Written By: David Murdico
During holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, New Years, Festivus and the Super Bowl, marketers have a unique opportunity to combine consumers’ natural need to find and share holiday-themed online content with their need to buy drinks for parties and events. Create that content, and let your beverage brand and products be the life of the party.
Determine the message
All good digital marketing starts with the message. Who are we targeting and what are we trying to tell them? What are we promoting? What do we want consumers to do about it? Are we launching a new drink? Is there a special holiday sale? A limited time offer? A mysterious message under the cap that leads to an online scavenger hunt with cool prizes? These are the questions you have to ask first. This message is what will drive the call-to-action and sales.
How do we get consumers to share the message?
A recent study from the Harvard Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Lab concluded that sharing content stimulates the nucleus accumbens, the part of the brain linked to rewards, pleasure, addiction, sex and food. Develop interactive content that gives fans opportunities to share information about themselves.
Another tactic is to offer prizes through Facebook contests and frequent giveaways through Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest. Create holiday-themed, funny, edgy content that people will want to share because they feel it represents their own sensibilities. We all like to share a good joke, video or photo. When they jump off Facebook and head to the store, guess whose soda they’re buying?
How do you know what digital content will be funny, edgy and shareable?
People love to be entertained and generally don’t like to be marketed to. Strive to create entertaining content that has the message built in. The heavier you go on the message, the closer you come to advertising, and we all know how people on social networks feel about that. Go for unexpected and memorable. These elements will carry your message through the holidays and beyond.
For example, if you’re promoting the next amazing orange soda, make a video that has a guy juggling a Guinness-record number of orange sodas while riding an orange polar bear that’s surfing in a tide pool of orange soda. That will make people want to drink orange soda, go for polar bear rides, learn to surf or do all three. You can even partner up with a brand that makes polar bears and split the marketing costs.
Videos capture attention and are highly shareable. The natural curve of interest on any one video lasts about 2-4 weeks before tapering off. Interactive tactics like games and augmented reality are fun and allow consumers to not only spend lots of time exposed to the brand, but to share with friends. Social media contests and sweepstakes on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, plus smaller giveaways, will help drive action and quickly build your fan base.
Building a fan base for later
Use the holidays to jump-start your fan base. Not everyone will run into their nearest store and buy now, but they may buy later. If a holiday-themed social media campaign brings them to follow you now, you’ll be connected to them for future promotions and on a regular, day-to-day basis.
Call to action!
Always include a strong call-to-action or you’re wasting your time and money. Make it super easy for consumers to know what you want them to do. Do they have to go to their nearest 7-Eleven? Do they need to scan something in-store with their phone or iPad? Do you want them to vote for their favorite flavor online? Do you want them to twist the cap off a bottle, take a photo and upload it to Instagram?
The number of fans that do what you want them to do will become the first set of quantifiable measurements that will determine the success of your holiday campaign. The second measurement will be bottom line sales.
Leverage the holidays by considering your message carefully, making that message shareable through creative concepts and execution, and giving fans easy ways to do what you want them to do, and you’ll sell more product while continuing to build a loyal following.