How can you make the most of your anniversary?
A business anniversary is a noteworthy event, and one that you can and should leverage to generate some buzz around your business. Seeing that your company has "stood the test of time" gives potential clients and customers confidence that you can be trusted, and trust is critical in establishing relationships.
We've compiled a list of 16 ways to use it to your advantage. They're ideas, strategies, and tactics that have proven to be successful time and again for organizations looking for fresh ways to connect with their audience.
Download a copy of "16 Ways to Market Your Business Anniversary" today. And keep in mind that you don't have to wait for a "big" anniversary (5 years, 10 years, etc.). Every year in business is a reason to celebrate your shared success with your clients, customers, and audience in general.
16 Ways to Market Your Business Anniversary
1: Create an Anniversary Version of Your Logo
Always consider adapting your existing logo to reference your organization’s anniversary. Ideas include adding text such as ‘Celebrating XXX Years of Excellence’ to your logo or incorporating the number of years you are celebrating within your logo, below it, or beside it. When it comes to a business anniversary, it is important to remember that you are not just celebrating a day, but rather a year. Having a logo allows you to easily highlight the anniversary for an extended period.
2: Promote the Anniversary on Your Email Signature and Website
Include your anniversary logo and/or descriptive tagline in your email signature and on your website. Most email programs allow you to include both a .jpg image and stylized text in your email signature. Once you build a master signature document, it can easily be applied to each employee’s email settings.
3: Create a Virtual Anniversary Background
Using the anniversary logo in as many places as possible is a great way to showcase your longevity. You may not have the budget or need for recreating and re-printing your business cards or letterhead, but digital tools like virtual backgrounds are an easy and subtle way to communicate your years in business.
4: Letterhead, Invoices, Other Supporting Collateral
Create an anniversary version of your letterhead that can be used digitally to avoid printing fees. We also recommend adding an anniversary message in the footer of your invoices or sales receipts.
5: Anniversary Stickers
Printed stickers are a low-cost and versatile piece of anniversary marketing collateral. They can go on employee workspaces, office swag, envelopes, collateral materials, client gift baskets, anything you mail, etc.
6: Historical Collateral and Graphics
The creation of historical infographics, a commemorative book, historical timeline, and other items that can be shared on your website, blog, print materials, in-person, or on social media give you a fun and memorable way to capture your longevity and look back with pride.
7: Host an Anniversary Event (in-person or virtual)
This is a time to celebrate your anniversary with your best clients, vendor partners, referral sources, and employees. At least three months of advance planning is typically required to choose a venue, select entertainment and caterers, create guest lists and invitations, etc. Even if you intend to do a virtual event, advance planning is critical for maximizing success and engagement.
In-person event ideas:
- Open house
- Client appreciation BBQ or picnic
- Evening cocktail party or gala-style event
- Host a private event through a local business for a VIP experience such as a private movie screening, theatre performance, art gallery exhibit, or a more competitive activity like golf or bowling
Virtual event ideas:
- Host a virtual party via Zoom or other online meeting platform
- Send gift cards or deliver beverages and food and do a quick virtual open
house or “toast” to your organization’s success
- Host a virtual game, contest, or competition
- Send out branded gifts or gift packs to clients and colleagues
- Organize a virtual charity event such as a food drive or online auction
8: Social Media and/or Email Marketing Campaign
You can get creative on social media by designing interactive opportunities with clients and fans. Consider trivia for the year you were established. Celebrating 10 years? Ask your network to comment on the 10 reasons they love working with you, create a graphic of 10 things that bring you gratitude, or highlight 10 community causes that you support. You might want to create blog posts or email blasts to share lighthearted content that is representative of your years in business such as a list of memorable things that happened or photos of your team members from the year you were established.
9: Media Publicity
Announcing your anniversary date in a boilerplate press release may get a brief mention in a local paper, but it’s not very newsworthy to the media. Taking a more creative approach to your anniversary’s publicity—especially if it involves something that gives back to the community—makes the anniversary message less commercialized and enhances the level of potential media interest. Consider choosing [XXX number of local charities] to which you will donate $XXX each in celebration of your anniversary; this adds another dimension of newsworthiness and community visibility that will strengthen your anniversary’s PR appeal.
10: Send a Printed Card or E-nnouncement
You can treat your anniversary like a holiday and celebrate it with a mailed or emailed greeting card. There are many online greeting card platforms such as Paperless Post that turn a standard email into a beautifully designed greeting card that can be customized with your message and logo, but the old-fashioned approach of sending a card in the mail is still a nice way to be high touch at a low cost.
11: Digital/Print Ad Campaign
If you were already considering an ad campaign or using advertising, we suggest you highlight your anniversary by leveraging your ad platforms to thank the community for their support and for your number of successful years in business.
12: Radio or Podcast Underwriting
As an alternative or companion effort to print or digital advertising, consider underwriting or sponsorship on public radio like NPR, talk radio, or podcasts. You can use a message such as “programming supported by [name of business], celebrating XXX years of XXX.” Many underwriting or sponsorship-focused advertising options are flexible and can span one day, week, month, or run throughout your anniversary year.
13: Anniversary Web Page or “Call Out” on Your Website
Your website is a great place to share some history, photos, timeline graphics, anniversary logo, etc. Let your website be the vehicle that puts your milestone front and center to generate instant credibility and interest in your company’s story.
14: Anniversary Outreach and Promotions
Consider donating XXX amount of dollars that fit with your anniversary year from every transaction to your choice or your clients’ choice of non-profit organizations (e.g., to celebrate our 15-year anniversary, we will donate $1.50 or $15.00 from each transaction…). If you are a non-profit, consider a campaign that relates to your mission and the number of years you are celebrating (e.g., for every $1000 donated to us for our ten-year anniversary, we will plant 10 trees). This approach creates a year-long sense of goodwill and gets your clients and stakeholders involved in your anniversary at no cost to them. It is also possible that you will receive further media coverage from this, either through press releases distributed by those who benefit at the end of the campaign, or from soapboxes/thumbs-up pieces that others may write to the newspaper on your behalf.
15: Offer a Limited Time Product or Service Promotion
Depending on the type of business you are in, an anniversary promotion may be the perfect way to garner exposure and generate more sales. This is especially true for B2C companies that want to drive foot or online traffic.
16: Don’t Forget Your Team
Your team is a critical factor in your success, and they should be a part of your celebratory efforts. Whether you are celebrating in-person or from a distance, finding ways to involve your colleagues in your anniversary will go a long way.
- Give them a bonus that ties into your years in business, e.g., 15 years may mean $150 cash
- Offer them the chance to donate to a cause based on your years in business—perhaps they are given a dollar amount to donate or you give them the opportunity to identify charities of choice that you can donate to and publicize
- Create some anniversary swag and give them the gift of brand exposure and loyalty—mugs, t-shirts, and tote bags still work to build organizational ambassadorship and give your brand more public exposure
- Host a special event just for your team: a team lunch; afternoon pizza party; virtual game-based competition; or virtual happy hour—dedicating some time to recognizing your team will show your gratitude without diluting it with client-focused activities and a fun experience will be memorable and appreciated