‘Tis the season to be… strategic? The holidays are the biggest shopping event of the year, and that often generates one of two reactions from brands:
- It’s too cluttered and expensive. Our brand should make a minimal effort and save resources for a different time of year.
- This is when the fish are really biting. Consumers are more ready and willing to make purchases than any other time of the year so we have to go big—really big.
Arguing that ads actually get more efficient during the holiday season, digital solutions agency HYFN conducted a year-long study tracking key engagement statistics and found that between November and December, there was a 10 percent drop in Cost Per View (CPV), and a 56 percent increase in Video View Rate.
These statistics demonstrate that while the marketing space may be crowded during the holidays, there is an active audience present to take action, engage, and convert if brands serve up the right content.
During the holidays, content that stands out from the clutter doesn’t have to feature celebrities or be flighted with TV-level budgets. To succeed, all content has to do is draw on the emotional appeal of the holidays. After all, neuromarketing experts found that campaigns that tap into emotions and sentiment perform twice as well as those with purely informative content.
To illustrate that point and get your creative juices flowing, we’ve developed some thought starters for holiday campaigns (organized from least to most effort!) that can resonate strongly with consumers:
1. Deck the Halls—Perform a Holiday Makeover
Get in on the spirit of the season with custom designed cover photos, profile photos, and bios for all your social channels.
2. Send and Share a Personalized Holiday Greeting to Loyal Customers
Use the end of the year as a time to thank fans personally for tweets, comments, and shares throughout the year, ideally with an element of surprise and delight.
3. Encourage Sharing and Engagement
People love to tell their stories and share their opinions on social media. Give them a prompt and forum to do so on your channels and you will see your engagement spike. Try asking questions, have them share their Christmas card outtakes, or utilize polls (Facebook has video polls now) to active your fan base and spread some holiday cheer.
4. Count Down with Instagram Stories
Stories are unique because they allow you to interact with your customers in real time and with a greater sense of timeliness. Stories only live for 24 hours—unless you pin them as highlights—and that’s part of the fun. Consider using Stories to count down to a specific but unusual holiday event (the moment you get out of your stretchy pants, or the day you secretly find and open your Christmas presents… early).
5. Create Branded Holiday Lists
No matter the season, listicles are extremely shareable. Holiday lists often perform even better by sparking ideas for a highly planned season—from hosting to festive nights in, shopping, and crafting. These can include playlists, reading lists, shopping lists, etc.
6. Host a Facebook Album of Holiday-Themed Interactive Content
Facebook photo albums are some of the most engaging creative units. For the holidays, take this format further by creating an album of clever or sentimental (whatever fits your brand best) e-cards and other themed content (printouts, crafts, games, and templates) that customers can share directly with friends and family.
7. Create Holiday-Themed Filters And Challenges
More than a million snaps are created every day—and this number spikes around fun, themed filters. Filters are a low-cost, high engagement way to tap into the spirit of the season with a soft touch, even if your brand doesn’t have a retail presence. Also consider playing with filters on Instagram, or starting a video challenge on TikTok.
8. Give Back to Your Community
Highlight a cause your business is involved in—or if you don’t have a cause you support, consider finding one. Your team could participate in an activity benefiting a charity, or as an organization, you could donate to a worthy, value-aligned cause. Choose a cause that is congruent with your brand’s values. On social, share the cause, utilize crowdsourced, in-network fundraising features, show how you’re supporting, and offer ways for your fans to get involved as well.
9. Launch a Holiday-Themed Video or Video Series
Whether arranging holiday tablescapes, celebrating being home for the holidays, or sharing favorite holiday memories, recipes, books, and movies, there is a video listicle series that will help you engage customers.
10. Partner with Influencers to Increase Authenticity
Whether they are promoting sales, or creating stunning content for your brand, influencers add authenticity to any brand’s story by telling their own. Their content cuts through the brand noise during the holiday season and is well trusted by customers.
If you don’t have holiday plans for social yet and want to implement something special, now is the time to make it happen. However you show your spirit on social media this season, don’t forget to engage with your followers. According to Sprout, brands can expect to see 40 percent more social messages this holiday season—and how you handle this influx will directly affect your bottom line. The holidays can be stressful, and providing shoppers and fans alike with the best experience possible goes a long way in building customer loyalty and affinity that lasts well beyond the holiday season.