The Christmas marketing season is just around the corner. So if you haven't already started planning your campaign, now is the time to do it!
The winter holidays are the busiest (and most important!) Time of the year, especially if you work in retail or e-commerce.
With COVID-19 potentially impacting in-store footfall, consider revising your social strategy to target those seasonal sales.
To help you stay more organized this year, we've created a vacation marketing campaign checklist (and a free downloadable worksheet!) To walk you through every step of your vacation campaign:
Holiday Marketing Campaign Step 1: Decide on your creative concept
The first step in running a successful social media campaign over the holidays is to come up with a solid idea or concept!
Not sure where to start? Take a moment and answer these questions:
- What is the idea or concept behind this year's holiday marketing campaign?
- What is the focus of your vacation marketing efforts? What products or services do you focus on primarily?
- Do you work with influencers on your campaign? If yes, which?
And vacation campaigns don't just have to be about "selling" – brands are getting very creative with how they position themselves in this competitive sales season.
Take Lululemon, for example. The sports giant organizes a seasonal campaign every year that goes beyond the presentation of its products. Instead, they focus on their ethos and mission of bringing communities together.
Earlier seasonal campaigns included the message "give presence" (instead of gifts!) And those of last year #feelgoodgiving Journey:
The idea here is to develop the broad vision of your vacation campaign, including the overall look and feel. So if you ever feel lost or insecure, you can come back to these questions to get you back on track!
Ready to start planning? Download our free campaign checklist to plan your timeline and tick off everything you've accomplished!
Holiday Marketing Campaign Step 2: Get Set Up With Instagram Shopping
Every month, 130 million People tap an Instagram shopping post to learn more about products.
For businesses, Instagram shopping postings are a great way to showcase your products and generate more sales.
Especially now, thanks to the introduction of Instagram Checkout function for companies and developers in the USA!
With Instagram Checkout you can buy products * directly * on Instagram without leaving the app! It's a match made in vacation shopping paradise!
News! Shopping on Instagram just got easier. 🛍
All eligible businesses and developers in these US can now use our checkout feature, which allows you to buy and sell products right in the app. Businesses can now sell through Live too, so you can buy products in real time. pic.twitter.com/rpdxiEdLuD
– Adam Mosseri @ (@mosseri) August 25, 2020
With that in mind, it's time to make sure your brand is using Instagram shopping posts as effectively as possible. We're talking about beautiful pictures, great captions, and sales pitches that are perfectly coordinated.
Here's an overview of Instagram's shopping features and how your brand can get involved:
# 1. Instagram shopping feed posts
First, Instagram feed posts where you can tag up to 5 products!
As soon as you are set up with Instagram shopping, You can label your products in the photos in your store catalog. Every time you post to your feed, you can create a shopping experience for your followers and showcase your line of products!
While this is the easiest way to make your feed shippable, it is a very effective way to improve your feed.
Check out how both mega brands like S.ézane and startups like Finer rings have used shoppable posts in their feeds:
# 2. Instagram shopping carousel posts
Another great way to make your feed shippable is to tag your products in a carousel post.
With carousel posts you can mark up to 20 products in your pictures. This allows you to quickly and easily present a full range of products or create a lookbook for your brand.
Look at how the British fashion brand Pipes cleverly uses a combination of carousel posts and tagged products to showcase new collections:
Every time you tag a post (either a single picture or a carousel post) on Instagram with your products, that post will appear in its own shopping feed on your profile!
When your viewers tap the shopping bag icon on your profile, they'll be directed to all of the tagged products, making shopping your feed even easier.
# 3. Instagram stories with tagged products
Brands and consumers have already used Instagram Stories to drive sales, but now online stores are no longer limited to getting their followers to "go shopping."
When viewing your story, followers can now tap a Product label to learn more about the product and ultimately make a purchase.
Tagging products on Instagram stories can be a more organic way to encourage story shopping and allows you to share your product details in more subtle ways.
And the best part about using Instagram Stories shopping stickers is that small businesses with fewer than 10,000 followers can now drive traffic to their products!
Check out how startup clothing brand Oh de Rayas uses Instagram Stories to showcase their seasonal collection and encourage their viewers to shop for their products:
# 4. New Instagram AR filters with tagged products
Only when you think Instagram can't come up with anything else do they publish a brand new Augmented Reality Purchasing function!
This groundbreaking new feature makes it possible for consumers "Try on" products digitally before you buy – opens up a world of opportunity for retailers.
Similar to the introduction of custom augmented reality filters, Instagram is currently in beta testing an AR shopping function with selected brands such as Warby Parker, MAC Cosmetics, Ray-Ban and NARS Cosmetics.
These brands allow Instagram users to “try on” products before checking out on Instagram.
This may not be a feature that you can access right away. However, it shows how advanced the shopping experience on Instagram will be in the future. There is one to be seen!
