If you’re not in the business of selling green beer, you might not be thinking of St. Patrick’s Day as an opportunity to flex your marketing muscles. But the fact is, Irish or not, Americans love the holiday. And they love spending their hard-earned money to celebrate it.

St. Paddy’s Day is big business. In fact, about 56% of Americans plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year, and it’s estimated we’ll spend a whopping $6.16 billion dollars in honor of the Irish patron saint.

How do consumers celebrate St. Paddy’s Day?

Lest they be pinched, almost 80% of consumers plan to wear green this St. Patrick’s Day. But that’s not the only way people celebrate.

The top 6 most popular ways to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day:

  1. Wear green
  2. Make a special dinner
  3. Attend a party
  4. Decorate home or office
  5. Attend a parade
  6. Host a party

Are any of those on your list? Is your business looking to get in on the green festivities?

Small Business St. Patrick’s Day Marketing Ideas

Even if you’re not running a bar or a restaurant, there are plenty of creative ways to get in on the fun. Here are a few small business St. Patrick’s Day promotions.

Sponsor a booth at a local parade.

Only 15% of U.S. consumers plan to attend a parade this year. But don’t let that percentage fool you!

In New York City, 150,000 people march in the parade, and it draws about 2 million spectators. Boston’s annual parade has reportedly attracted nearly 1 million attendees in the past.

Search online to find out who’s hosting your neighborhood parade (likely a local government agency or Chamber of Commerce), and sponsor a booth or attend! Wear your company gear, and have as many team members or friends do the same. Then, if you can think of a fun (green) freebie that’s relevant to what you do, bring some to pass out to attendees. Drawing a blank? Print your company logo on a few green cups, and pass out water to thirsty parade goers.

Host your own Paddy’s Day party.

Maybe I’m old and cranky, but I’m not up for the chaos of a St. Patrick’s Day parade these days. I’m much more likely to find a local party or hot spot to join in on the fun.

Can’t serve green beer? Get creative!

  • Invite local business owners and shoppers to join you and your team for green cookies and treats.
  • Offer a discount on “green” merchandise, or discount any of your services that help consumers “go green.” (For example, promote that you use environmentally friendly products like dog shampoo or pest control chemicals.)
  • Host a costume contest, and give freebies to the most festive folks who stop by.

Go green on social media.

Plan green-themed posts for your social media accounts leading up to St. Patrick’s Day. Need some ideas?

  • Change your profile picture and cover photos to be tinted in green.
  • Showcase a new, one-day-only version of your logo…in green of course. (Bonus points for incorporating a four-leaf clover.)
  • Take a photo of your team dressed in green. *Lightly* pinch any party poopers!
  • Create a hashtag, and encourage your customers to share it in a St. Paddy’s Day contest! Include your business name for best results. #GoGreenWithGabesGables #GreenGardensandThings