47 Free & Creative September Marketing Ideas for 2021
They say a relaxed mind is a creative mind, but it's hard to stay relaxed when you're running a business—let alone in September when everyone's switching gears. Lucky for you though, there's a slew of events and themes in September that you can use for easy and creative marketing. And I'm not just talking Labor Day or Back to School....
Talk Like a Pirate Day. It's a thing.
So in this post, I'm going to equip you with lots of unique ways to market your business in September. Here's what I'll cover:
- The various September awareness causes, holidays, and national days.
- Over 47 ideas on how to use them for creative and authentic marketing.
- Real examples of these ideas in action from businesses just like yours.
Before we get into the ideas, here's a list you can browse of awareness themes and national days you may want to incorporate into your content:
- Baby safety
- Better breakfast
- Fall hat
- Update your resume (international)
- Self-care awareness
- Childhood cancer
- Childhood obesity
- Addiction recovery
- Suicide prevention
- Disaster preparedness
- Food safety
- Life insurance
- Mortgage professionals
September holidays & national days
Here are just some of the many holidays and national days of September:
- Patriot Day
- Labor Day
- Voter Registration Day
- No Rhyme (Nor Reason) Day
- Read A Book Day
- Grateful Patient Day
- Swap Ideas Day
- Hug & High Five Day
- Day of Encouragement
- Hug Your Boss Day
- Dance Day
- CleanUp Day– Third Saturday In September
- Talk Like A Pirate Day
- American Business Women’s Day
- Family Health and Fitness Day USA
- Love People Day
You can see a full list of days and dates at the bottom of this post.
September marketing ideas for monthly awareness
Your business doesn’t necessarily have to be in an industry directly tied to any of the September awareness causes. Here are some ideas for incorporating September causes into creative, low-budget marketing.
It comes as no surprise that September is National Self-Improvement Month. It's the second new year of the year where people get back into their routines after summer. Here are some ideas for marketing around this evergreen topic:
- Create a video with your own self-improvement tips.
- Share your favorite self-improvement books and ask your followers to comment back with theirs.
- Write blog posts on goal-setting or listicles like "X Ways to Improve Your [memory, credit score, leadership skills]" or "How to Improve Your [X] in 5 Minutes."
- Run a 30-day challenge on Facebook or Instagram
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
There are several ways to engage your audience and your employees with cause-based marketing in the name of childhood cancer awareness. You could:
- Post eye-opening stats about childhood cancer on social media
- Register your company for the Great Cycle Challenge and get your employees out on their bikes. Not only will you be fighting kid cancer, but you’ll be promoting good health and friendly competition among your employees. Encourage photo sharing so your audience can follow along throughout the month.
- Host a fundraiser and sell T-shirts to support a particular child or the cause in general.
Food Safety Month
With September being Food Safety Month, this is an opportunity for health specialists and restaurants to promote their services, publicize their best practices, and reassure customers.
You could also tie it in nicely with the back-to-school theme, like with the example below:
National Wilderness Month celebrates the anniversary of the Wilderness Act, which was pivotal in the conservation of American land and the creation of national parks. Here are some ways to use it in your marketing:
- Share your favorite hiking trails and ask your followers for theirs.
- Post photos from your own wilderness adventures.
- Share some eye-opening stats or a quote by John Muir.
Back to School Month
So August is actually the official National Back to School Month, but who are we kidding. Any type of business can participate in the back to school season. You can:
- Partner with college student organizations or K-12 after-school programs.
- Host or participate in a back-to-school drive.
- Share a list of free online learning resources that pertain to your audience.
- Run student discounts or introduce fall plans ifyou're marketing to college students.
We've got plenty more with these 31 Easy Back-to-School Marketing Ideas That Work for Any Business.
September marketing ideas for holidays & national days
Reffering back to my intro, yes—National Talk Like a Pirate Day is a thing and it occurs on September 19. But I'll let you come up your own ideas for that day (I am THIS close to throwing in a pirate pun). Let's talk about some of the many other special days of September.
If it weren't for Labor Day, the first Monday of September would potentially be the worst Monday of the year. Here are some ideas to try out:
- For businesses that slow down during the summer, host a Labor Day sale to encourage as many existing customers as possible to come back.
- If you're in a popular destination, brush up on your local marketing to make sure consumers visiting your town for the long weekend can find you.The higher your business ranks on Google Maps, the more customers you’ll attract.
- Run a Labor Day giveaway or contest
For more awesome ideas, check out these Labor Day Social Media Posts, Promotions, & Marketing Ideas To Celebrate
This day is dedicated to the 2,977 victims of September 11. Here are some ways to show your support:
- Make it a day of service for your team.
- Display flags in and outside your store.
- Encourage your audience to take a moment of silence at the times of the attacks
NFL Opening Night
Opening night for the NFL falls in September. Celebrate the season opener with some creative marketing for your business. Here are some ideas:
- Engage customers on Facebook by asking about their favorite teams or running a trivia contest.
- Decorate your storefront, restaurant, or studio in team colors.
- Run a football-themed special.
- Offer discounts on game days or when your team wins.
First day of fall
The autumnal equinox (for the Northern Hemisphere) occurs in the last week or so of September, which means that the number of daylight and nighttime hours is the same. This celestial holiday (yay) marks the official end of the summer (sad).
But the first day of fall is a beautiful second new start granted to us each year—hence why September is the new January. So it’s a great opportunity to publish content around fresh starts and fall collections.
And since this day happens at the end of the month, you can run a countdown series all month long.
You may also be interested in using any of these 157 authentic fall hashtags.
