November 26, 2022

It’s almost quarter four. And if you’re like me, you may be shocked and saddened that 2021 is almost over. I mean, it was literally just 2020.

Life may feel like we are in a Groundhog Day situation, but the holidays are coming quickly, and this is the perfect time to start thinking about content, photos, and videos to connect with your audiences through digital marketing.

When it comes to holiday digital marketing, here are just some of the things to think about right away (if you haven’t already):

1. Holiday photo shoots

This should be a mix of lifestyle photos, high resolution bottle shots, as well as gift product shots.

Plan out your content in advance (see tip #3) and take plenty of pictures in different settings. You can shoot photos yourself, or outsource to a professional (for more on outsourcing see one of my earlier columns )

It might feel odd to break out the holiday decor early, but you don’t need to decorate everything, just the location for the photo shoot. These images will be important to promote your products (or services if you want to simply look at taking holiday-specific photos of you and your team).

You can use these pictures to add a festive touch to your social media, your website, in emails, digital ads (Facebook ads, banner images), Instagram, print ads in print and online publications like the North Bay Business Journal, trade/media images, and even across other e-commerce platforms like Amazon or Drizly.

When it comes to coming up with ideas for gift bundles think about some of the ways your customers will want your products grouped together for gift-giving—maybe with different types of wine, food pairings, and even an inedible product that goes along with your products (think wine glasses, or a cheese board).

If you have the time, consider new packaging for some products to be more holiday or winter-related.

Iron Horse Vineyards, which has a few special releases every season, created their Winter’s Cuvée back in 2007. According to Joy Sterling, CEO of Iron Horse Vineyards, they created the sparkling wine because “we loved the idea of making a special, limited production bubbly featuring a splash of estate brandy in the dosage, which just seemed to go with the season in a heartwarming way, the idea of snuggling up by a fire and gingerbread cookies.”

When you get your holiday photos back from your photographer, make sure to add a few horizontal images to the “Trade” section of your website, along with the photographer’s name so publications can share new images. Trust me: this is important, I wrote earlier about the six ways to get more media exposure.

2. Video

While your photographer shoots product and lifestyle photos, think about how you can utilize videos of the products being used, B-boll footage (supplemental or alternative footage intercut with the main shot), and behind-the-scenes clips of the shoots for Instagram Reels, video ads, and even videos within your tasting room or restaurant. Talk to your photographer to see if they can shoot this for you, or arrange to do it on your own.

3. Plan ahead

Any good marketing campaign needs to be well-planned so everyone is on the same page. Make sure to have an action plan on your content instead of just posting sporadically (check out No. 2 in this post)

Think about any potential events you might host, either in person or virtually. Start promoting those right away.

4. Aesthetics of your brick and mortar

If you’re going to decorate your location, think about what it looks like in photos.

You can create Instagrammable areas for people to take pictures in (include a sign to encourage them to tag your business when they share on social media).

Back in 2019, Brewsters in Petaluma hosted a Miracle pop-up (a Christmas-themed idea for restaurants) at their beer garden restaurant with a holiday concept that looked like Santa had visited and decorated their bar area.

Mike Goebel, the owner of both Brewsters Beer Garden and Dillon Beach Resort, located between Bodega Bay and Tomales Bay, says that they are bringing the pop-up back this holiday season. (Make a reservation. They were booked up for holiday cocktails and fun back in 2019!)

By taking time to plan things out — plans for aesthetics in your brick and mortar, for your products, or for photo/video shoots — you will be setting yourself up for success with your digital marketing tactics, sales, and the holiday season.