How to Use Awareness Days in Your Marketing Strategy

Awareness days are often set up by charities or businesses to bring focus to a cause. This could be to highlight a health condition, to bring communities together, to shed light on something for the common good, to improve health and wellbeing, mark a particular event, or to celebrate something worthwhile.

They are often a good way to create conversations around important topics that might otherwise be difficult to discuss.

There are a whole host of these days (or weeks/months) out there, almost an awareness day or event for every day of the year. These range from those quite condition specific, for example, World Bipolar Day, to those more broad, like Clean Beaches Week, and even random days, such as National Wine Day.

To keep an eye on what days are coming up, have a look at our Awareness Days and Events Calendar, which provides a comprehensive and collated list of all the upcoming awareness days/weeks/months and events, both in the UK and Internationally.

Having grown in popularity over the years, awareness days have become an ideal marketing tool. They not only provide inspiration for content, but they can help promote your business or your offering, boost your PR activity, strengthen your reputation and increase your social media presence.

They are also a good way to offer your audience a glimpse at your brand’s ethos and involvement in wider issues.

While they are brilliant for getting noticed for the right reasons, you need to be savvy about using them effectively. Using them needs to be viewed as genuine and sitting with your values, rather than being seen as jumping on something for the sake of it – which will not play well in the modern age of social media.

How to Use Awareness Days in Your Marketing

Be Selective

Rather than just listing and highlighting upcoming awareness days to your audience, you need to make sure you are adding context to the day. There are hundreds to choose from, but, ideally, you just want to pick a few, focussing on the ones which really link back to your product or service.

While some are highlighting an important cause, and others are just a bit of fun, both are worth incorporating into your PR and marketing strategy if they are relevant and fit your brand.

You just need to ensure that you’re not just jumping on the bandwagon of every awareness day going, and ending up with a tenuous link that won’t resonate with your audience. This could come across as a shameless publicity stunt, which could undermine your message and potentially damage your reputation.

For example, on the twelfth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorists attacks, USA telecoms company AT&T put out this tweet:

Image from getresponse.com

The tweet received, understandably, massive backlash from users, who accused AT&T of trying to commercialise the tragedy.

The resulting controversy meant that the company had to remove the post and tweet an apology, which was certainly not a good look for anyone involved:

Image from getresponse.com

Make it Relevant

While it works well to be creative with these awareness days, and there are brands and businesses out there that have done this brilliantly, you want to make sure that the link fits well with what you’re promoting.

For example, a niche event like National Allotment Week could be used well by a nutritionist to promote the health benefits of eating seasonal and organic produce, or to promote a new juice program they are encouraging, but may not be as effective for a company selling children’s nursery furniture.

On the other hand, you have much more versatile days, such as Random Acts Of Kindness Day or World Smile Day, which could work well for a whole array of different businesses. And with these days known long in advance (you just have to check our calendar), it gives you ample time to plan your content before the day/week/month comes around.

Engage in Conversation

As well as to promote your product or service, awareness days provide a wonderful opportunity to start conversation around a topic and engage with an audience.

In fact, in some cases you may not wish to promote anything at all, particularly if the cause is close to your heart.

National Leave The Office Early Day, for example, could be used as a prompt to discuss the importance of work life balance and burnout, or Blue Monday could be used to start a conversation around depression, which can be a difficult topic for people to discuss.

Hashtags are a fantastic way you can join in conversations about the day and topic on social media, and each of the awareness days will usually have an associated hashtag. Make sure to use these in your posts, as it will allow people to find you and engage with you, and help you to build your audience.

A company that uses hashtags effectively to start conversation is Durex, who routinely create innovative AIDS and HIV awareness campaigns for World AIDS Day.

Back in 2012, they created the #1share1condom campaign, which was for every share the company received (Facebook videos, Tweets, photos relating to the day), the company would donate a condom to global and local charities promoting HIV awareness and protection:

Image from: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/

Their target was to give away 2.5 million condoms, symbolically representing the 2.5 million people newly infected with HIV in 2011. While they were a little short, they donated 2.25 million, it was still a resounding success for both the company and the campaign.

Tap into Behaviour

More often than not, there is a human, emotional side to awareness days, and this can be something you can use to resonate even more with your audience. Thinking about what goes on around the topic can help show people that you actually understand what it is.

For example, National No Smoking Day is about quitting smoking, but you could draw attention to the symptoms people may feel if they do quit, rather than just focusing on the act of quitting itself.

Another thing to think about is what people might be doing as a result of the awareness day. If it’s a holiday, like the Jubilee or Thanksgiving, will people be getting together with their family? Will they be feasting? Will they be giving gifts?

By researching into the behaviour of your audience, you can then design your content and theme to make it as relevant as possible, and thus have more of an impact.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully this article has given you some good food for thought surrounding awareness days and how to use them effectively within your marketing strategy. Just remember to choose the ones that you think will resonate with your audience and link back to what you are promoting.

And, where suitable, try to have some fun and be creative with them. Wear A Hat Day, for example, is a clever way of being creative with a campaign. It was set up to celebrate the final day of Brain Tumour Awareness Month, involving wearing a silly hat to work, school, or just out and about. Not only is it a memorable way to raise funds for the charity, it is also a good conversation starter about the topic.

If you’d like to learn more about marketing for awareness days, or would like to know more about any of our other services, please get in touch with our team of experts.