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Holiday Marketing Ideas: 6 Ways to Stand Out on Social Media this Season

Between Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, the holiday season is huge for e-commerce businesses. 

In fact, up to 30% of all US retail sales are expected to happen on digital channels this year! 

Ready to get in on the action? Now is the time to get creative with your holiday marketing ideas! 

Below, we highlight 6 holiday marketing ideas to help you cut through the social media noise and engage with your customers this season:

holiday marketing ideas

Holiday Marketing Ideas #1: Run a Holiday-themed Instagram Giveaway

Running a giveaway on Instagram is a great way to boost brand awareness, get more followers, and promote your products – plus, they’re really easy to set up (and even easier to participate in).

The key to a successful giveaway is proper planning – you’ll want to define the purpose and goals of your giveaway well before you dive in. 

For example, if you’re launching a new holiday product this season (more on this below!), you could tie your giveaway to larger marketing goals, such as raising awareness around the product launch. 

Or your goal could be as simple as getting more Instagram followers or increasing brand awareness – there’s no wrong answer! Just keep in mind that the goals you set will influence the type of giveaway you run. 

Once you have some clarity around your goals, you can begin to strategize how to best accomplish them with your giveaway theme, rules, and structure. 

For example, if you want to grow your following, this will inform things like the type of prize you pick, the rules for entry, and your long-term plan for keeping new followers engaged with your content.

Check out how Blume uses giveaways to get as much traction and as many new followers as possible. In order to enter, participants are asked to follow their account (along with two others) with the option to get more entries by re-sharing Blume’s post on their Instagram Stories. 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

🧡 GIVEAWAY ALERT 🧡⁠ No tricks—all treats here. We’ve teamed up with our friends from @malacollective & @dewedit to give away the ultimate essentials for a cozy self care night. One winner will receive @blume, @malacollective & @dewedit’s sweet faves ‘cus self-care is the new trick or treating. ⁠ ⁠ THE TREAT:⁠ 👻 @blume Meltdown Acne Treatment, Stargirl Face Mist, Hug Me Natural Deodorant, Cloud 9 Cramp Oil, Gua Sha⁠ 👻 @malacollective Meditation Sit Set⁠ 👻 @dewedit Scrunchie Set⁠ ⁠ TO ENTER: ⁠ 👍 Like this photo⁠ 👥 Follow @blume @malacollective & @dewedit ⁠ 👉 Tag your trick or treat pal (1 tag = 1 entry, unlimited entries)⁠ ⁠ 👀 For 5 bonus entries, repost this on your stories and tag @blume @malacollective & @dewedit Giveaway is open to US & CAD residents and ends November 2nd at 11:59pm PST. Good luck!

A post shared by BLUME (@blume) on

Partnering up with another brand or an Instagram influencer with a similar target market and audience is a great way to get more traction – you get to share each other’s audiences and reach hundreds or thousands of potential new customers… all from just one Instagram post!

Hilma, an all-natural wellness remedies brand, did this recently, partnering with Baggu, Stojo, and Spacey Studios to promote their giveaway. 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

**Update: Giveaway closed**Voter Support Giveaway! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The election is just around the corner and we’re here to support you in getting out the vote. Have you mailed in your absentee ballot yet? Read up on your local candidates?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We’ve got some election day goodies for you. Three lucky winners will receive a special kit of voting essentials from our friends at @baggu, @stojo, and @spaceystudios. Each kit will include: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🍊One-month supply of @hilma_co Immune Support to keep your system strong⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🌿Reusable bag + fabric mask from @baggu to stay safe and organized⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 💧Bottle from @stojo to stay hydrated ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🗳Election Postcard set from @spacey_studios because your voice and your vote matters! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ How to enter: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🌿Like this post⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🌿Follow @hilma_co, @baggu, @stojo, and @spaceystudios ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🌿Share your voting plan below and tag a buddy to remind them that November 3rd is coming up! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ No purchase necessary. US residents only, contest ends on Monday 10/19 at 11:59 PM EST. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed by, or associated with Instagram. One winner will be randomly selected and notified directly by Hilma via DM.

