As Q3 of the business year quickly approaches, many marketers are in the campaign planning phase for the remainder of 2019.
Whether you’re a solo-marketer, in a small business, or a large organization, you most likely have a million other things pulling at your time and attention. With business not slowing down any time soon, sitting down to get creative with your social campaigns may seem like a daunting task.
Most social campaign strategy (if it’s effective) takes the holiday calendar into account to play off of the popularity and appeal of holidays throughout the year that aligns with the product or service. To help organize this process, we’ve highlighted some of the many upcoming holidays through the rest of 2019. We’ve also added an extra bonus covering creative campaign ideas and strategy for each to give you some inspiration as you are thinking through promotions.
Let’s go through options for each month, keeping in mind to pick holidays that make sense for your business, and being discerning to choose just a few campaigns to maximize your company goals.
Remember that any holiday you don’t run an advertising campaign for you can still incorporate into the messaging and creative on your content calendar.
Marketing & Contest Ideas For June
If you missed or chose not to run a campaign for Father’s Day this month, there are still two more holidays this month your brand can capitalize on that work perfectly for any company.
- June 21st is National Selfie Day #NationalSelfieDay
- June 30th is Social Media Day #SMDAY
If you could pick holidays that were made for social media, these two are it. Now, let’s talk through some campaign ideas and strategy for each.
1. Hold a photo contest for fans and followers to take a selfie with your product.
This is a fun and high engagement campaign to get your fans doing the marketing for you. Along with their selfie and your product, the campaign can be easily organized and turned into a contest to give incentive for fans to post. Check out Woobox client, BERRICLE as an example of a photo contest below.
A bonus feature of the above campaign is the gallery of selfies people new to the brand can view and see how many people love the product. Woobox makes adding a gallery to any photo contest super simple.
2. Hold a photo or video contest to get fans and followers to take a selfie photo or video at your place of business or talk about their experience with your service or product.
3. Offer a reward, coupon, or freebie in exchange for a selfie from your fans and followers. This provides social proof for your brand in exchange and shareable content in exchange for a small discount or freebie.
4. Hold a cause-related selfie campaign. Follow the same guidelines as campaign idea 1 in this section, but instead of a prize donate part of the campaign proceeds to a specific charity, or better yet, let your fans decide which charity.
5. Encourage your fans to share a video/photo about how social media has changed their life or business. This campaign is specific to Social Media Day and works for any business. You can make the campaign a contest for a free product, a prize, or if you have a large social following offer to share out and edify top fans on your platform.
6. Launch a trivia quiz on the history of social media. A quiz is a fun and proven way to drive engagement, and Woobox makes creating and designing a quiz incredibly fast and easy so that even the busiest marketer has the time to make one.
Marketing & Contest Ideas For July
Here are three diverse and positive holidays in July to consider running promotions around.
- July 4th is Independence Day (United States) #4thofJuly
- July 15th is Give Something Away Day #GiveSomethingAwayDay
- July 30th is International Day of Friendship #DayOfFriendship
If you are going to pick just one above, we highly recommend picking the most popular, Independence Day, especially if your audience is in the United States. Americans often get ready to spend big because they expect special deals, freebies, and fun contests. Here are some strategies and ideas for this month’s holidays.
1. Create a Pin-To-Win contest where fans and followers are entered to win a grand prize.
Create a selection of custom Pins for fans to choose from and re-pin on their Pinterest page to be entered into the contest. This is a great way to gain Pinterest followers and gain exposure. If you use this strategy for the 4th of July, make sure to focus on the colors red, white and blue, and make sure the photos highlight your product or service. You can create Pins such as:
- Themed recipes and meal ideas
- A perfect getaway
Here is a live example from a Woobox customer on what a Pin-To-Win contest would like.
This strategy also works perfectly for the other two holidays mentioned in this month, just swap the red, white and blue for your branded colors.
2. Hold a photo or video contest for fans to post with a friend using a custom hashtag for International Day of Friendship. Both the entrant and their friend would win a prize if chosen.
3. Create a free ebook or downloadable lead magnet. Give your fans a valuable piece of downloadable content that was specially created for Give Something Away Day.
4. Literally, give a small product item or a discounted price to your customers on Give Something Away Day. It’s really the only thing that makes sense on this day, as they will be expecting it.
