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How to Prepare Your Instagram for the Holiday Season

by Alena

December is the time when brands sum up the results of the year, say thanks to their clients and partners, and start making plans for the upcoming season.

Of course, everyone would like to postpone all business-related stuff till January and plunge into the world of Christmas songs, presents, and pleasant holiday activities with the nearest and dearest.

But before taking a break, make sure you’ve done everything to prepare your Instagram account for the festive season. After all, your subscribers will still open their Insta accounts to send greetings to their friends and check for new content.

So, why not use this amazing opportunity to offer your products and services as presents to drive sales, or please your audience with tempting discounts and giveaways to improve customer engagement?

If you are still hesitating about which activities to offer or just want to make sure you’ve done everything at its best, grab our last-minute preparations list.

Create a Christmas Instagram content plan

A well-thought-out content plan for Instagram created in advance is a king. Actually, this is a must for those who want to get the most out of these holidays.

Here are some thoughts on how to effectively organize your work with the festive Instagram content.

  • Stock up with holiday-themed photos, banners, and pictures. To get new ideas for your content, examine Instagram influencers’ and competitors’ feeds, or get inspired by famous brands. You can also analyze your own content and select the most popular holiday-themed posts to reuse them for your festive campaign.
  • Generate relevant Christmas captions for Instagram in advance. Don’t want to finish your writing in a hurry right at the festive table? Just compose all captions beforehand so you have them ready along with the visual part.
  • Pick up the most powerful new year hashtags. It’s not a secret that during the festive season users look for specific content. Thus, the carefully selected holiday-related hashtags will definitely help you attract more visitors as well as spread the word about your brand.
  • Create a content calendar (if you still haven’t done it for some reason). Plan out all posts in advance and add this information to your calendar. There are a lot of ready-made editorial calendar templates that you can download and use out of the box. For example, Instagram offers its own template.

Tip: Thousands of bloggers and marketers use scheduling services regularly. But even if you prefer sharing your content manually in real-time, let yourself relax during these holidays. And let specially created services like Planoly or Later do all the work for you!

Generate festive content

O’K, the plan is ready. So it’s time to get down to creating your magic holiday designs.

Let your customers feel the warming flavor of apples and cinnamon. Fill your posts with sparkles and Christmas spirit. The festive season is great for demonstrating your creativity, attention to detail, and love to your customers.

Experienced marketers always know for sure what their audience wants and never miss the chance to deliver it. Want to get closer to your followers, build their loyalty, and boost sales during this merry season? Below you’ll find some inspirational ideas on how to use the Christmas mood for your content.

Idea #1 Show Christmas decor in product posts

This is one of the easiest ways to bring a festive mood to your Instagram profile and attract customers’ attention. Even if you have no time for professional design, a minimalistic product photo will do more than a gaudy banner.

Idea #2 Try festive wrapping for products

Dress your most popular products in the Christmas packaging. Yes, this method requires special investments in design and production. Therefore it’s better to include it in your marketing campaign budget beforehand.

Idea #3 Utilize special background

A sparkling winter holiday background can turn any product picture into a real Christmas greeting card. Besides, all products displayed with such a background also turns into Christmas gifts that everyone wants to buy.

Idea #4 Take advantage of winter services

Winter holidays are a very fertile ground for touristic business. Even now, in the era of self-isolation, remote winter resorts surrounded by breathtaking snowy landscapes enjoy great popularity. So why not posting their stunning pics in your profile?

Idea #5 Adjust your products to the holiday season

Backing cakes and biscuits or craft souvenirs? This is your moment of glory! Like no one else, you are flexible and free to tailor your offer to customers’ needs. Use jolly designs for your holiday masterpieces and get ready to see the way your sales grow sky-high.

Idea #6 Create tutorials

Provide your subscribers with extra value by creating special educational videos or posts devoted to holiday activities. For example, show how to create the make-up for the New Year’s Eve party, or how to decorate the house with the products you sell.

Idea #7 Make Christmas captions for Instagram

A wise product presentation will help you sell more without any festive packaging or special product design. See the way Mac presented their Charcoal product series. It’s all about creative copywriting.

Tip: Have no time for Christmas designs or feel the lack of inspiration? Just take a look at the ready-made templates and eye-catching stickers to make your Instagram feed shine. Amaze visitors with giant squares or classy endless grids to let them feel holiday vibes.

Run holiday Instagram ad campaigns

The hot holiday season for marketers is here! And all ad preparations for marketing campaigns should have been already done. But in case, for some reason, you are just thinking over your ad campaign, start working right away.

