23 Important Holidays to Keep An Eye On in 2018
For marketing professionals, the word ‘holiday’ is packed both with promise, and a sense of tension. The potential for bigger and better sales, more customers, leads, and a general interest in your product increases exponentially if framed and promoted properly around the year’s many holidays.
Now, cue every other marketer in the known universe blasting off email reminders and creating festive landing pages, and you have yourself a healthy dose of competition.
And how does one rise above the pack? While this is a subject that deserves its own article, trust in this: choose your holidays wisely. In the realm 24/7 social media engagement and activity, there is no shortage of holidays to capitalize on. Every day seems to celebrate something; whether it be hugs, entire countries, or pie. Your job is to filter out the holidays that are most relevant to your business, in order to ensure maximum levels of audience engagement.
We, of course, have some suggestions. You’ll notice that many religious holidays are missing from the list below. While we have indeed listed a couple of Christian holidays due to their commercial value, pay attention not to cater to too many religions, or too few. The last thing you want to do is ostracize large parts of a global community. So, without further ado, here is our list of the 23 most important U.S. holidays to keep an eye on:
Jan. 1st : New Years Day
The start date for grand resolutions, New Years Day (and the eve before) mark a time of hope and new beginnings. Take advantage of a day where most people are off work scrolling through newsfeeds and nursing a hangover.
Jan. 15: Martin Luther King Day
Honoring the birthday of the world’s most celebrated civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Day is a symbolic holiday that supports democracy and inclusivity across all races. It’s a day for bridging gaps, and promoting the spirit of unity.
Feb. 4: Super Bowl Sunday
While the actual date varies from year to year, the ceremonial ending of the NFL season takes place on the first Sunday of February. With coveted ad spots at the halftime shows averaging at $4-million for 30 seconds, it’s a great day to celebrate competition, and the strength and reach of good advertisements.
Feb. 14: Valentine’s Day
The annual day of buying things for those you love, Valentine’s Day is the ideal time to share a bit of sweet sentimentality.
Feb. 16: Chinese New Year
With approximately 1.3 billion consumers celebrating the New Year in February rather than January 1st, the Chinese New Year is an important holiday that tends to slip by unnoticed. Marked by themes of luck and celebration, the New Year takes place on a different day each year according to the new moon—which comes between 21st of January and the 20th of February.
Feb. 19: President’s Day
A federal holiday celebrated in honor of George Washington, it’s a great time to hark back to history and to the country’s founding values.
March 3: World Wildlife Day
The celebration of the world’s fauna is an excellent excuse to post a photo of a cute, cuddly, or ferocious member of an endangered or vulnerable species.
March 8: International Women’s Day
A day celebrating half of the world’s population, International Women’s day is the best time of the year to promote female inclusivity, gender equality, and fundamental human rights. And in a year marked by #MeeToo and a number of other revelations, the day’s importance should be emphasized.
March 17: St. Patrick’s Day
A celebration of Irish culture in all of its facets, St. Patrick’s Day has morphed into an American celebration of fun, luck, festivities, and parades showered in all things green. Capitalize on the infectious fun.
April 1: Easter
One of the only religious holidays on our list, Easter is both a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus and a day famed for the Easter Bunny. And while the date varies from year to year, think chocolates, think fun, and think Spring sales.
May 13: Mother’s Day
Held on the second Sunday of May, Mother’s Day is a great opportunity to evoke feelings of warmth and kindness towards mothers, sisters, grandmothers, etc. as their significant others set out to buy flowers (specifically), and a bevy of other gifts.
May 28: Memorial Day
A federal holiday that celebrates those who have served in the American armed forces, the date, again, observed every year on the last Monday of May. It’s a great time to celebrate and to promote sales, since everyone will be off work.
June 17: Father’s Day
Celebrating dads, grandfathers, and brothers everywhere, the lead up to Father’s Day is lined with sales. Take advantage of a day championing togetherness and gift-giving.
July 4: Independence Day
Arguably the most ‘American’ of the holidays, the 4th of July is marked by celebrations on all levels. While most people are not off work, parties, fireworks, and flag-flying are the defining characteristics of the day.
Sept. 1: Back to School
While the day varies for each academic level and school board between late August and early September, make sure to capitalize on the fact that everyone is buying brand new things to last a whole year of study.
Sept. 3: Labor Day
It’s the federal holiday that celebrates kicking back and doing as little work as possible. Keep the sales flowing since most will be spending their time at home and online.
Oct. 31: Halloween
The spookiest of the holidays, Halloween is the day when little ghouls and goblins take to the streets for some well-earned trick-or-treating. With scary movies in the theaters, ghost stories told around the fire, and jack-o’-lanterns appearing on doorsteps everywhere, Halloween is a day for lots of laughs and plenty of scares.
Nov. 11: Veterans Day
An unofficial holiday that speaks to the nation’s war heroes and veterans. It's a great time to bring about feelings of victory and unity, during a month dedicated to remembrance.
Nov. 22: Thanksgiving
Get your turkey feast on! As families gather together for a dinner celebrating the harvest and overeating in equal measure, make sure to promote feelings of community and friendship.
Nov. 23: Black Friday
The most chaotic time of the year for many, Black Friday is the day of blowout sales on every level of retail post-Thanksgiving.
Nov. 26: Cyber Monday
Get your warehouses stocked for online orders and get those sales flowing before the new year.
Dec. 25: Christmas
With Christmas sales taking place throughout the month, the corporate-minded holiday celebrates all things warm, cozy, and joly. Makes sure to promote that gift-giving spirit.
Dec. 26: Boxing Day
The day that sets off a week-long sales bonanza, Boxing Day is the last time of the year to liquidate stock and to cash in on those with Christmas gift money lining their pockets.
While the holidays you promote should depend on your line of business, take this handy guide and plug it into your marketing calendar. Don’t be left behind when sales opportunities arise. For an in-depth look at all possible holidays from around the world, head on over to Google Calendars, and make sure to save the dates for each of the holidays above.