Do your customers even know that it’s Christmas?

Can you believe it? Santa season is coming! For your brand, it means that you only have 19 more days to make your strategy work and get on your customer’s wishlist. But what is your content strategy saying about Christmas? Is your company taking advantage of this popular temporary season and applying it to its brand strategy? Sure, you have some Christmas decorations and a little hat over your logo on your social media posts, but at this point you have to ask yourself, is that really enough? Do you consider that a real Christmas strategy?  If so, we need to have a serious talk, boo. So, don’t be a Scrooge and let’s get into this.

After Cyber Monday being the heaviest day on digital sales, your brand is now on a thirty-day war between Cyber Monday and Christmas. Why is this important? Because you want your brand to stand out from the others and sell some good Christmas gifts before 2018 ends.

According to the book Holiday Shopping 2018 A Strong Economy Sets the Stage for a Spending Surge, 2018 US holiday ecommerce sales are expected to grow 16.2% this year, summing up to $123.39 billion. So how much of holiday e-commerce spending will be m-commerce? E-commerce will be increasingly driven by mobile commerce, which is expected to jump 32.6% and will account for 44% of holiday ecommerce spending.

After Cyber Monday being the heaviest day on digital sales, your brand is now on a thirty-day war between Cyber Monday and Christmas. Why is this important? Because you want your brand to stand out.   Photo courtesy of Lizzie Darden ( @lizzie_darden )

After Cyber Monday being the heaviest day on digital sales, your brand is now on a thirty-day war between Cyber Monday and Christmas. Why is this important? Because you want your brand to stand out.

Photo courtesy of Lizzie Darden (@lizzie_darden)

Now, let’s take a step back and get on our time machine, because it’s time to go back to Christmas season 2017.  Get on your DeLorean and go back in time, because data is value and we need to learn from our mistakes and successes from past seasons. What was your top item last year on web sales? What item was low on views and clicks? By analyzing your data, you can review the steps that you can replicate and what you can improve. Because data is what, kids? Fundamental.  

If you want to review all your past data, nothing like a quick view in Google Analytics for you to review, analyze and learn to be 2018 Christmas ready.  If you need a little push, here’s a couple tips on how you can start preparing yourself:

  1. Optimize for mobile

  2. Take advantage of email marketing

  3. Look into driving SEM and PPC

  4. Influencers, influencers, influencers, baby!

As usual, let’s break it down with that last one. Influencers can help increase user engagement with a brand in several key ways. They can:

Influence (Duh?). They can give that organic feel we love so much by tagging your brand and using high quality but very natural posts featuring your brand.  This will help increase brand conversations on Instagram which are really important for the algorithm. By tagging brands in their posts and featuring the product in an authentic way, influencers help increase conversations about the brand on Instagram.

In the Instagram community, an influencer’s followers are more likely to see your brand surfaced in the Explore tab if they liked and commented on a sponsored post by an influencer they follow. They’re also more likely to follow your brand and see your tagged shopping posts surface on their feed.

Create. To increase the chances of being followed on Instagram or capturing the attention of potential customers or followers, your content needs to be king. High quality photos and videos that feel authentic to the channel are more likely to generate engagement. People say authenticity is important when deciding what brands to like and support. Authentic influencer produced content can be re-posted by brands on their feed to give people the social proof that they need to want to support your brand. Again this is the organic feel, because it’s not portrayed as sponsored or even paid. That’s why we know see more collaborations with influencers more than ever.

There’s the perception that influencer marketing is solely for brands with deep pockets, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Increasingly, there’s a growing trend towards brands collaborating with non-traditional and micro influencers, who don’t demand nearly the same price tag as well-established digital talent.
— James Murphy, Chief Executive of ad agency Adam & Eve DDB.

If you feel like your brand is not feeling the Xmas feeling, let us know! We know we’re ready! Let us hook you up with a badass Influencer Marketing strategy, our #GNBSQUAD is holiday sale ready and we can create that magical feeling for you. Take a look at our roster, choose your favorite elf and see how we do.

