By Rachel Clay
As counter intuitive as it might feel to think about Christmas as we enjoy one of the hottest summers on record, as advertising, PR and many other communications industries plan for Christmas in July & August; Influencer marketing is now no different.
If you haven’t yet got started on your Christmas 2018 Influencer Marketing strategy; read our Top 8 Tips to kick-start your plans:
1) Clearly Define Your Campaign Objectives
Is this purely a commercially driven campaign, or are you looking to raise brand awareness, grow your own social following, increase in-store footfall etc.? Your campaign objective will govern your strategy, style of execution, influencers your select, success metrics etc. so this is the very first decision to make.
2) Get Started Now….
Once you have your objectives(s) in mind get started on your approach and allow yourself plenty of time to plan and develop an actual creative strategy – just gifting or sending influencers product, or inviting them to your Christmas events is no longer effective and doesn’t fully leverage the power of influencer campaigns. Influencers are creative talents who can bring your product to life, and add a voice to your brand story, so be sure to maximise these skills.
3) Spend Time on Influencer Identification
Selecting the right influencers for your campaign is key to its success and it is no easy task! We recommend a 3 step process in order to expertly identify the best influencers to approach:
- Think Data Data Data!
Detailed demographic data is available for all influencers’ audiences so you can analyse whether they are really reaching your target consumer. Therefore be sure to clearly identify your target group(s) and make sure the influencers you select to work with match as closely as possible.
- Qualitative Review
Consider the look & feel of each influencer you’re considering; does their image quality reflect your brand positioning? What are the key themes? Their story-telling style, the other brands they are associated with etc.
Whilst this sounds very obvious, you would be surprised by the amount of stories we hear from influencers who have been approached by brands which would be totally out of place in their feed…
4) Focus on Engagement not Reach
When selecting influencers to work with, bigger really is not often better. The Instagram algorithm is a big ‘popularity parade’ i.e. posts with the most engagement reach bigger audiences. If a post receives less than 1.2% engagement, it will only be seen organically by a maximum of 20% of an influencers’ audience, and some experts estimate the maximum visibility to be as little as 10%. Even without this statistic though, if followers aren’t engaging with your content it isn’t working for you anyway…
5) Think Outside the Box
Influencer Marketing is a creative industry however, despite this, campaigns are often very safe and content very samey. With an estimated 60 million images uploaded to Instagram everyday, it’s more important than ever to innovate your approach in order to achieve cut through. Christmas offers so many opportunities for creativity – try cross marketing and working with influencers from another sector to show your product in a new light or creating content in different forms such as IG TV.
6) Allow Influencers Freedom
Each influencer is the expert at engaging their own audience, so it is important to collaborate with them on everything from content output to posting schedule. No one knows their audience better, so in order to maximise results and create authenticity, their expertise must be respected
7) Think Beyond December 25th
Christmas is the most saturated time of year for marketing campaigns but if you can maintain your pre-Christmas buzz well into the New Year, and form a long term partnership with the influencers involved, you’re much more likely to see a high ROI in the long term too.
8) Be Social
It might sound simple but many brands (and influencers) just aren’t ‘social’ on social media… Engaging with followers is one of the best ways of increasing your follower size and growing your all important engagement rate. With the new features now available on Instagram Stories, such as Polls and questions, it is now easier than ever to communicate with your audience. Therefore think about gaining consumer insights or market insights and adding wider value to your business.
Get in touch with our Head of Influencer Marketing, Rachel Clay to find out more.