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8 Holiday Marketing Campaign Ideas for eCommerce

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The holiday season is the busiest shopping period of the year, and this year, it’s likely to be busier than ever, against the unpredictable backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

There’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and holiday shopping all taking place within a couple of months. That’s a lot of opportunities for retailers. In fact, the flurry of sales, deals, and festive cheer make it ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ for attracting new customers and rewarding existing ones. 

But, with so much competition, it can be difficult to stand out. 

This is why developing marketing campaigns that connect with shoppers and build trust is absolutely crucial if you want to make the most of the festive season. User-generated content (UGC) is one of the key ways you can do this. Not only does it share authentic content with potential shoppers, but it instills buyer confidence and generates a buzz around your brand. 

To help you out, I’ve rounded up some of the best holiday marketing campaign ideas – many of which incorporate UGC elements – so you can have a successful holiday season. 

1. Reward Your Best Customers With Early Access Deals

Who doesn’t like to feel special, right? 

Customers want to know that they’re your priority, and giving them exclusive offers is a great way to do that. You can quickly show existing shoppers that you value their custom more than ever by offering unique discounts and early-bird deals throughout the shopping season.

This first-buy excitement not only encourages purchases that may not have happened later in the season, but it can also result in multiple buys from your store. 

How to Reward Your Best Customers

  • Email Campaigns – create an email campaign to send to existing customers and subscribers with a healthy discount that’s only available to them
  • Shout On Social – shout about your VIP and early-bird discounts on social media to create a buzz before the holiday season officially starts
  • Reward Customers That Get Involved – as well as rewarding early-access customers, offer discounts and exclusive deals to customers that get involved by sharing their stories, photos, and reviews, too 

LoveLoft’s early-bird deal gives eager shoppers the chance to claim 50% off purchases. 

2. Offer Holiday Bundles to Increase Average Order Value

Everyone wants to get more for their money, and product bundles tap into this drive for value during the holiday season. By offering bundled products at discounted rates, you’ll increase the amount of sales you get and bump up your average order value (AOV). 

A lot of the time, an attractive bundle might give shoppers who are on the fence they nudge they need. 

How to Offer Holiday Bundles

  • Create Relevant Bundles – bundle together similar products and promote them across your website and on social media
  • Brag About Best Sellers – identify your best-selling products and pair them with complementary products to create an even better deal
  • Name Your Bundles – go one step further and name your bundles (you can even give them their own designated hashtag) to get people talking about them across social media  

3. Delight Customers With Relevant and Valuable Upsells

Just as bundles are great for increasing your AOV, so too are upsells. These are basically complementary products tacked on to an order, and are often related to the initial purchase in some way. 

The best part is that they’re presented to customers who are well and truly in buy-mode since they’ve made it all the way to checkout. 

Not only do upsells increase sales, but they also increase customer satisfaction because you’re giving customers what they need – like matching spoons for their egg cups or socks to go with a new pair of shoes. 

How to Delight Customers With Upsells

  • Free Gifts – offer customers a free gift if they upgrade their purchase (you can also offer another feature like free shipping if possible) 
  • Make It Relevant – give shoppers the chance to add relevant upsell items to their order at checkout (these might be items they may have forgotten or that are required to make their initial purchase work properly) 
  • Leverage the Entire Buying Cycle – upsells don’t have to be resigned to checkout. You can sprinkle promotions for similar products throughout the buying cycle to capture shoppers who are at different stages of the funnel 
mystery gift as holiday promo

Pura Vida Bracelets offer customers a free bonus bracelet with their order as well as free shipping. 

4. Run a Post-Holiday Campaign for Slow Shoppers

Not everyone is free to shop on Black Friday, and there are plenty of other reasons shoppers can’t make the most of deals on the day. This doesn’t mean they don’t want to buy from you, though. They might have been distracted, busy at work, or simply didn’t see your offer in time.

To capture these shoppers, many brands extend their Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday offers. This accommodates people who aren’t in impulse buying mode and instead need more time to warm up – especially if they’re new to your brand. 

By running a campaign targeting shoppers that “missed out”, you’ll build deeper relationships with new shoppers and make some last minute sales. 

Take it one step further too and incorporate social proof in the form of user generated photos, reviews, and stories. This will instill buyer confidence in shoppers that might be on the fence about making a purchase. 

