The holidays are one of the most important times for brands worldwide because their potential customers and target audiences are spending more time actively seeking out products – whether to secure a great deal or find an impressive gift. In fact, record online sales last year helped boost overall holiday spending by 3.4%, and a winning marketing strategy is what determines whether you get in on a piece of the action. Let’s talk a little bit about how you can optimize your holiday marketing strategy, and start seeing more sales, engagements, and followers in an organic, yet strategic way.
How to Create a Winning Holiday Marketing Strategy on Instagram
Celebrate employees and customers with UGC 👭
User-generated content is one of the most successful strategies to implement on your Instagram as part of your holiday marketing plan. People are looking for content that relates to their own lives and personal interests, and what better way to do this than by featuring existing consumers or brand ambassadors? There’s a number of different ways you can formulate user-generated content that you can repurpose. One idea is by creating and running a competition across your social channels that encourages people to enter or participate by sharing their own content. This not only increases your engagement and gives you a bank of content to pick from, but also allows for an added layer of discoverability, as those who enter might have followers that match your target audience.
Another great move is highlighting your own employees as part of your holiday marketing campaign. Consumers today want to know more about the brands they buy from and support, and a way to let them in is by showing them the real faces behind the team. Give people a little more insight into what your team members really do, what their favorite branded product of yours is and why, and show your appreciation through organic content. M.A.C. does a great job of highlighting their employees whilst still cleverly weaving in their product:
Run smaller giveaways to attract more engagement, easily 👏
Giveaways are a surefire way to increase your engagement and your community, quickly – after all, the holiday season is all about giving! As part of a larger campaign, you could run small giveaways throughout the month on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, announcing a selection of winners each date. Whether it’s a product or subscription or even advice up for grabs, encourage your followers to enter by commenting, liking, tagging their friends, or sharing your post on their Stories.
You can also use these smaller giveaways as part of a larger campaign or product launch in order to drum up anticipation before your launch date. You’ll have an active host of new followers with their eyes on your page, so consider implementing incentivized posts as part of your campaign.
Collaborate with your peers🎄
One of the most popular search terms in December is ‘holiday gift guide’ because everyone is looking for the perfect present for their loved one or a secret Santa surprise for their coworker. Why not consider taking advantage of the high search volume on Instagram, and not just your website? There are a couple of ways you can create your own holiday gift guide in order to increase product consideration. One option is by literally creating a Guide. That’s right – Instagram’s new Guide feature is now live, which means you can create a gift guide based on products that are existing on Instagram or based on your past posts. Read about how to use Instagram Guides, here.
Another fun way to drive more attention to your feed is by collaborating. You might partner with brands or accounts in a similar space to you, to create a carousel post that your followers can flip through to explore gift inspo. Each slide could be dedicated to a different product or brand and can be published across all participating companies’ Instagram accounts. This means you are creating value by helping your followers through their gift-buying journey, as well as getting your product or profile in front of the eyes of new potential followers and buyers.
Explore and show support for social initiatives 💙
To reiterate, much of the holiday season is about giving, and this extends beyond physical presents for friends, peers, and family. People are also looking for ways to support social and charitable initiatives, so the holiday period is a great time to show your support and spread the word. Whether you partner with a social enterprise for a holiday campaign, or just direct your followers to donate, Instagram has made it easier for you to support nonprofits on their platform. You can open a donation page directly on your feed, or you can use the donation button on your story, which allows viewers to directly contribute their chosen amount to your cause.
If you don’t want to collect or direct donations, you could also share your platform with a charitable foundation in order to get their voice heard. You might consider having an enterprise do an account takeover, where they show your followers a little behind the scenes action at their place of work, or you could pass the mic in a live chat to give someone the opportunity to share their story.
Make your Instagram Shop more in line with your holiday marketing campaign🎁
Once you have users viewing your shop, you’re going to want to make sure your storefront entices them to click! There are a few tips and tricks you can implement by utilizing some of Instagram’s shop features:
- Make sure you are tagging your items from your shop on your Stories. You can use this as a CTA, so if you’ve created a high-quality set of campaign images or you’ve partnered with an influencer to promote your product, ensure the images are being tagged and linked back to your page.
- Feature holiday-related products. Think about what products will appeal the most during the holiday season. Then, group them into a featured ‘holiday collection’ within your storefront for easy access.
- Encourage people to create a wishlist. If they see a product they like but don’t want to commit to buying straightaway, you can encourage them to add it to their wishlist, and come back to it later!
Have you already got your Instagram holiday marketing strategy in full swing? Make sure you are using the right hashtags for even better discoverability, in order to have the right eyes on your products and content: