November 25, 2019  |  by Jessica Engs

The holiday season is here! If you haven’t already implemented your holiday marketing campaign this year, now is the time. We’re here to offer some tips on how to keep your holiday marketing campaign organized. Whether you’re a nonprofit looking for an increase in year-end donations or a small business running your first holiday campaign, these tips will keep you and your organization on the right track.

Tip No. 1: Plan ahead

According to Kate Walters of Swirl McGarryBowen, last year, “50% of holiday shopping was complete by Monday, December 3 2018.” For all of you out there who have yet to get your holiday campaigns up and running, there is no time to waste. Make sure your website is working, your social media profiles are up to date, and your content is prepared and finalized before it goes public.

And remember that the “holiday season” arguably offers more variety than ever before. It’s not just Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah anymore, but also Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday in November, Giving Tuesday in December, and so on. When you’re planning, account for these holidays as well. 

Tip No. 2: Update your website & business profiles

This may seem obvious, but this is an important box to check before running your holiday campaign. If you haven’t already, log in to your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.  (right now!) and make sure your website links work, your company description and name is correct, and you have call to action buttons up and running on all social accounts with this functionality. For example, on Instagram business profiles, you can add a “contact” or “book” button that allows customers to easily contact you or book an appointment online. An updated profile vs. an outdated business profile can make or break a customer’s experience, so make sure you don’t overlook this step when you are prepping for the holidays.

Tip No. 3: Create a content calendar

A dedicated calendar will keep you organized and on track as you are disseminating content. Draft and schedule social media posts ahead of the busy holiday season. If you wait until the last minute, the disorganization will show online. Don’t be afraid to draft posts through January. It’s always a safer bet to overplan with extra content for next year, rather than frantically search for content minutes before you need to send out a post. If you aren’t sure how to create a content calendar of your own, check out these best practices

Tip No. 4: Take better photos & videos

Think of social media as a window shopping experience for online consumers. A study found that “74% of consumers rely on social networks to help with their purchasing decisions.” So, if you’re taking photos of your products on a phone with a cracked camera, online shoppers will notice and will probably be less inclined to buy your product. However, if you’re taking well thought-out, aesthetically pleasing photos of your products on your phone, shoppers will be more interested in checking out your product. (And to take great photos, you don’t need a $2,000 DSLR camera!) Here are a few tips for taking better photos and videos:

  • Keep it simple. Less is more when it comes to social media posts. Instead of jamming multiple elements into one photo, take one or two elements, put them on a simple backdrop with one or two colors, and call it a day. 
  • Keep it consistent. On your social media profiles, it’s important to keep the color scheme, patterns, shapes, types of photos, filters, etc. as consistent as possible in order for your audience to easily recognize your brand.
  • Make it attention-grabbing. For video posts, you need to get your point across in 15 seconds or less or else your prospect clients will scroll past. And for photos, you need to get your point across in just a few seconds. 

Tip No. 5: Utilize Instagram & Facebook stories

A Facebook IQ-commissioned study by Ipsos found that 69% of people think using Stories is a good way for people to get to know brands. Additionally, one in two people who use Stories said they have strengthened their relationships with brands and propelled them through the purchase process. With an increasing trend of purchases via Stories, now is the time to start posting your products and services using this functionality. If you’re not sure what exactly to post, some ideas are:

  • Employee profiles. Let your customers see who is working for the company. Employee profiles will give a friendly face to your business or organization and build more brand loyalty among your customers. 
  • Behind-the-scenes. Use Stories to post something that you don’t already post on your main social channels — something that seems more exclusive. For example, highlight an employee through a “day in the life” video, or include snapshots from your office holiday party gift exchange. 

Tip No. 6: Embrace the holiday spirit

The holidays are here, so take advantage! Add tasteful holiday decorations to your social media posts and stories. Share seasonal greetings with your followers and thank them for their loyalty and support by offering a discount or holiday sale. Throw a holiday-themed contest and give the winner a prize. Another idea to stay consistent across your social media channels is to create a unique, branded holiday hashtag that you can use from year to year. 

Tip No. 7: Use influencers

Generate awareness for your brand by investing in social media influencers that will promote your products and/or services. According to BigCommerce, nearly 90% of all marketers find ROI from influencer marketing comparable to or better than other marketing channels, especially in the ecommerce, fashion and beauty, gaming, travel, and lifestyle industries. While influencers have helped brands increase sales, it’s important to partner with the right one – meaning someone who has already made a connection with your desired target audience, has high engagement, aligns with your brand and brand values, and genuinely likes your product or service. If you aren’t checking off those boxes when scouting for an influencer, your audience will view your influencer as disingenuous. And if you aren’t confident the influencer is the right fit for your brand, it’s best to invest your time and money elsewhere.

Tip No. 8: Pay attention to insights

Social media insights are a great way to see how your content is performing. Utilizing insights allows you to see what content is doing well in regards to engagement, views, and more, as well as guide your decisions for future posts. On Bloom Communications’ Instagram business insights page, we have the ability to see where our followers are geographically located, their age range and genders, the times our followers are most active on Instagram, which posts have the highest reach, etc. Looking at these insights, we found that our posts with the highest reach were of team members engaging in their communities or participating in events together outside of the office. Understanding which type of content performs well, we make a strategic effort to post more photos like this to increase audience engagement.

Tip No. 9: Keep the holiday spirit going all year round

Just because the bulk of the holidays is over doesn’t mean we can’t keep celebrating all year round! Conduct a Google search for national holidays that are relevant to your products or services (or check out this National Day calendar). For example, on National Nonprofit Day on August 17th, offer nonprofits a discount on your products/services. But make sure to plan in advance so you have all your ducks in a row and are able to bring the holiday to customers’ attention before August 17th. The list of national days is endless, so prepare for the upcoming year by organizing your information in a content calendar.