How to Run a Post-Holiday Campaign

  • Extend Deals – extend your most popular deals longer than a day. This goes for Black Friday offers and Cyber Monday deals as well as any other discounts you have running during the holiday season
  • Remind Shoppers – send out emails to past customers who didn’t cash in on the discounts to encourage them to take advantage of them before they run out
  • Personalize Emails – send product recommendation emails to remain front-of-mind and increase the chance of shoppers making a purchase
  • Leverage Customer Experiences – use the experiences of shoppers who did buy on Black Friday to sell products to customers that didn’t. Share their photos, reviews, and stories across social channels and in emails to drive that all-important FOMO  

5. Promote a Different Deal Every Hour

Keep customers coming back by promoting a new deal or discount at regular intervals throughout key holiday shopping dates, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

This builds anticipation and will attract more customers as the day goes on – think of it as a snowball rolling down a hill, getting bigger and bigger as more consumers are made aware of your deals. 

As well as generating a buzz around your brand, you’ll also get more eyeballs on your entire product range as there’s a high chance customers will be interested in some products but not others. 

How to Promote a Different Deal Every Hour

  • Plan Ahead – planning ahead is key to make this work. Determine which discounts you’re going to promote each hour and create graphics and copy for each of them
  • Announce Everywhere – make sure you shout about your “deal of the hour” on your social channels, via email, and across your website
  • Create a Buzz – talk about your fresh deals in the lead up to each hour to build anticipation and get customer excited to buy 

AutoZone runs flash sales throughout Cyber Monday and has a large countdown timer on their site to build anticipation. 

6. Partner With Influencers

People love to buy from people they know and respect, so give yourself a helping hand during the holiday season. Bring well-known industry influencers on board to help promote your deals and create special discounts for their own audiences. 

Remember, shoppers invest in authenticity, and with so many discounts and deals promoted throughout the day from all sorts of different brands, it’s much more tempting for shoppers to buy from brands and influencers they know and trust already. 

Partnering with influencers also generates a buzz around your brand, since influencers tend to post a lot of their social channels in the lead up to Black Friday and other holiday shopping events. 

How to Partner With Influencers

  • Make Connections – start by identifying key influencers in your industry (they don’t have to have millions of followers. In fact, micro-influencers with 10,000 followers or less can be just as effective) and open up a conversation with them
  • Create a Special Offer – align your holiday deals with the influencer’s audience or create a special discount on a product that’s well-suited to their followers. The more you “personalize” your deals for the influencer, the better success you’ll have

Kopari Beauty teamed up with an influencer for a Black Friday sale on one of their product lines. 

7. Use UGC to Turn One-Time Buyers Into Loyal Customers

Speaking of influencers, the best influencers are those who buy and talk about your brand without requiring incentives. They create content about your product or service because they enjoy it and want to share those positive experiences with their friends and followers. 

This is called UGC.  

When you consider that shoppers prefer content from peers over brands themselves, it’s a no-brainer to incorporate it into your holiday campaigns. 

Collecting UGC and sharing it on Black Friday in tandem with your deals will increase trust and drive more sales. The holiday season also attracts a lot of one-time buyers, but the most successful ecommerce brands manage to turn these impulse buyers into long-term customers. 

You can do this too through authentic UGC and creating a community around your brand. This makes customers feel like they are a part of something and ensures they come back for more. 

How to Use UGC

  • Create a Hashtag – create a hashtag especially for the holidays or a specific holiday deal and encourage customers to share their photos, videos, and stories of your products
  • Re-Share – keep the buzz going by sharing relevant UGC across your social channels
  • Leverage UGC Across the Buying Journey – sprinkle UGC throughout the buying journey, including in product listings and in abandoned cart emails 

Paqui has created an entire challenge that centers around UGC. The landing page for their #onechipchallenge features videos and photos of customers taking the challenge. The brand utilizes TINT to collect and share UGC from their loyal customers. 

8. Add Social Proof to Ads

Running social ads will help you stand out against a sea of other brands during the busiest shopping season of the year. Instead of sharing brand-produced images alongside ad copy, weave in UGC and social proof to enhance their click-ability. 

