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.
1. On-brand social media stories
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.
Pick a platform and a message
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:
- Go live and share a teaser for an upcoming product
- Remind your followers about holiday deals, steals, and order deadlines
- Create a poll to get feedback and crowdsource ideas
- Share behind-the-scenes footage of your store—show your product creation process or how you’re brainstorming new ideas
- Give a tour of your workstation, whether it’s your dining room table, a study, your office, or any other place you work at
- Collaborate with an influencer or a partner—put together a story takeover, co-host a giveaway, etc.
- Spread holiday cheer and show people how you’re preparing for the festivities
- Share gift ideas from your store with festive decorations
- Create posts or videos of people receiving your products as holiday gifts
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:
- The ultimate guide to Instagram hashtags will help reach your audience faster and better
- Our how-to on selling with Instagram will show you how to make your account a shopping experience
- The video tutorial on Instagram selling strategies will give insight into getting a pro Instagram seller account
2. A defined video content strategy
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.
Decide on your message
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.
Here’s John Lewis’ take on educational video marketing.
Now you know how to wrap clothing into cracker-shaped presents.
This video looks like something you’d want to share with friends and family. And people most likely have, as it has more than a quarter million views, making it a successful promotional campaign for the brand.
Aside from picking the messaging, you’ll also need to decide on a specific goal for your holiday video marketing campaign:
- Gaining extra exposure (e.g. sharing holiday spirit through creative brand storytelling)
- Increasing sales (e.g. showcasing new products or items that’d make great gifts)
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.
Choose a video editing tool
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:
- Veed. Make stunning videos with a single click. Cut, trim, crop, add subtitles, and more.
- Lumen5. Transform your ready-made blog posts into video materials.
- Placeit. Choose from a ton of photo and video mockups and place your own designs.
- Magisto. Shoot small video clips on your phone, then add captions, elements, backgrounds, and music.
- Wave.video. Video editing and video captioning, live streaming, GIF makers.
- TikTok. Sync your clips to music, add filters, and build your TikTok channel by reposting your videos on Instagram.
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.
Subtitle your videos
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:
- Movavi. Add subtitles, edit videos, create stylish transitions, and enhance video quality.
- Subtitle Edit. Adjust out-of-sync subtitles or create subtitles from scratch.
- Windows Movie Maker (for Windows users). Choose from different subtitle formats in the Movie Maker’s “subtitle” feature.
- TikTok. Add and edit captions on all of your TikTok videos within the app.
- Instagram. Add automatic captions by selecting the captions sticker in Instagram’s Stories or Reels camera.
3. User-generated content
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:
- UGC is instantly engaging your most active audience as it involves them personally.
- Posting user-generated content increases your discoverability and makes your brand more relatable.
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.
Start a hashtag trend
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!
- Ask your audience to share how they wear or use your products.
- Post a question and ask your followers to share a post with a tag and an answer.
- Think about your brand’s niche and motivate your audience to create content around it. For example, if your niche is animals, encourage your followers to wear your products and take photos of themselves and their pets. Or if your brand’s focus lies in sustainability, create a hashtag movement where your followers take pictures of themselves enjoying their favorite spots in nature.
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.
4. Personalized advertising
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.
Use social media retargeting
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.
Cross-sell or upsell your existing customers
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.
Boost sales with geo-targeting
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:
- Thanksgiving campaigns for Canadians. Target customers located in Canada with personalized ads and Thanksgiving offers. Thanksgiving in Canada falls on Monday, October 10 in 2022. Why not send them a shout-out, thanking them for doing business? Or perhaps a Canada-only discount or deal? You can do the same for US customers, just a bit later in November when they celebrate (November 24)!
- Chinese New Year. More than 20% of the entire population celebrates Chinese New Year (falls on January 22 in 2023), explaining why more and more brands choose to mark it on their holiday marketing calendars.
- Southern Hemisphere vs. Northern Hemisphere. When thinking of holiday ecommerce sales, northerners tend to think about beanies, sweaters, and scarves. However, those on the Southern side of the Earth are actually gearing up for the summertime.
Create campaigns promoting your products meant for warmer weather to customers in Australia and New Zealand, for example. Or even better, match summer essentials with upcoming holidays. That’s what Startup Vitamins did by creating an “ugly Christmas t-shirt” line:
Don’t just advertise, tell an engaging story
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.
The post Social Media Trends to Inspire Your 2022 Holiday Marketing Campaigns appeared first on Blog – Printful.