Updated for 2018
It’s that time of year… Costume contests, stuffing your gullet with turkey, and, unfortunately, a sprinkle of snow. With the holidays comes more posts on social media. Everyone from local shops to big brands are promoting their products this time of year. Social media is the place to be but it becomes a very busy, crowded place (just like your local mall). The question becomes how do you make your business stand out during the holiday season and get people to shop on on your profile? With 4.2 billion photos liked each day and 500 million monthly active users, a sound Instagram marketing strategy should be a cornerstone of your holiday marketing strategy.
Here Are Our 5 Instagram Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season:
1) Integration of Instagram Stories/Takeovers
Social media is word-of-mouth on steroids. Someone you know and trust can have an enormous influence on your buying habits and social media influencers are today’s trusted friend when you’re deciding what to buy. Takeovers have been extremely popular on Snapchat, and, since the rise of Instagram Stories, brands and businesses have jumped on the opportunity.
Disney recently had actor Luke Evans take over their Instagram account for the world premiere of Beauty and the Beast. Not only would Disney’s followers enjoy the variety in content but they would also gain followers that came over from @thereallukeevans to see what he was going to do with @disney.
There’s so much potential to work with a (local) influencer and get them to create a buzz around your brand just in time for the holiday season. It doesn’t have to involve pushing a product, you can just let them have fun with it and capitalize on the increased attention later.
2) Market with a Cause
The holidays are a time to give back to your community, followers, and customers. What better way to do this during the holidays, while also capturing the essence of your brand/product. This could be in the form of holiday fundraising events, for example, in 2015 the San Francisco SPCA teamed up with Macy’s in union square and celebrated a Snoopy themed windows in order to market both SPCA as well as direct traffic inside of Macy’s.
3) Advertise Multiple Products as Complementaries
During the holiday months, the pure traffic of shoppers increases dramatically. People are more obligated to spend money. As they are physically out looking for one product they may buy complementary products to go with their purchases. Given this, it would be a very practical marketing practice to market multiple products that go hand-in-hand during the holiday season.
The Avalon Mall does this quite well by showing people How to Wear It. In this example, they show the products that would go very well with a pair of over-the-knee boots. People will be much more likely to buy products if they are encouraged to imagine the possibilities as opposed to the product by itself.
An excellent way of doing this would be by posting several images as a “carousel” post on Instagram. The first image being a great shot of an ensemble with each subsequent photo being an individual product with details of where to find it.
4) Discounts, Discounts, Discounts
It just wouldn’t be the holidays without Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Deals, discounts, and special offers are a great way to expose your products across a wide audience looking to purchase certain products. Partnered through Facebook’s Business Manager you have the option to market your #blackfriday deals. People love hearing when and where they can save money. This a perfect opportunity to join the social media conversation with a featured holiday ad.
5) Use More Video Instagram Posts
Over the past several years, one of the biggest differences in marketing has been the increase in time, money, and energy put into online video. Online video ad spend increased nearly 30% in total (Media Kixx, 2016). Slowly, video is becoming an increasingly popular and important way of communicating which is reflected through advertising and video consumption on social media. In particular, millennials are heavily influenced by video, with over 80% using online videos when researching a product they are interested in (2016).
We’re all familiar with the traditional television ad, but online video provides the opportunity to flesh out an idea rather than being limited to a 30 second spot. Coupled with video’s ability to appeal to multiple senses, it’s a great medium to tell a rich story that stick with your customers. Instagram does limit to 60 seconds right now, but that can still be well utilized. Not to mention, you can create a “carousel” post with up to 10 videos at 60 seconds each.