Research shows that UGC-based ads generate 4x higher click-through rates than regular ads – tapping into the power of your customers is a no brainer. 

How to Add Social Proof to Ads:

  • Combine Photos and Reviews – create the ultimate conversion combo by sharing both user-generated photos and reviews in your social ads
  • Choose Your Platform Wisely – identify which social platform your ads will perform best on and use UGC that’s relevant to that platform 

Yandy.com regularly incorporates images shared by its customers and their star-rating reviews into social ads. 

Get Your Marketing Campaigns Holiday Ready

There’s not long left before the holidays, which means there’s no time like the present to start thinking about your marketing campaigns. Use some of the ideas we’ve mentioned here to build trust, generate sales, and turn one-time holiday shoppers into life-long customers. 

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Housebound Jordanian football fan a social media star

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Amer Abu Nawas was born with osteogenesis, or brittle bone disease, a genetic condition hindering normal bone growth that has meant he rarely leaves his home

Amer Abu Nawas was born with osteogenesis, or brittle bone disease, a genetic condition hindering normal bone growth that has meant he rarely leaves his home – Copyright AFP Khalil MAZRAAWI

Kamal Taha

Having spent most of his life housebound due to a medical condition, Jordanian Amer Abu Nawas’s love of football has propelled him to social media stardom.

Offering analysis of matches from the leading European football leagues to almost a quarter of a million followers, his Facebook page — “HouseAnalyzer” in Arabic — has grown into what he describes as a “big family”.

The 27-year-old was born with osteogenesis, or brittle bone disease, a genetic condition hindering normal bone growth that has meant he rarely leaves his home in Zarqa, 30 kilometres (18 miles) from Jordan’s capital Amman.

“It is true that I have never played football in my life, and have never attended any match, but for me football is everything,” Abu Nawas told AFP.

With no schools in the country catering to his needs, Abu Nawas grew up spending much of his time watching football matches, analysing the teams and playing football video games.

“This always made me feel like it is taking me from this world to a different one,” he said.

His relatives noticed his passion and encouraged him to publish his match analyses online.

In 2017, he launched his Facebook account, which now counts more than 243,000 followers.

– ‘Reach people’ –

Filmed on a phone in his bedroom, Abu Nawas’s videos usually feature him wearing a football jersey, excitedly commenting on matches and news from the world of football.

Discussing leagues from England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, he sometimes uses a football pitch-shaped board to explain tactical nuances.

One of Abu Nawas’s latest videos reached more than 1.4 million viewers and he has started posting on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram and Twitter.

He said he was grateful for modern technology allowing him to connect with so many people.

“From this room, from this small place isolated from the world, I was able to cross these walls, reach people, communicate with them, create content, and become what I am today,” he said.

He expressed sadness at sometimes seeing people attack each other in comments to his posts, and said his relationship with his followers was “like a family”.

“This family is growing day by day, and I hope it will reach as many followers as possible,” he added.

Abu Nawas’s own family do their best to provide him with a comfortable life.

He is the youngest of three brothers and his father is a doctor and his mother a pharmacist.

Inside his room are shelves with a PlayStation, a computer and plastic baskets keeping items he might need.

On his bed are phones, remote controls, headphones and a long stick used to reach distant items.

– ‘Not an obstacle’ –

“He has his own world, in a room with a temperature of 27 degrees to avoid cold and pneumonia. He can operate anything using the remote control,” his father Yussef told AFP.

He said his son has friends who occasionally visit.

“When he feels bad, they take him out for a tour in a minibus,” he said.

Abu Nawas lamented that in Jordan “nobody cares” about people with diseases like his, and said he wished he had had the opportunity to attend school.

“The conditions for people with special needs are catastrophic,” he said.

“I could not learn because there are no special schools for people like me.”

Last year, the organisers of the football World Cup invited him to attend the tournament in Qatar.

But due to travel difficulties linked to his condition, he arrived late and missed the matches he was scheduled to attend.

Even so, Abu Nawas said it was “the best 10 days of my life”.

“I know my condition, I learned to be content, and I will remain so,” he said.

“Disability need not be an obstacle to success.”

