Many challenging endeavors require long-term, dedicated efforts in order to succeed. Whether climbing a tall mountain, defending a PhD thesis, or embarking on a new career, preparation efforts can’t be crammed into a weekend – or even a handful of weekends. Months of planning and dedicated effort must precede such achievements.
And if your brand wants to succeed and earn revenue throughout the holiday season, September and early October is the time to get started.
Work Now to Achieve a Successful Holiday Shopping Season
Spikes in sales don’t occur immediately at the exact time as ad spend, and ads take time to be created. Many brands also have longer sales cycles, resulting in further deferrals between campaign launch and revenue generation. Again, the time to act is now.
According to TikTok Internal data, DE, Oct 2020 – Feb 2021, TikTok users embrace shopping content around key holiday moments and build up anticipation for Black Friday and Christmas way ahead of time. To achieve a successful holiday season, Kingfluencers advises setting the foundations for long term success in the early fall season.
For brands who are prepared, there are numerous opportunities to boost revenue this coming holiday season. 86% of consumers have delayed big purchases such as a car, vacation, or home appliances over the last year. Additionally, many are engaging in ‘revenge shopping,’trying to make up for the consumption they missed during the pandemic and lockdowns by spending extra on things they want – a trend that is expected to continue throughout the end of this year. So as a brand make sure you capture these consumers’ attention and check in part of that spending as revenue.
Making Wise Marketing Investments
As September has drawn to a close, brands are embarking on the fall/ winter season, which includes many key shopping milestones. Testing and iterating now will set up your brand for success. Brainstorm, develop fresh content, test campaigns, and optimize so you can ramp up and build momentum through Christmas and New Year’s.
Influencer Marketing (IM) has the power to help brands generate awareness and earn consumer loyalty throughout different phases. It’s authentic and impactful and has excellent potential for interactive, engaging campaigns. With influencer marketing showcasing best-in-class ROI figures, it is becoming increasingly attractive for companies. IM has proven to be an efficient way to reach your target audience, and a powerful tool to help your brand get even closer to consumers.
With a holistic approach in the industry and the help of in-house AI-based technology, Kingfluencers is able to run influencer marketing campaigns that not only provide impressive reach but also drive conversions through continuous optimization in four phases:
- Phase 1 (Sept – Early Oct) – Connect & Create
This month is the time for brainstorming and developing fresh ideas, both internally as well as selecting influencers and content creators to partner with.
- Phase 2 (Mid Oct – Halloween) – Build & Execute
Build campaigns, and begin placing ads so you can gather the data needed to test.
- Phase 3 (Nov Through Black Friday) – Test & Optimize
As you accrue data, test additional variables and make improvements.
- Phase 4 (Dec Through New Years) – Reap Rewards… & Repeat
Making investments and building towards success can drive increased revenue through December, but the process of optimizing campaigns should also be repeated continuously.
Phase 1 – Create New Campaigns & Leverage Influencer Marketing to Connect with Audiences
As you begin to brainstorm new campaigns, leverage a variety of sources for fresh ideas. Influencers are often viewed as a vehicle for connecting to your audience. While they can do so effectively, they can also contribute their subject matter expertise and collaborate with you to develop creative campaign ideas. As subject matter experts, influencers are uniquely qualified to help your brand be more creative, bringing fresh, creative ideas no one else inside your organization may have thought of before.
Consumers use social media to discover products and services, and make purchasing decisions, often with the help of influencers as reliable sources of information. 87% of consumers made purchases based on influencer recommendations. When it comes to brands, products, and services to buy, consumers seem to trust shopping recommendations more from influencers than from family and friends according to a study from gen.video.
Getting started with IM and storytelling by partnering with the right influencers are vital tactics for connecting with your audience. The ability to select specific influencers provides exceptional targeting capabilities, although it can be a challenging process. Influencer choice must align with your brand’s message and values, as well as your campaign objectives. As you build an influencer squad, consider the following:
- Conduct due diligence
- Find the right match with the platforms of choice
- Seek authenticity
- Find the right degree of creativity
- Aim for long-terms collaborations
- Consider various influencer roles
Working with an influencer marketing agency can also help you make ideal matches. Because Kingfluencers has existing relationships with multiple influencers, we can also ensure your brand collaborates with reliable, trustworthy professionals. Contact us at Kingfluencers.
Example – Corona Beer: The Swiss Limetrack
To strengthen its presence in the Swiss market, Corona engaged with Kingfluencers to create an influencer marketing campaign boosting local appeal and connecting to Swiss consumers on an emotional level.
Kingfluencers assembled an influencer team, The Limetrack squad, and built a sequence of creative activities and steps that allowed the influencers to tell a rich and captivating story over 3.5 months. Serving as protagonists, the Limetrack Squad took the audience on a magnificent summer journey, which included allowing every consumer to become the hero of their own story by following the influencer’s footsteps and giving away dozens of Corona kits via interactive challenges and contests – getting the winners ready to start their own adventures.
Phase 2 – Build & Execute
Once you’ve established strategies, October is the time to get started with implementation and testing elements like messaging, influencers, and imagery. Halloween is a great occasion to feature, as the first fall/winter holiday in the ramp-up to Christmas.