The bad news, you are too short of time for effective split testing. But we hope you’ve already analyzed your audience and content. Therefore, you definitely know which content types work better for your potential followers and clients.

The pre-Christmas rush is the time when social media ads are in high demand. So, get ready for higher ad costs. Just keep this in mind and plan your budget accordingly.

Plan activities for user engagement

There is a great variety of tactics that will help you optimize UGC (user-generated content) by creating Christmas captions for Instagram. The most popular and rewarding tactic is asking questions.

  • Make sure your questions are short and specific
  • Use eye-catching holiday-themed images for your question posts
  • Maximally personalize your captions for deeper customer engagement

What to ask about?

  • Ask about family holiday traditions;
  • Use “this or that” format for questions;
  • Offer to vote for the prize for your future giveaway;
  • Ask to take photos withing “this or that” format and share them with a branded new year hashtags;

Dove uses a jolly design for their festive set and offers to tag a friend in the comments to “drop a hint” for a holiday present. This way, they increase likes and boost the number of potential customers. And, of course, they didn’t forget about the best Christmas hashtags.

Prepare special gift cards & certificates

Special offers are not only about discounts and bundles. Holiday certificates and gift cards also enjoy great popularity! They are targeted at those users who don’t want to spend much time choosing presents or don’t know what to buy.

Certificates and gift cards are excellent for:

  • Corporate clients who stock up presents for a huge team
  • Individuals who don’t know much about the tastes of the gift recipient
  • Close friends and relatives who want to provide some freedom of choice to their beloved ones

Collaborate with other businesses & partner with influencers

Teaming up with other businesses, especially for holiday seasons, is a perfect way to expand your reach and get access to new potential clients with minimum effort. Just choose the brand which values align with your brand philosophy and tell about your collaboration in the Christmas captions for Instagram posts.

Here is the Christmas collaboration of Cinnabon and Freeform (an American multinational basic cable channel owned by Walt Disney Television) where Instagram posts are a part of a holiday marketing campaign.

By adding CTAs to Instagram captions the brand initiates followers’ activity in the comments and draws their attention to the seasonal product.

Of course, this method perfectly works not only for huge brands but for any small business as well.

Tip: Ask niche influencers with whom you partner to mention your seasonal offers not only in their posts but in the Christmas Instagram Stories as well. The short-lived content creates a sense of urgency. Apart from that, bloggers with 10k subscribers have access to advanced Stories features like clickable links that improve customer shopping experience.

Offer discounts & giveaways

You’ll hardly find a better moment for gifts than the winter holidays. Yes, this is “the-best-time-for-everything” season. So, exploit it to the full! Show your love and attention to your customers. Thank them for their loyalty and trust by providing gifts, hot deals, and special prices.

You are free to decide which prize to offer and how long your contest or a giveaway will run. You can be either more materialistic and offer less popular products to empty your stock, or vice versa, please your loyal customers with the coolest goods and services.

We recommend to choose the second variant if you really want to build long-term relationships with your audience and expand your reach by spreading the word about your brand.

Tip: The longer the contest game runs, the more potential subscribers and clients you can attract. To build hype and allow more users to win, consider launching a series of giveaways.

Take a look at the Clarins giveaway post that kills two birds with one stone – offers a cool prize and involves subscribers in an Instagram activity. By the way, by showing the giveaway time limits you add a sense of urgency to your offer and encourage users to be more active.

This is one more great example of a Christmas 24-day giveaway treat by Weleda.

Be charitable

Today no one can imagine the Christmas holidays without charity activities. If you have something to share, why not do this? Show that you or your company stick to high moral standards and is always ready to help someone in need. Of course, charity activities should be included not only in your holiday plan. But on Christmas Eve, it’s high time to tell others about what you do and motivate them to do the same.

Therefore, you can make a post with Christmas Instagram quotes and tell others about your charity plans.

Choose the charity that corresponds to your company values. For instance:

  • small local brands can support a local charity
  • if you are a cafe or grocery shop, support a food bank
  • a global chain can support any global organization


Of course, not all steps from our list fit your budget or aligns with your brand philosophy. And yes, some of them are more time and resource consuming than others. But we hope that now you are equipped with tons of creative ideas and will squeeze more from your Instagram account during this festive season.

All you need to do is to find out what your audience wants and timely deliver it wrapped up in a shiny Christmas package.

Written by Alena
As a digital marketer and a copywriter, Alena is passionate about wrapping difficult things in simple words.