I know what you're thinking, "DUDE! It's only September! I'm not ready to start thinking about snow and the holidays!". Well, unfortunately, it's time to start thinking about it. The companies that perform the best during the holidays are the ones that start planning and implementing their campaign ideas now.
Do you know what specials you're going to run (if any)? How will you stand out amongst the noise this holiday season? Let's take a look at four campaign ideas that can help you brand your business, engage your past and current customers, and even entice new customers to do business with you!
1. Video series
You've heard it probably a million times by now that content is king, but video is the king of content. Planning, publishing and promoting a video series around the holidays can help engage your followers, gain new followers, and get people to start thinking about the holidays and how your business can help create a successful holiday season for your customers. Whether you're a B2B or B2C, video works extremely well.
EXPERT TIP: Don't be overly salesy. It's important to have fun, be helpful, and use some humor. Make sure that your videos are something that your customers would want to watch and interact with. If they're boring or just pushing sales, they won't work.
EXPERT TIP 2: Video is the king of content, but on Facebook, 85% of videos are watched without sound. Be sure that your video series is as engaging without sound as it is with sound.
2. Connect online and offline
If you've got a brick and mortar store, it's important to connect your online and offline marketing to create an interactive and engaging holiday campaign. To do this, we recommend taking a deep look at your distinct customer segments - the offline customer and the online customer - and determine what action would make an online customer want to come into your store and why an in store customer would want to visit your website. This can include special deals only available in each location. Maybe you can even come up with a special code that online customers get to use in store, and vice versa. Getting your customers involved both online and offline will create higher sales and a very successful holiday season for your business.
3. Social media contests
Who doesn't love a great contest? One of our favorite contests to run is a X days of Christmas Giveaway. Here's how we'd run it:
Determine how many days you want to run your contest for - 12 days? 30 days? 60 days? Keeping in mind that the longer you go the more prizes you'll need and the more work you'll have. Then we recommend structuring the contest where your prize gets a little bit better each day. For example, maybe day 1 is a $10 Starbucks gift card, day 2 could be a bluray of a new movie, etc. We would then want to make sure we're getting our followers engaged and coming back for more. To do this, we'd give a clue as to what the gift is and make people guess by commenting, retweeting, etc. We've seen this kind of format run extremely effectively and engagement should increase daily because more and more people will get involved and they'll be back each day to see what they could win.
Running a successful contest takes a lot of forethought. Check out this post about How to Run a Successful Social Media Contest.
Partnerships can be extremely effective, especially around the holidays. Reach out to some high influence brands that are complementary to your business. It doesn't make sense to partner with a direct competitor, but if you're a fashion boutique, it may make sense to reach out to a hair stylist, makeup company, and jewelry company to combine efforts. Everyone is stronger together. Coming up with partnerships that your customers would value can be extremely effective. Introduce your customers to new brands and get introduced to other brand's customers. You don't have to do it alone and the companies that understand that will shine this holiday season.
I'm sitting here in 85 degree weather drinking an iced coffee writing about the holidays, but they really are just around the corner. Have you started planning out your holiday season and how you'll convince your customers to buy from you? Taking the time now to plan out every detail will take the stress out of the season and let you focus on providing great service and information to your customers.