50+ May Marketing Ideas (and Examples) for Any Business or Budget - Business 2 Community

50+ May Marketing Ideas (and Examples) for Any Business or Budget - Business 2 Community


50+ May Marketing Ideas (and Examples) for Any Business or Budget - Business 2 Community

Posted: 10 Apr 2021 12:00 AM PDT

If April showers bring May flowers, then now is the time for your small business to bloom. But how do you get your business to stand out to customers and apart from competitors? By incorporating creativity, core values, and causes into your content. And the good news is, every month of the year affords unique opportunities for these three Cs. And this sunny month of May is especially jam-packed. We've got National Small Business Week, Women's Health Week, Mother's Day, Memorial Day Bike to Work (or Wherever) Day, Star Wars Day, and so much more.

may-marketing-ideas

In this post, we're going to arm you with everything you need to produce great content this month. This includes:

  • A list of May awareness causes, themes, holidays, and observances.
  • Free and easy marketing ideas around these themes, particularly for small and local businesses.
  • Real examples of blog articles, social media posts, events, and promotions to help you brainstorm for your business.

Read on for 50+ ways to express your brand voice, engage with your audience, and show customers your creative side this May.

May awareness causes

  • Small Business Week (May 2-May 8)
  • Public Service Recognition Week
  • Women's Health Week
  • ALS
  • Motorcycle awareness
  • Stroke victims
  • Celiac disease
  • Mental health

Holidays and observances in May

  • Star Wars Day – May 4th
  • Cinco de Mayo and Kentucky Derby – May 5th
  • Teacher Appreciation Day – Tuesday of the first full week in May
  • Mother's Day – May 9th
  • Peace Officer's Memorial Day – May 15th
  • Bike to Work Day – third Friday in May
  • Armed Forces Day – 3rd Saturday in May
  • Geek Pride day – May 25th
  • National Burger Day- May 28th
  • Memorial Day – May 31st

May marketing ideas and examples

We've got loads of ideas for you for May—for Facebook and Instagram posts, blog posts, events, promotions, and more. We've organized them by themes and holidays, but you can find industry-specific ideas within each theme.

1. National Small Business Week

First and foremost, National Small Business Week happens annually every first week of May. The event was postponed until September and turned into a virtual celebration in 2020 due to COVID-19, but it's back on in 2021 starting May 2.

Dedicated to raising awareness about small businesses and celebrating the hard-working owners behind them, this week will be packed with ample marketing opportunities. Here are some ways to make the best of National Small Business Week:

may-marketing-ideas-small-business-week-sale

  • Get return customers: Give out coupons with purchases this week, that can only be redeemed on an upcoming holiday or on the last day of Small Business Week.
  • Get more leads: Offer a downloadable, small business-themed piece of content that is of value to your target audience in exchange for their email addresses. You could also create a guide outlining the specials offered by other small businesses in your neighborhood. This is a great way to connect and network with nearby businesses and strengthen your ties to the community.
  • Promote your promotions: Write a blog post with a schedule of the deals, events, and contests you're running and include it in your emails and social media posts.
  • Increase your exposure: Use #nationalsmallbusinessweek and #nationalsmallbusinessweek[your location] and other relevant hashtags in your social media posts and promotions.

may-marketing-ideas-small-business-week

  • Run an Instagram giveaway for a free product or service. Entrants post a photo to Instagram of themselves at your business, using a custom hashtag. Announce the winner at the end of the week.
  • Connect: Don't forget that educating yourself about small businesses and networking with other small business owners is important for your marketing success as well. Attend local events, SBA events, or follow along via live streams.
  • Build community and expand your reach: Team up with other complementary small businesses and create an event.
  • Give back: Make an extra effort to give back to your community by shopping at, posting reviews, and engaging in social media with other small businesses during the week.

may-marketing-ideas-small-business-week

2. Kentucky Derby

Use the Kentucky Derby in your May marketing efforts. Get creative with derby fashion or horse-themed decorations, promotions, contests, and events. For example,

  • Change up your storefront with a derby theme to grab attention and attract customers.
  • Blog about derby fashion and outfits for men and women.
  • Throw a derby party with derby hat contests and mint juleps.
  • Host a cooking or cocktail-making class.
  • Run a derby hat contest on Instagram or Facebook.
  • Use derby hashtags such as #kyderby, or your own custom hashtag (like #derbyatjoes) so that people can find you and follow along.

may-marketing-ideas-derby-hat-contest

3. Cinco de Mayo

In the spirit of Cinco de Mayo, there are many ways to infuse a Mexican-American spirit into your marketing. For example:

  • Food or fitness businesses can post recipes or videos of recipes on social media.
  • Give out coupons the day before or a few days before, redeemable on Cinco de Mayo.
  • Share a festive discount "code word" on social media, customers who mention the code in-store get 15% off.

may-marketing-ideas-cinco-de-mayo

  • Use a triumph or underdog theme. This holiday comes from Mexico's unlikely victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla. Give your customers the victory over high prices, long lines, slow service, and more with particular deals.
  • Use the number 5 in your promotions, such as get the fifth one free, $5 specials, 5% off, 5 for 5, etc.
  • Throw a party or cooking class revolving around Mexican food and culture.
  • Consider offering your followers information about where to enjoy Cinco de Mayo. Remember, not everything you post should be in an effort to make a sale. Providing useful information gives your followers another reason to keep watching you on social media.

4. Teacher Appreciation Day

May 2nd is Teacher Appreciation Day—a perfect time for preschools to market themselves to new parents in anticipation of the new school year.

  • Throw a party for teachers or have students write thank you letters to show off on your blog, in email newsletters to parents, or on social media.
  • Update your website content with new teacher bios and pictures.
  • Did anyone receive a new degree or have a teacher accomplishment to share? This is the perfect time to showcase them in an "About Us" page on your website. Doing so not only highlights your teaching staff, but it also can improve your SEO.

may marketing ideas teacher appreciation

5. Mother's Day

Mother's Day is prime time for any business, not just the flower shops, salons, and spas (although it is advantageous!).

  • Flower shops and bakeries can offer special Mother's Day products, and discounts for Mother's Day gift-givers, either on this day or the day before as well.
  • Salons and spas can create Mother's Day-themed gift certificates, or offer 2-for-1 deals for mothers and daughters celebrating together.
  • Combine products and/or services into attractive gift packages that make gift-giving easy.

may-marketing-ideas-mothers-day

  • Businesses that get a spike in traffic on Mother's Day can hand out coupons with purchases that are redeemable at a later time (ideally a time when business typically gets slow).
  • Preschools can have their little ones create Mother's Day cards or crafts to send home. Make sure to post the pictures on social media or follow up with a blog post or email newsletter to communicate with parents!
  • Run a Mother's Day photo contest on Facebook.

may-marketing-ideas-mothers-day-photo-contest

6. Memorial Day

Here are some ways to show your patriotism and love for the good ol' USA through your business marketing on Memorial Day.

  • Promote red, white, and blue-themed recipes, outfits, flower arrangements, jewelry, and other products and promote on Pinterest and Instagram.

may-marketing-ideas-memorial-day-products

  • Host a BBQ or picnic for your community, and give out branded swag like sunglasses or water bottles.
  • Participate in or sponsor a local event.
  • Use quotes, images, and other posts on social media to show your support for those who have lost their lives for our country.
  • Run a charity race or ride to remember our troops and veterans.
  • Memorial Day is often celebrated with gatherings (small ones during COVID-19), and Groupon will feature seasonal deals on its site. Try running a Groupon deal geared for families and groups. You could offer winter and spring products and services at a discount or even introduce your summer deals.

may-marketing-ideas-groupon

  • Run long weekend deals that encourage others to check out your business during their mini-vacay.

7. Warm weather/spring cleaning

Take advantage of the warmer weather and provide information and helpful tips to your customers in accordance with your business.

  • Contractors, landscaping companies, and painters should boost their May marketing efforts to get new clients for the spring and summer months. Try sending out postcards encouraging homeowners to get their homes and gardens in top shape for summer.

may-marketing-ideas-landscaping-postcard

Image source

  • Now's the time to run that gutter cleaning sale or post pictures on Facebook of your most recent outdoor paint job. Build your content authority with SEO-optimized blog posts about seasonal maintenance.

may-marketing-ideas-spring-cleanup

Speaking of spring cleaning, why not do a little of your own by going through your website, ad campaigns, social media profiles, and listings to make sure information is up to date, photos are relevant to the season, and links are working properly. You may want to refresh some of the evergreen content from last year that performed well around this time.

