As a business, are you likely feeling the holiday pressure now since online sales are projected to increase between 3.6 and 4 percent this year.
As part of your marketing strategy this holiday season, have you considered using influencers? If you aren’t, then we’d recommend you take a closer look at using them in order to be totally prepared for gaining traction this holiday season.
Why should I spend money on influencers this holiday season?
Don’t waste your money on paid ads, at least not all of your holiday marketing budget. And here’s why.
Last year, a Paid Search Trends report found that cost per click rose by 26%, while mobile click-through rates dropped by 31% compared to what they were in 2015. These trends aren’t great for eCommerce businesses, and they’re expected to continue their upward and downward movements this year. In fact, some are predicting that there will be an even larger gap since Amazon is expected to have an even bigger presence in Google shopping results.
Last year was the first time Amazon tested product listing ads and started showing up in Google shopping results. If they put out more product listing ads this holiday season, that’s bad news for you and other retailers who simply can’t financially compete with the budget this shopping giant has.
So instead, look for ways to lower your ad cost by spending money on industry influencers to market your products and push holiday deals.
Influencer marketing can essentially help support various parts of your sales funnel. Consumers trust their peers more than brands. In fact, 92% of consumers trust influencers more than celebrity endorsements or advertisements. Plus, when you find the right influencers, you have access to a new audience that’s easily accessible and highly engaged, which increases your chances of holiday sales—all the more reason to give influencers your money or products for free to share with their audiences.
Relevant influencers aren’t just a cost-effective way to extend your holiday campaign reach, though; they also allow you to stand out and break away from typical, boring holiday ads. These influencers create marketing efforts through various content types that are memorable, shareable and trusted.
How can I leverage influencers with my holiday marketing campaigns?
Whether you’re looking to develop awareness, drive engagement, increase sales or all of the above, the right influencers on the right platform can help your company achieve its holiday marketing goals.
Let’s start with the different social platforms and how to leverage influencer marketing with each. Then I’ll review the best content types for the holidays.
Do you sell visually-pleasing products, like apparel, home decor or letter boards? Then your product and an influencer with an engaged Instagram following are a match made in snow-filled Christmas heaven. Instagram is a great way to build your social media following and get the word out about a new product, holiday promotion or giveaway. Photos are captivating, and Instagram allows influencers to get creative with their photo posts to make them even more captivating.
Instagram tends to be the go-to social platform in terms of visual content—but don’t forget about Pinterest. When you compare all social platforms and how they influence consumer purchase decisions during the holidays, Pinterest is the Rudolph of the social media reindeer, leading the social herd at 47.7%. Whether an influencer shares a pin of your product or creates a gift guide board with some of your products, good influencer pins have the potential to go viral fast while consumers are searching Pinterest for what they want and what to buy others.
If your target market is Millennials, reach out to Snapchat influencers. Roughly 71% of Snapchat users are between 18 and 29 years old. Let an influencer take over your Snapchat for a day or have them promote your product, event or other holiday message on their Snapchat account. Whichever you choose, just remember to keep the message simple; don’t do anything too flashy. Millennials like things raw and simple, not something that looks professionally produced.
Think of YouTube as the influencer marketing platform that can do it all for you. It’s visual, it educates consumers and it drives conversion. Just one influencer video can take a consumer from the brand awareness step to the conversion step in just a few minutes. And consumers who use YouTube are gung ho for YouTube influencers—60% of YouTube subscribers say they’d follow buying advice from a YouTube influencer vs. a traditional celebrity.
If you’re looking for holiday content that’s going to spread faster than holiday cheer, think holiday guides.
[Screenshots from stylebyemilyhenderson.com]
First, there’s the holiday gift guide. During the holidays, consumers want simplicity and convenience. OK, consumers want that all year round, but especially during the holidays when things are crazy hectic. Whether in a video, blog post or Pinterest board, find an influencer willing to highlight your product(s) to their social following in a 2017 gift guide.
Next, partner with an influencer to create a holiday outfit guide if you sell apparel and accessories. Whether it’s “What to Wear to Your Office Holiday Party” or ‘What to Wear to Your First Christmas with Your In-Laws,” consumers will appreciate the advice. And what social media influencer does love getting a free product to dress up in, show off on Instagram and blog about? (If you find one, let me know.)
Lastly, for those of you in the food industry, partner with an influencer on holiday recipe ideas. Have them use your product in a tasty holiday recipe, and then share a picture and the recipe, with a link to your product used, online. This is the perfect holiday content choice for Instagram or Pinterest.
For even more eCommerce holiday tips, check out our post where we share 2017 holiday marketing campaign tactics for success.