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Stand Out in a Crowded Market By Focusing on Organic Growth

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Stand Out in a Crowded Market By Focusing on Organic Growth

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

My partner and I have seen the power of organic growth, even in a significantly competitive market like fashion. Our company, named BJ Positive Wear, was able to create something captivating to our customers within the last two years. I saw a complete transformation of our business in that time, all due to organic growth and the philosophies that we used to succeed.

Even though we had no idea what to expect, we decided from the very start to go in with organic growth being the ultimate goal. We did not benefit from outside help, so we chose to do this. We knew it would take longer, but in the end, every action brought us one step closer to where we are today.

I believe everybody could benefit from focusing on organic growth in a competitive market. If you’re unsure where to start, I will share with you what we did to achieve our success today.

Related: How Thinking Like a Designer Can Unlock Organic Growth

Why organic growth matters

You might not think much of it, but organic growth is the ultimate powerhouse for success. Organic growth is an important area of focus because it encompasses various areas of outreach and focuses on genuinely connecting with the audience you want to reach with your business.

Back in the days before the internet, organic growth was increasingly difficult. People had to do traditional marketing, create posters, billboards and more. Today, my partner goes on social media and shares content.

Social media has so much power, and many people I see and talk to in the business world don’t even grasp the full potential of it. For our firm, social media was what ultimately made us powerful and gave us the organic growth we wanted. You can have the same, and it comes with a few specific steps that we took as we embarked on our journey to success.

Create conversation

One of the essential tips is to create conversation. Organic growth is about engaging with the audience and making them feel a part of what you are doing. Your customer is the ultimate source of direction as a business. Even if you start with an idea for a specific product, you need to listen to the customer and see if what you have to offer is going to benefit them or not.

Create these conversations, and focus on what they say. Even if it is entirely different than what you might have expected, your customer is the ultimate tool for you to spearhead any decision to allow you to further expand and experience growth as a business.

Present value and transparency

Transparency is one of the most valuable tools in any business. If you want to succeed and capture any audience demographic’s attention, you need clarity in your messaging. You must lay out the value for your specific product or service to the audience. Customers like honesty. This is something that I have come to appreciate as a co-founder.

People want to hear exactly what you have to offer. So, don’t leave a mystery. Instead, present your value and be transparent in your messaging. This is what ultimately creates organic growth, but it also leads to another essential aspect of how we were able to achieve our success.

Related: How Transparency In Business Leads to Customer Growth and Loyalty

Differentiate and remain competitive

One of the ultimate tools people often do not tap into is the potential for every social media user today to understand their competition. Everything is publicly available, and there are no surprises. If you find yourself in a position where you are genuinely struggling to remain competitive, point out where you think you can defeat your competition.

When we were focusing on creating our clothing business, we wanted to create something meaningful. Additionally, we wanted to create something that would ultimately stand out compared with every other company we’d seen in the industry. This eventually led me to differentiate and focus on innovating what was already in our market. If you want to succeed, take it from us: You need to determine and figure out what your competitor offers that you can beat and defeat.

Organic growth accelerates when you become a creator

Organic growth is ultimately the most meaningful because it allows you to create conversation and value while remaining competitive with your competition. But there’s something else that many people often forget.

There are multiple kinds of organic growth facilitators in this world. Some people stick to diversification, while others focus on offering something of value that is a necessary product to people. Finally, some people, like our business and myself, become creators.

Why creators stand out and defeat the competition

You can choose any path you’d like to accelerate organic growth, but ultimately, I see the most value in becoming a creator. As a creator, our business built something that truly did stand out compared to other competitors. We focused on innovation first, then differentiated and ensured that there would be immense value offered in whatever we did in the industry. As a startup, I can offer you so much advice, but this is ultimately one of the most important: If you want to see success, inspire people, and become a creator of your own.

You have the power to create value

Creators are essential and stand out because we build value with our products. We value each service we offer, and new business models will be created. We create a massive following and see our company take off in ways we never thought possible. Organic growth accelerates when you are a creator, and this is because you find a way to inspire people.

Be an underdog and stand out

People like a success story. Everybody wants to root for the underdog, and quite honestly, my business was the underdog, but we were also extreme innovators in what we were able to do. If you want to see success in the industry you are part of, then I urge you to consider what you can create to stand out.