  • Gather up your top reviews from last year and share them on social media. These make for enjoyable Tweets with no pressure to click a link or read more. You might also share success stories with before-and-after photos to get clients excited about the warm weather.
  • What better time to get the chatter going about your business when people are getting excited about the warm weather? Word of mouth marketing is important for small businesses. Offer existing clients a discount or incentive for each new client they refer who becomes a paying customer.

may-marketing-ideas-referral

8. Flowers

April showers bring May flowers. If you own a flower shop, May marketing is your time to shine! (If you don't, there are still opportunities!).

  • Host that flower arranging workshop you've been thinking about.
  • Start a Pinterest board to see if Pinterest is right for your business, or grow your Pinterest following with your creations linked to your online store or blog.
  • You don't have to be a florist to use flowers in your marketing. Spruce up your office, restaurant, or storefront with flowers. Nothing says "spring" like fresh-cut flowers that add a pop of color to your business space.
  • Buy flowers from a local florist and introduce yourself. Supporting other small business owners is the first step to getting more word-of-mouth referrals.

9. Weddings

May is the start of wedding season and a perfect time to market your business to new people who are in town. Unless, of course, you're hosting a virtual wedding this year due to the pandemic. Here are some wedding-based marketing ideas for both live and virtual weddings.

  • Caterers, event planners, DJs, photographers, bakeries, and other wedding-friendly services: Use social media to engage customers as much as possible. Whether you're hosting the bachelorette party at your restaurant, baking the wedding cupcakes at your bakery, or photographing the event, be sure to take pictures and share them on Facebook and other social media platforms. You may also want to ask and see if you can use the special custom hashtag for the event. This is a great way to put a name to the features of the wedding that stick out to guests (who can become or refer you to new customers) and their social media audiences.
  • Landscapers can capitalize on wedding venue owners looking to perfect their property.
  • Or perhaps you want to run a virtual wedding planning campaign, through organic content or paid ads.

may-marketing-ideas-virtual-wedding

  • Fitness and nutrition businesses can provide workouts, recipes, blog posts, and tips on getting to your healthiest and best version of yourself in time for these heavily photographed events.

10. Star Wars Day

Star Wars Day simply can't be ignored with its rising popularity. Run a webinar or live stream on this day to help add some creativity to your copy.

may-marketing-ideas-star-wars-day

Or, organize a live or virtual Star Wars trivia night or contest. The prize could be discounts on future purchases or even a small cash prize for the winning team to share.

may-marketing-ideas-star-wars-trivia

11. Bike to Work Day

Perhaps a surprise to most, Bike to Work Day is kind of a big deal in most major cities. Many metro areas have websites to register for the day and to organize large bike-riding groups. Look for information regarding your local Bike to Work Day activities and post useful information for your followers.

Or during COVID times, there may also be a Bike to Wherever Day in your community:

may-marketing-ideas-bike-to-work-day

12. Geek Pride Day

Geek Pride Day offers you the opportunity to geek out over anything you think is the bee's knees (a technical geek term). Geek out over a topic in your industry that you're passionate about, or ask your employees about what they geek out on. Or, ask your social media followers questions related to the day.

may-marketing-ideas-geek-pride-day

13. ALS

Not only is it important to support worthy causes, but statistically, people are more apt to do business with companies that share their values. This restaurant got a repost from an ALS-focused organization to help drive customers to their fundraiser:

may-marketing-ideas-als

You could also post infographics that educate the public:

may-marketing-ideas-als-infographic

14. Public Service Recognition Week

For Public Service Recognition Week, post a thank you to the men and women who make our lives better by devoting their days to public service professions. Public service employees range from police officers to county clerks to city bus drivers. Say thank you!

may-marketing-ideas-public-service-recognition

15. Peace Officer's Memorial Day

As a part of Public Service Recognition Week, we have Peace Officer's Memorial Day on May 15. In addition to our troops and veterans, no one deserves our adulation more than those who serve and protect our cities. Take a moment to give a big thank you to your town's protectors and even offer up specials specifically for Peace Officers.

may-marketing-ideas-peace-officers-memorial-day

16. Women's Health Week

During Women's Health Week, get creative about how you show appreciation for your female consumers and think of fun ways to engage them with your shop and on Instagram.