# 5. Instagram Live with tagged products
With the latest version of Instagram, businesses can share direct links to products for purchase during their Instagram Live broadcasts!
Product links appear at the bottom of the video stream so users can easily tap for more information or "Add to Bag".
Tina Craig (@bagsnob) was one of the first to use the new live feature to promote their brand's latest product launches @ubeauty.
Instagram just announced that the feature will be rolling out in the US this month, so it could be a real asset for brands looking to stand out from the competition!
The ability to turn your feed into a shopping experience for your viewers is a surefire way to increase your engagement and make sales.
So if you are ready to start your vacation campaign, now is the time to prep your profile and set it up with shippable posts.
We'll go into the details in our detail Ultimate Guide to Instagram Shopping.
Another important step in preparing your profile for the marketing season? Set up your Instagram bio.
You will only get one link in your Instagram bio. Hence, it is important to be strategic with your usage.
Make your entire feed clickable and use Linkin.bio to increase website traffic with Later.
Linkin.bio makes it very easy to direct visitors to specific products or pages that you refer to in your individual posts without having to update the URL in your Instagram bio!
And it's FREE!
Ready to move up with Linkin.bio with Later? Register for free today!
Holiday Marketing Campaign Step 3: Create Your Photo and Video Assets
User Generated Content (UGC) can be a powerful tool for engaging with customers and promoting your business. However, when it comes to vacation marketing campaigns, investing in original content creation is a good idea.
First, create a Pinterest forum that reflects the aesthetics of your vacation marketing campaign. You can use this board to educate your team, photographers, and influencers about the aesthetic and visual qualities that you are aiming for.
You may also want to hire a photographer and / or videographer to help you create content for your holiday campaign.
You also have to decide on a location. Will you shoot outside Do you need to rent a venue or can you use a space that you already have access to e.g. B. a colleague's house or hut?
If you need to rent a venue, book it as early as possible for your day of shooting!
However, COVID-19 and social distancing measures can make studio time difficult to come by. You can create your own Photo studio at home! And you don't need a professional kit to achieve this either.
See how @earlofeast mastered the home shoot for the product launches – and it's a look that is easy to adapt to a vacation marketing campaign!
Think about your props, your location, your lighting, and even your models. And yes, you can model your own products if needed!
Learn how the founder of the heirloom jewelry brand @chupiChupi Sweetman and her employees regularly act as a hand model for their product shots!
TIP: Try creating content for several different holidays at once. For example, making a few minor changes to your studio setup for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or New Years sales can help streamline your content creation process.
If you need help with prop inspiration, turn to the Pinterest board created earlier!
Next, you need to build your shot list and storyboard for the entire holiday season.
First, make a specific list of the products you want to use in each shot and a general description of the “scenes” you want to create, including the venue, props, and shots selection.
If you're recording a vacation campaign video, it's a good idea to create a sharable storyboard. Your storyboard doesn't have to depict the entire video in detail, but rather has to make sure that the beginning, middle and end are nailed down. Basically, you want to tell your videographer a clear and cohesive story.
And don't forget to record video content for Instagram stories!
Each of the "big days" of your vacation marketing campaign should have its own Instagram story to support and enhance your other Instagram content, whether it's showing your products in action or promoting special "limited time" offers.
You can also tease your vacation campaign by sharing photos and videos behind the scenes on Instagram Stories!
Do you need help developing ideas for your Instagram stories? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Instagram Stories for inspiration. Or you can Download our storyboarding worksheet to get those creative juices flowing!
When shooting for your vacation campaign, try to create a healthy mix of promotional and lifestyle shots.
For example, if your ecommerce store sells socks, you can take inspiration photos of people wearing your socks, photos of your socks hanging by the fireplace, and even detailed close-ups of your socks.
The more variety, the better!
Just make sure that all of your photos match your holiday campaign idea or concept.
If you need holiday-specific images for your website, email, or social media graphics that your products don't include (think of gifts under the tree), sourcing them can save you time stock photo sites.
One of our favorite platforms is Unsplash: A platform with over 1 million free high-resolution images brought to you by the world's most generous photography community.
Now you can Find free photos on the mark inside later with us Unsplash integration.
You can collect, edit, and schedule high-quality photos without leaving them later. With just a few clicks, you can create a collection of seasonal lifestyle content that is perfect for your campaign!
We'll help you give the original photographer the credit you need so you have even less to worry about before planning and publishing.
The good news? It's free for all future users. Just log into the desktop app to search for branded photos for your business.
Holiday Marketing Campaign Step 4: Reach Your Ideal Influencer
Influencer marketing is fast becoming one of the best strategies for businesses to reach new audiences and even increase ecommerce sales.
If you really want to run a successful social media campaign over the holidays, it makes sense to partner with niche influencers who fit your target market and have the right audience demographics for your brand.
