Last updated 09/29/2020, originally published 09/25/2019
There is no surprise that the holiday season in 2020 will look a little different this year. Whilst extravagant Christmas parties, and large scale festivities might be off the table this year, people are still looking for ways to celebrate and express their gratitude with gift-giving albeit in a different way. Brands have to adapt early-on to the new trends of 2020, but can still be hopeful of a successful holiday shopping season with the help of influencer marketing.
Why Influencer Marketing is Important for Your Holiday Season?
With Covd-19, changing the face of retail for some time to come, shoppers are increasingly turning to eCommerce to do their holiday shopping. A Statista study shows that 49% of US consumers are more interested in doing their holiday shopping online this year, compared to 2019. Other popular possibilities include buying online to collect in-store, and shopping via apps and social media platforms. With people spending more time online, influencer marketing is an important channel for reaching those researching, browsing and making their holiday purchases online. Whether they’re using social media for downtime or for shopping, a well placed influencer partnership can plant the seed of their next holiday purchase.
Shopping during the holiday season can be insanely stressful. This is why we often look to people we know for recommendations, or online gift-guides, and inspiration for those who are so hard to buy for. With that in mind, as a brand, you can utilize collaborations with influencers in order to bring this value to consumers. After all, an authentic influencer can act as a trusted friend, a knowledgeable shopping guru, or simply an advocate for an easy gifting solution this holiday season.
Top Tips and Practices for Influencer Marketing During Holiday Season
Influencer marketing during the holidays should, for the most part, have the same practices as influencer marketing any time of the year. However, there will be an extra layer or added stress as well as potentials for brands during the holiday season.
Select the Perfect Influencer
We always emphasize the importance of finding the perfect influencer as the first step to a successful campaign. During the holiday season, brands need to focus on this part even more, simply because we want to nail down relationships with the most trusted influencers. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you search and select your list of influencers:
- Influencers in the same industry with you will be able to promote your products more authentically and naturally. Influencer marketing holiday themed campaigns can work for all kinds of industries including food, plants, home decor, and technology. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when recruiting influencers, and consider how to match influencers to your buyer personas when they’re buying gifts for their friends and families. E.g a female influencer could still promote a male fragrance if she’s buying it as a gift for her dad.
- Look for influencers who could have a personal story that’s related to your product. Consider activating your most influential customers for your holiday campaigns. Identify your customers that have a high-value social reach using Upfluence Live Capture, and invite them to collaborate on a holiday campaign, sharing their real-life experiences with your products and why they love your brand.
- Find an influencer that fits the size of your budget. It is tempting to spend all your money on a celebrity, or a macro influencer. However, medium or even micro-influencers can actually bring more value to your investment – since they have a closer relationship with their communities.
Plan Ahead of Time
Naturally, influencer marketing takes a lot of time to kickstart. If you’ve worked with influencers before, you’d know that it could take months before a campaign officially begins. This is especially true during the holiday season, when everyone is busy and every brand is reaching out to influencers in hope of a collaboration.
With the regular shopping events of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, being disrupted this year, the shopping period will begin earlier, from October onwards. Brands should plan to make use of key dates such as Halloween, Thanksgiving and Black Friday to share relevant influencer content and introduce new products. People will be looking to capitalize on deals, so don’t wait until December to begin using promo codes and giveaways – start building excitement from now!
You can also read more about the what’s, how’s, and when’s in planning your Holiday influencer marketing campaigns here!
Long-term Influencer Collaboration is More Beneficial
At Upfluence, we always believe that long-term relationships are more beneficial down the line. For the holiday season, we also suggest having a more elaborated campaign rather than a simple one-and-done post from influencers. The best thing about working with influencers that genuinely love your brand, is that they can promote your products all year round. Consider future seasonal campaigns with your holiday season influencers such as for the New Year and Valentines Day.
Choose the Right Product and Services to Promote
People are easily frazzled when presented with too many choices – which is one of the reasons why the holiday season is stressful. Consumers are bombarded by brands, products, and choices, when all they want is a simple solution to their shopping problem. There will be the added stress of shopping during a pandemic so be sure to offer a seamless eCommerce experience if you have an online store, and clearly communicate the steps you’re taking in-store and whether services like curbside pick-up or free delivery are available. Communicating clearly, and early on will help to reassure customers and restore the familiarity of shopping with their favorite brands.
The most important part is for your influencers to communicate these key messages to their followers. As well as promoting individual products, you can have the influencer mention how easy it is to order this product from your website, or how fast shipping was, or even how convenient it is to choose a gift-wrapping option.
Choose a Theme Appropriate to Your Product and the Influencers’ Personality
The holiday season is a great time to be creative. With influencer marketing, your brand has the ability to come up with a theme that’s appropriate to your brand, as well as the influencers’ personality – at a much lower cost.
- A theme that’s personal, emotional, and focuses on relationships, family, partnerships, etc. is a low-hanging fruit that is guaranteed to work well, simply because this is the season for it. Whether it’s products for making small gatherings special or technology to help celebrate with those far away – a focus on connecting with loved ones is sure to be a big theme this year.
- People have been spending more time in their homes and gardens and will continue to do so over the holidays. A good way to make your campaign resonate with the challenges of the 2020 holiday season is to focus on gadgets, activities and toys for people to enjoy at home.
- The holiday season is typically a time for people to splurge on items they don’t usually spend on. For this reason, luxury goods, automotive, travel and hospitality agencies can target both consumers who buy gifts for loved ones as well as consumers who want to treat themselves.
- Brands can also have a theme of holiday wish list/gift-guide as a fun and practical way to promote their products. This works great for products that are segmented into categories like children’s toys, self-care products, outdoor products, etc.
The Value of Giving Back
Consumers are more generous during the holiday season – or they at least want to be. If possible, your brand can offer a “feel-good” element to shopping, like a small percentage of sales would be donated to certain organizations. For companies who choose to do this, they can even partner with influencers who care about social issues and public goods.
Measure and Track your Campaign
You can come up with a unique hashtag for the holiday campaign – something that’s memorable, relatable, and allows you to track how your campaign performs. If you’re driving sales with an affiliate campaign, you can use the Upfluence + Shopify integration that gives brands dual insights into customer social data and purchase habits, as well as generating native promotional codes for affiliate campaigns.
No matter if your company has an extra elaborated campaign with 100+ influencers, or you choose to work with only one – the most important thing to keep in mind is to keep your campaign unique to your branding and messages. With Upfluence, our AI-powered software can help you achieve your goals with our A to Z influencer campaign management tools and dedicated Live Capture offering for eCommerce businesses.