A post shared by Hilma (@hilma_co) on


While these brands are all within different spaces, they have a similar target market (young, design-conscious consumers), which is why it’s such an effective partnership. 

This is exactly the kind of brand collaboration you should be looking for – one that has a similar target market and an audience that would be interested in your products.

Holiday Marketing Ideas #2: Run a Customer Appreciation Campaign

The holidays are all about showing appreciation for the people around you, and as a brand, this includes your followers and customers. 

So why not run a customer appreciation campaign?

There are plenty of ways to show your followers you care – for example, some brands use UGC (user-generated content) to give their customers a virtual shout-out. 

The skincare brand Curology often runs customer appreciation campaigns that act as a “soft promotion” for their business and products.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

“To be honest my skin felt such a barrier before I decided to use Curology… I decided to check it out thinking that it was yet another product that was bound to ruin my skin, but for some reason, I decided to try it… I got my first bottle in the mail and I immediately started using it. Of course, I didn’t see the results right away, but I had patience as it was my last resort… I have never regretted my decision to use it and my skin has never felt better…I get so many compliments on my clear skin every day, so thank you so much Curology!!:)” Thanks for giving Curology a shot, @asmaibrahim01 – We’re so happy you FINALLY found something that works for you 🙏 We know the struggle! ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ ⁠ *Results may vary⁠ ⁠ ⁠ -⁠ ⁠ ⁠ #glowup #glowingskin #glow #curologyjourney #skinjourney #skincareforall #skincareroutine #acneskincare #curologyskincare #trustthejourney #akincarecommunity #skincareselfie #happyskin #skintalk #skinpositivity #skinpositive #skinstruggle #ebraceyourskin

A post shared by Curology (@curology) on


This strategy works great if your customers and followers already love tagging you in their Instagram Stories or regularly use your branded hashtag in their posts.

With Later, you can use our Collect features to view all the Instagram posts that you’re mentioned or tagged in in one easy dashboard, and then add your favorites to your media library. 

This makes finding high-quality UGC for your customer appreciation campaign really easy! 

 
Another great way to show your appreciation is to create a promo code specifically for your Instagram followers. 

Underwear brand MeUndies did this recently by offering a 40% discount on select products to their Instagram followers.


If you’re looking to get even more Instagram users involved in your promotion, you can also use Instagram Reels to share your promo code. Since Instagram Reels are heavily shared on the Instagram Explore Page, you can potentially reach many more users. 

And finally, you can simply say thanks! 

What’s great is that this doesn’t require a huge campaign or big budget. A simple acknowledgment can go a long way. 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Guess whaaaat lovelies?! My Etsy has reached 1000 sales! 🥳 wohooo thank you to everyone that has supported my little business, purchased from my store, followed me on insta and recommend me to friends! You are the best ❤️❤️❤️ it’s true what they say, when you buy from a small business an actual person does a little happy dance 💃🏽🤗 so remember to keep buying from small/local stores, we need your support! Next GIVEAWAY will still be when this page reaches 10k followers so keep your eyes peeled. I’m off to do another happy dance haha 💃🏽 Love Saba 💋 #shopsmall #smallbusiness #thankyou #milestone . . . . . #bossbabe #dreamchaser #ambition #workhard #dreamer #slay #goaldigger #goals #woc #womenempowerment #abundance #positivity #affirmations #print #art #securethebag #hustler #womenofillustration #atribeofwomen #ladieswhodesign #futureisfemale #femaleshelpingfemales #femalehustler #dailyaffirmation #selfacceptance

A post shared by LovelyBoy (@lovelyboydesigns) on

Holiday Marketing Ideas #3: Launch a New Product

The holiday season is an e-commerce frenzy, so why not take the opportunity to launch a new holiday-inspired product? 


Of course, as you probably know, a lot of work and planning goes into launching a new product on Instagram, so it’s important to start early. 

Depending on your business, you may need a few weeks or even a few months of lead time for product development, launch strategy, creating your launch assets, working with influencers, and a lot more. 

Check out our guide to launching a new product on social media for more tips!  

But if you can work out all of these details in time for the holiday season, it’s totally worth it! 

