Last year’s Canada 150 was a big deal for businesses, because it provided a rare opportunity to market not just to a demographic but to the entire country. When everyone bands together around a holiday or sentiment, it makes marketing that much easier. Keeping that Canada Day momentum moving into 2018 is going to be the real test, but with some tried-and-true tactics as well as a little creativity on your part, your business will be able to capitalize on this national holiday without losing the spirit of its message.

Of course, the most obvious way a business can make the most out of Canada Day would be to host an event. With the extra day off, people like to leave their houses around July 1st and an event could be just the thing to get them through your doors. You’ll have to decided what kind of event is in keeping with your brand, whether you want to go with a family friendly party, complete with face painting and games, or a more adult kind of festivity, with drinks and music. Either way, it doesn’t seem transparently “business oriented” since you’re serving the community and celebrating the day.

Another strategy for your business to make the most out of Canada Day would be to hold some sort of promotion. A t-shirt giveaway, perhaps with some kind of Canadian slogan or image (like the map of Canada, shown below) alongside your brand, would be the perfect way to both celebrate Canada and boost brand awareness. It shouldn’t have to cost you much either; you should be able to find custom t shirts from R&P Prints (a Canadian printer) for a reasonable price.

To add to either of the above strategies, make use of social media. Encourage people to post a picture of themselves in their custom printed shirt or at your event and include you in the hashtag to be part of the conversation. If you wanted to further incentivize this, you could do this as part of a giveaway, where the customer has to hashtag your business in order to be eligible. Social media is a pretty powerful marketing tool but it relies on real world incentives to truly be effective, so it’s best not to make this your only strategy.

Of course, with all this, the name of game is subtlety. People don’t like to feel like they’re being marketed to unless there is some personal gain involved, and especially on Canada Day you don’t want to make it seem like you’re just there for business. That’s why events or giveaways work so well, because they’re in the spirit of community and giving. Another way to reinforce this idea might be to offer a Canada Day sale, though those are usually a dime a dozen and you can’t count on that idea sticking out to the average consumer.

In summary, making the most out of Canada Day in a business sense is very closely linked to making the most out of Canada Day in a personal sense. Celebrate togetherness, celebrate giving and celebrate Canada.