37 Free and Creative July Marketing Ideas (With Examples!)
July: It's the seventh month of the year (fifth in the Roman calendar), rhymes with reply, should rhyme with truly, has a whopping 31 days—all great marketing opps for your business! Just joshin. That'd be sad. But July is filled with many opportunities for creative marketing—it's National Anti-Boredom Month, Independent Retailer Month, home to World Emoji Day, Pandemonium Day, and plenty more.
Celebrate World Emoji Day and National Ice Cream Day in one post.
Better yet, you don't even have to do the brainstorming! In this post, I've taken care of all of that for you. I'm going to:
- Fill you in on tons of awareness causes, observance days, and holidays in July.
- Give ideas on how to incorporate them into free and authentic marketing.
- Provide real examples of content, events, and promotions from businesses just like yours.
Let's list them out first to get you oriented, then we'll dive into ideas and examples.
July awareness causes
- Fireworks Safety Month
- Eye Injury Prevention Month
- UV Safety Month
- Minority Mental Health Month
- Ice Cream Month
- Anti-Boredom Month
- Grilling Month
- Purposeful Parenting Month
- Independent Retailer Month
- Therapeutic Recreation Week (second week of July)
- Everybody Deserves a Massage Week (second week after 4th of July)
- Parenting Gifted Children Week (third week of July)
- Clean Beaches Week (July 1-7)
You can see a more complete list at the end of this post, but here is my curated mix of the serious, the sophisticated, and the downright silly:
- July 1: Postal Worker Day
- July 3: Compliment Your Mirror Day
- July 4: Independence Day
- July 11: Cheer Up The Lonely Day
- July 13: Cow Appreciation Day – Changes Annually
- July 14: Pandemonium Day
- July 15: Get to Know Your Customers Day – Third Thursday of Each Quarter
- July 17: World Emoji Day
- July 18: Ice Cream Day – Third Sunday in July
- July 25: Hire a Veteran Day
- July 26: All or Nothing Day
- July 28: National Buffalo Soldiers Day
- July 30: National Get Gnarly Day
In July we celebrate, America, parents, and cows. (Image source)
July marketing ideas
And now, it's time to get down to (marketing your) business. We'll first start with July marketing ideas based on monthly awareness causes and then move to single-day observances.
1. National Independent Retailer Month
July is the designated month for celebrating independent retailers who, like all local businesses, help to build our economy, towns, and communities. Promote your own business if you are one, or show your support for independent retailers in your community.
2. National Anti-Boredom Month
After the July 4th festivities, the summer heat and structureless days can start to creep in with looming threats of boredom.
Here are some ideas to help your target audience avoid the dog days of summer:
- Host a gratifying month-long challenge around food, fitness, hydration, or something related to your business.
- Share your favorite summer spots and activities.
- Write a blog post compiling events going on in your area.
- Ask your followers for recommendations on books, places to go, DIY projects, etc.
Or, take a no-nonsense approach like this business did:
3. National Grilling Month
I tried to think of ways to put a creative twist on things to make it more widely applicable, but to no avail—unless you’re into grilling your customers for feedback...
But I did find some ideas on Facebook. This business ran a contest with a grilling-themed prize.
This electric company encouraged its followers to save electricity by grilling outside:
4. National UV Safety Month
The sun won't run out of hydrogen for another 5 billion years, so consider it an evergreen topic. No matter what business you’re in, you can’t go wrong with posting UV safety tips.
Make your own image with a content marketing tool like Canva, like this business did:
Or borrow an infographic from the CDC:
5. National Minority Mental Health Month
July was proclaimed Minority Mental Health Month in 2008 by the US House of Representatives. This is help ensure that not only do people of color have access to adequate mental healthcare, but also that health professionals are culturally aware, empathetic, non-judgmental, and able to properly diagnose each patient who walks into their office.
6. Everybody Deserves a Massage Week (usually 3rd week in July)
If you are in any way connected to massages, whether that be a traditional massage studio, a physical therapist, or a salon, you should definitely be taking advantage this week by running sales promotions.
If you're not a spa or salon, partner up with a local provider to see if you can run a mutually-beneficial deal.
