It’s the most wonderful time of the year (to plan your holiday campaign)

The weather outside is not frightful, and the fire is not delightful. The leaves have not yet begun turning for Autumn, so we’re sorry for dropping the ‘C’ bomb on you — but we need to talk about Christmas. Or more importantly, how to make it a revenue highlight after what has been a turbulent year.

In ‘normal times’, brands would have pretty much wrapped up festive campaigns. The usual full-blown arguments about creative direction, how to allocate the budget, whether to anthropomorphise a vegetable or animate an animal and which saccharine soundtrack should accompany that killer strapline would have all been worked out.

COVID-19 obviously means things are going to be a bit different this year — we can all see that now. Some brands will still plough on regardless, unwavering in their belief that their stripped-back, piano cover of this year’s on-trend tune slapped on top of a few cheesy shots of families defiantly eating turkey whilst hugging Grandma will strike a chord with customers this December. Others are in paralysis — is the ad they’ve meticulously crafted going to resonate in three months’ time? Many more are waiting it out, wondering whether they should even commit to Christmas spend.

Scenario planning and diversifying your marketing strategy will be crucial for Q4 2020. Here are 5 tips to turn your holiday campaign from a bit of turkey into a cracker!

🎄Lead with social media

The learning that all brands should have taken away from the spring lockdown is that consumers went online in their droves. In April this year, there was a 61% increase in social media engagement and a 95% increase in overall in-home media consumption. These numbers have not dropped off over the summer. Meet your market where they are: on social media!

All of the top platforms have their own benefits, from YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Twitch and so on. Each individual social media space has its own demographic and attracts an audience base with engendered habits and interests. Selecting the most appropriate platform for your brand and making use of its capabilities is the best practice when initiating a campaign.

❄️ Implement a robust Influencer Marketing campaign

Influencer marketing is becoming more and more advanced as brands are discovering the success they can achieve through activating powerful creators. 3.6 billion of us are active social media users, and this figure is set to explode to 4.4 billion by 2023. These are huge markets to be won or lost by getting your influencer marketing strategy just right!

Many brands are having enormous success with a micro-influencer strategy. These smaller, more focused content creators connect on a deeper level with their audience and generate greater engagement. In fact, creators with 1,000 followers achieve 85% higher engagement rate than those with an audience of 100,000: as the number of followers increases the engagement tends to decrease. Followers see these micro-influencers as more accessible — more like friends — and are twice as likely to trust the recommendation.

We are market leaders in influencer marketing, and official partners of Instagram, TikTok, and Snap. Our work has been recognised by Forbes, Influencer Marketing Awards and TEDx, amongst others. As a creative and media agency, we focus on right influencers, creative content, and data-driven strategies to tell your story.

🎁 Stories, stories, stories

The desire to cuddle up on the sofa and hibernate with a mug of hot chocolate (or something stronger!) will be more deeply ingrained this year than ever. Extensively swiping through socials is more than just a trend — it’s an absolute certainty for more demographics than ever before.

That’s where you want your brand to be. That’s when marketers should be running an Instagram stories campaign. With the swipe up feature, you can direct your audience to your product or service page. Consider also asking influencers to do a story takeover on your brand Instagram page, this will not only increase brand awareness but also drive traffic to your brand page.

☃️ Go viral with video

To generate exponential brand awareness and reach, TikTok & Instagram Reels are the platforms to be on this holiday season. A successful method to market with short-form video is to build a featured challenge.

2020 has not been the roaring start to a new decade we were all hoping for, and with so much loss, illness, and boredom circulating, consumers are going online for a bit of engaging escapism. Brands that can provide this will have consumer attention. This is not something that needs to break the bank, but — given the increasingly crowded marketplace — needs to be creative enough to cut through the noise. Brands that have managed this best have sought strategies involving influencer collaboration and exploring new platforms.

For our campaign with MAC Cosmetics, part of Estée Lauder group, we achieved outstanding results through an influencer activation on TikTok that outperformed all industry standards with views standing at 2.7 billion to date! To plan your TikTok holiday campaign, reach out to our team of TikTok experts now.

🎅🏻 Consider using Paid Push to amplify your campaign

Paid push allows your content to be pushed further towards consumers, gaining further reach on your targeted market. Instead of fighting against platform algorithms to stay visible, paid push means the platform is on your side, using their algorithms to help you get the coverage you desire. Whatever your social presence, paid push can give you the boost you need.

It’s true that this festive period won’t resemble the ones that came before it, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing; brands can either choose to view this pandemic as a tragedy or a challenge. To quote Albert Einstein: “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” In a recent survey, the majority of consumers responded that they had tried out new brands for the first time during lockdown: this presents a great opportunity for brand conversion. The task at hand is finding the most efficient way to reach them, and with 95% of consumers spending more time on in-home media consumption, the answer appears obvious. Your audience is online, reach out to them through influencer marketing.