9 Ways to Get Eyes on Your Holiday Food Campaign

9 Strategies for Rolling Out a Holiday Food Campaign That Will Boost Brand Awareness and Get More Clicks

Everyone has to eat, right? So marketing and selling food products should be as easy as pie. But, with so many brands and products on the market, ever-changing regulations on how companies are allowed to advertise certain foods, and our continuing obsession with dieting and eating less it’s usually a little more challenging than most people would think to successfully market food items.

With Halloween, Thanksgiving and the holiday season just days away, food is definitely on everyone’s minds. So, it’s the perfect time for brands to roll out some hyper-targeted holiday marketing.

4 Simple Strategies to Get More Attention This Holiday Season

For many, the holiday season is a time for full-on indulgence and enjoying all of our holiday favorites… without guilt. Seriously, we wait all year long to dig into pumpkin pies, heaps of stuffing, chocolates, and eggnog in large part because the holiday season is the only time it’s really available!

Of course, there will always be people who will resist seasonal treats and keep their plates filled with healthier options, but most of us are game to skip the low-carb cauli stuffing (that’s probably a thing) and forget about the dairy-free, egg-free, low-spice vegan nog. Unless your superpower really is finding ways to make already delicious meals equally delicious but more nutritious, just go ahead and expect people to eat what they want between October 31st and December 31st.

We’re going to jump right into our list. We’ve collected a great list of tips below that cover some of the most effective forms of digital marketing for food brands. With the holidays just around the corner, here’s how you can hit the ground running with your holiday campaign this year.

#1 Themed Packaging

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One of the simplest ways to get eyes on your product for the holiday season is by changing up your packaging design. This is a proven strategy that works for just about every holiday. Holiday colors and themes are immediately recognizable even for consumers scanning store shelves… or their social media feeds. Adding familiar holiday characters (Rudolph and gang, Santa… Krampus, if that’s your thing), color schemes, and novelty packaging can help your brand grab the attention of shoppers who are in the holiday mood.

Ahead of Halloween, Wrigley is pushing an actual Skittles Selfie Mask in stores. This display was found at a Kroger just outside Atlanta, GA.

Ahead of Halloween, Wrigley is pushing an actual Skittles Selfie Mask in stores. This display was found at a Kroger just outside Atlanta, GA.

#2 Limited Edition Flavors

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Has anyone seen my pumpkin spice latte shoes? Haha. Kidding. But doesn’t it feel like we’re sort of running out of things to “pumpkin spice”?

Seriously, holiday flavors rock. In 2016 there was an actual eggnog shortage because demand was so high. A shortage! But part of celebrating the holidays is partaking in cold weather foods and holiday-themed flavors that may only be available a few weeks out of every year. Putting out a limited run of peppermint-flavored this or pumpkin-flavored that can help bring people in to try your product.

Source: @coffeemate

Source: @coffeemate


#3 Gift Sets

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Another super idea is bundling your products together to create seasonal gift sets. This will encourage customers to buy your brand as a present for others, or simply to enjoy it as part of their own celebrations.

One great example of a brand that’s bundling products for the holiday season is Hickory Farms. In fact, I would venture a bet that one of the images you pull up of Hickory Farms is a holiday gift basket, or those seasonal kiosks that show up at local malls just before the holiday.

Source: Lifestyle influencer    @Steffy    in a    sponsored post for #hickoryfarmsholiday    on Instagram

Source: Lifestyle influencer @Steffy in a sponsored post for #hickoryfarmsholiday on Instagram


Now, this is probably going to seem like a bit of a departure from your typical holiday gift basket viddles, but another brand that bundles products to sell as holiday gift sets is Graeter’s Ice Cream. For nearly 150 years, Graeter’s has been producing and selling handmade gourmet ice cream.

There are Graeter’s stores in the Midwest and you can find it in your local store. BUT Graeter’s Ice Cream also delivers bundles of ice cream pints in different flavors to your house. You can also send these bundles as holiday gift sets.

Last year, we ran a brand awareness campaign to promote how #AGraetersGift is good and #GiftCardsAreLame


#4 Share the Recipe or Provide the Ingredients

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Who doesn’t love seeing delicious food all plated-up and ready to eat? People also like seeing the cooking process as much as they enjoy seeing the finished products.

According to a study by Nielsen, 80 percent of Millennials want to see the nitty gritty, behind-the-scenes details surrounding how their food is made (think food documentaries and baking shows). People will more than likely search for their perfect holiday recipes throughout the months leading up to the big day.

In fact, according to a recent study, the most searched for holiday recipe was actually prime rib, followed closely by turkey. In some states, pizza also topped holiday food list. My point? Just goes to show: Even if you’re not working with a traditional holiday food, there’s still a market out there for you.

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Content Marketing Strategies

Content. Content. Content. The virtual world is framed with content. The ongoing desire to gaze at amazing-looking food and get a sneak peek at how meals are made blows the door wide open for some super-effective content marketing. Are there are certainly some staples in this vertical that convert really well with regards to generating clicks.

#5 Video Content

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Video content is great for selling food. Video is easy to digest (no pun intended), and easy to follow when homegrown cooks are working to replicate the meals they see on social in their own kitchens.

One brand that is killing it in this sphere at the moment is Buzzfeed and their Tasty sub-brand. What started as a hub of content marketing has now grown into one of the most popular food brands on the web, with their own cookbooks and kitchenware products, to boot.


