Mardi Gras Marketing 2024

Looking to improve your Mardi Gras marketing?

Mardi Gras is a vibrant and festive period leading up to Fat Tuesday on February 13th, marking the end of the Carnival season and the beginning of Lent. Mardi Gras packs a serious economic punch for New Orleans. The city’s superstar event draws in locals and over 1 million visitors (that’s about 3x the population of New Orleans!), pumping big bucks into the local economy. Mardi Gras 2024 is expected to have a $900 million economic impact

Below, we have listed several tips for local businesses to help increase their sales and brand awareness.


Meta has evolved over the years to offer a variety of features that help businesses market themselves via Facebook and Instagram, even without spending money on advertising. Businesses can use Meta Ads to target tourists by utilizing the platform’s robust targeting options and crafting ads that appeal to travelers. Here are some ways to help businesses target tourists:

Know New Orleans 

Use Facebook’s location targeting to reach tourists who are currently or planning to visit New Orleans. You can target users by location, including people traveling or recently in a specific location. Is your business located downtown? French Quarter? Near parade routes? Market to visitors nearby! Check which Mardi Gras parades are close to your business location. 

Cater to Visitors

Utilize Facebook’s interest-based targeting to reach tourists interested in relevant topics, such as travel, accommodations, local attractions, and activities. You can also target users based on their travel-related behavior and interests. Are you marketing your gumbo and jambalaya? Use interest-based targeting to reach visitors searching for Creole food in New Orleans!

Understand your target tourist audience. Consider age, gender, interests, travel behavior, and demographics. You can target specific demographics that are more likely to visit your location or use your services. If you have an existing customer list or website traffic data, create custom audiences to retarget tourists who have interacted with your business before or visited your website. Lookalike audiences expand your reach by marketing to similar customers. While Mardi Gras may be the busiest season, tourists also flock to the Big Easy for Jazzfest, Decadence, Essence Festival, and other popular cultural events. 

Make Your Brand “Insta-Worthy”

Craft compelling ad creatives that resonate with tourists by using quality photographs that showcase your business! At Online Optimism, we create high-resolution stock photos. There are hundreds of businesses selling king cake during Mardi Gras. Make yours stand out by creating quality content!

Share Mardi Gras Specials

Write ad copy that speaks directly to tourists’ needs and desires. Mention any special offers, discounts, or promotions that would appeal to travelers. This is your chance to market any Mardi Gras deals. 

Engage with Tourists  

Include a clear and engaging call to action in your ads. Encourage tourists to book, visit, or take the desired action, making it easy for them to engage with your business.

Make Your Brand Mobile-Friendly

Ensure that your ads and landing pages are mobile-friendly, as many Mardi Gras parade-goers will be relying on phones during their visit. 

Plan Around Parades

Consider when tourists are most likely to be active on social media and schedule your posts accordingly!


Promotions increase sales by offering incentives. Utilize your website and social media channels to promote deals. Offering a percentage discount or item package is a simple way to entice tourists who are looking for good deals. If you’re marketing a restaurant near the Endymion Parade route, try advertising a discounted menu on February 10th. If you’re marketing a hotel, you may choose to advertise discounted shuttles during Mardi Gras. Be sure to monitor your posts and stay engaged! Social media engagement indicates great customer service and brand awareness. Interact with customers through likes, comments, and shares. Stay on top of your posts by using a social media management tool such as Sprout.      


Tourism is the fastest-growing industry and a driving force in New Orleans’ economy, and Instagram plays a crucial role in shaping travelers’ decisions. Instagram has over 2 billion active users. Organic posts, reels (more about reels here), and paid advertisements increase brand awareness, but influencer marketing helps gain the trust of consumers. Successful companies collaborate with individuals who have a significant following on social media. These individuals can sway the behaviors of followers and non-followers by posting authentic and relatable content. Influencers can drive interest in your business through visually appealing photos, engaging reels, and captivating stories while increasing their credibility. In essence, it capitalizes on the word-of-mouth method within a digital world.

Below are some New Orleans-based influencers that are capitalizing on sponsored and non-sponsored content during the Mardi Gras season:

@Aintthatphancy promotes the Mardi Gras menu at Reginelli’s Pizza.


As tourists permeate New Orleans this Mardi Gras season, make sure you take advantage of marketing opportunities. Utilizing social media to share deals and promotions will drive sales and gain brand recognition amongst visitors. Need help marketing your business this Mardi Gras? Reach out to us! Laissez les bons temps rouler!