The holiday season is upon us, and your customers are already searching for the perfect gift. Many small business owners are unaware that 60% of Americans begin their holiday shopping in the fall, with about 40% starting before Halloween each year.
That means four out of ten potential customers are currently investigating and weighing their options on the latest fashion trends and tech gadgets. They want to learn about new products and services by watching YouTube videos, reading blog posts, and snooping on social media.
Competing for attention during the busiest time of year sounds daunting and, sometimes, impossible. How do you stand out from the crowd, let alone compete against the big dogs?
If you're looking to reach and engage your customers this holiday season, visual content is the way to go. An effective visual communication strategy starts with creating visual instructions that will help your audience connect with the message you are conveying. Utilizing different types of visual content such as videos, GIFs, and images can be an effective way to entertain, educate and engage users. Taking some extra time to craft visuals can be essential for a successful outreach campaign.
Additionally, if you need inspiration for visual content ideas try experimenting with typography in your designs or playing around with visual effects. This is a great way to ensure that your visual communications stand out from those of other brands, tapping into consumer emotions and forming stronger connections.
The key is to take a page out of their book and double down on your visual content for the holiday season. Create visually appealing images and videos that instantly capture their attention and are so enticing that they can't look away. This post will share seven ways to step up your content game with examples from the most successful holiday campaigns.
Are you ready to boost your sales this holiday season? Let's dive in.
1. Use the power of color
Color plays a vital role in our lives. It's typically one of the first things we notice, and it can make or break an image. Use the power of color to help you focus attention on what matters most, create a mood or emotion in your audience, and set a hierarchy.
While there's no single rulebook on how to use color effectively (and some pitfalls), here are some tips:
- Contrasting colors like red and green will help make your content stand out during this holiday season.
- Create a hierarchy in your visual content by making one area brighter than others.
- Consider the impact of color psychology during the design process.
Olipop is a healthy soda brand that crushes the Instagram game with custom images galore.
In this example, they use a yellow gradient background to create a focal point surrounding the new limited-edition seasonal flavor (Crisp Apple).
This design choice also emulates that the can is breaking free from the apple's core. In other words, the perfect way to stand out on a crowded social feed. When you see this on your Instagram, it generates a double-take.
2. Incorporate typography
The holiday season is perfect for experimenting with new and exciting fonts.
You can start with a font matching your brand's personality and only change the color or spacing. Or you may be feeling daring and want to try something new with an eye-catching display font.
Either way, don't be afraid to play around with your typefaces. Make sure you mix it up so that all of your content looks different, and it should always be easy to read in both small and large font sizes.
The drink market is full of brand innovators. Take Recess, for example. With the help of a collage maker and photo editor, they turned an ordinary stock photo of a bedroom into a compelling Instagram photo about self-care.
Notice how they added text to the image. It's easy to read and stands out, thanks to the royal blue font.
According to a poll by Preview, 65% of Instagram users only sometimes read captions.
Adding some typography to your images helps give additional context to your photo. If someone who's aimlessly scrolling through their Instagram feed sees this post, they can quickly identify it as a self-care giveaway without reading the caption.
And who doesn't want to participate in a free giveaway? It's the perfect strategy to boost engagement this holiday season.
3. Spruce up your landing pages
Email marketing is always a surefire way to generate leads and returns an average of $36 for every $1 you spend.
But there's one caveat. Email campaigns are a great way to reach a broad audience, but only some readers will convert after they click on your CTA.
Your landing pages are crucial for converting leads into sales, so it's time to spruce them up this holiday season.
Time is of the essence when building your holiday landing pages. Especially if the landing page is new — it'll take time for Google to index it.
Start by creating a compelling seasonal copy. If writing isn't your strong suit, consider using content writing services to speed up the process and save time battling writer's block.
Once your copy is squared away, ensure a clear call-to-action is visible above the fold. Your CTA should be short, simple, and functional (or else people will leave immediately).
Take this example from West Elm, where they include the "shop now" CTA at the top of their holiday decor landing page.
They also use a festive image as the background with a simple text overlay. It's clean and inviting.
