Happy Holiday… Planning: Top Tips for Creating Your Holiday Influencer Campaign

Opinion: Leverage practical planning, content development and measurement tips and tools

Many shoppers prefer to get a head start on their gift list - Credit by Kerkez/iStock

While it may seem crazy to think about Christmas when it’s 90 degrees out, now is the time for brands to put together their holiday-related marketing campaigns.

According to eMarketer, more than 50 percent of worldwide internet users say that their digital purchases are influenced by social media, and almost 50 percent of consumers surveyed would consider buying a product on a recommendation from an internet personality.

As consumer spending continues to reach an all-time high, this year’s holiday influencer campaigns will be especially key to drive sales while communicating brand value to consumers.

In order to ensure an effective use of influencers, brands can leverage the following ideas to plan holiday influencer campaigns this year:

  • Track attribution: Regardless of your creative strategy, it is important to focus on driving actual ecommerce sales by using an intelligent link solution to track attribution from each influencer and his or her piece of content. Leverage influencer management and measurement platforms, provide each influencer with a unique, branded link for every post to gather and analyze the total number of clicks, location of customer, device used and more. This is helpful for companies to understand exactly how influencers are contributing to the traffic on their sites.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of a gift guide: Extremely popular with both traditional media and bloggers, gift guides are now moving to video format on YouTube and, more recently, Instagram. Encourage your influencers to create a five- to 10-minute unboxing or product review video to host on IGTV. Additionally, each influencer should publish a series of digestible Instagram Stories to drive traffic to the longer video and swipe up directly to the product page for purchases. Require influencers to use their custom links for each post to track click-throughs.
  • Maximize impressions with a static photo post for the primary feed to support Stories: Influencers should create at least one post for the feed to make best use of a captive audience. If you’re looking to boost views, this could also be a carousel or a fun and engaging video such as still-motion or a Boomerang. Make sure they include a call to action in the caption to let their followers know to click the link to the full post in their bios. From a creative perspective, have the influencer showcase the products, educate consumers on benefits and describe how they would use the product in everyday life. If possible, have them test the product on-camera and provide a real-time review.
  • Make it personal: For any storyteller, help them find a way to tell a unique narrative that is relevant to their visual identities or backgrounds. How will the product integrate into their lives and leave a positive impact? How does the brand embody the holiday spirit? If possible, allows these creators to go behind-the-scenes with the brand to document the journey on how the product was conceived and built. It’s important for today’s consumers to understand not just the product but, more important, why they need this product in their life. A product that taps into the need of a consumer allows them to better establish and build a deeper brand connection.
  • Incorporate a fan holiday giveaway: Give influencers the opportunity to reward their fans during the holiday season with a giveaway or product upgrade. For example, offer one lucky fan who purchases and comments on the product a chance to win a VIP package that they can keep or give as a gift. Another example that provides savings for the influencer’s followers and increases engagement for the brand includes allowing the influencer to give up to 25 percent savings or offer free shipping to their fans. When paired with volume purchasing, your company will reduce waste margins (i.e., “buy three and get 20 percent off using this code”).
  • Pay it forward: It is the season of giving, so remember to allow the audience to pass the goodwill along. One way to do this is by incentivizing purchases by entering each customer into a giveaway. The winner will be allowed to pay it forward by gifting five packages to their friends and family. This will add a social good element to your campaign while increasing word-of-mouth reach among your target consumer base.
  • Don’t be afraid to start early: Many shoppers prefer to get a head start on their gift list, so it’s important for campaigns to start well ahead of Black Friday. Early November is a great time to begin seeding gift guides to make sure that your brand is top of mind during the holiday shopping rush.

As said by eMarketer, social media users from all over the world follow influencers for inspiration, honest opinions and even expert advice. Influencers provide a direct and authentic line for brands trying to reach their customers, and they will be especially important during this year’s holiday shopping season. Leveraging practical planning, content development and measurement tips and tools will ensure that brands get the most return on investment from their influencer marketing campaigns.

Happy holiday planning!

Dave Dickman is CEO of influencer marketing platform Tagger Media.