Enjoyed Turkey Time? Put Some Influencer Marketing Gravy in your Strategy

Here we are. Congratulations! You made it. Thanksgiving is over and Black Friday is here, what a beautiful time to be grateful for so many things in life. If you’ve been following our series about holiday marketing, you’re pretty much set for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategy. We’d like to end our fall strategy saga with the cherry on top of the cake: Influencer Marketing. Get ready because this is your last chance to get a piece on that shopping spree cake. Let’s talk business.

According to Shopify, 2017 holiday ecommerce demolished all records to date:

  • $1 billion every day Nov. 1-22

  • $1.52 billion on Thanksgiving

  • $5 billion on Black Friday

  • $6.6 billion on Cyber Monday

  • $108.15 billion overall

Buyers from Influencer Marketing write more product or company reviews than the average consumer.
— @globalwebindex

WOW. Are you speechless? Well 2017 was good money but 2018 will be bigger. Let’s talk about why you should double your efforts with your Influencer to close out the season.

Instagram Influencer Marketing Growth

The decline of traditional TV and the growth of social media have given rise to influencer marketing, now one of the fastest growing categories in advertising and projected to be a $5-10 billion market by 2020. Instagram is one of the most quickly developing segments of the growing Influencer Marketing market. But lack of transparency and reported metrics with regards to advertiser spend mean that there’s no official tally on the size of the Instagram Influencer market. So to estimate the size of that market, a projection based on research was created.

From micro-influencers making $50 per post to Instagram superstars like Ariana Grande that command half a million dollars per post, the Instagram Influencer market runs the gamut in terms of following, audience, and engagement; but it has even the biggest brands buying in. Target, H&M, Adidas, Samsung, American Express, Toyota, Fairmont, Microsoft, and many more brands are finding ways to partner with Instagram influencers to reach audiences.

Value your Influencer Content Higher than Ads (Because your Buyers Do)

Nielsen Catalina did a remarkable study comparing Silk Almond Milk purchasers exposed to influencer content about the brand to a control group that was not exposed to that content. For every 1,000 people, the influencer-content shoppers spent an average of $285 more on almond milk. The influencer content was 11 times more effective than banner ads in terms of driving real sales lift.

Well-constructed influencer marketing can drive sales, but the measurement must be built from the beginning. At times, correlated sales lift is the only realistic measure based on budget or limitations of the sales channel. And whether that correlation is “clean” depends on what else is happening in the marketing universe.

Massive Shopping, Massive SALES, Massive money spent. But brands are all about connection now, how that sale made that customer feel about the brand? Will the customer be spreading the word of a good sale through all their social media or will this purchase be just another thing that they bought because it was on sale. How does the brand feel about the sales? What about the upcoming new clients who are approaching by any content or influencer marketing strategy?

Powerful and Meaningful Strategies

Influencer marketing can help you attract new audiences, increase engagement, promote your products, and boost revenue. In fact, influencer-created content can also help you boost the conversion rates of your ads.

Influencer marketing can help you attract new audiences, increase engagement, promote your products, and boost revenue.   Photo courtesy of Rebecca Stice ( @aclotheshorse ).

Influencer marketing can help you attract new audiences, increase engagement, promote your products, and boost revenue.

Photo courtesy of Rebecca Stice (@aclotheshorse).

Let’s review some powerful and meaningful strategies to give a quick twist to your brand in order to connect and engage more with your possible customers by using Influencer Marketing. Some of these we’ve mentioned before but let’s go through them with this point of view in mind:

  • Provide Creative Freedom: Influencers are a creative bunch. They know their audiences and their interests pretty well. If you’re overly restrictive with your content guidelines, rest assured that they won’t be able to deliver their best work. And that can significantly affect your engagement.

  • Be Generous: If you truly care about generating significant engagement from your Influencer Marketing campaign, you need to be generous. That includes, but isn’t limited to, compensating influencers fairly for their work. To create compelling content, influencers invest a lot of their time and energy.

