Influencer marketing has quickly become an integral part of marketing strategies year-round, but it’s especially important during crowded times of the year. Compared to last year, this holiday season forecasts a 100% increase in requests for a holiday influencer campaign. Accordingly, digital ad spend on social media influencer content is expected to grow to $6 billion this holiday season, representing 20% of all digital ad spend in the U.S.
It’s more important than ever to implement an innovative influencer program that’s aligned with consumer purchasing behaviors and social media habits. As a top social media firm, we’re rounding up our best tips and trends to make sure your holiday influencer campaign breaks through the seasonal clutter.
Holiday shoppers are on social media. According to data from Fohr, 71% of consumers are actively shopping on Instagram for holiday gifts, while 31% are searching on TikTok. Did you know that TikTokers are more likely than the average adult to buy brands after seeing them on other social media platforms? That includes Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Reddit and even LinkedIn. With new shopping capabilities and trends like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt (which has more than 5 billion views on the app), TikTok will be a key component of holiday influencer campaigns this year.
Natural short-form video and live content from influencers will continue to reign in both views and engagement. Mirror the engaging voice of influencers in your ads and tell the story through video content like Instagram Reels, TikToks and IGTV, which tend to perform better than traditional still content. However, don’t forget about the classics. Aim to incorporate a wide variety of content into your influencer strategy to elevate storytelling and maximize influencer partnerships, and be sure to stay up to date on platform guidelines when it comes to advertising. This is especially important for cause marketing, which will be more prevalent than ever this holiday season.
Consumers want advice on what to buy in different categories from influencers they trust. “Genuinfluencers” know that reliability, authenticity and community are key to brand and influencer success. Micro and nano influencers tend to be perceived as more relatable than celebrity-level influencers, and their approach to personal storytelling leads to diverse and unique content. Influencers will utilize trackable links in gift guides and posts to help customers find what they’re looking for. They’ll also celebrate the return of normalcy by holiday-ifying their content in an inclusive and entertaining way. When working with influencers, provide flexible content prompts rather than scripted brand language. This gives partners the freedom to bring your brand into the conversation in a way that feels personal, organic and relevant.
Pre-promotion during the holiday season greatly impacts holiday sales. Get ahead of holiday shopping decisions by rolling out and amplifying two rounds of influencer content. The first round of content should run at the beginning of November, as a Criteo report recently found that new customers in the U.S. typically take two weeks to make a Black Friday purchasing decision. Planning ahead also gives brands a better chance at working with their dream partners. According to a recent Fohr survey, 66% of bloggers won’t take gift-guide brand inclusions after October 15th and 48% won’t consider a holiday offer come mid-November.
Be mindful of budgets and allocate enough strategic ad dollars to reach your target audience during a higher cost period. In a recent Fohr survey, nearly half of all influencers admitted to raising their rates in the holiday season due to demand. For ads, CPM (cost per thousand impressions) also tends to be higher during this time of year.
Written By: Angie Bolotin, Head of Influencer Marketing