For most B2C, eCommerce, and brick and mortar businesses, Q4 and the holiday season are the most prolific and the biggest revenue driver of the year. Some businesses make 90% of their annual revenue during this time period.
With revenue at its peak, ad spend typically increases significantly and with that so does competition. One way to mitigate the competition of bidding on the same expensive keywords and flooding paid social ads when the feed is already crowded is putting more energy into influencer marketing campaigns.
Influencer marketing is a great way to hit your target audience with user-generated, compelling, and organic content. Influencer marketing is all about storytelling, something that you can’t always effectively do with Paid Search and Paid Social channels due to limited character counts and minimal real estate. It all comes down to selecting the right influencers to partner with that will tell that story for the brand and create a compelling campaign that will grab the attention of their followers.
Here are 5 tips to help you prepare effectively for Holiday 2019.
1) Plan In Advance
As soon as Q3 hits, it feels like Q4 is right around the corner. Especially with the usual “dog days of summer” when it comes to influencers and media, where summer travel schedules can get in the way of campaigns and deadlines. Getting ahead of the holiday rush is that much more important and will make your campaign much more successful.
Planning in advance is also crucial to make sure you are able to work with the influencers on your priority list. Just like ad campaigns are amplified over the holidays, so are influencer campaigns, which means some influencers won’t commit to your campaign unless you are ahead of the game.
Now more than ever influencers are paying attention to how much sponsored content they push. While there are always going to be influencers who say yes to everything, those aren’t necessarily the influencers you want to work with. You should work with influencers who space out sponsored and organic content to not overload their followers so when content is sponsored it’s more sticky and impactful.
If you get your influencer partners squared away in advance and have their commitment, it will give you the opportunity to get ahead of your competitors. Now is the time to start planning!
2) Give Ample Time for Approvals
The holidays are a busy time for all, which means delayed responses and multiple touchpoints to follow up on deliverables. This is exactly why you should plan in advance and give enough time when content is supposed to go live to send product (keeping in mind there are sometimes shipping delays over the holidays), give time for content creation, and have a solid window of time for approvals.
We recommend giving at least two weeks for influencers to shoot content, create their captions, and plan for posting, and another week for content approvals. You should have deadlines clearly outlined in a written document for influencer partnerships because, inevitably, people will forget and be late. This gives enough time to be able to follow up on late content, and give tweaks needed for captions.
3) Consider A “Campaign Drop”
You may be most familiar with this type of campaign from the hype around Fyre Fest – the disaster of a music festival was actually a slam dunk on social media with influencer marketing. The social team behind the campaign had every influencer post on the same day, which we refer to as a “campaign drop.” It resulted in a flurry of activity and made the announcement stickier.
Other brands like Sephora have done this really well with their sheet masking in public campaign, where influencers all posted their content on the same day. It was a way to saturate a brand awareness play where there was most likely overlap between who was following the influencers they partnered with, creating a repeated message throughout the day.
To orchestrate this, it’s even more important to plan in advance since every influencer has to commit to the same day for posting. The goal is to share content on the same day in order to generate a blitz of coverage that captures a greater percentage of an audience.
Your influencer partners should be in the loop on your holiday promotions for Cyber Monday and Black Friday (or ‘cyber week’), and a campaign drop the day of your big promotion is a great way to get the word out at a larger scale since people will already be in the shopping mentality and actively looking for deals.
4) Drive Influencer Followers to a Holiday Landing Page
You should consider creating an SEO-optimized holiday landing page now, rather than waiting until November, so it starts to gain momentum from an SEO ranking perspective. Keep in mind the content needs to be crawled by Google a number of times before it can start to get traction with ranking. You can make the page unnavigable on the website until you’re ready to promote your holiday promos.
Once your holiday promotions are launched, you can make the page navigable on your website and create UTMs for each influencer that drives their followers to that specific page when they share on Instagram Stories, YouTube, or their blogs.
From there you can retarget people with holiday-specific messaging who reached that page but didn’t convert since you know that is the destination they reached and may just need to be nurtured further. This is a great way to fill your warm campaigns on Facebook and introduce new users to the brand via a third-party influencer endorsement.
5) Incentivize Influencers To Continue Posting for an Affiliate Commission
Some larger influencers are not going to be receptive to earning an affiliate commission as their sole form of compensation if they charge a sponsored fee, however, it can be a great way to incentivize continued posting once the sponsored content goes live.
For example, if you’re working with an influencer on a sponsored Instagram post, he or she may be sharing Instagram Stories as well and be more incentivized to go above and beyond and share additional content if they know they can earn a commission on sales.
Overwhelmed with the planning and prep work? Reach out to our influencer marketing team to learn about ways we can help you 1) get set up for a successful campaign, 2) find influencers who are going to move the needle for your business, and 3) measure the impact and results down to dollars and cents.