September is officially upon us, which means one thing: it’s time to start planning your holiday marketing strategy.

We know what you’re thinking. “Whoa, whoa, whoa. The holidays are still MONTHS away. I’m a small business owner and have much more pressing matters to deal with right now. Can’t I at least wait until Halloween is over?!”

Well, technically, you could. But we absolutely, positively, do not recommend it.

The fourth quarter is one of the busiest –– and most profitable –– times of the year for small business owners to make an impact. Your chances of success will plummet if you wait until the last minute to plan and launch a holiday campaign. Not to mention you could potentially lose the edge to your competitors.

Successful holiday marketing campaigns are well-executed and thoughtfully planned far in advance.

Rather than waiting until November or December, (and risk a rush job that could result in mistakes or off-brand messaging) get a jumpstart by planning ahead NOW.

Not sure what channels to use or where to begin? Social media remains the top performer in attracting customers, generating engagement, and driving sales during the holiday season.

If you’re looking for some creative inspiration, we’ve got you covered. Here are five types of social media marketing campaigns to consider this holiday season:

  1. Host a user-generated contest
    Did you know that 90 percent of users trust user-generated content to influence their purchase decisions? Not only does it create trust and credibility around your brand, but it also makes the whole process of finding and curating content a lot easier. Research brands in your industry that have hosted holiday UGC campaigns in the past for inspiration.
  2. Launch a co-branded giveaway
    One of the easiest (and most cost-effective) ways to gain new followers is through co-branded giveaways. Why? Because you can monetize an audience for a fraction of your other paid acquisition channels. Make a list of brands and influencers that align closely with your company’s objectives and values, then begin reaching out to them via DM or Messenger with your pitch idea.
  3. Promote a limited time offer
    It may seem counterintuitive to offer a discount during one of the year’s busiest times, but studies have found that one-third of shoppers are incentivized by holiday promotions. Not only are they a great way to draw in new customers, but they’re also an effective way to nurture and maintain your current customer relationships.
  4. Partner with a local charity or nonprofit
    Forging philanthropic partnerships can raise your public profile and show potential customers that you’re interested in building relationships rather than just maximizing sales. If you aren’t familiar with the charitable organizations in your community, Charity Navigator is a great place to start. From there, begin reaching out to marketing or business development departments with creative campaign ideas tailored to their brand and yours.
  5. Use Facebook ads to generate leads
    Facebook lead generation ads allow you to capture specific demographic information about your target audience and get to know their wants and needs on a deeper level. You can also use the information you collect to market your holiday campaign across other digital mediums, such as email and SMS, ensuring that your business is always top of mind.
Ready to take your social media marketing to the next level this holiday season? We specialize in developing impactful social media marketing strategies and high-performing content for small businesses like yours.  Contact us today to learn more about how we can work together.

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