Use Influencers to Promote Your Brand This Holiday Season

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How to incorporate influencers into your upcoming Christmas marketing campaigns.

Christmas is nearly upon us again, which means you should have already prepared a marketing plan to execute your holiday campaigns.

The holiday season can be a lucrative period but it is also one of the most competitive times of the year, which means that brands need to find new and creative ways to stand out.

A study by Collective Bias showed that 70% of millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions and 30% of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger.

If there was a perfect reason to launch an influencer marketing campaign in 2018, Christmas would be it.

Why you should use influencer marketing this Christmas

Christmas is a time when consumers are hunting for the perfect gifts, recipes, and holiday destinations, which means they will be turning to friends, family, and the internet for recommendations in the months leading up to the holiday season.

According to a report by HubSpot, 95% of millennials say that their most credible source of information is their friends.

So while there is definitely merit in running paid ad campaigns on social media and Google during December and in the months leading up to Christmas, influencer marketing is fast becoming the best way to reach today’s consumers.

Influencers already have a loyal base of followers who trust what they have to say. By partnering with the right influencers, you can immediately access an engaged audience that is far more likely to pay attention to what is being reviewed, promoted or recommended.

How to develop a Christmas influencer marketing campaign

The sooner you can start planning your Christmas campaigns, the better. This is what you need to know when developing your holiday influencer campaign.

1. Start with a plan

Before you can delve into the creative aspects of your influencer campaign, you will need to establish what you’re looking to achieve and who you want to target. By setting objectives, it will be easier to measure the success of your campaign and knowing exactly who you want to target will make it easier to select influencers. Next, set a budget for your holiday promotions and if you will be offering samples to influencers, decide how many you’re willing to give away.

2. Outline your promotional dates & platforms

Next, you will need to decide on the dates that you would like to run your campaigns and which platforms you will be working with. When are your customers most likely to purchase from you during the holiday period? Use this as a starting point for setting your campaign dates.

For example, if your brand has the highest number of sales in November, aim to start promoting your products or services from October and ramp up your efforts closer to the ideal buying point. It’s also important to keep certain events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday in mind when setting your campaign dates.

You will also need to decide which platforms you will be using to promote your influencer campaigns. Your budget, product, target audience and content type will all play a role in choosing the ideal promotional platforms. Don’t forget to outline how you will measure your success on each of your chosen platforms.

3. Select and get in touch with influencers

Now that you have a better idea of your target audience and budget as well as which promotional platforms you will be using, you can start creating a list of potential influencers that your brand could partner with. The influencer should be well suited to your brand and give you access to your ideal target audience.

It’s incredibly important to get in touch with influencers as early as possible if you want to secure certain partnerships, as many of them are booked up well in advance. Not every influencer will want to work on your specific campaign either so be sure to have a list of several potential influencers that you want to partner with to keep your options open.

Have your campaign details and budget ready so that you can immediately answer any questions that an influencer might have.

4. Get Creative

Now is the time to start creating the content for your Christmas influencer campaign. A good place to start is to think about your customer’s buying journey and what would motivate them to purchase your product or service.

Think out of the box when developing your content if you really want to stand out from your competitors. Establish what’s important to your audience and how that ties in with both your offering and everything that Christmas is about. Think advent calendars, snow, family time, vacations, shopping and great food.

Keep search and social media in mind when developing your content too. What search terms would your customers type into Google or Facebook and what hashtags could you get on board with in order to attract an even larger audience?

Tips for running an effective influencer Christmas campaign

Below are a few additional tips that will help make your campaign more successful:

  • Consider all of your influencer options. When people think influencer marketing, their minds almost always jump to celebrities but unless you have a large budget or you’re willing to put the majority of your budget into one or two tweets, it’s best not to partner with major celebs. There are countless social media and online influencers who aren’t actors, musicians or sports stars who have thousands, if not millions, of loyal fans. There are a number of large brands who choose to work with micro-influencers instead of big-ticket celebrities purely because their fans are far more engaged.
  • Provide a brand experience. Your holiday influencer campaign should allow consumers to experience your brand. Think of ways that you can incorporate your brand into one of the many narratives around Christmas to provide online users with a more immersive brand experience.
  • Measure and optimize. While it may seem like a good idea to create a content plan and calendar and to just let your chosen influencers run with it, this doesn’t always lead to the best ROI. Just like any other online campaign, it’s important to keep measuring the success of your content so that you can optimize where necessary. Fortunately, there is software such as Upfluence that makes the process of working with influencers that much easier. Make sure that your influencers are clear on what is expected of them and how you will be measuring the success of your campaigns so that they know what they’re working towards.
  • Make it a collaboration. The beauty of working with an influencer is that they know their audience better than anyone, so try to enter each partnership with an open mind. Include your influencers in the content creation process in order to get their input too. You may just come up with an even better concept than you thought you would.
  • Build a relationship. If you find an influencer that’s perfect for your brand, aim to build a relationship with them instead of using them for a once-off campaign. This way an influencer has the chance to really understand your brand’s objectives, values, and customers, which will lead to better results over the long term.

Christmas is the perfect opportunity to generate more brand awareness and skyrocket your sales, especially with so many consumers turning to social media for inspiration as the holiday season approaches. It is also the ideal time to test out relationships with influencers that you can potentially carry over into the new year.

If you want your Christmas influencer campaigns to have the biggest impact though, it’s important that you start planning and rolling your campaigns out as soon as possible.

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