Christmas. Everyone’s favourite time of the year. But more specifically, it’s the time of the year consumers splash out, it’s the time for marketers to prove themselves, to work their magic and drive sales. And last but not least it’s the time for brands and stores to get creative and connect with their customers.
The long awaited, much anticipated Christmas ads, mark the beginning of the seasonal period. And although most of us believe we are merely or “viewers” of the short films, the ad's focal objective is to drive sales, to convert us from viewers or bystanders to actual buyers.
Every Christmas TV ad whether Sainsbury's, John Lewis, Marks and Spencer plays with the consumers emotions. Humanising animal feelings so that animal lovers empathize with them, or portraying the meaning of Christmas, the act of giving, a simple act of kindness, the longing for happiness, health and the love of family are all designed to pull on the heartstrings of the consumer and win them over.
Playing with ones emotions has successfully led to sales over the years. But what better way to win over consumers than to “manipulate” the basic human emotion of “trust” with influencer marketing. Consumers listen to the recommendations of friends and family, and when recommendations from friends and family are unavailable, consumers turn to the next best thing, Influencers; people they feel a connection with, having followed them over the years and have learnt to trust their recommendations. Influencers, have the ability to influence the behaviour of others, and include but are not limited to bloggers, social media personalities, and celebrities.
Sainsbury’s attempted to implement influencer marketing (celebrity endorsement) in their Christmas ad this year, using celebrity James Corden’s voice. An average looking Brit family man, actor, signer, presenter who has made signing in the car cool. A guy who mingles with celebrities yet is relatable and has won over the hearts UK and US viewers with his down to earth persona. From what already we know, the Sainbury's ad seems to have worked its magic with the theme song, being on target for Christmas number one in the charts. So we're guessing that if Sainsbury’s wasn’t your favourite Christmas ad this year it’s quite high up there on your list.
If you’re a small brand with no budget for a huge Christmas TV ad, you should be considering influencer marketing on social media. Collaborating with influential individuals on social media with a substantial, targeted and engaged following to promote your brand’s products. In fact a study by Hello Society found that customer engagement with Instagram spikes during the holiday season, whilst 40% of people bought something online after seeing a social media influencer use it this Halloween (The Shelf5). Influencer marketing on social media isn't a bad alternative at all; as for most of us, when an ad comes on the big screen, our eyes migrate to the little one.
For brands that want to boost their presence among engaged, and focused audiences during this Christmas period, implementing Influencer marketing is cruicial. Influencer marketing can switch bystanders to buyers and we have 4 creative ways to collaborate with influencers this Christmas.
12 favourite items
Ask your influencers to select their 12 favourite items from your brand, which they will then promote on their social media.
As it's Christmas, a time of giving and gifting, push them to select items which will make good gifts for specific people. This way, the influencer becomes a source of inspiration, helping solve consumer’s mental block when it comes to gift ideas, directing them to your brand.
12 influencers for the 12 days of Christmas
Collaborate with 12 influencers with whom you share a target audience, each of which will post a look with items from your brand. Each will give their own unique twist, showcasing distinctive looks and styles with your brand’s products. This will work particularly well if you have a new product in your fashion line to promote. All bloggers can wear exactly the same product by styling it in their own way. This way tapping directly into different (but the same) audiences. You can then post one for each of the 12 days of Christmas on your social media handles.
Twelve influencers may sound like a lot but choosing more, smaller influencers, rather than a few, larger ones, allows you to keep within your budget and gets you better engagement rates. As influencers with a smaller following are much more engaged. Influencers with 35k-500k followers generate between 2.3 and 2.5% engagement whereas that engagement drops, for influencers with more than 500,000 followers, to less than 1.6%.
12 WAYS FOR THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS
Ask your influencer to challenge their followers for the 12 days leading to Christmas. Gift a piece from your collection to your influencer who will then post a picture on their social media and will ask his/her following to style it in 12 different ways. The influencer’s followers will document their different looks on their social media, tag your brand and use an appropriate hashtag selected by you. Whoever manages to complete the challenge successfully will win a large prize from your brand.
This idea forces, the influencers' followers - your future consumers to be creative and imaginative. It’ll not only promote your brand but also showcase the versatility of your products and how they can suit anyone, however and wherever they decide to wear it!
Top Tip: Post one entry on each of the 12 days leading up to Christmas day on your social media channels, to create a buzz, curiosity and a sense of competitiveness.
A Christmas Throwback
Ask influencers to get their followers involved by sharing a throwback of their worst ever Christmas outfit before they became fashion mavens; they should tag your brand and use a hashtag, something along the lines of #youworeWHAT. The winner chosen by your influencers with the worst outfit will win something from your brand, guaranteeing they don’t have another Christmas outfit disaster.
Rather than direct sales, competitions like the last two ideas, assist new up and coming brands to become known and gain recognition by their ideal target market.
Be fast and specific when reaching out
Christmas time is a busy period for bloggers, as many brands try to incorporate influencers in their marketing schemes. Influencers' calendars fill up quite quickly early on as they have a limited number of posts they allow per day and a limited time-frame. It’s a good idea to identify the influencers you want to work with early on and approach them to see when and if they are available to post in the time-frame you want, even if you don’t have all your campaign details mapped out.
Top Tip: Choose influencers who typically post during the holiday season, their posts will come across much more natural and genuine and your brand will fit impeccably with their content.