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  • Writer's pictureTessa-May Marr

Holiday Campaigns We Sleighed

Updated: May 23

The months leading up to the holiday season are some of the busiest for marketers. And this year was no exception (for us anyway!). We work with a wide range of different brands and businesses, so we put together the right holiday campaigns for each of them, to suit their specific strategy and target market. Below, we’ll give you a little sneak peek behind the curtain to see what we did, and the results we saw.

12 Days of Giveaways

Giveaways are an ever popular (this year maybe more than ever!) and very effective way of building an audience and increasing engagement. We often get in on this game. Let’s take a look at some examples from this year.

One of our clients runs this giveaway series every year, so they're very large, very engaged, and very niche audience knows to expect and boy do they show up for it! They’re an e-commerce distributor, so they take this opportunity to feature some of their most popular items or brands through this giveaway. Here’s what we saw this year:

  • Their average engagement rate on Facebook during this period of giveaways was a mind-blowing 11.75%. (A benchmark for a strong engagement rate on Facebook is 0.09% according to this report from Rival IQ.)

  • Even better yet, their average engagement rate on Instagram during this period of giveaways was 20% (Rival IQ says 1.22% is considered strong). Whoa.

  • They also drove 1427 new followers during this time period.

  • One giveaway drove double our average participation, with over 5000 entries on one Instagram post alone.

We also decided to use this strategy for one of our newer clients, who had a much smaller audience to start with. This brand is a skin care distributor, so we gave away one product each day in an effort to appeal to current users (build more love and affinity there and have them re-share their big wins to their audience who we assume will be somewhat similar and will trust what they promote) and new users who haven’t yet tried our product line (great way to get them to fall in love and order more!). We also spent some time daily doing targeted outreach to relevant micro-influencers and others that fit their target market to alert them of the contests and drive them to our page. Here’s what we saw:

  • On both platforms, she got her brand in front of nearly 4000 people total, and drove 3x the amount of new followers than she normally would during that two week period.

  • Her numbers were a lot smaller than the previous client we mentioned of course, but based on her audience size, she drove an average of 9.5% engagement on Facebook and a whopping 20% on Instagram throughout these 12 days.

  • On our final giveaway, we saw a 48% engagement rate - and received 4x the number of entries we received on the first day!

  • A beauty blogger won one of the days (and not strategically - it was random!) and shared with her 7600 followers. We are now discussing an influencer partnership.

A third client participated in this strategy as well, but for this one, we partnered up with 12 other brands (some big, some small) who had a following that fit our target audience. Here’s what we saw:

  • A total reach of 19,800 - now that is a lot of eyes!

  • On Instagram, our average engagement rate during this period of time was over 20% and on our final day, our contest drove 669 entries!

  • We were also able to drive 411 new followers to their Instagram page with this, which represents nearly a 10% increase.

  • And we drove 1842 profile views during this period of time as well.

And we don’t always do 12 days! If that seems daunting, sometimes we focus on one big one and keep it open for multiple days or pick a number somewhere in between. There are a lot of ways to get creative with giveaways!

Paid Campaigns

‘Tis the season for shopping, and as marketers, we’re here to help drive those purchases through social media advertising. There are a number of ways you can do this effectively, so let’s look at some examples of what we did for clients this year.

For a large, established e-commerce company we work with, we took a three pronged approach with our paid spend… and you might be surprised by which approach won out as most effective. Here’s what we saw:

  • Email Acquisition: We have, for the last year actually, run an email acquisition campaign offering a chance to win a free bundle of items in exchange for an email address. This is all done automatically through the Lead Generation objective, and these emails load directly into our CRM so we can start email marketing to them. Pretty snazzy hey? We saw an CPR of around $0.30 with these efforts, and have driven over 35,000 emails this year.

  • Black Friday Cyber Monday Campaign: We knew this was when sales usually skyrocket, so we built a campaign to advertise our 15% discount to targeted audiences. We put a decent budget here of $4500, and were able to drive $130k in revenue with that, or a 28.87 ROAS (return on ad spend). Not bad right? But just wait….

  • Ongoing Conversions: We usually have an ad campaign running that is pretty generic, and features creative that talks about our FREE SHIPPING and the area of our site that sells discounted items, and it always does well, usually hitting about a 150 ROAS, with a CPR of about $8. Leading up to and during the holiday season, we ran this campaign (not during our BFCM sale) and drove $180k in revenue with $2500 spend, equating to a 73.63 ROAS.

facebook campaigns

Now, when we took a look back at how all these efforts came together, we were missing one piece of valuable information. How well did our email list convert? According to our client, “we saw historic results during BFCM. Our list building efforts have been over the moon this year.” So while that $130k looks nice, our ROAS is a lot higher than it usually is during our ongoing campaigns. That’s because there are more people participating in advertising during these peak seasons, so the cost goes up. So all in all, our list building efforts throughout the year made the biggest impact, along with the conversions we drive on an ongoing basis (with no discounts!). Great results and so much good learning for future. The key here: it’s a long game, not short, if you want the best results.

For a smaller business we work with, who sells subscription boxes, we took a holistic approach to the holiday campaign strategy as well. We ran a small promo for Thanksgiving, offering 3 free boxes to 3 different people. We ran ongoing email acquisition campaigns throughout October, November and into the first half of December so we could market to those folks via email. In addition to that, we ran ongoing holiday campaigns from just after Remembrance Day until mid December, with specific messaging around gifting these boxes. Here’s what we saw:

  • 1,639 e-mail leads at a CPR of $0.24

  • 182 conversions at a purchase value of over $15,000, with an ROAS of 5.44

We work with another e-commerce brand who decided not to run any sales or holiday discounts this year. For them, we continued running our retargeting campaigns (dynamic conversion ad), upping our budget from our usual $500 to $750 for the month. We usually expect to see higher costs with the holidays (more people running ads = more competition); however, we actually saw a $1.31 decrease in our CPR. Along with a decreased CPR, these are some of the other great results we saw:

  • $3.25 cost per purchase

  • 231 purchases = $29,911.55 in sales

  • ROAS: $39.88

  • Conversion of people who clicked our ads + purchased = 26.49% (872 clicks + 231 purchases)


Jouta Give Back Campaign

Our client who is a B2B HR consulting agency always does what they can to give back at this time of year. Generally they support local charities and their communities by donating their time and money, however, given the year that it’s been, they decided to do things a little differently. So this year, the theme was focused around supporting small, independent businesses, and in doing so, supporting local charities and community organizations. Each team member was given $150 to spend $50 at three independently owned businesses they would miss if they closed and then donate the goods locally.

We, as their social agency, decided to turn this campaign into video content to share their wonderful message to their online community. We decided to boost this post on Facebook with a $50 budget, which reached nearly 3,000 people and drove 37 link clicks.

Watch the short (but emotional!) video here!

post performance

Phew. That was a lot of data! I have to say, I am so proud of my incredible team for pulling off these exceptional campaigns with such impressive results. Our clients are super happy (and that’s saying a lot at the end of a year like 2020…) and as always, we’re learning more and more. We’re ready and raring to kick off this new year with new ideas, new clients and expect to see more great results.

If you want to set your business up for success next holiday season (or before - don’t wait!), get in touch with us. We’d love to talk and see if we can help.

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