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For marketers looking to capitalize on the peak-spending season with holiday influencer campaigns, it’s crucial to begin planning early. In the November-December holiday season in 2021, retail sales grew 14.1% over 2020 and online sales were up 11.3% compared with the previous year. 

Tips for planning successful holiday influencer campaigns

Here are seven tips to help ensure you’re prepared and engaged in best practices.

Determine your budget

Before you even begin to research and vet influencers, you need to determine your campaign budget. You’ll likely have multiple campaigns running beyond influencer marketing, so you need to decide what piece of the pie you plan to dedicate toward partnerships.

Your budget will vary depending on factors such as the cost of the product or service you’re selling, your profit margin, the customer acquisition cost, your customer lifetime value, and the number of estimated conversions. 

Figure out what you can afford to spend and how many influencers you’d like to include in this particular campaign. It can be more effective to collaborate with fewer influencers and then allocate part of the budget for paid media.

Establish a timeline

Give yourself at least two months to research influencers, identify a short list of possible partnerships, and reach out to your top few.

Why so long? Some influencers may decline your offer or you may find they are not the best fit. The holidays are busy for influencers, too, so reaching out early is a good idea. Using influencer marketing software to help you find and vet content creators can help save time. 

Plus, you need time to assign tasks, create landing pages, confirm promotional codes, and review and adjust the agreement with the influencer and your legal team.

Be sure to include plenty of time to cross-promote the campaign through some pre-launch hype, especially if you’re coordinating a live stream, podcast, or Q&A. 

Define your campaign goals

Although sales might be your main goal, influencer marketing campaigns can also focus on building brand awareness or strengthening a brand’s image, gaining followers, increasing engagement, and gaining customer insight and data.

In addition, influencer-generated content and user-generated content can provide rich material to be used in future marketing campaigns, on websites and blogs, and in advertising materials.

By defining your campaign goals, you’ll help your team and the influencer better understand whether the campaign was a success, regardless of conversions.

Select products or services to promote

During the season of giving, it makes sense to choose products or services that can be purchased as gifts. That might mean repackaging items as gift sets, promoting buy-one-get-one items, offering gift wrapping and free shipping, touting easy returns, or even suggesting recipients with certain items. 

When choosing products and services, look for ways to tie in your influencer marketing campaign with other campaigns you’ll be running during and after the holidays. This should include social media, paid search, traditional advertising, and email marketing.

Research influencers

One mistake marketers often make when planning their first influencer campaign is focusing only on the number of followers. But the key to a successful partnership goes beyond the volume of potential followers who could view the promotion. After all, lists can be bought. You’re looking for engaged followers who comment, like and share, and whose interest and spending habits match your target audience. 

Pitch collabs to niche influencers with loyal and engaged followers. They tend to trust the influencer more than fans of celebrity influencers who boast a big—but general— following.

Review contract details with chosen influencers.

Once you’ve chosen an influencer (or several) whose audience, rates, talent and interest in your campaign are aligned, take the time to review the details of your campaign agreement. 

The terms of the collaboration should include timelines, content to be produced, compensation, roles and expectations (like who will respond to questions, what promotion will both parties be responsible for), and legalities. Ensure that the influencer contract spells out your brand’s rights to reuse content for a certain period of time, too.

Have a plan in place to measure the results

There are many ways to measure the campaign’s return on investment, but they’ll vary slightly depending on whether you’re using things like affiliate links, promotional codes, and UTM codes. 

You might consider using influencer marketing software that can help you track the effectiveness of a campaign. Additionally, more experienced social media influencers may have their own analytics that they’re willing to share. 

Put these tactics to use on your next holiday influencer campaign and learn from your successes and mistakes. Be sure to debrief and review with the influencer and your marketing team to ensure that each campaign is improved upon. 

Need guidance on implementing a successful holiday campaign? IZEA can help.


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