Or take it a step further like these guys:
7. Christmas in July (varies)
According to my cursory research ( aka the Real Simple magazine), Christmas in July began in 1993 with a summer camp in Brevard, NC. And then somewhere along the line, businesses began using it as a marketing tool. Here are some ways you can follow suit.
Run deals and sales to get new customers coming in. BigCommerce tells us that repeat customers spend 25% more per transaction during the (real) holiday season, while a new customer spends only 17% more. So start building that repeat customer base now!
This photographer promoted family photo shoots, framed as a way to get your Christmas card photo taken care of early (and when you’ve got that summer look going). Depending on the weather, winter clothes may or may not be a good idea!
Or simply run a generous flash sale that'll feel like, well, Christmas in July.
8. Compliment Your Mirror Day (July 3)
Compliment Your Mirror Day, observed on July 3rd, encourages people to feel positive about themselves—inside and out. If it fits with the tone of your brand and your audience, acknowledge it on social media.
You could even Instagram campaign where customers can receive a percentage off products or services in exchange for posting a selfie and custom hashtag.
9. Independence Day (July 4)
But of course! It’s the biggest holiday of the summer. Here are some ways to incorporate this patriotic holiday into your marketing:
- Holiday promotions: Offer a 17.76% discount, reduce an item price to $17.76, or use promo codes like FIREWORKS or FREEDOM. Create buy-one-get-one deals for appropriately-themed products. Or just run a sale simply because it’s a holiday—ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.
Run a giveaway: Offer up a red, white, and blue-themed prize, barbeque supplies, a gift card, or even a survival kit like a lawn chair, bug spray, hand sanitizer, glowsticks, etc.
Write a blog post on topics related to your business, through the lens of themes like freedom, independence, stars, stripes, and more. Or, if applicable to your business, write more practical posts like firecracker safety tips, tips for keeping your dog calm during fireworks, or travel tips.
Get creative: Ditch the stock photography and get creative with your digital media.
10. International Chocolate Day (July 7)
Anyone can get behind this holiday. Whether it's with a candy counting contest, giving out Hershey's Kisses to customers, or just posting a funny meme. Or, you could get some chocolatey USB drives made up with your logo on em!
11. Gruntled Workers Day – July 13th
So yes, gruntled is a word. It means pleased, satisfied, or content.
- Gather feedback from your employees to see if you can make any improvements to their experience. Happy employees make for happy customers (who write reviews).
- Write a thought leadership post on company culture building and highlight yours in the process.
- Remind your audience of your commitment to customer experience.
12. Give Something Away Day (July 15)
Rather than running an Instagram giveaway, consider hosting a charity fundraiser for Give Something Away Day. Consumers like doing business with people that share their values. Doing something for your community or a greater cause will engage your followers and make a positive impact.
13. National Buffalo Soliders Day (July 28)
It's important to seize every opportunity you can to celebrate diversity in your marketing. Ackowledge National Buffalo Soldiers Day on July 28 to commemorate some of the earliest Black troops in the US Military who served on the Western frontier after the Civil War.
14. National Ice Cream Day (third Sunday in July)
I’m going to spare you the “I scream you scream” and share a little history with you. Back in the day (1984), former President Ronald Reagan decided July was to be National Ice Cream Month and that the third Sunday in July would be National Ice Cream Day. Ice cream shops, you know this one well. For the non-frozen dairy-delighted, try out these ideas:
- Run an ice cream social: Use that frozen sugary goodness to lure customers into your store! In addition to offering free ice cream, provide special discounts on items or coupons with a purchase.
- Have an internal ice cream sundae party at your business and share on social media: the delicious masterpieces, the mess, the people indulging. Even better, purchase the ice cream from a local store and tag them in your posts.
- Offer free ice cream after a class or session: Get more signups for a workout or yoga class with the promise of a free ice cream afterward. (Organic ice cream for the yoga folks).
- Try getting creative with your content: We don’t always use ice cream cones to explain marketing concepts, but when we do...
15. Get to Know Your Customers Day (third Thursday)
You should already know your customers like the back of your hand, but you should also always be learning—especially with the shape-shifters we consumers have become due to the pandemic.
