It’s only November, but it’s high time you start thinking about your Instagram holiday campaign.

So soon? Well, you could have started even sooner. After all, there are some folks out there already picking holidays decorations. 

Jingle bells aside, planning your Instagram holiday campaign in advance will give you the space and time you need to come up with an excellent concept.

Once you have a marketing plan, everything will unfold nicely: tactics, challenges, paid promotions and everything else in between. 

You’ll even have the time to schedule your posts, so you can gather likes while you sip on hot chocolate on Christmas Eve.

So, ready to get in the holiday mood? Great!

Here are the 7 steps you need to make to create a jolly-infused, highly effective Instagram holiday campaign.

1. Set your Instagram holiday campaign goals

You’re making a list. You’re checking it twice. You’re gonna find out which goals are SMART and which ones are not. 

Setting SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) goals is what will build you up for a successful holiday campaign. 

A SMART goal will outline the direction and tactics you’ll need to apply to get the results you’re after. Here’s an example of a SMART goal: Get a 15% increase in sales for your Winter Gift Package in the two weeks before Christmas.

To establish the SMART goals that are right for you, ask yourself a series of questions: 

  • What do I want for Christmas? More awareness? More sales?
  • What budget am I willing to invest?
  • What resources do I have? 
  • Do I want to reach out to other partners or influencers?
  • What Instagram features do I want to use?
  • Can I repurpose older content?

Do some campaign-soul-searching, and you’ll end up with a few answers that will definitely narrow your options — and that’s what you want. 

Learning from past campaigns is what differentiates a rookie from an Instagram pro. Thus, before advancing with your holiday campaign efforts, check your last year’s stats. 

A deep-dive into November-December insights will help you better understand your followers’ engagement and shopping patterns. Plus, it will point you in the direction of creative content that works.

So take some time to figure out what worked in your past holiday campaign and why. At the same time, watch out for red flags regarding what failed and figure out the reason. 

Closely analyze spikes in engagement and narrow down the timeframe with the most activity. Then, correlate it with upticks in sales. These are the windows you should channel your creative Instagram energy on.

If, however, this is your first Instagram holiday campaign, don’t despair. Search for generic statistics regarding Instagram interactions and use those as a guide. 

3. Have a break. Get inspired.

One of the perks of starting early with your Instagram holiday campaign is that you’ll have plenty of time to look for inspiration.

Great campaigns aren’t built in a day and — most definitely — aren’t built in a vacuum. So research, research, research before you even start thinking about what you want to promote and how.

Get familiar with current trends. See what the best Instagram holiday campaigns have looked like last year. Create a mood board. Sip on lemon tea. 

4. Decide on a holiday campaign offer

No matter if you’re promoting products or services, your Instagram holiday campaign should focus on items that would make great gifts

Create holiday promo packages with several products or highlight each product individually. No matter how you decide to bundle them, if you have Instagram Shopping, make sure you tag the products in your posts so followers find out their names and prices. 

When deciding upon your holiday offers, think in terms of the story these tell. How do these items or services fit in your followers’ holiday habits? How will your products make their winter better? Put yourself in their shoes (or, better said, boots) and you’ll get yourself a pretty great holiday campaign.

5. Prepare and schedule your holiday-themed content 

If you’ve gone through step 1-2-3-4, you are now ready to get your creative holiday jingles flowing. 

Start by putting together a folder with all the photos and videos you plan to use. If needed, adjust their format to portrait for Stories or square for classic posts. 

Then, think about the types of content you can share. For your Instagram holiday campaign it’s always a great idea to organize quizes, giveaways and offer discounts — it’s the giving season, after all. 

And, since most followers will be buying your products or services with the thought of gifting them, dare to ask that they share the joy of sharing on Instagram as well.

Next, compose your captions. Preparing them all in advance will help you see the bigger picture. This way, you can write posts flow like a narrative. 

Finally, it’s time to create your calendar. Want a format to follow? Instagram has shared a neat one, so go right ahead.

And, and if you’re the high-achiever we know you are, you can even schedule your content with Preppr. Oh, the holiday spirit is here, indeed!

6. Plan your paid promotions

To be on top of your followers’ mind when they start the holiday shopping spree, you need to get ahead of the curve

Whether you plan to promote posts, stories or venture into video-land, make sure you set them in advance. Followers will be looking for inspiration on Instagram before they make a purchase, so be there as they tap. 

Paid promotions are a great way to reach new potential followers, so make sure you target your audience correctly. 

The Automatic Audience option generated by Instagram includes people that are similar to your current follower base. However, you can choose to go with a more refined targeting and create a new audience yourself.  

7. Leave room for user-generated content

Although you’ll have a packed holiday calendar, you’ll need to stay flexible. An Instagram holiday campaign is as great as the response of your followers, so be present!

Whenever your followers tag your account or share your content, give them a shout-out. After all, your efforts on Instagram are channelled towards starting conversations and this.is.your.chance. 

And, of course, plan how you’ll monitor and measure your results.

I’ll leave you to attend to steps number 1 and 2. You’ve got this! Don’t you worry though, in the meantime I’ll be gathering some holiday-infused inspiration. So stick around. Preppr’s baking some digital holiday goodies 😉

Ilona Iftode
Author

Ilona Iftode is a copywriter with a taste for adventure. She lives to write, travel and explore new concepts in the realms of advertising, marketing, SEO and beyond.

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