Marketing & Contest Ideas For August
August has a variety of holidays, that includes two very popular demographics for an array of brands.
- August 12th is International Youth Day #YouthDay
- August 19th is World Photo Day #WorldPhotoDay
- August 26th is National Women’s Equality Day #WomensEqualityDay
Moving forward in campaign ideas and strategies, keep in mind previous strategies mentioned as many that we have already discussed can apply directly the following and upcoming holidays.
1. Hold a photo contest for fans and followers to tell a story. World Photo Day was launched by Korske Ara, a young photographer in Canberra, Australia. He was passionate about connecting people and telling their stories to inspire positive change in the world. To continue the holiday’s roots, hold a contest for fans to tell a personal story, and, as a bonus, include how your product or service has made their story even better.
2. Hold a video or sweepstakes contest on Facebook for kids up to 18 years old and their parents can enter to win things like scholarships, money to cover their college books, or anything valuable to their future.
3. Create campaigns that speak to your brand’s core beliefs. P&G is a prime example of creating a campaign for International Women’s Day as a platform to share their commitment to equality. They launched a viral #WomenNotObjects campaign using powerful, emotional statements like “Equations don’t care who solve them,” “Tears don’t care who cry them” and “Households don’t care who run them”.
4. Launch a trivia quiz on the history for any of the above holidays. For example, “Famous Females Through History”, or “Kids Who Changed The World” could be on brand, highly clickable quiz campaigns to generate leads and brand engagement.
Marketing & Contest Ideas For September
Before we hop into holiday campaigns for September, it’s important to state that if you haven’t prepared for your Christmas and New Year’s campaigns, this is the time you want to solidify he messaging and visuals. Christmas marketing can start as early as September, and should definitely be running by October. Now that we’ve covered that important detail, September holiday’s include:
- September 3rd is Labor Day #LaborDay
- September 6th is Read a Book Day #ReadABookDay
- September 21st is International Day of Peace #PeaceDay
- September 30th is International Podcast Day #InternationalPodcastDay
Here are some campaign ideas for the month.
1. Reuse ideas from previous campaign ideas mentioned above. Don’t forget to reuse ideas we’ve already mentioned.
2. Content personalization is key for all campaigns, but especially on Labor Day. On Labor Day your customers will be inundated with emails, retargeting ads, push notifications, and contests and promotions. Having your message stand out from the holiday clutter is key to getting through your customers. Make sure that you aren’t creating generic messaging, and utilize those audience insights to offer contests and deals that will grab their attention.
3. Have your fans share their favorite book or re-pin their favorite book from a curated choice of books from your Pinterest channel.
4. If your brand has a podcast, share it out on International Podcast Day and offer fans an entry to a sweepstakes from naming something particular in the episode. Another bonus lead magnet you can add in this kind of contest is shouting out a free resource in the podcast episode listeners can download in exchange for their emails.
5. Run a “make peace with someone you need to” campaign, having fans post a photo or video coming to an agreement with someone else, or with themselves. This is a hearts and minds, good feeling kind of campaign that is often highly shareable.
Marketing & Contest Ideas For October
October has an incredibly diverse list of holiday themes and topics.
- October 1st is International Day of Older Persons #UNDOP
- October 1st is International Coffee Day #InternationalCoffeeDay
- October 4th is World Animal Day #WorldAnimalDay
- October 10th is World Mental Health Day #WorldMentalHeathDay
- October 31st Halloween #Halloween
For this month, pick a holiday that makes the most sense for your brand and product or service. Alternatively, you can use this month to highlight a company core value or brand personality. There are so many great options this month, let’s go through some of the campaign ideas.
1. Think about how you can creatively pair coffee with your brand. International Coffee Day is clearly a priority if you sell coffee or the ingredients or machines that make it as your main product offering. Brand who do not sell coffee can participate too in creative ways. Your brand can use Pinterest to showcase the top coffee drinks of the year, showcase a “healthier” option if your brand is fitness and wellness related, talk about how well your product pairs with coffee, or even use the holiday as an educational opportunity. The sky is the limit, but remember, if at all possible, remember that if you offer free coffee at your retail locations, people will show up.
2. Tug hearts by having your fans share a personal story. Whether they are struggling with depression, anxiety, or another mental health condition, your brand can speak volumes by having fans share their stories or loved one’s stories about mental health. You can also use this opportunity to flip the script and share a video about how your company is committed to upholding a mentally healthy workplace and take care of the people who work there.
