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Holidays are all about family time, great meals, reminiscing about the good times, making new memories, catching up. Right? Well, all that and a whole lot of online buying. In fact, it seems that with every year that passes, marketers have elevated their ‘pitch’ to consumers, thus rendering them with what often seems as endless wish lists – for products and services alike. In fact, this year, “…online sales are expected to show an 8.5 to 9% increase over the holiday shopping frenzy.” Naturally, services such as Trendemon, which automatically support merchants in increasing sales and maximizing their conversions, have the potential to magnify their impact during the holiday periods.
But what factors have led to these strong buying tendencies? While there are multiple ways of analyzing this, from examining the number of specific advertisement campaigns to online discount deals, one in particular stands out – the use of influencers, or those “…individuals with influence over potential buyers.”, as a source of targeted marketing to better reach out to relevant buyers, or at minimum, to the masses. Since this particular influence can be measured by industry experience/knowledge and/or by the actual number of followers that those individuals boast on different social media channels, the ability for such figures to impact buying trends is tremendous.
So with this in mind, we felt that given the upcoming Christmas jolly spirit, we would leave you with 8 tips on how to effectively make use of the power of influencer marketing during this holiday Season. Here goes:
(1) Research and list the who’s who in your respective industry across specific social media channels.
Yes, this will require significant time and dedication, but you will be able to list at least a dozen influential thinkers and thought leaders from social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn. From there, search for specific industry-related hashtags, look at specific individual’s retweet figures, the number of posts favorites, liked, commented on, mentions on the internet, and so forth. This information can prove to be very valuable when looking to identify those specific people that will then promote your brand and/or service.
(2) Try to get them to retweet your product or service
Using @mentions on Twitter would be a great start to reach out to a specific influencer, but make sure you have some type of value proposition – why is your product worthy of this open endorsement? What are you offering that is super relevant/exciting/innovative this upcoming holiday? Back this up with a link that will lead to a new blog post or to the latest company press release. Sometimes all you need to do in return is offer up some product or service-related freebies, as it seems as though few can resist this modern version of a thank-you card.
(3) Create a blog post that ties in a group of influencers around a specific item you are trying to sell or promote
There are many ways of going about this approach, but you could group a number of their past quotes and/or comments as well as highlight the bottom-line point they are trying to get across to their readership. Try focusing on a specific angle for the holidays and ask each influencer to submit (or find something yourself – just don’t forget to give appropriate credit) their thoughts and comments. By asking a specific question, you will reduce the potential for influencers to refrain from contribution. Always keep in mind that they are frequently reached out to for multiple requests.
(4) Ask to interview an influencer directly about their holiday wish list
This is an interesting way for you to really give the influencer a time to shine. For maximum exposure (unless your blog is at the influencer level), ask to post this interview directly on the influencer’s own blog or website. Be prepared with specific questions and of course, make sure they discuss multiple products and services, but of course, mention your own product offering towards the end. This will increase the post’s credibility and of course, will ensure that the influencer remains as neutral as possible in order to avoid unwanted (and unnecessary) criticism.
(5) Have an influencer host an online hashtag sweepstakes highlighting your specific product offering
This will require having a strong relationship with a specific influencer or group of influencers. Getting them actively involved in an online contest requires their dedication and commitment. First, think of a creative angle to get users engaged and suggest this to the specific influencer for feedback. Second, try to determine the best way of presenting this offer and through which distribution channels. This will actively involve them in both the content and sharing process and encourage them to get as much engagement as possible.
(6) Turn an influencer quote into a holiday-themed infographic or other visual
Visuals, in general, are more likely to be shared across social media to increase traffic. Why is this impactful? According to eMarketer, “While social media offers among the best word-of-mouth opportunities to marketers, influencers’ ability to connect with a targeted group, who see these individuals as authority figures, can make the social media blow horn many times louder.”
(7) Ask your influencer to write a sponsored Christmas-inspired post on your own blog
Similar to point number four, but in this case, on your company blog. Of course, this will automatically increase user traffic to your site. But more importantly, it should be marketed to the influencer as an ample opportunity to reach out to a ‘new’ user base and additional followers. This additional exposure can be very powerful in the competitive world of social media influencers.
(8) Go beyond one-time thank you’s and giveaways and move towards a long-term relationship
Instead, think of establishing some type of long-term holiday agreement to work together in the future. After all, Christmas isn’t the only holiday marked on our calendars. Try to develop a long-term relationship with certain influencers in order to be able to reach out to them during later festivities. This is especially important considering that “Close to 75% of influencers don’t feel valued by marketers.” Additionally, this strategy will not only save you the headache of doing extensive outreach again, but will also strengthen the relationship between the influencers and your product offering. It’s always easier to promote a product or brand that you are truly familiar with and use.
So what’s next? With these tips in hand, you are now off to try to develop, nurture and maintain great relationships with your influencers. Think of them as your brand ambassadors with immense potential to help you drive home sales and better position you ahead of competitors in this highly exciting shopping period.