This influencer partnered with integrative health providers to share women's health educational content and resources:

may-marketing-ideas-womens-health-week-partner

This fitness center took their spin class outdoors to shake things up a bit. This is a great idea, especially during the pandemic. If lugging out equipment isn't an option, go for a yoga class, dance class, or boot camp. This is also a great way to show potential customers how awesome your classes are.

may-marketing-ideas-womens-health-fitness

Final tips for your May marketing

Whatever you decide to do to promote your business in May, be sure to recap your events, promotions, and festivities in your next email newsletter or blog post so that those who missed out will want to join in the fun next year. Also, be sure to send follow-up emails to any new leads for your business. And during your campaigns, post real-time photos and user-generated content to encourage more participation.

We provided over 50 ideas in this post, so let's finish off with the holidays, awareness causes, and themes we covered:

  • Small Business Week
  • Kentucky Derby
  • Cinco de Mayo
  • Teacher Appreciation Day
  • Mother's Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Warm weather/spring cleaning
  • Flowers
  • Weddings
  • Star Wars Day
  • Bike to Work (or wherever) Day
  • Geek Pride Day
  • ALS awareness
  • Public Service Recognition Week
  • Peace Officer's Memorial Day
  • National Hamburger Day
  • Women's Health Week

Fifth Third Bank's 53 Ideas competition supports entrepreneurs with capital & training - Qcity metro

Posted: 02 May 2021 06:48 PM PDT

Sponsored by:

David Hunt was working three jobs last year to support his vision of building a tech company that would use artificial intelligence to assist small business owners. Then his money ran out.

"I had the vision, we had beta testers signed up, we had product designs and clients that I had worked with. The pressing need was capital," he recalled.

Out of options and with investors looking for a product he didn't have, Hunt learned of a new Fifth Third Bank competition geared toward entrepreneurs.

Modeled after the popular "Shark Tank" reality television show, 53 Ideas invites entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges. Contestants chosen to advance are given training and coaching. The first-place winner gets $10,000.

Hunt entered the competition with a short video explaining his vision. He was chosen as one of 53 contestants and ultimately won the top prize.

Since then, his company, Framewrk, has attracted additional investments, hired engineers and built an app. 

"The $10,000 took us a long way, but winning the competition opened up other opportunities, including people reaching out and contributing capital," Hunt recalled a year later. "Now we are in a completely different place than had we not done 53 Ideas."

David Hunt

53 Ideas now is entering its second year. Starting May 1 and running through May 31, applicants can apply by submitting 53-second video explaining their pitch.

In creating the competition, Fifth Third Bank's goal is to support and expand on the innovation that's bubbling up in the Charlotte area. South Piedmont Community College will lead this initiative in collaboration with Community College Small Business Centers in the region.

53 Ideas is open to anyone in the 10-counties surrounding Charlotte — even to aspiring entrepreneurs who have nothing more than a dream.  

Reinvesting in communities

During the past five years, Fifth Third Bank has spent $41.6 billion on programs designed to help address community needs, such as investing in affordable housing, promoting economic development and supporting financial stabilization. 

While the bank has long offered programs geared to helping existing small businesses, it recently expanded those efforts to include entrepreneurs with viable ideas but no means to get them off the ground.

Enter 53 Ideas. 

Last year, organizers had planned for the competitions and workshops to be held in-person, but when the pandemic hit, they moved events online. The bank had expected 50 people to apply, but 177 sent in videos.

Organizers were heartened by the positive response.

"There were excellent business concepts and submissions," said Joel Dancy, the bank's Mid-Atlantic Regional Community & Economic Development Manager.

It was Dancy, in fact, who came up with the idea of 53 Ideas. 

"Lots of service businesses were struggling," he said, "and it was good to see individuals bring new concepts to the forefront and coming forward. It was good to see how resilient people were in the midst of a pandemic."

