The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the manner of celebrating festivals all over the world, including in India. This year, many large festivals and celebrations have been canceled or gone ‘virtual’ because of the risks of gathering in big crowds and the difficulties of social distancing. Needless to say, small businesses in India are geared up for Independence Day Celebration on August 15th, but the celebrations will look a little different this year.
Like every year, your business can run various marketing activities, including:
- Ad campaigns centered on Independence Day
The only difference is that this year, you’ll need a new thoughtfulness.
Here are some ways brands can observe this year’s Independence Day.
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1. Send a small token of appreciation
Independence Day can be a great occasion to send a small token of appreciation to your customers, partners and employees.
- Since a good number of employees are working from home, you can courier a handwritten card with a nice note saying how much the company appreciates their hard work and support.
- Likewise, you can send a personalized thank you note to each customer to let them know how much they are valued.
You can attach some freebies with the note including a box of chocolates, candies, a spa or wellness pack or a gift coupon from Amazon, Flipkart or Snapdeal. You can also send a gift with a company logo engraved on it, like a coffee mug, a cap or a table showpiece.
2. Hold an online contest
You can hold an online contest for your customers and announce it across social media. Not only will you grab followers’ attention, you’ll also engage them by rewarding them for their participation.
You could ask customers to share photos or write a one-liner on what freedom means to them and tag your business.
The chosen winner receives a product or free one-year membership to your service.
Have some fun with a quiz
You can also conduct an online quiz where participants can register and answer five simple questions on India’s history. The person who gets all five answers correct will qualify for the lucky draw from which you can select three lucky winners.
You need to be clear in your communication in terms of:
- How to register
- Where to make their submission
- The hashtag they should use
In addition, be sure to clearly announce the opening and closing day of the contest and the declaring of the winners.
What about a video contest?
You can also prepare a themed video contest.
A food blogger or cafe owner could create a themed video recipe using the tricolor of saffron, white and green.
A tricolour recipe for something like a barfi, cake, milk shake or pasta can win readers’ hearts and can be posted across all your social media accounts.
3. Share a strong brand message on social media
On the day of the event, you can begin with a virtual flag hoisting ceremony to mark the occasion which could be streamed live through your Facebook and Twitter feeds for your employees, partners and customers to watch online.
Before the special day, ask customers to send a photo or a 30-second video on how they show their Indian pride that you can share across your social media accounts such as Facebook and Instagram.
Add a special hashtag like #IamIndia or #ProudToBeIndian to be posted on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.
You can create a short video with little-known facts on Independence Day or capture the various milestones India has achieved since it got its independence. This is a reminder for every Indian that our country has witnessed the dawn of a new era and how it has progressed over time. The video must reflect the country’s pride.
Hold a virtual panel talk
Another good idea is to host an online panel to recognise the historic day through a conference call, which you can share on YouTube. You can invite five or six experts to lead a discussion on:
- The importance of Independence Day
- What will lead to concrete changes in the industry and society
- How actions taken on this day can be a catalyst for sustainable change
Another apt way of Independence Day Celebration is by posting a brand message from the chairman or CEO of the company on your company website and social media, celebrating the spirit of the special day.
4. Offer deals and discounts
Independence Day can be a great occasion to offer deals, discounts, online coupons and promo codes to consumers. As a small business owner, you may have your own online store where you can sell your exclusive offerings. You can offer value-added services to attract more sales during Independence Day. For example:
- Free shipping
- Cash on delivery
- Product bundling
You can also partner with major eCommerce platforms and provide exclusive offers during the sale. But remember, these campaigns have a limited time period, generally running from two to five days around Independence Day.
For example, Amazon’s Great Indian Sale and Flipkart’s Freedom Sale each runs for four days, so you will also have limited time to sell your products.
Do not miss out on the omnichannel promotion offer as India is predominantly a mobile-first market.
People love to shop using their mobile devices as well as use their laptops/PCs to make a purchase. This year, a lot more growth is likely to happen in online sales as people will continue to follow safety guidelines to avoid being infected by the virus and hence shop online from home.
5. Celebrate the power of freedom with employees
While Independence Day celebrations may keep you busy during the day, on August 15th, do find some time to connect with your key assets — your employees. On a half-hour video call, you can tell your employees how much they are valued and how you will continue to support them during these uncertain times.
If you want to do something a bit more creative, ask your staff well beforehand if they’d like to showcase some of their hidden talents. You can make it an enjoyable session full of patriotic songs, poetry or slogans. This could be the best way to show off your employees’ skills and build up much-needed team morale.
6. Donate for a cause
Independence Day is a great time to reflect on the many sacrifices made by our predecessors, and also to give back to the community and the country.
As an organization, you can team up with a non-governmental organization or a government sponsored program where you donate a sum of money for a specific cause, including:
- Health and safety
- Indian army
- Childcare and nourishment
- Home and shelter
- Fighting the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
For example, businesses who want to help fight the pandemic can donate through the COVID-Solidarity Response Fund through the World Health Organization (WHO). You can also start your own fundraising drive to support a local issue on behalf of your business.
Enjoy the Independence Day Celebration
This year, the Independence Day celebration may not happen with great pomp and show like most other years amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis. But the ideas listed above not only show your patriotic temperament, but also highlight your values as a business owner.
As you raise the Indian flag, remember the country has a distinct and amazing history and it’s certainly one to be cherished and celebrated!