The holidays are a vital time for marketers. Consumer spending increases, online activity increases, and acceptance of new brands and products increases.
In fact, a recent ShortStack.com study revealed that 50% more marketing campaigns are built during the holiday months (September to December) than any other time of year. In addition, ShortStack.com users, on average, see a 73% increase in lead generation during the holidays compared to non-holidays.
This case study is a testimony to those stats. Camp Chef, a manufacturer of camping stoves, dutch ovens and various types of outdoor cooking equipment, is a brand that runs promotions all year long. However, in 2014, their Holiday Calendar Giveaway was their most successful promotion ever, receiving 107% more entries than their usual promotions.
This success wasn’t by chance.
We’ve laid out the steps taken by Camp Chef that brought the company 13,780 entries in just 12 days.
Step #1: Pick a Goal
If you’ve read any of our other case studies, you’ll notice that each one starts with picking a goal. The goal is the backbone to any great Campaign, and whether you’re running a promotion in March or December, you need to define the top one or two things (three at most) that you want to achieve.
Here are some common goals we see among ShortStack.com users:
- Increase brand awareness.
- Promote a new product or service.
- Boost user engagement.
- Gather user feedback.
- Gather user content (photos, video, etc.).
- Develop brand advocates.
- Convert followers into leads.
- Convert followers into sales.
- Grow a social media presence.
Camp Chef’s goals were two pronged: Build their email list and increase engagement. They wanted to run a promotion that had fans coming back to their page and their Campaign time and time again.
Step #2: Pick the Right Holiday Strategy
Every marketing team has some form of a social media strategy they follow throughout the year. One component is promoting Campaigns across all social media platforms. However, holiday months are a whole different ball-game and often-times a business will adjust their strategy for a more successful holiday season.
Camp Chef’s busy seasons are Spring and Summer, but they also have a completely different marketing strategy during the holidays than any other time of year.
“During the non-holiday months we focus on product launch campaigns, when applicable, list gathering, and brand reinforcement. During the holiday months, our campaigns have more of a focus on social gatherings and smaller items that work great for gifts.” – Tom Broschinsky, Social Media Manager & Web Marketer, Camp Chef
In other words, Camp Chef’s campaigns change with the seasons. The holidays are technically the off season for Camp Chef, so they see this as the perfect time to promote their products as gifts rather than as a time to announce new launches or products. To accomplish this they used ShortStack’s Holiday Calendar Template.
Step #3: Don’t Get Caught Up in a Budget
Once September hits, the internet is flooded with holiday statistics: how much money will be spent, how many ad dollars will be spent, etc. Most businesses expect to need a large budget to run a successful holiday Campaign, however, Camp Chef’s budget was surprising.
“Our budget is very organic for promotions and campaigns. With our most recent (2014) holiday promotions, we spent almost no money. The campaign took care of getting the word out as well as coupling it with our email marketing efforts” – Tom Broschinsky, Social Media Manager & Web Marketer, Camp Chef
Camp Chef is practicing a basic marketing tenet: repetition. The more times their prospective customers see the company’s messaging — which includes their contests and giveaways, newsletters, social media posts, discount offers, advertising, etc. — the more likely people are to think of them first when they’re thinking about camping equipment.
Step #4: Pick the Right Outlet
Once your holiday marketing strategy is in place, you’ll have to decide the best outlet for your promotion. With ShortStack.com, you can choose to publish your campaign to Facebook, the web, or embed it on your website or blog. As Camp Chef discovered, there is value in publishing your campaign to multiple outlets in order to allow a bigger audience to enter your promotion.
“We published to Facebook and Web. I chose to publish to Facebook because, socially, that is where the vast majority of our audience is. And I went with web because I know that some of our user-base does not have Facebook accounts and in some cases, is “anti-Facebook.” This gave them a means to participate, and most importantly, on a mobile friendly site.” Tom Broschinsky, Social Media Manager & Web Marketer, Camp Chef
To promote their Facebook campaign, Camp Chef ran a variety of organic Facebook posts; fans who were not on Facebook were sent an email about the campaign.
At ShortStack.com we recommend that every business web publish their campaign. You can publish on Facebook as well, but there will always be potential entrants who are not active on Facebook and a web published campaign allows anyone to enter your promotion.
On average, Camp Chef runs between eight and ten promotions a year because they recognize the importance of nurturing customer relationships throughout the year. We asked Tom why he felt this promotion was more successful than previous ones, and here’s what he said:
The first thing that comes to mind was the copy we used. We asked people to do very specific things. On nearly any social platform, fans/followers often times won’t do anything unless you ask for it. This promotion certainly proved that.
Second, people had a reason to keep coming back to not only see what product was being given away that day but to enter that day. People could only enter once a day.
The last thing was the refer-a-friend option. Adding that gave people an incentive to invite their friends to enter, which increased engagement and visibility.
Total Entries over 12 days: 13,780
Total Views: 65,995
Average Views per Day: 2,129
Fan Growth: 886
Campaign Shares: 5,408
Total Posts: 24
Total Comments: 751
Total Likes: 2,456
Total Shares: 491
Lifetime Organic Impressions: 166,585