10 Tips for Optimizing Creator Marketing This Holiday Season
The holiday shopping season is often referred to as retail’s Super Bowl, with the National Retail Federation estimating that November and December have accounted for 19 percent of total U.S. retail sales over the past five years. Even those with tight purse strings tend to loosen them during this time of year, with more money spent on experiences, gifts and travel. Much of that activity is taking place online, with the trade group pegging total online and other nonstore sales during last year’s holiday season at $238.9 billion.
Shopping continues to become more social. Recommendations from family, friends and, yes, creators have been fueling purchasing decisions for years, and social media has made this even more so. Product recommendations and reviews on social platforms, as well as the comments sections on those platforms, have emerged as a destination for consumers to discuss, endorse and research products they may be interested in. So how can you best use creators during the holiday season? Here are 10 best practices:
- Mind the clock and calendar: Creators can capture their followers’ attention through countdowns to the holidays accompanied by regularly scheduled content, as well as running an advent calendar campaign, sharing a daily discount, giveaway or tip.
- Always on: While the bulk of holiday shopping still takes place during the last two months of the year, e-commerce grew at a higher rate last October than it did in November or December, and fall promotions such as Amazon’s Prime Early Access Sale moved the needle as well. Follow the cliché: Always be closing.
- Help: Acknowledge the fact that the holiday season can be stressful for people and create campaigns that demonstrate how the products being promoted can make their lives easier.
- Get people involved: Craft content that encourages consumers to do things like decorate, craft, cook or use holiday-themed brand filters. User-generated content can be a key part of campaigns — at no cost to the brand.
- Sound on: Incorporate seasonal sounds and songs into content to help it stand out.
- Build relationships with creators: Having a creator serve as an ambassador for the brand drives more meaningful engagement year-round, not just during the holiday season, and it boosts return on investment far more than one-off social posts. Partner with creators whose audience demographics align with the brand’s target market and seek out creators who are genuinely interested in the brand’s products and services.
- Be creative: In order to stand out, tell the brand’s story via tactics such as 12 days of giving stunts, before-and-after videos, gift guides, holiday outfits, how-to content, polls, product demonstrations/tutorials, and product reviews. Give creators the freedom to do what they do best and use their accumulated knowledge of what resonates with their loyal audiences.
- Incorporate paid social: Invest in paid social to help ensure that the campaign’s content doesn’t get washed away in the flood of holiday-related posts and videos.
- Be diverse and multicultural: Christmas may be the “headlining” holiday, but it’s not the only one. Read your audience and be sure to incorporate other noteworthy year-end holidays like Dia de Los Muertos, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.
- Think of those less fortunate: The holiday season is the perfect time of year for companies to take part in charitable events or support worthy causes.
The holiday season is a busy time and there's a high volume of content being delivered to consumers. Creators can help brands and retailers stand out. Think of creators as a “welcome wagon” for shoppers boarding the social commerce train, as they can use their connections and personality to guide potential customers down the path from product discovery to product research, to final decision, to checkout, all without leaving a social app or mobile device.
Alex Dahan is founder and CEO of Open Influence, a creator marketing agency.
Alex Dahan, a fierce innovator with a passion for problem-solving, co-founded Open Influence in 2011. Alex has always had an entrepreneurial spirit which is what drove and ignited the idea of Open Influence. Shortly after graduating high school, Alex was searching for ways to advertise his clothing line when he turned to creators on Instagram with large followings. After finding success, Open Influence (originally Instabrand) was born. Alex played a key role in securing many of the company's first major clients through his innovative and creative pitch decks.
Over the decade in which Open Influence has been evolving, Alex dove into many other successful endeavors, including a startup studio, 0x Ventures, where he has developed products in the fields of SaaS, fintech, AI, and web3. Alex also serves on the advisory board of electric car company Faraday Future (an OI client) and acts as a consultant to the Director of Innovation. Through these experiences, Alex has gained extensive knowledge about the evolving state of technology and how to stay at the forefront of emerging tech trends.
Alex believes in not being afraid to take calculated risks and to look into the future, identifying opportunities rather than focusing on the challenges that might arise.
Alex’s creativity spills into his daily life into his many hobbies, including designing user-interfaces, drawing, skateboarding, surfing, snowboarding, playing guitar, and hiking with his two huskies.