Black Friday Cyber Monday officially kicks off the festive season, and it’s expected to be the main sales event of the year. To extend the holiday shopping period, marketers will launch their campaigns sooner this year. And so should you!
Preparing your online store for such a big sales event should be a marathon, not a sprint, so you can never start too early. Your brand’s social media accounts need to be equipped and ready to direct the flow of customers to your store.
By preparing sooner, you’ll also have a higher chance of reaching 42% of holiday shoppers who’ll shop earlier this year. In this article, we’ll give you an outline of this year’s marketing trends. Apply these learnings in your social media marketing campaigns to spice up your posts and boost sales.
Millions of social media followers watch short video stories every day. Currently, Instagram and Facebook have the biggest story engagement. In 2022, Facebook and Instagram stories were watched daily by 500 million users.
Stories are popular for a simple reason. They’re usually fast-paced and allow the publisher to share their message creatively. If the publisher doesn’t repost the stories, they disappear after 24 h., so this keeps users curious and engaged at the same time.For businesses, stories have become a marketing staple as they help brands build a strong social media presence. Marketers use them to showcase their products through fun educational content, interactive polls, or short how-to clips. You could say that watching stories is kind of like window shopping—you get to see the product in action as well as the person behind the counter.
People want to see the human side of your business. So use stories to reveal your day-to-day grind that goes behind your products. These types of posts are a fantastic way to create gleams of holiday cheer and create positive associations for Black Friday Cyber Monday and beyond.
Once you’ve decided which platform works best for your audience (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube), it’s time to get creative. Find a visual look that complements your brand identity. With so many filters, tagging options, GIFs, emojis, and music to play around with, you have endless ways to create content that your audience will enjoy.
Below are a few ideas on how you can use stories for holiday social media:
We know Instagram for its photo-sharing feature, but the platform offers a lot more than that. If you want to go more in-depth on how Instagram can grow your brand, we’ve got a couple of useful resources for you:
During Black Friday Cyber Monday, social media platforms will be filled with product offers, all fighting for customer engagement. Things are going to get tight, but luckily, there’s another creative way to get noticed.
A study from Marketing Charts reveals that carousels with a combination of images and videos generate higher engagement rates (2.33%) than video-only (1.86%) or image-only carousels (1.80%).
Videos can take longer to prepare, but the quality, storytelling, and attention to detail will pay off and bring in more store visits (if you link to it, of course). Consider creating videos for your promos.
The golden rule for any marketing campaign: don’t hard sell. Your audience knows you’re after sales, and they’re not going to buy from you just for the heck of it. Give your audience something in exchange for their time and money. In the content world, it’s either entertainment or education.
Aside from picking the messaging, you’ll also need to decide on a specific goal for your holiday video marketing campaign:
No matter what you do, focus on content that shows your brand personality and helps nurture relationships with your customers. The holiday season is the best time to let your guard down a little and be more personal with your audience.
Creating video content used to be an incredibly pricey endeavor, reserved only for those who had the necessary equipment, knew how to edit footage, or could afford to outsource all these services. Thanks to modern technologies and market demand, plenty of video tools have cropped up to make the lives of marketers and small business owners easier.
Remember, your video doesn’t have to be complicated to be a hit! Keep it simple and sweet. These are the tools you can start with:
People are going to watch most of your social media short story videos on smartphones—devices held vertically. If you come across a horizontally filmed video on your social media while on the go, how likely is it that you’re going to turn your phone to get the full viewing experience?
Compared to horizontally filmed videos, vertical video content takes up a proportionately larger amount of the screen (and looks nicer). So bye-bye 16:9, and hello 9:16—the vertical format.
A lot of us are on our phones while in line at the grocery store, in a doctor’s waiting room, or on our morning commute. You won’t always want to watch videos with their sound on.
Text that supports visuals also helps in conveying essential information to hearing impaired viewers and people whose first language isn’t English. If these groups of people can’t understand the marketing message, they’ll most likely move on to another business’ content that does provide accessibility.
Also, if you add captions to Instagram videos, the videos become searchable. Users can search for keywords that appear in the captions rather than being restricted to searching for hashtags or picture captions.
In short, captions are another way to increase your searchability and drive more traffic to your business profile.
Here are some free tools you can use to create video subs:
Your audience wants to see that other people enjoy your products. In addition, user-generated content (UGC) helps people to see how your products “actually” look, increasing your credibility. In other words, UGC serves as excellent social proof of your brand.
UGC holiday marketing strategy feeds two birds with one scone because:
Consumers are far more likely to listen to their peers than brands themselves. That’s why UGC is a crucial stepping stone to Black Friday success. Here’s one of the best ways to help generate this type of content.
Encourage your audience to use your unique hashtags. One way to do this is by running a competition across your social media channels where you ask people to share their photos with your products. Besides increasing your engagement, this competition will let you track your submissions by searching your hashtag, and give you loads of content to pick from and share across your platforms. Don’t forget to ask permission to reshare their photos!
No matter what your campaign strategy is, you want it to be worthwhile to your followers.
And what’s more persuasive than rewards? In the spirit of Black Friday Cyber Monday, offer a discount to anyone who shares a photo with your product. Keep it simple: a discount or a small gift is enough to create engagement.
The battle to win customers’ attention has never been as competitive as it is today. If you’re not personalizing your advertising efforts, chances are you’re losing customers to other brands who have it sorted out.
Let’s look into a few personalized advertising methods.
Retargeting is a form of targeted online advertising that allows brands to present personalized offers to visitors based on their on-site behavior. It can help build brand awareness, acquire new customers, or even steal your competitors’ customers.
Let’s say a customer viewed some products on your website and left without making a purchase. Using retargeting ads, you can showcase the same products on the customer’s social media feeds. Even better, to nudge the customer into buying your products, give them a special discount.
When it comes to retargeting ads, be flexible and patient. Just because a visitor hasn’t clicked on your ad yet doesn’t mean that they’re not going to. If your ads aren’t converting, change your copy, design, call-to-action button, or display frequency of the ad, and try testing different variations.
You may sell products that go well together, so make these product pairings part of your customer shopping experience. For example, if someone has purchased a pair of yoga leggings, let them know they can get a matching sports bra and a sporty fanny pack to complete the look. That’s cross-selling.
And if it’s been quite a while since your customers purchased, say, a t-shirt, reach out to them with an offer to get a new one. Or even better, if it’s getting colder in their neck of the woods, promote a hoodie or hat with a complementing design.
Upselling means encouraging customers to buy a higher-end version of a product. For example, if you have a more expensive option of a similar product, emphasize its best-selling points. To sell a more expensive version of a hoodie, emphasize how the quality makes it warmer, bulkier, longer-lasting, etc.
Most social media platforms let you segment your audience by geographical location. This is a great opportunity to make your messages more relevant, depending on where your audience is.
Make the most of geo-targeting and add new dates to your marketing calendar:
Whatever you decide to do for your holiday marketing campaigns, keep your customers in mind. As long as you know your customer base and you’ve picked up some of the tools we suggested in this article—you can create beautiful content that’ll have your audience hooked. The secret ingredient is a little creativity!
Excited to try out some ideas for your social media channels? Well, then we’ve got a treat for you—we put together a set of free visuals you can use for your holiday social media. Use them as they are or edit to add a personal touch.
This article was originally published in September 2017; it has since been updated.