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The Complete Guide to Instagram Advertising for the Holidays

With the holiday festivities fast approaching, having a clear and strategic Instagram advertising strategy is essential in order to appeal to your target customers and draw in potential consumersMany businesses are not utilising Instagram and its various features to their full potential. particularly as Instagram ads reach almost 30% of internet users. 
Instead, businesses are making easy mistakes when it comes to holiday social media advertisingThat is why in this guide, we are walking you through the essential elements of Instagram advertising for the holiday seasonwhether its for Christmas or for getting an early start for the 2023 holiday seasons like Valentine’s day

Instagram in 2022 

Instagram is one of the top social media platforms used worldwide. It boasts a user base of over 1.5 billion users and squashing any doubts about its sustained popularity in 2022. More than half of global Instagram users are aged 34 years or younger, with 62.2% of all users aged 18-34 years old. Men account for 51.6% of Instagram users
For businesses, Instagram has become a platform which can host all elements of the customer journeyNotably92% of users say they’ve acted in the moment after seeing a product on the platform. A further 50% of users have clicked through to a brand’s website after viewing a brand’s stories. 
When it comes to marketing,  businesses can pay to serve advertising posts to Instagram usersSimilar to other platforms, Instagram ads appear throughout the app on users’ feeds, Stories, Explore, and more. This includes a ‘sponsored’ label to indicate they are an advertisement. These posts also have additional features, such as links, CTA functions, and product catalogues for users to view

5 essential elements to have in place for the season

As a visual-first platform, Instagram is the perfect platform to showcase products and services in captivating and engaging formatsFrom images and reels of products to promoting special seasonal offers, businesses can elevate their social media marketing and drive heightened interest
That’s why when it comes to planning your Instagram advertising strategy, it is important to recognise the platform as visual-first and to have three essential elements in place for the holidays

Understand your audience

Before any marketing efforts can take shape, it is vital to understand and know the target audience and their needs and wantsThis means evaluating demographic and geological data to understand what the target customer persona isFor instance, is the brand followed more closely by females or males, what is the main age group range, and in which part of the world are they mainly located
This data can then be evaluated further to understand what type of content is preferable for the target audience, using relevant company and industry insights. For instance, 98.8% of users access social media via a mobile device. This means that any content must be suitable for mobile viewing. Another interesting point is that 40% of users consume social media with sound off, so be sure to include captions.

Create a holiday Instagram advertising strategy

A successful holiday advertising strategy will then need to have clear objectives and an outlined strategy as to achieve the overall campaign targetsWhile the overall target for a holiday campaign might be to drive sales and conversions, the initial objective will be to raise awareness or generating qualified leads.
Once the objectives are clarified, key performance indicators (KPIs) can be used to set realistic and measurable campaign goals and outcomes for the campaign
When it comes to Instagram, a successful holiday advertising strategy will implement both organic and paid tactics to actively engage audiences and achieve chosen targets

Prepare your creative assets

Once an informed and measurable strategy is in place, begin preparing the creative assets for the campaign by listing what will be needed for the different moving parts
The number of assets will be dependent on the number of social media posts which are planned to be published across the duration of the campaign, as businesses will need to find the balance between holiday content and ongoing initiatives
Some creative asset ideas include:
  • Cohesive holiday branding across all social posts
  • Instagram stories and reels with links back to the product page on the website 
  • Holiday-themed video
  • Carousel product photos and videos with a clear theme 
  • Teaser videos and posts with hints of discount or new product range

Focus on a paid social media content strategy

A strategic approach to paid advertising on Instagram ensures that the right content is in place to keep audiences engaged. Enabling businesses to garner attention and drive leads. When it comes to paid content for Instagram advertising, it is important to create a funnel which guides the target customers through the customer journey. To implement this, establish a viable timeline that can build up to the chosen holiday period. 
For instance, Instagram advertising should start with an awareness focus to introduce the target audience to the product or service. Encouraging engagement and visibility of the holiday offers. Then, as the timeline progresses, the focus of the paid content will shift to focus on driving conversions or sales
This could be by using remarketing ads, which allow you to reconnect with users who have already interacted with your brand, prompting consumers to take advantage of the offers available, or by running a consideration-focused ad which targets people that engaged with earlier ads

Types of Instagram ads include:

  • Image ads
  • Stories ads
  • Video ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Collection ads
  • Explore ads
  • IGTV ads
  • Shopping ads
  • Reels ads
Our top tricks for paid content:
  • Ensure to tag items from the product page onto the relevant stories, reels, and posts, with themed CTA buttons  
  • Feature holiday-related products with the most appeal during the season, collating them into a special ‘holiday collection’ that provides customers with easy access to the storefront

Use trackable URLs

Trackable URLs are vital to determine the results of any Instagram advertising efforts. Using Urchin Tracking Module ‘s (UTM’s) aimed at set parameters can attribute conversions and revenue correctlyOnce campaign URLs have been generated, these can be built into each ad, enabling information to be collected. You can then evaluate the overall success of the ads. 

Execute some holiday cheer with Digital Ethos

Preparing and implementing the perfect holiday social media advertising campaigns can be a challenge, particularly if you want to remain visible and effectively target your customers amid all the holiday buzz
If you are interested in elevating your holiday marketing and taking your Instagram advertising to the next level, hiring marketing specialists can be the festive solution for all your brand needs – Start the conversation with Digital Ethos today