The Holiday Planning Guide: Engaging Your Loyal Consumers

You’ve had your budget and plan in place since July, but you’re missing that extra “wow” factor. Thanksgiving is over, and you may be thinking that you’re running out of time, but don’t panic. We have some easy, effective ways to jumpstart your campaigns as you approach the busiest season of the year.

In the coming series, we explore ways to increase your authenticity across:

  • In-store activations
  • Your web and mobile properties
  • How to encourage employee engagement
  • How to tap into holiday trends

These are all things that can be set up quicky, easily managed, and sure to offer a return on investment.

Let’s start with a story. Recently, I was looking to rent a dress for an event. The first thing I do with every dress I am interested in is look at the photos of real people and read their reviews. Every single one. The site does a great job of showing models of all different sizes, shapes, and ethnicities, but even still they’re models. They’re professionally made up, stylied, well-lit, and only wearing the dress around the studio. Seeing real people, perhaps at the end of the night, you can see how the dress wears. It helps to show how the average person styles the dress, what shoes they picked, and how it fits on someone not in a professional setting.

Consumers want to hear from people, not your brand

I’m not alone in looking to “real people” for an authentic take on a product. Up to 85% of consumers say they are more likely to believe a recommendation from a friend, family member or even influencer than a straight branded message. Twitter, Manga, and IPG Media Labs conducted a study and found:

In terms of creative performance, we partnered with Magna and IPG Media Lab on a Twitter-sponsored study that showed that Twitter users spend 24% more time with ads that come from Creators, as opposed to those posted directly by brands. Recall of branded creator posts also leads to 41% increased purchase intent reinforcing the value of audience-first content.

How can you as a brand tap into that?

Take advantage of increased site traffic

Especially around the holidays, an increased number of consumers will be coming to your web and mobile properties. Between 2017 and 2018, online shopping increased 23.6% on Black Friday and another 19% jump on Cyber Monday. Take this opportunity to create a digital look-book highlighting real users and how they interact with your products. It could be something as elaborate as a fully immersive online catalogue; to something as simple as a branded photo reel on your website.

This is an easy way to build trust, display authenticity, and encourage engagement from loyal customers. The display you create can then be shown in-store, digital billboards, and also copied into web and mobile properties. Once you have content created, share it across all your owned channels to build a cohesive story. Highlight real customers everywhere your customers could find you.

In addition to showing real users, customers are also on the hunt for a deal. The 2019 Sprout Social Index showed that 38% of social media users interact with brands simply to be notified of sales and promotions. You can showcase deals interspersed with user sourced content to encourage customers to come to your brick and mortar locations. Encourage them to tweet in for 15% off a particular product using a branded hashtag; or host a contest. This will not only get more content for you to choose from for you overall display; it leads to higher conversions.


You can also build anticipation with a branded countdown timer. Countdown the days or hours to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or a secret sale. Imagine scrolling through Instagram and seeing a QR code that unlocked exclusive benefits at your favorite store for a secret sale? You’d probably stop and pay attention. What about tweeting your favorite outfit to your favorite brand hoping they see you? Now imagine you walk into the store to buy Christmas presents and see YOUR face on the digital billboard! Customers love to feel special and seen. It’s the two-way communication that helps build trust.

These are all easy steps that can be taken to encourage engagement among your loyal consumers. But holiday involvement shouldn’t all be about gifts and making it back into black. In our next installment of the holiday planning guide, we will look at ways to get your employees involved and how giving days can be made every bigger!