Positive Thinking Day
Positive Thinking Day falls on September 13 every year and never gets any less versatile. Any business can use this holiday for just about any reason: to cheer up, motivate, encourage, compliment, thank, help, inspire, or [insert any positive verb your heart desires here]. Dentists can connect this to smiles, physical therapists to recovery, interior designers to decorating, and the list goes on.
Working Parents Day
National Working Parents Day falls on September 16. If your audience includes working parents, humanize your brand and acknowledge their hard work. And don't forget about your parent employees!
Good Neighbor Day
Good Neighbor Day, on September 28, is a good time to do some outreach across your Instagram, LinkedIn, or geographically local network. Acknowledge fellow neighboring businesses on social media to encourage a sense of community, or come up with a contest where followers or employees can nominate good neighbors for a grand prize.
Read a Book Day
National Read a Book Day is a creative way for preschools, tutors, and other education-oriented businesses to market themselves. If your business isn’t related to education, read a book related to your industry and share your insights and learnings on your blog or social media profiles.
This is also a good time to give back to your community by reading a book to children or the elderly. Volunteering is not only a honorable thing to do, it will make you feel good and as a bonus, likely increase brand awareness in your local market.
International Day of Charity
September 5 is the International Day of Charity. Choose a local charity to support and get your employees involved, whether in person or virtually.
Or, if you're already supporting a charity, feature them on your blog or social media profiles and invite your followers to support them as well.
International Day of Peace
This day has been recognized around the world every September 21 since 1981. Post an inspiring quote or image, participate in a fundraiser, or run a little peace sale like Niji Nursery did:
September 1 is a popular moving day across the country. This is a good time for movers, furniture stores, and other moving-related businesses to make sure their website and listings are optimized for Google local search. People new to the area will resort to their go-to search engine to find what they need, and you want to appear first.
The most efficient way to imrove your local online presence is by optimizing your Google Business Profile.
Publish Google posts
Within your Google My Business account, you can create posts that publish directly to your listing about special offers and promotions. These posts will appear whenever your listing appears on Google Search and Google Maps.
Update your Q&A Section
You can, and should, populate your own Q&A section on your Google Business Profile. This helps you to get ahead of common customer questions and increase their confidence in choosing your business. Take this time to address of any questions that may be particularly relevant for fall, such as:
- Do you have student discounts?
- Does your back-to-school package include sauna use?
- Do you have the back-to-school supply list for my local elementary school?
- What are your hours on move-in weekend?
Update your fall hours
If you have a seasonal business, make sure to reflect any changes in your hours on your Google listing. When it comes to local marketing, the details are key.
Send out a September newsletter
Our friends at LOCALiQ share some great September newsletter ideas, but here are just a few:
- Run an email-exclusive summer clearance promo to boost engagement.
- Include an inspirational quote for Positive Thinking Day.
- Let customers know if you’ve changed your hours for fall.
- Provide some of your most helpful blog posts for staying somewhat focused before the long Labor Day weekend.
Stand out this fall with these free & easy September marketing ideas
Hopefully these September marketing ideas and examples have given you some material to work with for your blog, social media profiles, websites, and other free marketing channels. Interested in more marketing ideas for every month of the year? We can help with that...
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And for planning, check out this marketing calendar template from our friends at LOCALiQ.
September marketing holidays and national days (full list)
Courtesy of National Day Calendar
No Rhyme (Nor Reason) Day
Lazy Mom’s Day – First Friday in September
Food Bank Day– First Friday in September
College Colors Day – Friday before Labor Day
Tailgating Day – First Saturday in September
World Beard Day – First Saturday in September
Cheese Pizza Day
Be Late For Something Day
Read A Book Day
Labor Day – First Monday in September
Beer Lover’s Day
Grateful Patient Day
Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses Day
Teddy Bear Day
Swap Ideas Day
Patriot Day and Day of Service and Remembrance
Just One Human Family *
Hug and High 5 Day *
Day of Encouragement
Pet Memorial Day – Second Sunday in September
Hug Your Hound Day – Second Sunday in September
Grandparent’s Day – Sunday after Labor Day
Kids Take Over The Kitchen Day
Celiac Disease Awareness Day
Bald is Beautiful Day
Day of the Programmer – 256th Day of the Year
Boss/Employee Exchange Day – Monday after Labor Day
Parents Day Off
Live Creative Day
Tackle Kids Cancer Day
Online Learning Day
Working Parents Day
Professional House Cleaners Day
Constitution Day and Citizenship Day
Hug Your Boss Day – Changes Annually
Air Force Birthday
HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day
Dance Day– Third Saturday in September
Gymnastics Day– Third Saturday in September
Boys’ and Girls’ Club Day for Kids – Third Saturday in September
Puppy Mill Awareness Day – Third Saturday in September
Responsible Dog Ownership Day – Third Saturday in September
CleanUp Day– Third Saturday In September
Talk Like A Pirate Day
Wife Appreciation Day – Third Sunday in September
Care for Kids Day
IT Professionals Day– Third Tuesday in September
American Business Women’s Day
Car Free Day
Autumnal Equinox – Changes Annually
Celebrate Bisexuality Day
Brave Day– Fourth Friday in September
Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day – Last Friday in September
Research Administrator Day
Family Health and Fitness Day USA– Last Saturday in September
Compliance Officer Day
Situational Awareness Day
Day of Forgiveness
Family Day – Fourth Monday in September
Drink Beer Day
Good Neighbor Day Fourth Sunday
Voter Registration Day – Fourth Tuesday in September
Women’s Health & Fitness Day– Last Wednesday in September
Love People Day