Get Inspired with Holiday Marketing Tips from 10 Leading Experts

It’s that time of year again! Marketers are ramping up for the festive season, and commercial holidays like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Single’s Day. We all want to get holiday campaigns right by learning from the best holiday content from last year to getting insight into creating killer Facebook ads, best productivity hacks, efficient posting schedules, and more.


With so many angles to cover, we decided to ask the pros about their favorite tips and tactics for creating winning holiday marketing campaigns and strategies. Here’s what the leading digital and social media marketing experts had to say:

1. Jill Rosenberg - The Creative Strategist @IdeaCentral

Use the Calendar for More Than Scheduling Publishing Dates

Block time at the start of the year to identify all the holidays you want to acknowledge or associate with. If you have diverse faiths and celebrations in your target demographics, capture those holidays as well. Don’t just mark the dates for your holiday social media posting schedule, create a workback schedule to outline when you will start the creative and media plan. Make sure to include time for revisions and approvals, and notify the team in advance so resource planning is not last minute. Or look to have it outsourced if it is going to interfere with client work.

2. Peg Fitzpatrick - The Visibility Strategist, Speaker, and Author

Make sure your holiday hashtag game is strong! Connect with shoppers using pre-planned hashtag groups for Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Pinterest hashtags are new but effective. Create targeted lists for things like #giftguides, #blackfriday2018, #cybermonday, #weekendspecial, etc. You can also use your own branded hashtag to reach your holiday goals. When everyone else is throwing things out randomly hoping for sales, your hashtag strategy will pay off in dollars with sense.


3. Shane Barker - The Digital Consultant 

For your holiday campaign to succeed, you need to have a clear goal. You can use the holiday season as an opportunity to introduce a new product, expand your opt-in list, create brand awareness, or boost your sales. According to research, holiday email campaigns are responsible for 20% of holiday sales. Don’t waste that opportunity. For a successful email marketing campaign, you need to properly segment your audience and personalize your messages for each segment. Then you can make your customers feel special by sending them customized offers during the holiday season. You should also have a unique landing page for each email campaign and online advertising campaign. Each landing page should aesthetically match the email or ad so that they look connected. This will help provide a more cohesive experience to your audience and encourage them to make a purchase.

4. Sarah Boyd - The Founder @SIMPLY

Be Clear. Be Concise. Be Upfront.

Brands have realized the power of influencer partnerships and social media marketing, and the holiday season is the perfect time for brands to utilize influencer marketing to their advantage. Our SIMPLY Digital Network represents some of the top influencers around, so we know firsthand just how successful holiday social media campaigns can be.

The holiday season is the busiest time of year for influencers, though, so it’s important to plan ahead and have a strong pitch strategy. First, we book up very quickly, so the sooner you can start holiday outreach, the better. Everyone is extremely busy this time of year, so getting ahead of the game with pitches and conducting outreach early will help get your brand locked in - and on everyone else’s radar for the holiday season. Second, be clear with your ask, deliverables and expectations. Again, everyone is busy this time of year, so presenting your pitch in a clean and concise manner will make things so much easier for everyone involved. Be sure to include KPI's for the influencer campaign so we can work to hit them and build a strong relationship.

5. Irina Weber - The Brand Manager @SERanking

Using a dynamic remarketing campaign is an effective way to get valuable data, such as items people have previously searched for, particular behaviour, time on site, location, device type, etc. With Google Analytics, you can retarget users that visit holiday pages which can help improve your holiday sales.

6. Chris Palamidis - The Head of Social Media & Google Ads @MindShare

Content Tip:

Your Black Friday offers are thoroughly thought through and you are ready to amaze the world. Communicating your offers on social media is a no-brainer, but where can you find an appropriate visual which can be edited to your liking, even if you don’t have any Photoshop skills? Canva.com might be what you’re searching for. It’s a free website packed with prebuilt templates for every occasion which can be edited. Edit the template to include your offer, logos, aesthetics, and blast your offer to the social media universe. 