Establish your unique goals, then measure SoMe results against them. You may want to drive a specific and measurable action, such as email signups or purchases. On the other hand, your social media campaigns may be driving awareness and thus your goals may be impressions and reach. The guidance of experts can help you determine where to get started, establish goals, and build structured plans to achieve targeted goals.
It’s important for brands to assess the outcome of campaigns and continually adjust to keep moving in the right direction as they work to build their funnel. Throughout October, continually gather data to establish a baseline so you can begin to measure changes. If your metrics are trending in a positive direction in response to your efforts, reinforce the factors that contributed to this. And when you view trends moving in the opposite direction, investigate and look at the whole picture. Initiatives that fall short are still important lessons learned.
Phase 3 – Test & Optimize, Which Takes Time
Black Friday is the time to capitalize on what you’ve learned in October and test further to optimize your campaigns in the runup to Christmas and New Years. Knowing which of your messages your target audience responds to enables you to dedicate marketing investments to the tactics that yield the best return on investment. And the only way to reach those conclusions is to test.
At Kingfluencers, our team of experts help brands put together and implement their ideal optimization strategies to maximize ROI.
A/B testing is a wonderful tool that lets marketers replace opinion with fact. When 2 distinct marketing tactics are executed, and 1 outperforms the other, brands can declare a clear winner and adapt future campaigns accordingly. However, you can only test 1 variable at a time. Conducting tests takes time to gauge results and there are limitations on how much you can condense this vital process. Much like training for a marathon, the preparations required for success simply cannot be crammed into a few weekends.
Based on insights gained in phase 2, you’ll be able to build an ideal influencer profile for your brand and better determine your audience’s preferences. This enables you to optimize overall costs by removing the lowest performing influencers and selecting additional ones that match your objectives. In phase 3, your influencer squad can unleash their creativity and experiment with new concepts such as topics, imagery, and calls to action.
Phase 4 – Reap Rewards… & Repeat
Making investments through the fall sets your brand up for success and drives increased revenue through the end of the year. As you’ve dedicated the efforts needed to sharpen messaging, build a solid influencer squad, and develop confidence in your squad’s ability to engage your audience, you’ll be able to reap rewards. You’ll be set up to launch campaigns during the holidays to drive revenue – at optimized costs. For example, have influencers lead live events that encompass memorable, consumer-engaging brand experiences, and even sampling actions for new products.
Of course consumer interests and trends change, making it important to continuously repeat the processes of optimizing campaigns.
Contact us at Kingfluencers to get started now by putting a winning end-of-year strategy together that will help your brand boost sales throughout key consumer moments between October and new year.
BONUS: Solutions to Test During October and November
Rather than throwing something at the wall to see what sticks there are many sources of expert guidance you can consider as you begin creating campaigns. TikTok, in particular, provides extensive information to brands based on their own research. Things users want include:
- More Fun
According to TikTok, users want to see fun videos (e.g. discounts presented with trendy transitions or in collaboration with a comedy creator). Creatives tailored for Tik Tok are the winning strategy. On Instagram, add fun with filters and stories, which also bring a sense of urgency.
- Creator Content
A survey by CivicScience found that nearly half of daily Instagram users have made a purchase because of an influencer recommendation. TikTok users want to see creators sharing branded challenges.
Evian-Volvic Switzerland worked with Kingfluencers to assemble a line-up of musicians and Swiss TikTok stars from dance and comedy to create the first Swiss music video specifically for TikTok. The video “Volli Kiste,” features tailored rap lyrics and has received more than a million clicks as of 2 September.
Danielle Bernstein, founder of @WeWoreWhat, posted a survey to her 2.5 million Insta followers asking whether they would be interested in “discount codes for her larger partnerships.” 93% of respondents voted yes. 46% of TikTok users say coupons and discounts increase their likelihood of buying a product.
- Visual Appeal
Many top social media channels, such as Instagram, are visual mediums, so your posts must look great. Hootsuite advises, “You don’t need professional photography equipment, but your photos and videos do need to be sharp, well-lit, well-composed, and in focus, at a minimum… Great photos are nice, but if they don’t tell a story, or get viewers excited, they’re not going to engage followers.”
- All the Key Info
Include it all within a single video: price, discount, where to get it.
- Social Commerce
90% of online shoppers are also using social networks today. You can optimize by including clever shoppable features and working with brand advocates to boost reach. Shoppable features on social media are helping drive an ongoing rapid rise in social commerce, particularly with younger generations. Social commerce differs from social media marketing in that users are able to make purchases directly through social media networks, rather than being redirected to an online store. With features like swipe up, linked shoppable product catalogues, livestream shopping, and temporary flash promotions, it has become increasingly easier to make the link between social media storytelling and revenue generation.
For many consumers, social media has grown to become the predominant source of inspiration and guidance. Social media and influencers are now where people turn for new products to try, fashion trends, and hot new tech. In terms of what makes people buy a product, recommendations from friends and family have declined in importance, dropping to the third place.
Author: Yoeri Callebaut, Co-CEO and Chief Growth & Marketing Officer @ Kingfluencers
Yoeri has been a strategist and marketer for over 14 years and worked for the most part of it for B2B brands, focusing on starting new ventures or pushing young organizations to their next development stage.