent and relevant information. A content calendar is a schedule of topics and messages you plan to communicate through social media and other communication channels. Your content calendar should include an outline of each topic, intended publish date, and relevant notes such as key audiences and platforms for release. It can help you plan in advance so that important dates don’t sneak up on you. Furthermore, laying out your plan at a high level view can reveal any gaps and opportunities in your schedule. Starting your content calendar can be as simple as populating a spreadsheet with key dates and descriptions of the content you plan on using.

As you build out your content calendar, consider developing campaigns around seasonal events or holidays that are important to your business. Identify industry-specific days of recognition or business holidays that your customers can relate to, or that your business is aligned with. Then, decide how you want to communicate about them – through social media posts, a blurb in your monthly newsletter, an email or direct mail campaign, or even a promotional discount or sale. Depending on the holiday, you might choose different methods of communication to reach your customers most effectively.

Let’s dive into ways you can include business holidays in your marketing plans to celebrate your small business and elevate your brand awareness.

Spring holidays

Employee Appreciation Day – First Friday of March

Employee Appreciation Day occurs on the first Friday of March. It’s the day to celebrate your employees and show them how much you appreciate their hard work and commitment to your small business. Feedback and recognition continue to be key factors in building employer and employee trust while also increasing employee retention.

There are many ways, large and small, that business owners can activate Employee Appreciation Day — play a company trivia game, attend a sporting event, host an on-site happy hour, close the office early, or provide everyone with some office swag. Be sure to designate someone to snap photos during the event that you can later use in posts showing how you celebrate your employees. Whatever you do, communicate your gratitude personally and authentically.

Mom and Pop Business Owners Day – March 29

Small businesses bring the US economy nearly 70% of all new jobs, representing the foundation of our local communities. Small business owners are honored on March 29 for their dedication, perseverance and courage.

Spread the news it’s Mom and Pop Day with a post to remind your community to make a conscious effort to support their local businesses.

Backup Day – March 31

Backing up your data is critical. If your company is in technology or any B2B industry, use March 31 to remind customers of the importance of having a robust data backup system.

Create a social media post or email discussing the importance of having a data backup system. Draw upon your business’s own products or expertise or share an article from a credible source and provide your own spin on it.

Records and Information Management Month – Month of April

April is for rain showers and Records and Information Management. This month seeks to encourage business owners and employees to keep records and information organized, protected and well-managed.

Share a case study about your records management system in an email or newsletter so current and potential customers can learn how you make safeguarding their data a priority.

International Workers’ Day – May 1

The international labor movement is observed on May 1, known as International Workers’ Day. Often referred to as “May Day,” it commemorates the hardships and gains made by workers and the labor movements.

Summer holidays

Insurance Awareness Day – June 28

June 28 is National Insurance Awareness Day and an excellent reminder to review your current insurance policies.

Send your team a reminder to review their personal insurance and benefits while you’re looking at your own businessowners policy. If you’re in the insurance business, consider a blitz across all of your channels reminding customers of how vital the protection you provide is. Feature testimonials from satisfied customers and remind your audience to review their coverage as changes occur in their lives and businesses.

Social Wellness Month – Month of July

Join the #WellnessWednesday conversations on Twitter and celebrate Social Wellness Month in July. Social wellness, a component of health and wellness, highlights the importance of having healthy relationships with others.

Dedicate your monthly newsletter for July to the topic of health and wellness in the workplace. Create social posts about your wellness activities that discuss how focusing on the health of your employees has positively impacted your business.

National System Administrator Appreciation Day – Last Friday of July

Have you thanked your IT admin, team or partner for ensuring you have all the technology in place to run your business? If not, then the last Friday of July, also known as #SysAdminDay, is the day to do it.

Create a post highlighting the members of your IT team and how they support your success.

Fall holidays

Cybersecurity Awareness Month – Month of October

Unfortunately, if you’re a small- to mid-sized business, you’re an easier target for cybercrime attacks. Cyber Security Awareness Month reminds everyone to #BeCyberSmart.

If cyber security is a part of your service offering, plan on a content push during the month of October. In addition to creating posts and emails about your product or service, create educational content on related topics such as what a phishing email is and how to properly report it, and how to educate and train your employees. Join online conversations by commenting on and sharing relevant posts from industry peers and monitoring related hashtags.

National Techies Day – October 3

National Techies Day is on October 3 — a day to promote jobs in the technology field, particularly with students.

Make it special by creating social media or blog posts celebrating innovators, encouraging your followers to be more involved with tech, share tech job opportunities, thanking those working in the tech industry, promote local tech activities and events, and promoting ways to improve tech skills.

World Mental Health Day – October 10

World Mental Health Day is on October 10 and aims to raise awareness of mental health issues and initiatives. Health and wellness-focused small businesses could celebrate with free or discounted services — such as an open yoga workshop or discounted counseling — and plan a social media campaign featuring mental health tips.

Need more ideas? Every year the World Health Organization promotes themes like “move for mental health” and “Mental health in the workplace.” Join the conversation on social media by leveraging trending hashtags along with a post about how your company promotes mental health in the workplace.

Winter holidays

National Write a Business Plan Month – Month of December

Are you thinking about taking the first step into owning your own business? December is dedicated to National Write a Business Plan Month which helps encourage anyone thinking about starting their own business to take the leap. Putting together a business plan can help you start and stay organized and prepared.

National Mentoring Month – Month of January

January is National Mentoring Month. Ensure young professionals in your company and community have dependable resources and mentors to help guide life skills, career decisions, and provide support and ongoing confidence.

Share thought leadership content about your company’s mentorship programs or other ways you develop your employees.

Get to Know Your Customers Day – Third Thursday of January

On the third Thursday of January, get to know your customers and learn their preferences, needs and opinions. The more broadly you understand your customers, the better you can grow your business.

Try offering a coupon for customers who complete a survey or engage with them on your company’s social media channels.

Clean Out Your Computer Day – Second Monday of February

Cleaning out your computer’s hardware and software can not only extend your computer’s lifespan, it can also help keep you safe from cyberattacks. Share cleaning recommendations with your team and take the opportunity to do a full backup of your system. If your business operates in the IT sector, send out an email ahead of the holiday reminding your customers how your services can help them celebrate the day.

However you choose to celebrate holidays in your small business, Nationwide is here to help protect your business so you can focus on growing it.

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