In the digital age we live in there seems to be an awareness day for absolutely everything – pizza, jazz, health, pets, sports, space flight and even cheese fondue – you name it and I’m pretty sure there will be national awareness day for it somewhere.
I know what you’re thinking … ‘that sounds great Kathryn but why should we care about awareness days?’ Well if you read on you’ll find out how you can use them to promote your business and build your audience in your content marketing.
So let’s begin. What are awareness days?
Traditionally awareness days were created by large corporate organisations who want to raise awareness about a certain topic or raise funds for a cause close to their hearts.
Charities, especially, are known for hosting their own awareness days with the likes of Macmillan Coffee Mornings raising thousands of pounds for the charity every year. There are also a number of awareness days (and months) hosted by the NHS in the UK as part of their on-going promotional campaigns to raise awareness for various health conditions – bowel cancer and autism to name but a few.
Since these more serious awareness days have proven to be so successful and bring these issues to the forefront of people’s minds – online and offline – the focus on awareness days have now progressed to include a fun element which includes everything you can think from prosecco, fish fingers and social media to World Wish Day, Comic Book Day and Gardening Week.
Awareness days get conversations going online, feature in regional, national and international campaigns and can often be part of content marketing for businesses to take advantage of every year to increase exposure to target markets.
How should you use them?
Awareness days are primarily talked about on social media, usually with a hashtag that trends on the day itself, but have you ever considered how they can be utilised in your wider promotional activity? Don’t worry if you haven’t because I have.
Here’s my 4 step process on how to use awareness days in your content marketing:
- Do you research: What kind of awareness days do you want support? How do they fit into your brand and what you stand for? Find an awareness days calendar, do you research and pick the days relevant to your business and target market.
- Choose the days you support wisely: A lot of businesses post on any and every awareness day going (if they don’t it definitely feels like they do). Consider what the days mean to your existing customers and wider audience – will it help build a rapport with them? Will it encourage them to buy from you? If the answer is no then don’t include it in your content.
- Coordinate and share your content: In other words, don’t just simply think about posting on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag and that’s it – job done. Think about how you can use the day to share a story and create good content that supports your wider efforts – get your customers involved, write blogs, release videos, go live on Facebook, create online polls – think about every way you promote your business and how you can weave the awareness days into your wider content so its coordinated and reflects your brand.
- Publish and engage: Publishing your content to promote your business on awareness days isn’t the end of the process. In fact it’s just the beginning. This is the time to publish your content, listen to what others are saying about the day on social media, retweet, comment and get involved in conversations on other people’s posts as well as responding to your own. Phew! It’s a lot isn’t it! This is how you’ll maximise your reach on the day and is why you shouldn’t choose too many to support throughout the year.
There’s just one caveat …
and I’m sure this goes without saying but its important.
As with any content or post on social media, it’s really important to be timely, relevant and above all, sensitive. If you create a campaign which includes an awareness day that focuses on an issue that has received a lot of bad press recently due to a negative comment, situation to tragedy, then pull it or at least re-think your stance on what you’re going to say on the issue so you show support to those involved.
The purpose of supporting awareness days is to enhance your business reputation, not destroy it, so please keep this in mind and stay on top of publicity on the issue your chosen awareness day represents.
Do you have an awareness day calendar? I’ve created one especially for members of Headliners: The PR & Digital Marketing Academy. Find out more about my membership and how to become a Headliner here.
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