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Advertising Tip #1:

Reviewing times from Facebook/Google are a common pain among marketers. The fury of having your ad ready to launch, while it leisurely stays under review for hours on end, is something which many situations cannot rival in the advertising realm. Google and Facebook promise to review your ad within a business day, and most of the time they deliver on that promise. Relying your Cyber Monday strategy on that promise, however, is a bet you don’t want to take. Have your ads ready and submitted at least 3 working days prior to the air date. This way, if they get rejected, you will know why and will have plenty of time to amend your creative; or alternatively, even if they stubbornly linger under review, with no approval or rejection for more than 24 hours, you will have time to contact technical support and sort the issue out. 
 

Advertising Tip #2: 

Everybody knows that an urgent offer is a good offer. This holiday, elevate your marketing campaigns by highlighting its time relevancy. Most likely, you will be running Google search ads to promote your offer. Use the “countdown” function to dynamically inform users when your offer expires. All you have to do is specify the campaign end date, and when your copy reads something like “Sale ends in X”, then “X” will be dynamically updated to depict your offer end time. As a result, the copy will read “Sale ends in 2 days” or “Sale ends in 5 hours” etc. depending on when a user sees your ad.

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7. Matic Babnik - The Digital Marketing Specialist at @BMWGroup

Tis the season to be jolly - it's that part of the year, when people are joyful, happy, full of love... And their mailboxes and news feeds are spammed beyond belief. Try to stand out of the crowd by creating content/ads which capitalize on the emotions people are feeling right now. In the holiday spirit, people are much more receptive to the cheesy content which would normally not work during the rest of the year. Check out this article that describes five psychological principles that can help you craft a strong holiday marketing campaign.

8. Mordecai Holtz - The Chief Digital Strategist @BlueThreadMarketing

Integrate User Generated Content into the campaign to make the marketing efforts more personal, realistic, interesting and relevant. Check out this like of 5 great examples of user generated content for holiday marketing.

9. Cian Corbett - The Digital and Innovation Brand Manager @AIB

As marketers prepare for the holiday period, it's essential to remember we now live in the 'age of assistance'. This means that shouting slogans and giving discounts are not enough. If you want real rewarding relationships with your customers, you need to assist them in the challenges that they face this holiday season. Use data points like seasonal web traffic, Google search trends, sales data, and assist them with what they need this season. This could come in the form of 'How to' content or gift ideas. The brands who provide the most assistance will provide the most value this season.

10. Paula Coop McCrory - The Pinterest Queen

Think Like Your Consumer

Instead of focusing your energy on how to sell, focus on the why. What sets your brand, what you offer - apart from others. What are the details that make purchasing from you, the products your offer, different from your competitors? By thinking like a consumer, you will create a campaign that connects on the emotional level. By connecting on an emotional level, you're imprinting not only your brand, but your mandate. This is what makes us loyal. What creates a consumer, is that they want to return and show loyalty. Focus on the long term goal over the short.

Do The Work

Focus on quality not quantity. Curate what you share, the imagery that you create, in a way that simplifies and cuts out all the work and complications. Create a campaign that tells a complete story. One that places the viewer into your story as the protagonist. Visually show how your brand will simply our lives. Make it something that we can see ourselves incorporating into our daily lives.

Tell A Story

Create imagery that tells a complete story. It should be imagery that transports the viewer into the role of the user. Make it beautiful, but keep it simple. If you take away the text, can anyone who look at your campaign understand the story that you're telling? Can they see themselves within it? These are all questions to ask yourself as you’re creating your holiday campaign.

Share. Share. Share.

Schedule your content. It's not too soon to be sharing your holiday campaigns now. Understand the platforms that you use and the analytics behind each. By knowing your audience, you can optimise when you share. Share your content across multiple social channels, a multitude of times - always focusing on best practices that are specific to your channels and audiences. Make sure to engage with those who respond to your content. Keep connected and be available.


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