3. Pick an animal that represents your brand or brand personality, and hold a social good campaign. Let your fans know that if they make a purchase on world animal day a percentage will be donated to an animal in need.
4. Hold a poll or quiz about endangered species or animal favorites (cats and dogs). Whether it’s a trivia quiz or finding out what endangered species is your spirit animal, this type of campaign is sure to drive engagement.
5. Have fun with your visual content. Some fun and easy ideas for Halloween content:
- Go wild with Halloween puns on Twitter
- Pick a color or theme that’s Halloween related
- Create spooky and clever images and post one every day
- Add Halloween effects to shots of your products or create a special Halloween themed product shoot
6. Offer a great seasonal discount. This can be an all-out sale, a small discount on shipping, or a holiday-themed freebie with every purchase.
7. Run a campaign around asking someone older for advice and have your fans share the story via photo or video. The type of heartfelt content is the kind to viral, and to sweeten the deal, you can offer a gift to the top 5 submissions and an extra gift for each of the older people they asked advice from.
Marketing & Contest Ideas For November
The following holidays are not too much of a surprise, but present different opportunities and tons of traffic.
- November 13th is World Kindness Day #WKD
- November 22nd is Thanksgiving Day #Thanksgiving
- November 23rd is Black Friday #BlackFriday
- November 26th is Cyber Monday #CyberMonday
For November, especially if you have a U.S based audience, you are going to want to put most of your campaign efforts into Thanksgiving and its infamous counterpart, Black Friday (and more recently added Cyber Monday). If you have the extra bandwidth though, World Kindness Day is a really fun, uplifting campaign that can help brands communicate their core values.
1. Suggest the total opposite of what’s expected for the holiday. Last year, outdoor clothing and gear company REI, made a large impact closing the doors to its retail locations, headquarters, and distribution centers on Black Friday. Their campaign was so powerful it’s now become a movement using the hashtag #OptOutside to encourage a more appealing alternative to long lines, angry shoppers, and chaos.
2. As we’ve already mentioned, use rewards, discount coupons, and deals. Especially for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
3. Create a social good campaign. Ask your customers to capture an act of kindness in a photo or video and share using a custom hashtag to be entered into a sweepstakes. Alternatively, ask your customers to buy your product or service on World Kindness Day and give a percentage of all sales that day to a charity of their choosing. You can post a poll on your Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram pages to have your fans vote on what charity they would like to give back to.
4. Hold a “What are you thankful for” video campaign for Thanksgiving. Have fans upload a video talking about what they are most grateful for, and share your favorites on your page Thanksgiving Day.
Marketing & Contest Ideas For December
Again, the following holidays should be no surprise.
- December 25th is Christmas #ChristmasCountDown #Christmas2019
- December 31st is New Year’s Eve #NYE
Let’s face it, between the Christmas madness and New Year’s Eve specials, these are the only two holiday campaigns you should be focused on in December (unless you have a niche product or service for a separate holiday during this time). Let’s get into the final round of the campaign ideas and strategies.
1. Please make sure that you plan your Christmas and New Year campaigns 3 months prior. Here’s the thing. If you are starting your campaign promotions in December, you are way too late. With early shoppers and late shoppers, you will want to make sure your campaign is running and targeting these potential customers starting as early as after Labor Day.
2. Create a holiday gift guide geared towards your target audience. You can utilize Pinterest, and have a download guide version that can serve as a lead capture.
3. Create a contest or giveaway with a holiday incentive and theme. If you sell products, hold a 12 days of Christmas giveaway, with a different prize each day. If you are a travel company or in the space give a free vacation for the entire family or cover travel or lodging as a grand prize.
4. Create a challenge that kickstarts people’s New Year Resolutions. Promote a challenge to your audience to participate in with the chance to win a grand prize for however many participants you want. The challenge should relate to your business and common New Year resolutions. Have fans participate by capturing each daily challenge with a photo or video and posting to their social page using a custom hashtag to keep track.
5. Create fun video content, on theme, for the holiday. Video still remains the most shareable form of content. Include some humor like Dollar Shave Club, make fun content like Lagavulin, or tap into emotions and make something memorable. This type of strategy and end goal will be more influential and has a much higher chance of going viral during the holiday season when everyone is sharing.