  • Promote Unique Brand Stories: How you portray your brand to your audience is very important when you are trying to connect with them. Your messaging needs to convey your mission and values in a way that your followers can understand and relate to. In fact, 45% of a brand’s perception is derived from what the brand says and how they say it.

  • Leverage Micro-Influencers: Though micro-influencers have far fewer followers than their peers, they can help you drive much better engagement. In fact, 82% of consumers are more likely to follow recommendations from micro-influencers than an average person. Micro-influencers share close and trustworthy relationships with their audiences that help them influence people. That’s why many e-commerce brands consider working with them as one of the best influencer marketing tactics to drive more product sales.

So, as you can see, Influencer Marketing is only growing as brands see positive results. Instagram Influencer Marketing alone is expected to reach $2 billion by 2019. As those numbers increase across platforms so will the expectations be put upon content marketing teams by upper management.

So if you’re ready, stay ready because November is ending but December is coming and Christmas is just around the corner. We know we’re ready! Let us hook you up with a badass Influencer Marketing strategy, our #GNBSquad is HOLIDAY SALES ready and we can create for you. Take a look at our roster and see how we do.

Brace yourselves, Holiday Season is Coming!

The Holiday Season is coming and your brand better be ready, as sales are expected to surpass the trillion (yeah, we said it, A TRILLION DOLLARS) on holiday shopping. But let us not forget that online shoppers have become more responsible and strategic when buying- they always want to get the best price and the competition is getting harder and harder everyday, which means your holiday sales strategy should begin waaaay before Christmas time.

With the biggest single moments for shopping on the horizon (Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas), you better brace yourself and start doing some research pronto. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, don’t worry. We love numbers and we’re ready to share some knowledge with you.

A study by Collective Bias showed that 70% of millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions and 30% of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger.

According to Kim Westwood, Founder and Managing Director of Shopping Links, a recent survey of 2,000 shoppers showed that 31.7% visit social websites more than once a day during the holiday season, specifically to browse for gift ideas. A separate survey showed that 61% of shoppers use Facebook as their first source of holiday inspiration. She also gambles on these 4 strategies for holiday sales using influencers to showcase brands and products for any type of customer:

  • Showcase specific products.

  • Inspire action with time-sensitive sales.

  • Create a story, not an ad.

  • Track your results.

“The upcoming holidays are the best opportunity to open and increase your level of brand awareness.”

Photo courtesy of Noelle Downing (@noelledowning)

But how can your brand measure the ROI other than through the branding strategy with any influencer? Don’t worry, we got you covered. There are many types of strategies you could use with your influencer. You can:

  • Create a promo code per influencer to have control and know how heavy their impact is with their communities and audiences.

  • Have giveaways for brand awareness and combine it with purchase codes.

  • Promote live sessions to create stories and conversations. You know, that organic feeling that any other fake review doesn’t have. Stories matter to customers, because they are certainly expecting lots of advertisement on lots of products.

Still not buying these ideas? We got more research for you. You can see some results from actual previous holiday campaigns. Elliot Moore, from Ad Roll Group, created a really great piece you might want to check out. As you read on the article, you’ll notice that some BIG brands relied heavily on influencers and micro-influencers for their strategies.

But no matter how big or small you’d like to go with your strategy, keep these tips in mind for you to make it a bit easy on creating and planning ahead for the upcoming sales, because like we said, you should already be planning your strategy, if not planned already.

  1. Start with a plan

  2. Outline your promotional dates & platforms

  3. Get creative

  4. Provide a brand experience.

  5. Build a relationship.

The upcoming holidays are the best opportunity to open and increase your level of brand awareness. What better way to expand your business than through happy customer experiences and happy relations and recommendations. Social media is a platform for inspiration, upcoming ideas, product recommendations, product experiences and general opinions.

Overwhelmed? Don’t worry, there’s still time for you to plan. G&B offers advice on planning and getting the right influencer for your brand. Don’t be shy, check out our website and send us some questions if you have them, we’re here to assist you in the most effective way.