4. Experiment with new formats
While more traditional methods of visual content are still going strong, think outside the box and explore other mediums for your holiday marketing.
Use virtual and augmented reality tools to take your visual content to the next level.
These tools have revolutionized real estate web design in a very innovative way over the last five years.
Virtual tools and home staging are booming in this industry, as they help show listing properties to Home buyers without breaking the bank.
Amazon is also jumping onto the virtual trend bandwagon, where consumers can virtually "try on" shoes in their homes using a smartphone camera.
Don't underestimate the power of a live stream. Live videos are more engaging than recorded ones, keeping viewers' attention for 10 to 20x longer.
NICKMERCS, one of the leading Twitch streamers, is known for drawing in a massive audience throughout the year. His viewers watch his streams for more than eight hours per day.
And when the holidays roll around, he steps it up a notch by offering giveaways for his loyal subscribers.
For example, in 2021, he gave away $300,000 in gaming gifts, from headsets to controllers and even popular downloadable content for top games like the Harley Quinn Fortnite skin.
Of course, you don't have to run a $300,000 giveaway to leverage the power of live steam.
The key is adapting to changing consumer demands, with Vimeo projecting that 90 million subscribers will use live streaming by 2024.
Take advantage of social media platforms like TikTok to create engaging content that'll get people talking about the holidays.
TikTok is the place to go this holiday season for gift ideas and holiday outfit inspiration. Try your shot at publishing gift guides or other seasonal content.
There's no need to worry about how many followers you have or how much content you've published in the past. TikTok's algorithm will connect you with viewers likely to engage and convert.
5. Focus on storytelling
It doesn't matter what you sell — you can use storytelling to connect with your audience and build trust.
If you sell satellite TV packages, take advantage of the fact that it's a time of year when families gather and watch Christmas movies together. Channel this feeling of family and togetherness around the holidays into your marketing content (pun intended).
For instance, DISH TV pulls at viewers' heartstrings with an image of a father and son watching a movie together and eating popcorn in a fort under holiday lights.
You can also use videos on your social media channels to provide stories with additional background details.
For example, HelloRache made a video for the Christmas season showing the hard work of their virtual administrative assistants throughout the year. But during the holiday season, the most important thing is family and spending time with them instead of working.
These stories are fun for consumers because they help them feel connected to their favorite brands. The more relatable and engaging your content is, the better chance it has of going viral.
6. Leverage user-generated content
With so many people taking to social media to share their holiday experiences, it's a great time to get your brand involved in the conversation.
Here are some ideas to incorporate user-generated content (UGC) into your holiday marketing efforts:
- Collect UGC from customers who have recently visited your store or interacted with your brand on social media.
- Ask for permission from your customers to repost photos of their experiences with your product or service, then share these photos with other Instagram users by tagging them in the caption.
Starbucks is the king of holiday content on social media. They use a combination of professional holiday product photos sprinkled with user-generated content.
User-generated content is authentic — it's real people talking about or showing their experiences with your brand rather than you trying to sell something through advertising.
And let's face it: if you're trying too hard to sell something, the customer can tell. So instead, let your customers do the selling for you by allowing them to create content on their terms.
7. Incorporate festive product photos
Add a red background or snowflake graphics to make your holiday products stand out on your website this holiday season.
Small details matter — adding holiday flair to your product photos can boost engagement and sales.
This holiday mega bundle from Kylie Cosmetics is the perfect example.
The custom cosmetic boxes company sells many other makeup bundles online, but this is the only one sold out.
People love the holidays and will typically gravitate towards holiday images over your standard product photos.
Don't be a scrooge this holiday season — spread some cheer by adding festive images to your landing pages, product pages, and social media channels.
Whether you're looking to create something new or spruce up an old favorite, there are lots of ways you can take your visuals to the next level.
The holiday season is a great time to experiment with your visual content using color, typography, or a new format.
Time is of the essence. Don't wait too long to start the design process. The more, the merrier this holiday season!
About the Author
Kelly Moser is the co-founder and editor at Home & Jet, a digital magazine for the modern era. She's also an expert in freelance writing and content marketing for SaaS, Fintech, and eCommerce startups.