The holidays are an essential time for any brand, with an entire year’s worth of goals often riding on a few weeks of sales. There is also a ton of competition for consumer attention, making it difficult to get your message across.
Fortunately, influencers are trusted, authentic voices that cut through the noise and speak directly to your ideal audience. With the holidays right around the corner, now is the perfect time to launch your first influencer campaign.
Right in time for the holidays, here are ten steps to launching your first influencer campaign and making sure it’s a success.
The best holiday campaigns capture people’s imaginations, drawing them into your brand’s story. To start, identify the story you want to tell. For example, a beauty brand wanting to launch a holiday collection may ask influencers to create glamorous New Year’s Eve looks and tell the story of their night on the town.
Establishing clear goals for your campaign is another essential first step. Engagement rate, or the percentage of an influencer’s followers who like or comment on a post, is one of the most important metrics for influencer marketing because it measures how audiences are responding to content. Your goals will also help determine which types of influencers are right for you to work with. Common goals and metrics for holiday campaigns include:
-Raise brand awareness (Reach and engagement rate)
-Build excitement for a product launch (Reach and engagement rate)
-Identify new leads (clicks, lead forms, engagement rate)
-Generate sales (clicks, conversions)
Instagram is the most popular platform for influencer marketing because it generates beautiful content and high engagement rates. But other platforms have strengths too. For example, if you’re trying to reach Gen Z, look no further than TikTok. YouTube is great for long-form reviews or how-to videos, and Pinterest is a powerful tool for shoppable roundups and checklists. Depending on your budget, you may want to work with a variety of influencers on several different platforms.
Influencer calendars fill up quickly over the holidays, so when you find someone you love be sure to reach out right away. Keep in mind that the right influencers for your brand won’t necessarily have the largest following. It’s more important that their audience is a good fit for what you are promoting and that they help you reach your goals, like engagement. Smaller influencers tend to have higher engagement rates than larger ones, and they also usually create high-quality content at a lower cost. Make sure all contracts are signed before moving on to the next step.
Influencers need to feel that their work is worthwhile. The incentive impacts the quality of influencer you can partner with. Make sure you’re paying fairly and sending great products for rewards. Fun packages wrapped for the holidays don’t hurt either!
The sooner you send products to influencers after contracts are signed, the better. Inclement weather and an overburdened delivery system can cause major delays during the holidays, and influencer excitement about a collaboration tends to wane with wait times.
It is important to communicate with influencers throughout the process. Be available to answer questions, provide guidance if requested, and like their posts, of course! This will set you apart from other brands, especially during this busy time of year.
Monitor influencer content as it’s posted. If content doesn’t align with the creative brief, politely follow up with edits. If you love the content, you can like or share it on your company’s social account. (And make sure to credit the influencer!) If you’d like to use influencer content on your company’s website or other publications, you will need to purchase image rights.
At the end of your campaign, analyze the performance metrics against the goals you established early in this process. Did you reach your campaign benchmarks? Did you tell the story you wanted to tell? Why or why not?
After the holidays are over, identify which influencers were your favorites to work with and had the best reception to your brand’s content. Get back in touch with them for future partnerships. The more clear it is that an influencer and a brand are working together because of affinity, the more returns you’ll see on your influencer marketing. When the holidays come around again, you’ll be way ahead of the game.
The more influencers you work with, the more complex identification, logistics, and relationship management can become.
Obviously has the ability to scale up influencer campaigns and work with dozens- or even hundreds- of influencers at once. If you’re looking to establish a high-quality influencer network and run innovative campaigns customized your goals, reach out Obviously!