With the Holiday season upon us and Halloween right around the corner, businesses and brands are fighting to capitalize this shopping season with an ever growing trend. 81% of buyers say their purchases are influenced by social and 37% of consumers are using social media as their go-to before making a purchase.
If you’d like more sales, more traffic and more buzz, where should you start? Ideally, you want to begin your holiday marketing preparation around late August to early September. With Black Friday right around the corner, Cyber Week is a great opportunity to engage customers and drive sales. The numbers don’t lie. Social media marketing is THE MOST EFFECTIVE way of reaching buyers during the holiday shopping season.
- 24% of businesses have been using social marketing for 5+ years.
- $15B – Annual US spend on social marketing.
- Facebook is the most popular social media network for marketing purposes exposure.
- 39% of marketers anticipated boosting budgets in 2018.
- #1 social benefit of social marketing in 2017 was increased exposure.
- $1.6B – Amount brands spent with influencers.
- $2B – In 2015, brands spent $500 million working with social media influencers.
- In 2017, that number exceeded $2 billion, with campaigns in the fashion and beauty verticals accounting for 40% of that total spend.
Influencer marketing is growing like crazy.
Influencers offer authority and an already proven reputation. Not only is it a great opportunity for brand partnership/building, Influencers present an already established audience and a level of trust.
- 42% of millenials say social is the most relevant channel for ads.
- 50% of US consumers say User Generated Content makes them more likely to buy.
- 50% of Gen Zers say social is the most relevant channel for ads.
Social media marketing is definitely on the rise.
Strategy is everything this shopping season. Brand messaging should be adjusted throughout the year. The key focus of your Holiday campaign should be driving revenue and getting people to take action (share, retweet, like, comment, visit your website or storefront, make purchases & signing up for your email list). Brands are spending more and more on social advertising. Influencer marketing budgets got a 6% boost from last year alone.
- 1% spend on Websites
- 11% spend on Snapchat
- 14% spend on Pinterest
- 22% spend on LinkedIn
- 38% spend on Twitter
- 60% spend on YouTube
- 64% spend on Instagram
- 97% spend on Facebook
Trust and impact for consumers.
And Facebook “takes the cake” with good reason – the word-of-mouth endorsements embedded in user-generated content still works.
- 37% of consumers use social media as their go-to before making a purchase.
- 74% of C-Level and executive buyers also use social media to make purchasing decisions.
- 81% of buyers say their purchases are influenced by social.
- 50X – A recommendation from a trusted friend is 50 times more likely to convert than other recommendations.
- 92% – More than 92% of consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations.
- 24% – while only 24% trust online ads.
- 71% of those polled said they are more likely to buy from a company after having a positive interaction with it.
- 48% of US consumers have purchased a product after learning about it from an influencer.
ROI for Brands
Influencer marketing combined with a sound digital strategy can be critical to boosting traffic and sales during the 2019 Holiday shopping season. Utilizing Influencers with paid search, social media & mobile is KEY to your campaign. When combined effectively, you can create opportunities for re-targeting consumers who have visited your website or interacted with your brand online.
Influencer marketing directly impacts sales through redemptions of promotional offers. When measured with foot traffic data, influencer marketing increases engagement. 80% of marketers who have used influencer marketer campaigns found them effective for driving engagement and results.
- $1.00 for every $1.00 spent.
- $6.85 is delivered in ROI.
When measured with loyalty card data, influencer content can drive sales and increase basket size. 81% of small firms and 73% of large firms say earned media is as effective or more effective than paid media. Global marketers list among the benefits of using social media marketing: Providing marketplace insights, improving search ranking and improving sales. Both brands and consumers benefit from influencer marketing.
Local wins big this Holiday season. This can be a great opportunity to showcase your business listing through “Google My Business“. Partnering with creators across different verticals who have sway with their followers is one of the fastest ways to increase exposure for your brand, get people talking about your product and drive traffic (virtual and foot) that converts.
But when Social Media Marketing includes influencer marketing the process gets tricky.
Things that marketers would like to see improved.
- 80% – Measuring ROI
- 66% – Tracking influence
- 60% – Influencer discovery
- 55% – Reporting back
- 46% – Managing list of influencers
- 41% – Engaging influencers
- 26% – Influencer relationships
Your Step By Step Game Plan for Rolling Out a Holiday Influencer Campaign
#1 SET GOALS – This one trips up a lot of brands, but if you identify your end goal during the planning stage, its much easier to figure out who and what you need to make the campaign a success. AND it’s easier to determine the effectiveness of your campaign.
#2 TIMELINE – FYI – NOW is the time to start planning your holiday campaigns! Influencer campaigns take weeks to plan.
#3 BUDGET – Influencer price is affected by things like influencer choice, type of content being created, how “produced” the content is, platform being used, time frame. Best advice? Get lots of prices from lots of influencers.
#4 STRATEGY – Influencers are pros at making sure your message gets heard. But YOUR TEAM lays out the message, method and outcomes of the campaign. Knowing these three will help you identify the qualities influencers need to have to help you accomplish your goals.
#5 GOALS – Discovery – This is a tough one for most marketers. Once you know your selection criteria and identify the attributes that are most important for influencers to have, CREATE a large candidate pool because a lot of the influencers you approach will decline to join your campaign.
#6 SELECTION – Go deeper than follower count, blog traffic and engagement numbers. Also look at the influencer’s organic follower growth, audience demographic, brand mentions, brand affinity, product analysis and audience sentiment.
#7 CONTRACTS – For influencer campaigns, User Generated Content (UGC) is EVERYTHING! You protect your content rights in the contract. If you don’t, sponsored content will remain the legal property of the content’s creator – the influencer. That’s just good old-fashioned copyright law.
#8 SHIPPING – Influencer campaigns can create a boatload of shipments and headaches. Be prepared to deal with influencer product choices, clothing sizes, dietary restrictions, tracking packages, finding or replacing lost packages, and following up with influencers after they get their packages.
#9 LAUNCH – Before launching an influencer campaign put code tracking in place to measure ROI. You need a different tracking code for each campaign, influencer and product. This way influencers can embed links in their IG bios, pixels on their blogs, and codes on sales pages that will connect specific influencers to specific customer actions like pageviews, downloads, shopping cart adds and sales. You’ll learn which influencers are driving the most engagement.
#10 OPTIMIZE – Keep a close eye on your campain to see which posts and themes people are responding to. Bonus: Monitoring your campaign will allow you to tweak it as needed to get greater reach, more followers and better engagement.
#11 SCALE – The optimization framework is your roadmap. It lets you continually improve your results and deliver data that can have profound effects across all your marketing channels.