Cruelty-free cosmetic brand Lush is a great example. Every fall and winter, they launch a series of new holiday-inspired products – from their “Very Very Frightening” shower gel to their “Jingle Bells” bath bomb. 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

There are two types of Lushies when it comes to #LushHalloween Shower Gels 😉⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Which one are you?⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Leave a 💛 in the comments if you have fallen in love with our new lemony-fresh sudser, Very Very Frightening.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ OR⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Leave a 💚 in the comments if you have a soft spot for our sweet and spicy sudser, Lord of Misrule (if you’re a LOM Lushie, have you entered our LOM Halloween Contest? What are you waiting for? 😏 Head to our link in bio for more details.)⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Haven’t tried ’em? Tap to shop now.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ #lushhalloween2020 #lushshowergel #halloween #autumn #fall #selfcare⁠ #contest ⁠⠀ 📸: @elfwithatwist @alicialatour_

A post shared by Lush Cosmetics North America (@lushcosmetics) on


Whatever your budget, you can get creative and make a huge impact on Instagram. Even a small “pop-up” campaign can drive a ton of traffic and conversions for your online store. 

Holiday Marketing Ideas #4: Give Back to Those in Need

The holidays are about much more than consumption – they’re also about giving back to those in need.

That’s why a lot of brands are choosing to opt-out of holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday and do something a little more feel-good instead. 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

See you tomorrow. 🖤

A post shared by The Ordinary, NIOD, & more. (@deciem) on


The reality is that many consumers don’t need special discounts or coupon codes, they just want to know that your business aligns with their values.

By associating your brand with a charity or social cause, you can benefit from showing your values in action, which is something that modern consumers care more and more about. 

In fact, according to a report from Unilever, 33% of consumers are now choosing to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good. And when choosing between two brands of equal quality and price, 90% of US shoppers are likely to switch to a cause branded product.

A great option is to support a charity that reflects your business’s values and role in your community – check out how millennial clothing brand MadHappy launched a donation portal to raise proceeds for 3 charities they felt passionate about.


You can even get your Instagram audience involved by using the donation sticker for Instagram Stories

With just a few clicks, Instagrammers can support their charity of choice, or help spread the word to collect donations from their followers.

Another option is to donate a portion of your holiday sales, fees, or profits to a charity or social cause. For example, if you’re launching a new product this season, you can build this into the promotional strategy.

Ethical clothing brand Kotn does this every year. In lieu of running a Black Friday campaign, they use the holiday to raise proceeds to build schools in the Nile Delta, a region of Egypt where they source the cotton for their products. 


These are just a few ways to give back during the holiday season. At the end of the day, it’s all about finding the rise cause and keeping your audience informed (and hopefully inspired!) about the work you’re doing to make the world a little bit better. 

Holiday Marketing Ideas #5: Run an Influencer Marketing Campaign

If you’re looking to make as big a mark as possible this season, it might be a good idea to outsource some of the promotional work to influencers. 

Partnering with Instagram influencers is a great way to introduce your business to new audiences, raise your profile, and get your customers into the buying spirit during the holidays.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

It’s finally starting to feel a little more like fall around here and for me that means it’s time to finally start indulging in all of my favorite fall drinks, fall cocktails, and crockpot recipes. #sponsored 🍂 ⠀ Can you believe that the beginning of the year went by kind of slow and now boom. We’re basically at the start of the holiday season. To get my family and I in the holiday mood I pulled out our crockpot and made one of my go to fall drinks. ⠀ ⠀ 🍎 Growing up I was never a fan of Apple Cider, but it’s like my mom always says…”time sure brings about a change”. This feel good recipe calls for only a few ingredients, most of which you probably already have on hand, but my secret weapon with my cider recipe is @wholesomesweet! I love using #WholesomeSweet because I know whenever I add them to my meals and/or drinks I know that I am not adding anything artificial or filled with harmful additives. ⠀ ⠀ 🍎 Making this delicious drink (that can also be served hot, cold, or even spiked) is really simple and would be the perfect addition to your fall festivities this year. It also doubles as a room spray, because it is guaranteed to leave your house smelling some kind of wonderful! Head over to my stories for the full recipe. ⠀ ⠀ 🍎 What is your favorite fall drink?