Buzzfeed’s cooking tutorial videos are quick, snappy, and easy to follow… and are essentially 100 percent mobile-friendly. They show followers how to make everything from pot roast, to meal-preps, to indulgent desserts... basically everything you would need for a killer holiday meal. In fact, as of this writing, there are 105 Thanksgiving recipes, and 112 Christmas recipes alone - who knew there were so many dishes from which to choose?

While Buzzfeed videos are most popular on Facebook - certainly the perfect pause to someone’s grueling workday - Buzzfeed also has a dedicated website which houses all their recipes, too.

Whenever a video is posted on their social media, Buzzfeed includes a link back to the website where followers can find the full recipes alongside the video. Super smart. That’s a great combination of different forms of content marketing, and ideal targeting.

#6 Blog Content

A perfect partner to video content, or even as a stand alone endeavor, blog content is a great place to showcase your food products online. If you’re making short and snappy videos like the ones we mentioned above, pairing them with a more in-depth recipe blogs like Tasty is an ideal way to make the most of your content.

But, it doesn’t have to be solely made up of recipes. There’s a world of content options out there that you can dive into. You know who is good for this? Lifestyle influencers who talk about food and foodies.

You can enlist influencers to talk about where their recipes come from and how they are prepared. By nature, lifestyle influencers tend to incorporate other life-stuff into the mix that their followers would find interesting.

You don’t have to write all these blogs yourself either. Working with influencers - more on that in just a moment - can help you to collate a great selection of blog posts and topics from different perspectives and viewpoints. In fact, having a regular company blog can help to boost your web traffic 3.5x more than companies that post less.

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Influencer Marketing Strategies

Of course, here at The Shelf, we’re huge fans of influencer marketing - it’s what we do best! But, the reason we love it is because it works so darn well. Influencer marketing over the holiday season helps you to reach your audience, even when they’re not actively searching for gifts, food, or other products.

By pairing up with the right influencer, you know that your food is going to be photographed from the perfect angle, expertly arranged on a gorgeous flat lay, and beautifully demonstrated in full HD video. We all know how much we wish we could live the beautiful lives of Instagram’s top stars, and maybe if we could eat the same food, we could be on the same track, right? Ah, the beauty of influencer marketing...

#7 Instagrammers

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Scroll through your Instagram feed on any given day, and you’re bound to see a good percentage of well-lit, perfectly-plated meals from friends, family, and influencers alike. Along with selfies and travel snaps, pictures of food are some of the most shared content out there right now. So, if you’re a food-focused brand, teaming up with an influencer on Instagram can help you dive right in to this growing trend.

Sources: @themodernproper | @food | @deliciouslyella

Since Fall and Winter are the times for comfort food, infiltrating people’s feeds with images like the ones above can boost your brand more than any other time of year. There are a few options open to you when it comes to foodie influencers, depending on the kind of product you’re promoting.

Health and Fitness

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If your product is centered around nutrition, health, weight loss, or fitness then you have the option of working with health-focused influencers. These can range from meal-preppers to dieters to nutritionists. Working with the right influencer in this niche can really help to give your health product credibility in a crowded market.

Recipe Kits

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Influencers are great ambassadors for recipe kits. They cook and create your meals, talk about how cost-effective and time-efficient meals were to prepare, and show off great images of both the cooking process and the completed meal. For products like these you can choose to work with recipe-loving influencers, or those who champion quick and easy food, or even budget-friendly influencers.

Snacks and Quick Bites

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There are so many options open to the quick food market. Teaming up with busy parents, digital nomads, celebrities, and basically anyone with a busy schedule will work perfectly with your brand.


#8 YouTube Marketing

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We already talked about how great video content can be for your food brand, and where better to find a great video creator than on YouTube? There are a number of channels on the video-sharing platform dedicated to food-related content… everything from healthy food prep, to taste test challenges, to drunk cooking. You’re sure to find something to suit your brand.

YouTube is all about entertainment value. The creators who do well are experts at coming up with engaging content to attract new viewers and retain old existing ones. Hannah Hart’s My Drunk Kitchen is a wildly popular show on YouTube. In the show, Hart drinks copious amounts of alcohol while attempting to cook a wide range of dishes. She is often joined by guests who take part in both the drinking and the cooking, and the whole endeavor results in lots of silliness and laughs. Her show regularly gets over 100k views per episode, and with over 2.5 millions subscribers, she has an impressive amount of influence in the food industry.

Having your product featured in a show similar to Hart’s allows you to engage with an audience while low-key marketing at the same time.


# 9 User Generated Content

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We love user-generated content. Fifty percent of US consumers say the UGC they find about a brands makes them more likely to buy from that brand. User-generated content is a powerful tool for the marketer. And whether UGC comes from an influencer or is unpaid content created by one of your fans, even the simplest food item can make for eye-catching visual content.

Food is deeply ingrained in our celebratory practices. Encouraging your customers to share how they use your products is well worth the effort. Especially as many of us will soon begin to buy less, or at least healthier, food once the New Year rolls around. This is the perfect time to double-down on your marketing.


If you want to work with influencers this holiday season, you’re going to need a strategy

The Shelf is an influencer marketing company that designs and implements the highest performing campaigns in the lifestyle space (fashion, beauty, mommy, food, travel, home, DIY, health, and fitness). If you’re reading this post and wondering how to use Snapchat, Instagram, IGTV, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube to get your brand in front of buyers, we’ve got you covered. Sign up for a demo to get your custom proposal.

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