Max Pecherskyi is a CEO & Co-founder of PromoRepublic, a distributed marketing platform for multi-location brands that launched a social selling solution for direct selling businesses. He is an experienced marketing & brand strategist, with the projects for Kimberly Clark, Danone, Philips, Ferrero, Johnson & Johnson, and Henkel in portfolio.
Holiday campaigns give direct selling companies a perfect opportunity to build a new wave of interest in their products. When everyone is looking for gift ideas, party accessories, and holiday hacks, it’s the best time for direct selling representatives to step in and show what they can offer.
This season, such a step is even more relevant than ever before because people are getting a bit anxious about buying presents in time due to the pandemic situation. Offline shopping is not safe now, so today’s consumers interact online with companies 60% of the time and tend to make purchases via online channels.
Such behavior is new for them, so they seek support and guidance in their online life, and social media has become the source people rely on more and more. Research by GlobalWebIndex has shown that over 60% of users search for meaningful connections on social media. That makes Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks a perfect place for representatives to meet new clients. And a perfect channel for direct selling companies to run 2020 holiday campaigns.
There’s a teasy-weasy problem, though. Shoppers are not the only ones who may be new to such a massive switch to online. Direct selling representatives are also just discovering the limitless opportunities social media opens up for their businesses. That’s why it’s crucial that holiday campaigns are well-planned at the HQ level and the field gets proper assets and guidance. To ensure that, marketing leaders and direct selling companies should consider the following steps.
1. Set up your goals
Setting clear and realistic goals is what helps wisely manage resources and efforts during the campaign. The social media marketing channel, though, is believed to be tough in terms of measurability and attribution. Working with direct selling companies, we’ve found out there’s a correlation between campaign success and distributors’ engagement in campaigns.
Companies that get 70%+ of their distributors involved in running promo campaigns on social get 6.5% month-over-month sales growth during their campaigns. That’s why giving clear instructions to distributors and setting up a smooth social media marketing workflow for them should become a priority for direct selling companies this holiday season. The next steps will cover how to achieve this goal.
2. Create new product sets or repackage existing products
Late autumn-early winter holidays have a special spirit of miracles, coziness, and warm relationships with loved ones. The more your products jibe with this spirit, the more desirable they become. This is affected by two factors: how they are applied and how they look.
The first factor is about repackaging products into sets that can be used for creating Christmas decorations, cooking Thanksgiving meals, or applying Halloween makeup. Even existing products can get a new lease on life thanks to being placed in the proper holiday set, like in this example by Isagenix. They combined their Mocha Latte Shake and Banana Bread Shake in a Holiday Bundle appealing to people’s holiday recollections: “What are some of your favorite holiday memories? Sipping a warm mocha by the fire or baking banana bread with family?”
Product sets are a good idea since they can also be used by distributors as presents for their close circle of family and friends. Such presents may help them acquire new clients.
The other factor has to do with wrapping the products so that they match the holiday theme visually. Design is a great part of the holiday atmosphere, so it actually matters to customers. Check out how inspiring these Avon products look.
3. Prepare content assets
Bright visuals and catchy messages are the face of products that attracts the attention of social media audiences. Regular posting of such content helps distributors engage existing clients and get new ones.
But to succeed in this, they definitely need HQ’s help. Actually, we’ve discovered there’s a perfect posting framework that brings outstanding results in field sales. It consists of posting educational, promotional, and lifestyle content.
- Educational content
Educational content should become the basis of your distributors’ social media posting during campaigns. It includes wellness tips, holiday hacks, and recipes, and explains the value of your promotional products. It works best when distributors make 1-2 such posts per week. HQ can supply editable templates for this type of content, like this one by dōTERRA.
- Promotional content helps deliver more information about time-limited offers themselves: what people can purchase, at what price, what the conditions of the offer are (e.g., giveaway, contest). It doesn’t hurt to give a few well-deserved compliments to the products. Promotional posts should appear on distributors’ pages once per week several times during a campaign.
- Lifestyle content is up to distributors to create. In this case, HQ can share best practices with them. For example, distributors can share how they use the products they sell in their own holiday preparations. Or become gift consultants for their team members and share their best gift ideas with them. Or launch marathons for their teams and invite them to post images of their holiday tables, makeup, or gift wraps. Their imaginations are the only limit, HQ’s responsibility is just to nudge distributors in the right direction.
4. Set up a proper content distribution workflow
The direct selling companies we work with complained that the time and effort they invested in creating outstanding content was in vain as 90% of distributors simply didn’t find this content. This happens due to the cumbersome workflows used by many direct selling companies.
Let’s look through the most common bottlenecks they create.
Asset management workflow is cumbersome for representatives as they need to download content stored for them and then manually post it.
With social sharing solutions, posting takes fewer steps. These solutions enable representatives to post content from the same platform where it’s stored. But this still doesn’t ensure the content is posted at the right time or that it’s posted at all.
During campaigns, on-time posting is crucial. Therefore, HQ needs tools to ensure posting consistency across the network. The framework that makes this possible is called Content Suggestion workflow. It enables HQ to schedule promotional posts directly to distributors’ calendars. Here’s how it works:
This workflow is seamless for distributors and makes it easier for them to stay active on social, especially during the holiday season, when they have a lot on their plates and promotions are in full swing.
5. Provide education on social media marketing
All distributors have their strong suits but social media marketing skills may not be among them. This can be easily changed with the right amount of proper knowledge. The key areas of education should include the value of social media marketing, tips on posting schedules, best practices of content creation, and guidance on communication in groups and communities. These can be delivered through any platform in any format that works for the company: guides, webinars, courses, or training sessions. It’s better if the formats are varied so that reps can find the one that fits them best.
For example, dōTERRA HQ runs monthly educational webinars for their distributors and created a Social Media Training Course for them.
All these steps help develop a social-first habit in distributors and ensure that they keep up with the campaign despite the holiday fuss. This is also a great way to bring value to their communities by giving them the products that will make their holidays special without putting themselves at risk by shopping offline.