Being that it’s September, it might seem early to start thinking about the holidays, but trust me, it’s not. In fact, many brands already began working on their holiday campaigns during the summer months. Why? Because planning a full blown campaign takes time, and the holiday season is one of the prime moments to launch valuable content, especially across social media. During the holidays, audiences are highly engaged and are often looking to make a purchase or charitable donation (yes, this applies to you nonprofits as well!), and there is a general feel good vibe that is ripe for content creation. So how do you go about getting a campaign up and running?
Here are 6 steps to use while planning your holiday social media campaigns:
- Set Goals
First and foremost, you need to establish goals. Are you trying to push a specific product, increase brand awareness amongst a certain audience or grow your social following? If you can answer this overarching question, details like your target demographic, channel choice and budget will start falling into place. This will then inform your overall strategy and the ways in which you’ll measure success.
- Develop a Theme
Once you know who you’re trying to reach and how, you can start ideating on themes. Get your creative team into a room and let the ideas flow! It will help to make note of successful campaigns other brands have run in previous years and to take a look at what your competitors have done in the past. This will help you avoid repetition and could even spark some new, original thoughts. The social media landscape is pretty oversaturated during this time, so the more original your campaign is the better!
- Dive Into Tactics
You’ve now got a campaign theme, so the next major hurdle is figuring out how you will support it. Do you need a landing page built, a coupon created or copywriting assistance? Is there budget already set aside for this or might you need to request additional spend? If you’re running a contest, does your legal team need to approve rules? Run through the entire campaign from start to finish with your team and jot down any and all touch points in order to make sure all of the bases are covered.
- Start Creating
Now, it’s time to create! Ideally, you’ll start working with a Project Manager to organize all necessary steps in this process. Those steps will of course vary from campaign to campaign, but might include things like:
- Asset creation, which might involve hiring talent – check out the latest post from our Creative Director, Melissa Dalluhn, talking tips for content creation
- Establishing a partnership with another brand or influencer
- Working with a developer to get your website up to speed (think landing page creation)
- Having copy written for social media posts and ads
- Developing seasonal recipes
- Creating blog content filled with tips and tricks that correlate to your campaign
Campaigns involve many moving pieces and having one central organizer will lead to a smooth(er) process. Tip: there will always be some hurdles along the way, but a PM makes life a whole lot easier!
- Deploy and Monitor
Next up is campaign deployment. If you’re running ads, each platform offers plenty of tips for successfully setting them up, although it could be helpful to work directly with a social media professional for ease of process. And if you have supplemental posts that will be going up on your channels, there are lots of scheduling tools available, like my favorite Hootsuite, and some platforms allow you to schedule content directly through them, like Facebook. It’s then integral to monitor all content, engaging with positive feedback and addressing any questions or concerns your audience may have, keeping in mind this is a multiple times per day process. You’ll likely also need to make adjustments to the campaign itself as it runs, adjusting copy, redistributing budget or altering targeting parameters – be vigilant and flexible and listen to what the metrics are telling you!
- Measure Success
When the campaign comes to an end, you should dig through your campaign analytics and compile a final report that measures successes and makes note of any areas that could use future improvement.
Now go start creating, because the holidays will be here before you know it, and as you can see, there is a lot to do before then!