How you do that?
First, create a shortlist of influencers you want to work with on your vacation marketing campaign.
Try to stick with influencers who are relevant to your audience and brand. A great way to do this is to quickly check out their followers. Do they suit your target group? Do they seem like people interested in your products but not yet familiar with your business?
At this point, you'll also want to review your campaign yourself to make sure it's inclusive, diverse, and represents the community you work for.
To take MeUndies, for example a later customer. MeUndies is known for its bold prints and fun social presence, but their success comes as no surprise – they have put a lot of thought and consideration into their marketing campaigns.
Every single one of their marketing campaigns tries (vacation or not!) To be diverse and to involve the entire community.
After you've made a shortlist of influencers, you'll need to create an influencer letter based on your branding guidelines and the Pinterest vacation campaign board.
Here you need to clearly outline your campaign dates, delivery dates, content expectations, and payment details. You should also ensure that you get permission to post your influencer-created assets anywhere you need them, be it on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or your website.
When your letter is ready, you can reach out to the influencers on your shortlist. The best way to do this? Send them an email!
When you have a great product, a friendly attitude, and the right influencer, you're sure to find something that works for both of you.
Would you like to learn more about working with influencers? We have a complete guide to get started Here!
Holiday Marketing Campaign Step 5: Collect and Schedule Your Social Content
When the content is ready for your vacation marketing campaign, take some time to fully plan your social media content calendar using Later!
Take your time for Schedule your posts Not only will this make your life less stressful during the holiday season, but it will also leave you more time to actually engage with your community. This is so important when you want to make sales or generate leads.
First, organize your photos and videos for your vacation marketing campaign.
Once you have your pictures in what will become the media library, you can start planning your social content – even if this is weeks or months in advance!
You can also use Later's Instagram visual planner to preview the future grid of vacation themes.
When you have assigned all of your vacation content, you can set the option to "Publish automatically". Later, all of the hard work is done for you. You can sit back and relax knowing that your campaign contributions will be shared exactly when you want!
Holiday Marketing Campaign Step 6: Prepare Your Social Media Ads
If you want to reach new target groups, Social media advertising can be the quickest and easiest way to achieve your goal!
With the right social media ad strategy, you can build your followers, get website clicks, and increase sales for your brand or business.
Knowing how to spend money on social media advertising can be overwhelming – especially if you're just starting out.
Each platform has its own advertising options – each with its own advantages, rules and target group functions.
For example, if you are an ecommerce brand targeting millennial women in the United States, you should consider investing in them Sponsored Pins on Pinterest.
If you're a grocery delivery service targeting hyper-local customers, you may want to take advantage of this one Instagram or Facebook ads.
So while mapping your content for the holiday season, pay attention to how that content can be used for social ad conversion.
Whatever your goal, there is an ad platform that will work for your brand! Read our information to get you started Step by step instructions to generate more sales with a social media advertising campaign!
Holiday Marketing Campaign Step 7: Measure Your Results
As mentioned earlier, in order to run a successful social media campaign over the holidays, you need to have a clear understanding of what success means and be able to measure it.
The best way to do this? You can use Google UTM parameters to track your success on social networks.
UTM parameters are simply tags that you add to a URL. When you click on your link, the tags are sent back to Google Analytics and tracked.
Basically, UTM parameters help you answer some basic questions about your web traffic, including where it came from, how it got to you, and why it got to you.
By adding UTM parameters to your social links, you can quickly measure how effective your vacation marketing campaign is and even map your sales to specific social media posts.
Do you need help tracking your social media campaign using UTM parameters? Check out our guide Track ecommerce sales with Google Analytics!
And when you use Linkin.bio with Later, we'll save you time by making this step a lot easier for you! We will automatically track this data for you.
It's also a good idea to run a report on the overall success of your strategy and implementation of your vacation campaign.
Set up your campaign report by going back to your creative concept. What were your goals What exactly did you want to market or sell? How effective was your content and CTAs? Has your campaign achieved a return on investment? What can you improve next year?
If possible, add data and analytics so you can set an appropriate budget and measurable goals for the next year.
Now that you have all of the tips and tricks (and a free holiday marketing campaign checklist!), We have no doubt that you are prepared for the best holiday season yet!
Plus – you start planning and brainstorming the holiday marketing campaign early. Kudos to you!
Whether you're doing a few simple things to "dress up" your brand for the holidays or you're committed to a full-scale campaign, follow our guide to get the most out of the upcoming holiday season!
Download our free vacation marketing campaign checklist to keep an eye on your this year's vacation campaign!
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Nikki is Later's editor-in-chief. She has worked in digital media in Dublin, London and Sydney and loves nothing more than "publishing" in a new post. If she's not planning and writing juicy content with the Later team, find her outdoors with her dog Arlie or planning her next adventure – follow @nikkitravelled.