More than a competition

After the first round, competitors participated in a series of workshops on topics including "Understanding the Pitch," "Customer Discovery" and "Figuring Out Your Financials." 

Hunt particularly enjoyed a workshop about idea pitching facilitated by Juan Garzon, executive director of Innovate Charlotte. Hunt says it helped him understand how to use the power of storytelling to connect with potential investors. He credits what he learned with helping his company secure an additional $30,000 from investors. He also got accepted into an accelerator program sponsored by Ernst & Young.

"The teaching component is very valuable," Hunt said. "From a strategic perspective, it helped us small business owners think in longer-term ways about our finances, our operations,  and our sales strategy."

Dancy, the Fifth Third executive, said it was important for the bank to include the educational workshops. Dancy said he will often hear from individuals who are great with the creative aspects of building a business but need help with the operational side. 

"They come in and they do not understand bank talk," he said. "We want to help local entrepreneurs successfully take that pitch to an investor or to a commercial bank for resource support as they grow."

After winning the 53 Ideas competition, life became much busier for Hunt and Framewrk. He went from having one mobile app engineer, who he was struggling to pay, to having a team of 7 employees.

"Now we are in a completely different place," he said.

Fifth Third Bank, meanwhile, would like to see the Charlotte-area competition expanded statewide. Dancy also said he's heard from Fifth Third Bank colleagues in other states expressing interest in adopting a similar event. He also has been pleased to see how those who participated in the competition have used the skills they learned to further grow their business. 

"Fifth Third Bank is happy to see other financial institutions applying additional resources to support women- and minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs that historically have been overlooked in getting seed funding to support their creative ideas that they want to bring to the marketplace," Dancy said. "We hope this current trend of support will become permanent to help create sustainable economic markets for consumers to use."   

About 53 ideas

Entry is limited to residents in the following North Carolina counties: Anson, Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and Union.

To apply: Submit a 53-second video pitching your business idea. Deadline for submission is May 31, 2021.

Finalists will receive a cash award, plus training and coaching to prepare for the next round.

  • First place winner – $10,000
  • Second place winner – $5,000
  • Third place winner – $2,500
  • Top 10 finalists – $250
  • Top 53 finalists – $50

More info: Visit the 53 Ideas website

About Framewrk

Framewrk is a mobile app that gives advice to entrepreneurs using artificial intelligence. The app is in beta testing, but Framewrk eventually plans to charge $29 monthly for access. 

Find Framewrk at http://framewrktogether.com/

Small-Business Ideas for a Post-Pandemic World - GOBankingRates

Posted: 16 Apr 2021 12:00 AM PDT

Portrait shot of mature woman teaching English to her students through video call, in front of her laptop at home , during Covid 19 lockdown.

Kanawa_Studio / Getty Images

As the pandemic winds down, most people are thinking about where they'll travel, who they'll visit, and which restaurants they'll eat at first. Those with the entrepreneurial fire, however, are doing what they always do in good times and bad — sniffing out the hidden opportunity. 

With summer approaching and the virus finally moving toward rearview mirror status, opportunity is everywhere — if you know where to look. 

Options: 5 Unexpected Work-From-Home Jobs You Can Do Right Now

No one can predict the future, but experts with instincts and experience can make very educated guesses on which business models are most likely to thrive in the post-COVID-19 world. GOBankingRates talked to a few professionals from a variety of backgrounds who did just that. The following is a glance at three industries and niches that have the wind at their backs moving into the post-pandemic era. If you're thinking of launching a business of your own, these options might be a good place to start.  

2021 Small Business Spotlight: Don't Miss Out on Nominating Your Favorite Small Business To Be Featured on GOBankingRates — Ends May 31

Outdoor Event Planning

Eventually, indoor gatherings will return, although maybe never in full and maybe never in quite the same way as you remember from before. After the ordeal of 2020, however, you can bet that plenty of people will prefer a fresh-air alternative when given the option. 

That reality positions one post-COVID-19 business plan as an obvious opportunity waiting for someone to capitalize on it.  

Journalist, entrepreneur, and author Christina Kumar, who co-wrote "1 Habit to Thrive in a Post-Covid World, " said, "Since, everyone has been temporarily cut off from in-person events, outdoor events will most likely be the new go-to for social gatherings for a while." 

