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Looking to Surprise Your Customers? This Holiday, Give the Gift of Promotions

This holiday season, promotions are making the nice list. Whether you're looking to boost in-store traffic, grow an Instagram following, or draw attention to new products, limited-run promotions with chances to win are a great way to alleviate common holiday hurdles and surprise and delight consumers. Use seasonal promotions to test-drive fresh strategies, build brand affinity, and ensure retail's biggest season is merry and bright.

The 12 Days of Engagement Hubs
With a sea of seasonal options, it can be difficult for markets to retain consumers' attention for prolonged periods. Engagement hubs, however, are packed with enough activities to keep consumers engaged throughout the 12 days of Christmas and beyond. Built around an overarching goal, such as showcasing a product line, these hubs of promotional content create a value exchange, allowing brands to reward their audience through of a series of themed games and touchpoints, such as trivia challenges, watching a product video, sharing on social media, or taking a poll. Because consumers can explore activities in a nonlinear way, they get a deeper understanding of their favorite brands on their own terms.

A beauty brand, for example, can use an engagement hub to help consumers plan holiday shopping lists. They may offer personality quizzes that match users with products to let them digitally try on shades of makeup, enhancing the discovery experience. While games can expand shopper knowledge, creating a purchase validation center can encourage consumers to upload receipts in exchange for rewards. Together, these activities can create a cohesive brand experience while building repeat engagement throughout the competitive holiday season.

Boost Traffic with Streak Couponing
Black Friday is a great tool for luring customers in, but how do you keep them coming back? Build short-term loyalty and incentivize spending throughout the holiday season with a streak of offers that increase in value as consumers redeem. “Streak couponing” techniques reward consumers for ongoing purchases and create excitement for your next offer. Drive value by tapping into customers' regional locations, individual baskets, and time of their visit to add a layer of personalization to interactions.

A retailer can begin a “streak” with a 10% discount offer, for example, and when that offer is redeemed within a certain time period, they receive a subsequent 15% off discount, then 20%, and so on. Retailers can tie specific offers and time restraints back to their specific business objectives to ensure the traffic they're receiving and sales they make align with holiday priorities.

Social Media Campaigns
Social media can be a consumer's best friend when seeking shopping inspiration. Whether sourcing ideas from user generated content or looking to branded feeds for gift guides, social media has become a powerful medium for self expression and marketing. Many brands have adopted innovative ways to surprise and delight fans across channels, adding the warms and fuzzies back into the gift giving season.

Last season, Barneys hosted a series of gift giveaways on its social channels, raising awareness for its new product line. During each day of the promotion, Barneys posted a themed #BarneysUnwrapped video on its Instagram account and those who commented were given a chance to win items from its holiday collection. Ultimately, Barneys' social promotion drove greater excitement for its seasonal line while attracting new social followers.

No matter your business goals, a promotions strategy can help brands stand out this holiday season, addressing common obstacles while strengthening consumer relationships. Promotions not only surprise and delight consumers, making them feel valued, but serve as an important stepping stone towards building brand loyalty. Whether a brand uses promotions to test-drive a new strategy or simply engage and retain followers, these seasonal activations can ensure consumers have memorable shopping experiences that will keep them coming back through the new year.

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Janice Pollard is the Director of Content and PR at HelloWorld, developing unique thought leadership, exclusive research, and marketing content across a variety of digital engagement topics.