In the world of marketing, consumption and purchases, the next most important sale after Black Friday is Christmas. This holiday is by far the most anticipated one of the year, and often the festive spirit surrounding it (+ the need to buy gifts) is enough to drive sales. What I want to look at, however, is how Christmas — as a spirit, a holiday, an attitude etc. — can be used by brands to bolster their Instagram strategy, drive traffic to social media pages, increase sales and, all in all, be an immense PR advantage.
In theory, there are many angles and tools that brands can use this season. A Build-Up to Christmas Campaign Strategy is the most popular (and often most successful) because it builds anticipation and works like an advent calendar. Another great thing to leverage on is values, since Christmas is primarily built on qualities like giving, kindness, and gratitude. Any sort of strategy that runs parallel to Christmas values is bound to do well. There is no better time to succumb to an aesthetic than at Christmas — people tend to gravitate towards festive platforms so engaging a brand-related, Christmas-themed IG Story filter is likely to increase traffic. It also taps into experiential marketing and audience participation.
With all that in mind, let’s take a look at 4 brands that have started to use Christmas to their advantage, and how.
1 – Pretty Little Thing | @prettylittlething
PLT has embarked on a #12DaysofChristmasGiving Campaign, which saw them donating toys and electronic goods to a local children’s shelter, donating money to the Alzheimer’s Society, Manchester Cares and The Sick Children’s Trust, as well as handing out winter essentials to the homeless. Above and beyond ‘corporate social responsibility’, this is an immensely thoughtful project for any company or individual to embark on. They have made the effort to look out for someone else, which is always a beautiful thing.
As a tangential outcome, this spirit translates into very good PR for PLT, despite the fact that it was not their primary goal. Brands that are associated with giving back to the community, charity, and an overall sense of being more than just a beacon of consumerism tend to rank better amongst consumers.
It contributes to a positive image, which encourages people to frequent those stores or buy from those labels more so than they would others.
From this chart, we can see how PLT’s audiences grew quite quickly on certain days during the giveaway period, presumably because people heard about their efforts and were interested in the brand. Their audience has witnessed a net increase of 100K followers.
2 – KKW Beauty | @kkwbeauty
The minds behind the KKW Beauty marketing team have always amazed me, and their Christmas tactics are no less impressive. KKW is also embarking on a 12 Days of Christmas spin, which involves 12 days of various sales.
The social media team also deletes each post once the day is up so people keep looking forward to the next sale.
This is also in the spirit of giving, albeit a little differently but its appeal is in that it functions like an advent calendar. Audiences don’t know what will be on sale next, which entices them to purchase the instant they see something they want. This inherently drives sales, because consumers are more likely to buy on impulse. Additionally, it gives KKW Beauty (and other brands who do this) a chance to re-market older items.
3 – Benefit Cosmetics | @benefitcosmetics
In the spirit of less waste and remarketing older, unsold products, Benefit Cosmetics has used the festive season to repurpose stock. For example, they posted a picture of these lip-tints with a Christmas-related caption, which associates their brand with the season of buying and giving.
We see how this is received via the comment section:
Another way in which they encourage purchases is via a massive Christmas sale in partnership with @revolve.
People are constantly itching for excuses to buy things, and leveraging on the Christmas holiday as a way to approach seasonal marketing is almost always a win.
4 – Coach | @coach
The approach that Coach has taken in relation to Christmas is an aesthetic one. In other words, they have decided to make their feed festive. For example, take their most recent video featuring Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 8 Winner Bob the Drag Queen (@bobthedragqueen) which is a whimsical take on Christmas gifting.
This is part of a long thought out artistic direction that began in late November, as evident from the grid-style feed here:
What this does for Coach is that it aligns their brand and products with the idea of Christmas, so it is constantly on people’s minds when they do their gift shopping. The video with Bob the Drag Queen also posits that buying a Coach gift will always be met with gratitude and success.
‘Tis The Season 🎄
Christmas is truly the season of giving and receiving, which is what makes standing out as a brand that much easier. What people want at this time of the year is fairly predictable — jingles, presents, lights and fun. It would be a waste not to spend some time executing a holiday-related marketing strategy, and these brands are a good roadmap on how and why to start.