How to drive your brand on Instagram for Christmas

By Managing Director of Boost Social
Elisha Fiorentino

Christmas is just around the corner and now is the time for your brand to Be Seen! This year we’re gifting you our inside knowledge to help you boost your brand awareness and generate Christmas leads and sales.

1. Drive demand with FOMO

There’s nothing like a healthy fear of missing out to help nudge shoppers to make a quick decision. This is the time of year, people are looking for gifts for the hard-to-buy-for person. If you’ve ever tried to buy gifts for family members, you’ll know how increasingly hard it is to find something innovative and interesting that’s not going to be regifted or relegated to the bottom of a chest of drawers. Products or services that are in low supply or only available for a short time create an urgency that influences Instagram shoppers to purchase. Even hotel booking websites use FOMO marketing tactics by showing how many people are viewing the same rooms as you and stating how many rooms there are left. It forces those who like to dither into making snap decisions.

Many look forward to the time of the year where all the Christmas themed products are available. For example, the festive range of donuts Krispy Kremes release for Krispymas always generates excitement on social media.

No matter how big or small your business is, you can create buzz around limited supply and limited offers. Let’s say you’re a hairdressing salon, you could offer a Christmas Eve special. Who doesn’t want salon hair for all the selfies on Christmas morning? If you are an online stationery store, you could release holiday-themed stationery set to keep busy during the Christmas school holidays.

Build hype around the product release by dropping teasers and time-critical Instagram stories using the countdown timer.

2. Use Influencer Marketing

This is the time of year that influencers get swamped with product offers, so make sure you act quickly. In a poll conducted by Sideqik, 77% of people said they had purchased a product because they’d seen it on an influencer’s post, while 78% said they trust an influencer over traditional advertising.

For brands on Instagram, influencer marketing gains you exposure to new sets of eyes that may not have normally seen your content or products. We recommend working with an influencer that aligns with your brand, such as an advocate (who will jump into posts and comment about your brand or defend you against any followers who most post negatively), or a loyalist like an ambassador, they don’t align themselves with any other brand in your industry. Mega influencers have a huge following and typically get approached by lots of brands. They often want payment as well as products, and with all the activity on their accounts, your product or service might get lost in the noise. You can use influencers to highlight your Christmas products and limited-time services.

3. Plan a Christmas advertising campaign

Organic posts and hoping hashtags drive people to your content is simply not enough during the festive season. A well structuring Instagram ad campaign can help ensure your content reaches potential Instagram shoppers as fast as possible. With the ability to define your target audience, you can cleverly hone your ads to reach the right people. For example, if you are a pet food supplier and have a great special on cat food, you don’t want to waste valuable advertising dollars going out to pet owners that have dogs. To ensure your Instagram ads are a huge success, make sure you have Instagram shopping set up and links that can be clicked. Setting up Instagram shopping can be a tedious task for large ecommerce businesses, so if you need assistance, we can certainly give you a boost.

There is quite a lot of work involved, so if you want to get Instagram shopping in time for Christmas, you really need to get it started now.

4. Make use of carousel post features

When a person is shopping through your bricks and mortar store, they often browse through the store examining all their options before they purchase. Why limit yourself to just one product in a post when you can allow your customers to swipe left and scroll through similar products they might be interested in purchasing? Carousel posts are a great way to do this.
They increase the curiosity of potential purchases and get them more engaged with your brand.

5. Hold a Christmas competition

Who doesn’t love free stuff? A Christmas competition or giveaway can generate plenty of buzz on socials particularly if it’s a great giveaway. Before you commit to a competition, it helps to already have an engaged audience. There are several mistakes brands make when running a competition:

  1. Offering a prize which really doesn’t hold any value to their followers. Don’t be a cheapskate, giveaway something decent. For example; if you’re a restaurant, offer a Christmas meal for the winner and four of their friends. If you’re a stationery company, provide hampers worth of goodies rather than something little.
  2. Making followers jump through too many hoops. People are lazy, they want to be able to just enter their email address or tag a friend, not like the Facebook Page and like the Instagram Page and sign up for the newsletter and tag five friends. 
  3. Asking for too much of a commitment without having a loyal following of engaged users. For example; signing up for meal plans or fitness programs or any other service that requires a financial commitment will be a flop.

With many people still trying to socially distance, Christmas 2020 will be like no other with many shoppers resorting to virtual stores. For any ecommerce business, Instagram’s function to tag products with shoppable tags means this is not an avenue you can continue to ignore. To drive your brand and increase Christmas sales this year, make sure Instagram is part of your marketing strategy.

Once you start to think of marketing as an investment, not an expense, your mindshift will open a whole new world of possibilities

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