See: 13 Summer Jobs You Can Still Get During the Ongoing Pandemic

The Corporate Market Could Be Bigger Than the Consumer Market

Everything from art galleries to stand-up comedy clubs are already exploring outdoor alternatives, but the trend is hardly limited to entertainment — or even to the consumer market in general. Businesses are expected to reimagine things like the traditional office party, training seminar and continuing education course. After COVID-19, that reimagining will likely include blue skies above.

After all, it makes good business sense. 

"If businesses can cater to their customers in an outdoor venue, that can be a great way to keep their businesses operating," Kumar said.

Find Out: How Small-Business Struggles Hurt All Americans

Online Learning

There's no doubt that parents across the land are grateful that their kids are finally back in school or longing for the day that they soon will be. But for many others, e-learning gave them greater flexibility and control over their children's learning than the dated 20th-century schoolhouse model. For them, there's no going back — at least not all the way. 

"One promising business model for the post-COVID world is e-learning," said Ann Martin, director of operations at CreditDonkey. "We've all witnessed how the demand for remote services has skyrocketed. E-learning delivers an accessible learning option that is rapidly growing into a viable alternative to more traditional forms of education and training."

Read: Small-Business Industries Hurt Most by the Pandemic

According to EducationWeek (EW), Martin's assessment is spot on. A RAND Corporation survey of 300 districts found that 20% of schools expect online offerings to be extended and even expanded in the months and years beyond the pandemic. A different EW report speculated that much of that expansion will be built on the hybrid model that emerged in 2020, with the physical school serving as the hub for an extended e-learning community.

Here, Too, the Corporate Market Could Be the Real Gold Mine

Small businesses that deal in e-learning technology, staffing, training, implementation, IT, textbooks and materials, software, tutoring, coaching, advising, consulting, etc., all stand to benefit in 2021 and beyond. Same as with the outdoor event-planning concept, e-learning offers a whole other market to be tapped in the corporate world, as well.

"While it's popular at an individual level, corporate e-learning is where I'm seeing the most interesting developments," Martin said. "In the post-COVID world, workplaces are trying to adjust to new customer expectations, new business standards, and a permanently changed marketplace. E-learning lets companies access specialized training to get their employees on track. I think we'll be seeing many of these companies cropping up over the next year."

Try: 22 Side Gigs That Can Make You Richer Than a Full-Time Job

Cleaning Services

When the last shutdown restriction is finally lifted, it's hard to imagine there will be many people in the country who will ever be as casual as they were in 2019 with germs in the physical structures where they live, work and play. 

That leaves an obvious, but very big opening.

"There will always be a local need in your community for cleaning services," said Matt Lally, founder of TheGiftYak and former Silicon Valley account director at the digital marketing agency Wpromote. "COVID has obviously created concern around business cleanliness and office safety. In a post-pandemic world, we'll see many of these companies take flight and attempt to control the larger metro markets."

Find Out: Will There Be a Fourth Stimulus Check? How Much Will It Be? All Your Questions Answered

Market research company ReportLinker lends credibility to Lally's position. Its data show that the cleaning industry by revenue will expand by a combined annual growth rate of 6% over five years between now and 2026. Small businesses that make or sell cleaning products or materials, train crews or companies, offer consulting services, provide certifications or certification preparation, and, of course, those who do the physical cleaning all have room for opportunities. 

The report indicates an especially high demand for automated and robotic cleaning services, green cleaning services and specialized cleaning services, which means the companies that break the traditional janitorial mold are most likely to see daylight.

"A modern area cleaning business that is marketed like a high-flying startup has the potential to be very lucrative," Lally said.

More From GOBankingRates

Last updated: April 16, 2021

About the Author

Andrew Lisa has been writing professionally since 2001. An award-winning writer, Andrew was formerly one of the youngest nationally distributed columnists for the largest newspaper syndicate in the country, the Gannett News Service. He worked as the business section editor for amNewYork, the most widely distributed newspaper in Manhattan, and worked as a copy editor for TheStreet.com, a financial publication in the heart of Wall Street's investment community in New York City.

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