With the holidays just around the corner, brands and influencers are gearing up to execute their promotional campaigns across various channels. And with 1 billion monthly active users, Instagram is an important influencer marketing platform, and a great way to reach a larger audience.
However, running a successful Instagram influencer marketing campaign is not as easy as it sounds. It is especially difficult during the holidays, because of increased competition.
Don’t worry! We are here to help you plan and execute your Instagram campaign. Here are our top tips and strategies to run a successful Instagram influencer marketing campaign for the holiday season:
8 Instagram Influencer Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season:
1. Define Your Campaign Goals Budget
The first step in executing a successful Instagram influencer marketing campaign is to define the outcome you want to achieve. Setting clear goals will help you shape the rest of your campaign, as you will be able to design each step with your goals in mind.
Setting goals during the initial stage is also important, you will need to know your goals in order to brief the influencers that you collaborate with.
Following are some tips for setting your holiday campaign goals:
- Keep your goals time-bound and specific
- Set realistic goals
- Define KPIs to measure the performance on your goals
After you have set your goals, it is time to decide how much you want to spend on your Instagram holiday campaign and fix a budget. It usually helps if you plan ahead and allocate a portion of your annual marketing budget for your holiday campaign.
2. Select Key Products or Promotions to Focus On
While designing an Instagram influencer marketing campaign for the holidays, it’s important to focus on a few key products or services.
Ideally, if you have launched any holiday-themed products or promotional offers, then those should be your focus for your holiday campaign. Focusing only on these makes your content more specific and relevant to the holiday season.
And even if you don’t have holiday-themed products or promotions, you can always give your Instagram post content a twist to make it more holiday-themed.
In the example below, Instagram influencer Olivia Rink has done just that. In this post, she is seen wearing pyjamas from Bloomingdales, which she has promoted as “Christmas Pajamas” for Bloomingdales’ holiday campaign.
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Whether you decide to launch holiday-themed products or not, the idea here is to keep your holiday campaign focused and relevant.
3. Collaborate With the Right Influencers
Selecting the right influencers is one of the most important aspects of executing a successful Instagram influencer marketing campaign.
There are several influencer search tools that you can use to find Instagram influencers in your industry. You can also filter the search results by influencer metrics, such as the number of followers, engagement rates, and location.
However, the most important aspect while selecting influencers is relevance. Don’t fall into the trap of judging influencers solely by their follower count or engagement rate. You should look for influencers whose personal brand and interests align with your brand or product.
4. Do Some Research
Look at the most successful holiday campaigns of your competitors and other companies in your niche from last year. You can also look at companies from different industries to gather ideas that you can replicate for your holiday campaign.
Specific things that you can research include content ideas, success stories, most impactful Instagram campaigns and influencers, and content promotion ideas. Reading about these will give you some inspiration to design a successful Instagram influencer marketing campaign for the holiday season.
Another source of research is your internal data on your Instagram marketing ROI from last year. If your program was a success, you can build upon it to improve it further this year. If your campaign last year didn’t yield desirable results, you can learn from your past mistakes.
5. Create Content That Stands Out
The holiday season is a time when Instagram influencer activity is at its peak. Instagram is filled with promotional content from brands and influencers. To get your posts noticed amidst such competition, you need to do something different to stand out from the crowd.
To give you some creative content inspiration, here are a few examples of Instagram holiday promotions done right:
- With personalised storybooks, Shutterfly took their 2018 holiday campaign to the next level. The company launched personalised storybooks that featured the names of the people they were meant for. They are promoting this product as a holiday gift for this holiday season as well and are leveraging Instagram influencers to do so.
- During the 2017 holiday season, Marc Jacobs ran an Instagram influencer marketing campaign focused solely on promoting their newly launched “Daisy” fragrance. The brand collaborated with several popular influencers and even created a product-specific hashtag #MJDaisy. The posts were simple, elegant, and aesthetically pleasing, which resonated well with the luxury brand’s target audience.
- During the 2016 holiday season, Old Navy collaborated with influencer Meghan Rienks to promote their clothing line. The influencer created a video post that showcased different holiday outfit ideas using Old Navy’s clothes. While a lot of influencers post pictures for such promotions, the video idea was different and helped the post get over 31,000 likes.
- For their 2016 holiday campaign, watch brand, Original Grain, announced that they would plant 10 trees for each watch sold during the holiday season. The campaign brilliantly captured the holiday gift-giving spirit and used that to promote the sales of their products. The brand collaborated with influencers to promote the campaign.
6. Promote Your Content
The festive season is a time when competition is at its peak because most brands run promotional campaigns during this period. To make sure that your posts get the required engagement and reach, you should have a content promotion plan in place.
Here follow some techniques that you can use to promote your Instagram influencer content:
Create a Campaign-Specific Hashtag
Creating a hashtag for your holiday campaign is a neat trick to promote your posts. A lot of marketers use this strategy, and so can you.
For example, the shopping app, LIKEtoKNOW.it, uses the #ltkholidaywishlist hashtag to showcase products for holiday shopping. The hashtag is used by the large number of influencers that the brand collaborates with. The influencers showcase the products on their holiday wishlist and then provide a link to the app with details on how to shop the products.
Use Popular Holiday-Related Hashtags
This is another great way to boost the popularity of your Instagram post and reach a broader audience. There are several popular holiday-related hashtags, such as #holidaystyle, #holidaydecor, #christmasdecor, etc., that you can use in your posts.
In the example below, influencer, Grace White, has used several such holiday-related hashtags to promote her post. The post got over 5,000 likes within three hours. This engagement rate is much higher than what she gets on her usual posts.
7. Measure the Outcome
Once you have successfully designed and executed your influencer campaign, it is important to measure your influencer marketing ROI.
While you can manually check metrics such as likes and comments, it is best to use an analytics tool to be more thorough in your analysis. There are several influencer marketing management tools, such as Neoreach, HYPR, and AspireIQ, that you can use. All of these tools can provide you with detailed reports on your campaign performance.
Some of the key metrics that you should analyse are:
- Audience Reach
- Engagement Rate
- Growth in Followers
- Brand Mentions
- Brand Sentiment
- Revenue Growth
These are just a few of the many metrics that you can track to measure the outcome of your Instagram influencer campaign. Choose the ones that best measure the performance of your campaign goals.
8. Build and Maintain Influencer Relationships
Even after your influencer campaign ends, you should maintain your relationships with them and form long-term partnerships if possible. If the influencers like your brand, they might just turn into brand advocates long after the paid collaboration has ended. So, it is essential that you maintain good relationships with the influencers in your industry.
The best way to build these relationships are small gestures of appreciation. You can simply send a holiday gift in addition to their earnings for the paid posts. You can also show your appreciation by sending a thank you note or mentioning them in your Instagram post and thanking them. Or it can be something as simple as liking and commenting on their posts that are relevant to you.
No matter how you do it, just make them feel special. This can help you convert them into brand advocates for the long term.