Halloween decorations are starting to appear and Mariah Carey’s Christmas album has already been released - that can only mean that the holiday season is near.
The holiday season typically runs from the beginning of October through the end of January of the new year. Consumers are in a buying frenzy because of all the holidays during this time period, meaning your brand needs to be prepared to capitalize on the moment.
We spoke to four influencer marketing experts about how they plan, execute and thrive during the holiday season frenzy. Here are their 5 major tips:
“Christmas planning in August? Yes, yes, yes! The earlier you can plan out your holiday campaigns the better. There is a ton of competition during this time of year because every brand wants to run holiday campaigns. Creators’ calendars start to get booked, so you need to plan ahead and get in early.” - Bette Ann Fialkov, influencer and entertainment marketing consultant.
Begin your holiday campaign planning well in advance. Why? Because there are likely multiple types of campaigns you’ll want to run during this time. Plus, every creator is going to start getting tapped for other brand campaigns.
Influencer marketing consultant, Giovanna Reinzi, suggests that you ideally start thinking about your holiday campaign strategy in the summer or early fall to allow ample time for preparation.
So what should you be preparing for?
1. The types of campaigns you want to run. Organic, paid, affiliate, or all of the above?! This is the time to make a big splash, but think critically about what the larger marketing team’s objectives are for this season. Also, be sure to have secured the proper influencer marketing budget for this time of year. Some creators increase their fees during holiday times, so plan accordingly!
2. Campaign messaging. The goal should be to tailor your influencer campaign’s messaging to resonate with your target audience. Your target audience will likely get bombarded with content and ads during this time, so understand your target audience’s preferences, needs, and pain points in order to truly connect with them and stand out from the noise.
You’ll also want to find the influencers that will resonate the greatest with your target audience and be able to tell your brand’s story. But before we get into that, it’s critical to set yourself up for success by outlining clear goals for your holiday campaigns.
“It’s especially important to define specific, measurable goals for your holiday campaigns. Are you looking to increase bookings, generate leads, or boost brand awareness? Your goals will shape your influencer marketing strategy.” - Giovanna Reinzi, influencer marketing consultant
SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) influencer marketing goals are essential for any influencer marketing campaign, especially these holiday campaigns. Start with understanding your marketing team’s larger objectives. Is it to increase sales from a retailer's site or bring awareness to a new product launch? And then build out SMART goals that can help achieve these overarching marketing goals.
For example, let’s say your brand is launching a new product and you want to bring awareness to the launch. A SMART goal would be: to get your new product seen by X% of your target audience during the campaign. If you know how big your target audience is, then tie a number to it, so you can say your goal is to earn # impression on content from this holiday product launch campaign.
This is also an important time to look back (if you have it) at historical campaigns. Haley Schluter, Head of Consumer Engagement at LVMH, suggests that you re-familiarize yourself with how you performed in previous years and understand what’s changed from last year to this year. Here are a few questions she tends to ask,
Pro tip: Focus on finding any ownable moments during this time frame. Since there will be a lot of competitor noise, think about whether you can partner with a creator in a unique way. There are also a lot of different holidays that occur during this time period, so think of how you can work with different creators who celebrate those holidays. Find your point of difference, and drive it home!
“Plan your influencer holiday campaign the way that you plan your OWN holiday season with your friends or loved ones. From the timing of the posts to the messaging of the campaign to how the content aligns with what we feel and want to see during the holiday season. My advice is to make it as approachable as possible. The holidays aren't necessarily the time to be disruptive or to test and learn. It's the time to lean into the sentiment you've heard and absorbed about your brand all year and remind folks why your brand belongs in every stocking and cart along the way.” - Haley Schluter, Head of Consumer Engagement at LVMH
Finding the right influencers to partner with might be one of the toughest parts of the process. You’re putting a lot of faith (and likely $$$) into a few influencer partners to tell your brand’s campaign story.
To start off, it’s best to find influencers that can achieve your influencer marketing campaign goals.
For all of your influencer marketing efforts, you’ll likely want to choose influencers based on their
If you want to run any social commerce influencer marketing campaigns, you’ll want to be more strategic in finding the influencers who can drive sales for your brand. A few ways you can find these partners are by focusing on
“Your influencers should be hyper-aware of upcoming deadlines and launch dates throughout the entire holiday season. Create crystal clear influencer briefs and use them to share information with each influencer partner. Don’t forget to let your influencers also know when you will be out of office!” - Alaetra Chisholm, Influencer Marketing and Event Professional
During this time, you’ll likely be faced with running multiple campaigns at the same time. One group of influencers might be driving traffic to a retailer who is running a holiday promo for your products, while another group of influencers might be posting about a hero product that you are heavily promoting on your brand’s website. Suffice it to say, it can get pretty hectic very quickly.
This is why it’s so important to create clear influencer marketing briefs. Here are a few of the key elements to put into your influencer briefs:
Need help getting started? Use this free influencer marketing brief template!
As you’re finalizing the details of your partnership with an influencer, make sure that you have all of their contact information (especially for product seeding campaigns!). An influencer marketing platform, like Traackr, can really help in organizing and managing multiple influencer relationships.
It’s easy to get all wrapped up in the madness of the holiday season. There’s a lot to keep track of, so it can be easy to forget to plan for what immediately comes after the holiday season.
To keep the momentum going for your influencer program, set aside time to think about your campaigns post the new year.
Jumpstart your planning by,
Lastly, don’t forget to thoroughly analyze your holiday season influencer campaigns. Make sure to follow these influencer marketing measurement tips to prove the ROI of your influencer campaigns.