The turning of a new year is a special time.

It signals a fresh start. A new chance. The possibility of change for the better.

People everywhere start making resolutions to be healthier, to get a better job, to improve their relationships, to reach for their dreams.

Brands look to the new year as a chance to increase sales and to grow their business. They rethink their marketing strategies and put new plans into place.

The thing is, you don’t have to wait until the New Year to market like it. Happy New Year! – a marketing lesson is here for you to take advantage of any time during the year:

Use a Countdown

People love countdowns.

They build a sense of excitement. They portend the arrival of great things. They motivate people to action.

You don’t have to wait until New Year’s Eve to put a countdown on your marketing promotion. You can do that any time.

The key is to tease the big promotion well in advance – at least a couple of weeks. Send out reminders more frequently as the big day gets closer. Put a big countdown in your email communication and on your website.

You can give customers some idea of what’s going to happen, such as a new product is going to be released or a big sale is going to start. You can just be vague on the details so that there is still a sense of mystery.

Or you can leave customers completely in the dark and just tell them that “something big” is going to happen.

You can run several campaigns using different strategies for the campaign to find out which one is most effective.

Promote a Big Change

“New Year, New You” campaigns are big every January, and for good reason. Everyone wants to believe that they have a chance at turning it all around with the start of the new year.

While you won’t be able to capitalize on this time of year again until next January, you can still seize on that sentiment.

Instead of focusing on the “New Year” aspect of it, focus on a bucket list instead. Say something like, “Stop waiting to make that change” or “Don’t put off that trip anymore!” Talk about how your product or service can help them seize on the life they want now.

You can even incorporate some language about the New Year if it fits. For example, you can say, “Don’t wait until January to make your resolutions. Get fit now!”

Help people get back in touch with that sense of excitement they felt at the beginning of the year and remind them of the motivation they had then. Get them excited about their goals again, and you can get them excited about what you have to offer.

Follow Up

A lot happens right after the New Year while people are recovering, as well.

Maybe you sell a smoothie that’s not only great for weight loss but also works great for curing a hangover. You can promote that right after the New Year, as well as anytime during the year that a celebration is warranted, such as after Cinco de Mayo or the Fourth of July.

Or maybe you sell an organization system that you want to promote after the New Year to help people put away the Christmas clutter or generally get their home in order. You can promote that system after the school year ends when parents are thinking about getting rid of old clothes and toys, or you can promote it in the spring when many people are thinking about deep cleaning their homes.

It is important that you seize opportunities throughout the year that are tied to both national events like holidays, as well as personal events like birthdays, anniversaries, and other milestones.

Create a Recurring Event

Don’t be tied to the holidays to generate a lot of buzz around your brand. Create your own recurring event that loyal customers know they can look forward to each year.

Maybe you have an annual blowout sale where everything is 50 percent off. Or maybe you have a once-a-year promotion where you make a popular item buy one get one free.

The key to generating buzz around such an event is to make it something really big – the kind of discount that you don’t offer all the time and that customers will think is too good to ignore. You should also hype up the event and note that it will be a regular thing they can expect each year.

The New Year is a great time to be a marketer, but you don’t have to leave those lessons behind. You can use some of the same strategies from the turn of the calendar throughout the year. These ideas can help you.