A post shared by Gerri J. Phillips (@gerrijphillips) on


The holidays are one of the most lucrative times for e-commerce businesses, but they can also be one of the most competitive.

Influencer marketing is a great way to break through all the clutter and get your brand (and products) noticed. 

Of course, as with all influencer marketing campaigns, it’s important to go into a partnership with a clear idea of what you want to achieve, including the number of sales you’re hoping to make, how you want your product to be featured, and more. 

Keep in mind that most influencers are getting flooded with pitches this time of year, so it’s important that your pitch be as clear and concise as possible. The easier you make it for your partners, the more likely they’ll be to respond.

And give yourself plenty of time to find the right influencers for your campaign! Influencer marketing is all about reaching a niche and engaged audience who would be interested in your products, and this only happens when there’s an authentic alignment between yourself and your influencer partner. 


Once you’ve found the right partners for your holiday campaign, it’s time to let your creativity fly! 

It’s important to show potential customers what’s unique about your product and why it belongs on their shopping list. 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Bloating, poor digestion, irregular bowel patterns, fatigue, and skin issues – these are clear signs that your gut is unhappy. Like most people, @kobibracken endured this unfortunate lot, with skin issues (more specifically acne) being her biggest concern. Kobi has tried practically everything under the sun – from oratane to topical retinoids, to natural products, listened to other people’s advice, naturopaths, dermatologists – the list goes on! However, nothing ever fully worked nor helped clear her skin.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Kobi says, “I have always known the importance of food, and I eat really clean and a tonne of vegetables. To me, there was no reason why I should have bad skin or digestion. I take daily supplements and drink my water, but I was still finding that my body just felt urgh! I have been a Two Islands customer from day dot, and I use all of their products, turns out, Happy Gut was the missing piece of the puzzle. My bowel movements have become regular, I have more energy, my bloat is not a daily issue anymore, AND my skin has cleared! I have been using Happy Gut for a couple of months now, taking it either in warm water, in my smoothie, or oatmeal. The taste reminds me of a spiced apple pie with a hint of cinnamon. I am here for it! 🌻🙃💛💛💛💛”.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #TwoIslands #TwoIslandsPartner #guthealth #guthealthmatters

A post shared by TWO ISLANDS (@twoislandsco) on


By using a trusted and authentic voice to deliver your message, your business has the opportunity to create a story that makes sense for both your brand and resonates with your influencer’s audience.

Holiday Marketing Ideas #6: Share a Free Downloadable Resource 

Even if you’re aren’t an e-commerce brand, the holiday season still presents a huge opportunity to gain more traction with your target audience. 

One way to do this by creating a free downloadable resource and using it to gather email addresses.

Once you have someone’s email, you can send them value-packed messages that help drive conversions for your products and services. 

newsletter instagram

Think about your ideal customer or client.  What can you offer them that they wouldn’t think twice about signing up for? This is your “lead magnet” and it should be something of value that relates to an end-result that your business offers.

Some examples include: 

  •    A free download or worksheet
  •    A challenge
  •    A mini-course
  •    A free sample
  •   An exclusive offer for subscribers

Check out how Artifact Uprising recently used Linkin.bio by Later to promote their digital guide to making a wedding album. 


When their followers tap the link in their bio, they’re brought to a clickable, optimized landing page. Then can then click-through to the download page where they’re asked to submit their email address to download the resource. 

Here’s the good news: we just released a free version of Linkin.bio, so everyone can start driving more website traffic and reaching their sales goals through Instagram with Later! 

 

Holiday marketing campaigns don’t have to be overly complicated and can deliver great benefits to your business.

Whether you do a few simple things to “dress up” your brand for the holidays or commit to a full-on campaign, follow our holiday marketing ideas to get the most out of this busy season!

Start scheduling your holiday content now with Later — it’s free! 

Written By

Benjamin Chacon

Benjamin is a Content Marketing Strategist at Later and recent transplant from Toronto. You can follow his day-to-day on Instagram @benjaminchacs.

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