Fall Seasonal Marketing: A Guide to the (Other) Best Time of Year
It’s finally fall time for pumpkins, apples, hayrides, and Halloween. But the first day of fall isn’t an excuse to break out your cardigan collection. This is your opportunity to take advantage of seasonal marketing to connect with your audience. Bringing a little autumnal comfort to your marketing strategy is a great way to keep your content fresh and engaging. We’re breaking down the major fall trends so you can be inspired to #pumpkinszn.
Pumpkin Spice Citadel
You can’t talk of fall without pumpkin spice. A mix of cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg is visible everywhere as the temperature drops. Pumpkin spice has defined fall for hundreds of years—even appearing in an American cookbook for the first time in 1796. In 2003, Starbucks released the classic Pumpkin Spice Latte, creating a new generation of pumpkin spice connoisseurs. Merriam-Webster has also added pumpkin spice to the dictionary this year.
We have added pumpkin spice to the dictionary. Now you can add it to your mug collection. https://t.co/JZrR3eK1AR WORDS pic.twitter.com/uMR6HV9Jhh
— merriam-webster (@merriam-webster) 9 September 2022
With the pumpkin spice craze of nearly 20 years, it’s natural to wonder if the trend is waning. We used Sprout Social Listening to gauge public opinion on flavor. In short, it’s not going anywhere.
In 2021, pumpkin spice-related tweets garnered 2.29 million engagements in August alone. This year, engagements reached 2.73 million, a 19% increase. In September 2022, there were around 4.4 million engagements, a 29% increase over the September 2021 numbers. Overall, pumpkin spice engagements are set to reach 15.5 million engagements in 2022. And, sentiment about pumpkin spice is 69% positive. It’s certainly not too late to jump on the pumpkin spice bandwagon.
Capturing the Magic of Fall: Creating the Fountains of Fall for Your Audience
Pumpkin spice is not only loved by people this season. Fall is an absolute vibe, with clothes, music, activities and most importantly, emotions attached to it. Tapping into the connection consumers have with the season can yield incredible results. But to do that, you need to find out what your audience likes about fall.
any other?! I
You Make My Dreams (Come True) – Daryl Hall & John Oates
Autumn is undeniably beautiful. The autumn scene Instagram photos basically take themselves, and the warm color schemes make everything feel a little cosy. For some viewers, fall is all about visual cues.
Golf Digest encouraged audience participation with its photos of autumn leaves on the Golf Green. Golfers replied with fall golf photos of their own and mentioned their foursome members to reminisce about past games or express excitement about those to come. Golf Digest looked to the visual aspects of the game to generate buzz.
Fall Golf is finally here. I
(📸: IG/Ohiojoni) pic.twitter.com/7iyd95ch0K
— Golf Digest (@GolfDigest) 22 September 2022
Since fall marks the start of the school year, there is a lot of overlap in academics and autumn’s aesthetics. The University of South Carolina showed its audience how the changing leaves complement their campus views. Linking the university to nostalgia and transitional feelings of decadence targets both prospective students and alumni.
It’s the first day of fall at the most beautiful college campus in the world. I pic.twitter.com/kEAdw1mQPv
— University of South Carolina (@UofSC) 22 September 2022
Fall isn’t just about the outdoor scenery. The indoor ones are just as exciting. Oranges, yellows and reds that appear in nature also show up in the home decor aisle. #FallDecor has got more than 8 million views on Tiktok. Consumers wait all year to decorate their homes for fall, whether they love spooky Halloween vibes or wishing for a healthier nature. Michaels Craft Store added to that anticipation and excitement, with a TikTok announcing its fall decor drop.
It’s the little things in life #fall #falldecor #makeitwithmichaels #fallproducts
Original Soundtrack – Michaels Store
For some visitors, fall comes with a “must-see” list of pumpkin patches, cornfields, and apple orchards. Tapping into the experiential side of the season is a great way to connect with a more active audience.
Fall foliage makes for scenic drives, but they can also make for magical hikes. Leaf peeping – the term for viewing the foliage – is popular across the country, with travel enthusiasts looking for the perfect vista. REI put together a list of fall gear for its viewers ready for the autumn hike.
Take your layers, liquid-holder and loveseat to enjoy the best of weather. I
— REI (@REI) 22 September 2022
Fall is a time of rest. Fuzzy blankets, hot drinks and an excuse to use the fireplace are autumn mainstays for a reason. And curling up with a good book falls into that category. As readers begin building their fall bookshelf, Goodreads has provided a list of recommendations that pair well with a pumpkin spice latte.
Grab that pumpkin spice latte and curl up with these autumn faves from last season! https://t.co/XqkWshPsov pic.twitter.com/D5wxZf4MP3
— goodreads (@goodreads) 22 September 2022
When the temperature starts to drop, it’s time for a comfort food. Fall comes with a designated menu and home chefs are eager to start preparing their favorite dishes. The Kansas Pork Association found a way to tap into its audience’s decadent cravings with a relevant chili recipe.
This . is the first day of #Fall, That means we are cooking Black Bean Pork Chili to make up for the crunch of those foods. I
Recipe: https://t.co/LEim7zJaWa#eatpork #fallcomfortfood #fallvibs pic.twitter.com/COgxzQ85ao
— KS Pork Association (@KansasPork) 22 September 2022
Like we said before, the pumpkin isn’t going anywhere. Whether they’re on a patch or in a pie, people can’t get enough of them. Pumpkins are a fall category in their own right. Something about him captures our attention, like the man who claimed the world record this year by driving 38 miles in a pumpkin boat or a TikTok account, where nearly 340,000 people watch the process of growing giant pumpkins. Whatever the reason for our pumpkin obsession, pumpkins are a great way to market to your audience this fall.
Still growing: 1300 pounds and growing 40+ lbs a day
Virtual Madness (Remastered) – Jamiroquai
Looks like everything has a pumpkin spice version now. With so many products on the market, it’s hard for consumers to keep track of the seasonal versions they want to try. Target posted a video overview of the pumpkin spice items available in its stores to help customers know what’s in season and what’s new.
I’ve been trying to hold you boys all day @bridgetlucille1
Tense Scene Orchestra Of Suspense Film – Leopard
When something becomes popular, some people will undoubtedly dislike it. While most consumers think pumpkin spice is fall, some people think it’s overrated. Dunkin’ addressed Pumpkin’s detractors in a TikTok that validated all those who have felt the need to defend their love of Pumpkins.
How are you?🎃 #pumpkin #pumpkinszn #fall #dunkin #pumpkinspicelette
Watch Your Mouth – Female Rap
Novelty products are nothing new and the pumpkin scene has its fair share. For every coffee creamer or donut flavor, there’s also something unexpected, like Pumpkin Spice Cup O’ Noodles. The Washington Post took a humorous approach to covering another oddity, pumpkin spice spam. They leaned into the absurdity of the product by showing a member of their social media team eating straight from the can.
Does ASMR work like this? #helloautumn #cursedtiktoks #pumpkinspice
Double Trouble – John Towner Williams
Seasonal Marketing Falls Together
Adopting a fall spirit can have a profound impact on your brand. Pairing your brand with fall trends and traditions can transform consumers’ emotional connections with your brand. Seasonal marketing isn’t just about keeping your content calendar updated. It relates to your audience’s pre-existing values, interests, and feelings through content that matters to them.
Interested in exploring seasonal marketing? Check out Sprout Social’s free social media holiday calendar with details on the most popular hashtag holidays.
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