Case Study: How to Grow Your Holiday Campaign

Special thanks to the co-author of this post, Kelsey Mohring, AAE, PadillaCRT

We love a good holiday campaign…I mean who doesn’t? At this point, you’re (hopefully) already rockin’ around your 2013 campaign and are amidst the holiday hustle and bustle of executing your promotional tactics. You may be preoccupied with your current campaign but believe it or not, now is the perfect time to start thinking about how you can grow your campaign next year.

Here are 3 ways to grow your holiday campaign in 2014:

1. Set a Goal

The first step to a successful campaign is setting clear, measurable goals. Previous benchmarks can help guide your new goals but if you’re launching a brand new campaign you may not have benchmarks to base your goals on.

In 2012 PadillaCRT helped Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) launch their first 12 Days of Holiday Cheer campaign. Our goal was to collect 100 messages of appreciation for our doctors, nurses and staff from patients and fans. The incentive for reaching the goal would be a surprise music video from the staff. Within two weeks of launching the video we had 7,575 organic video views. The surprise video was such a hit; it was even picked up by a local news station. The campaign also significantly increased CHoR’s Facebook page engagement and new pages “likes” increased by 1,600 during the campaign.

2. Reevaluate and Grow

While working on your current campaign you may find yourself thinking we should have done that differently or I wish we had thought about that. While you’re in the process of learning from this year’s campaign and feeling inspired for the next, keep track of your new ideas and start fleshing out ways to expand upon your current campaign’s success. Our 2012 campaign clearly proved our community appreciated our staff, are engaged with CHoR and they love a good ole fun video!

These lessons led us to continue with the video and expand upon these elements of the campaign in 2013. We altered our call to action slightly but the goal and ask are clear:

Are you ready to spread as much cheer as the North Pole? We need your help to make our cheer-o-meter reach 1,200 acts of cheer by December 31, 2013. You can #SpreadCheer by:

1. Visiting us on Facebook and sending us your six-word plan to #SpreadCheer this holiday

2. Texting HEALTH to 50555 to donate $10 to support children in the hospital

Based on our 2012 campaign benchmarks, our other goals include: exceeding Facebook “likes” by over 1600 and surpassing the initial 7,575 views from the 2012 cheer video.

3. Make your Wish List and Try Something New

Even if you have the same, wildly successful holiday campaign every year, chances are it could still be improved. Consider adding new tactics or big ideas to next year’s campaign. Building on the 2012 Holiday Cheer campaign we decided in order to continue growing the campaign we needed to forge meaningful partnerships and raise money. Therefore, we launched and integrated our text-to-donate feature to support the Children’s Hospital Foundation and asked local businesses and restaurants to display our flyer or table topper about the campaign. Over 50 businesses in Richmond graciously agreed to participate.

But we didn’t stop there. We continued brainstorming different ways to help #SpreadCheer to children in hospital.  And one day it hit us – what if we asked local but nationally-recognized home decorating bloggers, Young House Love, if they would come help us #SpreadCheer by making the family care center room in the hospital more like home for the holidays? Unfortunately, for some families the holidays will be spent in the hospital, so what better way to #SpreadCheer than by creating a home for the holidays feel to the hospital?

The important thing is not to put all of your eggs in one basket. We built a viable campaign with or without a notable partner. We couldn’t bank on Young House Love saying yes, but we did make sure we reached out to a partner with an “ask” that aligned perfectly with our campaign and their brand and readers. Fortunately, Young House Love did say yes and the support they’ve received from their readers and fans has been phenomenal. Readers from literally around the world have sent letters filled with holiday cheer to post in the room and a number of home décor businesses have donated countless items for the room. (The room transformation is amazing; you’ll have to check out the reveal on Young House Love’s blog next week!)

Help us #SpreadCheer!

Our 2013 12 Days of Holiday Cheer campaign is still underway and we can’t wait to share the results with you in a future post. We currently have until December 31, 2013 to spread 1200 acts of cheer (so we hope you’re inspired to text HEALTH to 50555 to donate $10 to support children in the hospital 🙂 ). Our hospital cheer music video launches tomorrow too, so we will update this post tomorrow with the video (you won’t want to miss it)!

What did you learn from your previous campaign and how did it help guide your current campaign? What lessons has your current holiday campaign already taught you?

UPDATE:  Check out Young House Love’s official makeover reveal on their blog (which includes a pretty sweet video reveal if I might say so myself) and watch the official hospital cheer music video embedded below for some good ole inspiration! [youtube][/youtube]

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