Get to Know Your Customers Day happens on the third Thursday of every quarter—a good reminder to stay on your toes and a good opportunity to strengthen your client relationships.
Share a survey via email or social media—something brief but meaningful enough to demonstrate that you value your customers, and to be informative to you.
You could also take a lighter approach on social media. Ask more playful questions, like “would you rather,” “yay or nay,” “when was the last time you…” but keep the topics relevant so you can glean something from the answers.
16. National Parents’ Day (fourth Saturday in July)
With Mother’s and Father’s Day taking up all the wholesome limelight, Parent’s Day often gets neglected. Parents work tirelessly for their children, so honor the parents in your audience!
Consider taking a more emotional approach with your brand on this day. Acknowledge the hard-working parents out there, but stay sensitive to the fact that not everyone has living parents, that not all parents are one item, and that there are many caretakers who are like a parent.
Got any July marketing ideas? Share em!
Not all of the July awareness causes and observances were covered in this post. There are far too many. But if you have any ideas of your own, we'd love to see them in the comments.
Interested in more marketing ideas for every month of the year? We can help with that.
- 15 January Marketing Ideas to Start the New Year with a Bang
- 20 Fabulous (and Affordable) February Marketing Ideas
- 30+ Creative and Cost-Friendly March Marketing Ideas
- 20+ Free April Marketing Ideas to Freshen Up Your Content Calendar
- 50+ May Marketing Ideas for Any Business or Budget
- 50+ Free June Marketing Ideas for Sizzlin' Hot Campaigns
- 37 Free and Creative July Marketing Ideas (With Examples!)
- 57 Easy & Engaging August Marketing Ideas (With Examples!)
- 17+ Free and Creative September Marketing Ideas
- 21+ Free and Effective October Marketing Ideas
- 19 Simple Yet Superb November Marketing Ideas (with Examples)
- 20 Super-Festive December Marketing Ideas
And for planning, check out this marketing calendar template from our friends at LOCALiQ.
As promised, here is a more complete list of July observances that may or may not apply to your business:
International Joke Day
American Zoo Day
National Postal Worker Day
National Eat Your Beans Day
National Hop-a-Park Day (first Saturday in July)
National Barbecued Spareribs Day
National Hawaii Day
National Workaholics Day
National Bikini Day
International Kissing Day
National Tell the Truth Day
National Dive Bar Day
National Father-Daughter Take a Walk Day
National Strawberry Sundae Day
Collector Car Appreciation Day – Changes Annually July 9, 2021
National Kitten Day
National Pina Colada Day
National Cheer Up The Lonely Day
All American Pet Photo Day
National Mojito Day
National 7-Eleven Day
National Simplicity Day
National Different Colored Eyes Day
Cow Appreciation Day – Changes Annually
National Pandemonium Day
National Tape Measure Day
National Nude Day
National Give Something Away Day
National I Love Horses Day
National Pet Fire Safety Day
Get to Know Your Customers Day – Third Thursday of Each Quarter
National Lottery Day
World Emoji Day
Toss Away the “Could Haves” and “Should Haves” Day – Third Saturday in July
National Ice Cream Day – Third Sunday in July
National Get Out of the Dog House Day – Third Monday in July
National Junk Food Day
National Be Someone Day
National Hammock Day
National Rat Catcher’s Day
National Refreshment Day – Fourth Thursday in July
Gorgeous Grandma Day
National Drive-Thru Day
National Cousins Day
National Amelia Earhart Day
National Day of the Cowboy – Fourth Saturday in July
National Hire a Veteran Day
National Wine and Cheese Day
National Parent’s Day – Fourth Sunday in July
National Aunt and Uncle’s Day
National Bagelfest Day
National Disability Independence Day
National All or Nothing Day
National Love is Kind Day
Buffalo Soldiers Day
National Waterpark Day
National Intern Day – Last Thursday in July
National Father-in-Law Day
National Whistleblower Day
National Talk in an Elevator Day – Last Friday in July
National System Administrator Appreciation Day – Last Friday in July
National Get Gnarly Day – Last Friday in July
National Support Public Education Day
International Day of Friendship
National Mutt Day