I personally find one of the saddest parts of marketing how fleeting it makes everything seem. The new year has barely started but you’re already planning how to get customers’ attention during the summer holidays. And then it’s blazing hot outside and you’re sitting in the office with the AC on, creating visuals for your winter holiday marketing campaign.
It can be a bit depressing how marketers never get to be in the moment but the truth is, good campaigns almost always need quite a bit of preparation. Unfortunately, sometimes we just don’t have the time or opportunity to prepare as much as we’d like to. Maybe there was a lot going on and things have fallen by the wayside. Maybe you’ve just taken over the marketing department and find out that nothing is scheduled for the winter holidays yet.
In any case, not all is lost even if you don’t have your winter holiday campaign all planned out yet. Whether you’re marketing for Christmas, Kwanzaa or Hanukkah, we have some food for thought to help you come up with your festive campaign on the fly.
1) Go for the feels
Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Christmas all celebrate family and community. So, of course, emotional stuff is in high demand during this time of year. Tying your hashtag campaign to something that elicits emotion is a straightforward way to tap into that.
Just look at all the popular retailers’ Christmas ads. The ones that perform best are usually the ones that make people shed a tear — whether it’s openly or in secret. 😉
Putting an emphasis on families, friendships, cute animals, etc. can help you find a hook for your holiday campaign. Create a connection between your brand and positive emotions.
Cute animals are rarely a bad choice when it comes to festive campaigns. Here’s #BusterTheBoxer from John Lewis’ 2016 campaign:
— John Lewis (@johnlewisretail) November 10, 2016
Your hashtag campaign could, for example, encourage people to
- get together with family and friends,
- create little acts of kindness for strangers,
- engage with the people they love,
- show their affection for the people they appreciate.
2) Do something good
If you don’t have enough time to come up with something specific to your brand you can always use the season to do some good. Find a cause that you would like to support and come up with a creative way to do so. Ideally, look for a cause or non-profit that fits well with your brand image or pick one that you know your customers and fans care about.
There are various routes you can take when it comes to the logistics of your campaign:
- Offer to donate X amount to a charity for every tweet or retweet you get.
- Motivate your fans and followers to donate to their charity of choice and match their donations.
- Donate money for every transaction made in your store.
— Shelter (@Shelter) October 16, 2017
3) Do the unexpected
One way to stand out of the crowd during the festive season is by doing something surprising and perhaps even “unfestive”. Dare to break the mould and inject some humour!
Here are some ideas for a “different” kind of hashtag campaign for the festive season:
- Getting people invested in their next summer holiday.
- Targeting people who are actively trying to escape Christmas.
- Making your campaign all about the Grinches who hate Christmas.
- Talking about the “worst presents ever” in a humorous way.
4) Make participation fun
Give your fans fun ways to interact with your campaign. One way to do this is to ask for user-generated content. Just keep in mind that the festive season is stressful and that no one has time for anything anyway. Participating in your campaign should be fun and easy to do.
Keep sending us your Christmas #DinnerDisasters you've had & we'll retweet some 🎄
— UnderTheXmasTree (@underxmastree) October 18, 2017
For example, ask your followers to share
- the best present they’ve ever gotten,
- photos of their family in hideous Christmas jumpers, or
- videos of their festive decorations.
Anything that doesn’t take them too long to create but makes for fun re-sharing from your brand account.
5) Offer irresistible rewards
The festive season also means presents, so be generous and offer some rewards to your followers and fans. You can reward the best UGC or simply raffle something off among everyone who’s taking part in your campaign.
— KOSI 101.1 (@KOSI1011) October 13, 2017
— Holly Martin Author (@HollyMAuthor) September 22, 2017
Good raffle prizes can be
- some of your own products,
- products that are in some way related to your brand,
- tickets for events, experiences, etc.,
- something holiday-related (decorations, Christmas trees, etc.), or even
Seasonal campaigns are not that different
The most important part is, as always, to find what works for your audience. You’ll create a totally different campaign for a target group that spends the holidays with their family than you would for a target group that’s into partying hard.
Find out what works and build your campaign around that. After all, there are many ways to interpret the holidays for your brand.
In the end, Christmas, Kwanzaa or Hanukkah campaigns aren’t too different from other, less seasonal campaigns. It’s just a bit harder to stand out of the crowd than it is at other times in the year, but the effort is well worth it for many brands.
If you need more advice, tips and tricks for your holiday hashtag campaign (or any other hashtag campaign you are running), you should definitely check out our eBook The Hashtag Bible for all your hashtag campaign 101 needs!