Related: 4 Surprisingly Simple Ways To Stand Out From Your Competition

Revisit your ideas and improve them

If you have already begun a product, differentiate yourself and re-envision what you’ve already done. I guarantee you that when you think of something impactful and creative, others will see it and flock to you and your business. They will believe in your mission and see you as inspirational.

Focus your success on your organic growth

No matter your path, you need to consider certain factors if you are a startup. Remaining competitive and finding a way to differentiate yourself honestly is the ultimate goal of organic growth.

For us, especially with how significantly our business grew in such a short time, we don’t owe anybody anything, and it’s a risk we took. We chose to put everything into creating something nobody had ever done, and even in the end, it was far more tiring and more prolonged than we ever envisioned. Still, I promise you that the journey will be worth it in the end.

Hopefully, I provided you with the insight and inspiration needed to take that leap and take a risk. No matter what business you run, I hope you present something nobody has ever seen before, but also attempt to inspire people to follow you, no matter where your journey takes you.



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Elon Musk Says That Twitter Will Continue to Offer Free API Access to Good Bot Accounts

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Twitter’s Cancelling Free Access to its API, Which Will Shut Down Hundreds of Apps

It’s honestly difficult to make any assessment of Elon Musk’s time in charge of Twitter as yet, because while he has made some bad decisions, he’s also reversed course on most of them, and while he continues to try things that seemingly have no chance of working out, he’s also not taking past precedent as definitive.

Which is maybe a good thing?

In the latest example of Musk’s shoot first, ask questions later management style, Elon has seemingly reversed the unpopular decision to charge for all usage of Twitter’s API, at least in some applications

As per Elon’s tweet, Twitter will continue to allow ‘bots providing good content’ to access Twitter’s API for free, which looked set to be one of the key losses of Twitter’s recent decision to paywall all API access.

Though much of the angst in this case came down to poor communication – last week, Twitter announced that, starting February 9th, it would be cutting off free access to its API, which is the key connector that many third party apps and Twitter’s bots use to function.

That triggered a strong response from the developer community, though a day later, Elon further explained that:

This wasn’t an official announcement, nor was it communicated via the Twitter Developers account. This was Elon, in an exchange with another user, randomly providing valuable context that would have avoided much of the angst and concern that came with the original Twitter Dev statement.

Now, the bigger question is whether $100 is any disincentive to spammers, who likely make way more than that from bot activity. But regardless, $100 is likely affordable for most of the third-party apps which looked set to lose the most from this update in policy, so it’s actually nowhere near as bad as the first announcement seemed.

It’s just bad communication, and given that Twitter no longer has a comms department, that makes sense.

But it’s also the perfect microcosm of the Elon experience, which he both benefits and suffers from, though maybe not in equal measure.

The key thing to note is that Elon loves attention. His one undisputable skill is that he knows how to make headlines, how to get people looking his way, which is why his main money maker, Tesla, has never needed a comms department either. They just let Elon say whatever he likes, good or bad, and the press comes running – and in this respect, you can see how his approach to such announcements at Twitter actually helps them get wider coverage and awareness, as opposed to them being outlined through regular channels.

But is that a good thing? Getting the developer community offside seems like unnecessary collateral damage, while the negativity this creates also seems less conducive to functional working arrangements with external partners and suppliers.

It seems like that could be harmful for his companies, long term – but then again, the more transparent nature of such, and his willingness to change course in a responsive way, could also be beneficial. Maybe?

Essentially, what we’re getting with Twitter 2.0 is a window into Elon Musk’s ‘hardcore’ management style, which is not entirely reliant on internal debate and decision-making, and also takes into account audience response, and factors that into its process.

Which is actually, probably, better, at least in some ways. I mean, Twitter, in times past, took months, even years to gain any traction on updates, before rolling them out, then it was forced to stick with them, even if they were unpopular, due to the amount of time invested.

With 70% fewer staff, Musk doesn’t have that luxury, but he has repeatedly shown a willingness to listen to the case for and against each update, and shift tack accordingly.

So while he has made some bad decisions, and will continue to do so, Twitter is moving fast. It’s breaking things too, but it’s still running, and Musk seems confident that he can convert it into a revenue positive business sometime soon.

And now, your weather bots, your system updates, your automated accounts that let you know what you want via tweet, will continue to operate. Unless Elon changes his mind again.



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