Brands Ramp Up Social Media Marketing Ahead of the Holidays

December 4, 2015 Jonathan Crowl

The holidays aren't just for retail brands.

Target knows the value of social media influence during the holidays: The retailer has boosted its social media marketing budget by 30 percent to capitalize on the season, according to Retail Dive. But for all the attention given to retail brands during the holidays, seasonal marketing opportunities extend to all types of businesses, including B2B operations.

Brands recognize the opportunity the holidays offer to attract extra attention. And, with consumers trained to hunt down bargains and limited opportunities during the end of the calendar year, it makes sense that non-retail brands would want to capitalize on this energy. Holiday promotions come in a wide range of applicable forms, and social media often serves as the fulcrum for these campaigns.

Social platforms also recognize the central role they play in seasonal advertising, and some are transforming their own wares to become better channels for driving additional business. Facebook’s new ads targeting segment, geared toward the holiday shopping season is just one way brands can seek out consumers likely to take an interest in these promotions.

The power of advertising on Facebook during the holidays

B2B Brands Can Go Seasonal, Too

It has a different look than traditional B2C shopping behaviors, but brands have seized upon increased shopping activity among B2B buyers as well. B2B sellers have taken a number of approaches to their holiday season marketing, but one trend among the most successful campaigns has been an emphasis on flexing creativity and humor.

Marketing Dive notes that some of the best B2B campaigns from recent years involved brands that wanted to show their silly side: Zendesk, for example, created a video series spoof of The Office to present its customer service software in a self-deprecating light:

HubSpot, meanwhile, used the classic song “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” to promote its inbound marketing support and services—with the help of a singing unicorn:

But the best example of B2B holiday marketing—with a unique social twist—comes from London-based digital agency Weapon 7. The company set up a snow machine near a sidewalk with instructions for passersby to Tweet a hashtag to a dedicated account. Those Tweets would trigger the snow machine to start up, sending artificial snow onto the streets, and producing a compelling video to share online and through social media marketing.

Bringing the Holiday Spirit to Social Media

As Social Barrel points out, non-retail brands still want to build a smart seasonal strategy, creating a consistent message that carries across various social media marketing channels, along with other forms of digital content. This is an opportunity to tell a unique story, or show a different side of your brand, separate from the company’s mainstream marketing strategy.

As much as sales can be the focal point of holiday marketing, brand awareness is no less valuable as a goal for the campaigns. Additionally, B2B buyers might not make purchasing as much of a priority at this time of year, especially if their fiscal calendars coincide with the end of the annual calendar. But building brand awareness gives you a better shot at being remembered when relevant needs come to rise in the future.

Contests and giveaways, themed social media and email posts, and holiday celebration photos from within the company are all great ways to increase customer engagement while showing the human side of your brand. Social media content shouldn’t be taken over by holiday-themed posts, but these can be mixed in among traditional posts on a daily basis.

And remember: At this time of year, sometimes giving customers a simple “thank you” can go a long way.

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The post Brands Ramp Up Social Media Marketing Ahead of the Holidays appeared first on The Content Standard by Skyword.

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