It may not even be Halloween yet, but if you want to maximize your ROI during the busiest season of the year, your holiday influencer marketing campaigns should be ready to hit the ground running as soon as the candles go out in the jack-o-lanterns.

With so much content flooding our feeds during the holidays, it can be tough to rise above the social media marketing madness! But there are a few key strategies that can help brands and influencers cut through the noise and reach their target audience for the best sales of the year.

Here’s how social media marketers should specifically prepare for the holiday rush…

PLAN AHEAD

Create a detailed and specific plan for every stage of your influencer marketing campaign from your target demographic to your eventual sales goals.

First, decide who your highest value audience is, not just your ideal one. During the holidays, you want the most bang for your buck, which means it’s about sales, not brand awareness. Now isn’t the time to spend money on getting in front of new audiences, but rather, the time to target those who already know, like, and trust your brand. Those are the people who are most likely to pay attention during the holidays.

Once you hone in on the audience most likely to buy, connect with influencers whose audiences match your target demographics and affinities. Make sure your contract reflects your specific campaign KPI’s and even eventual revenue goals.

Finally, your content marketing timeline should be locked and loaded before you begin publishing content. Know the highest online purchasing traffic days and plan accordingly.

In general, the top revenue-generating days are: Black Friday, Thanksgiving Day, Cyber Monday, Late November (Thanksgiving to Dec. 1), and Dec. 26th. Make sure your influencer knows your goals and expectations surrounding those high-traffic days!

GET CREATIVE

One of the biggest mistakes most marketers make during the holiday rush is treating influencer campaigns the same as they do the rest of the year. When it comes to the holiday season, you need to be more intentional about your campaign message. Don’t just rely on your influencer alone to promote your brand their usual way! This is the time to take a more active, creative role in content creation.

In that vein, triple check all content is approved before it goes online. There’s nothing worse than wasting an expensive holiday post on content that wasn’t correctly approved! Use a platform that allows you to easily communicate with your influencer, share notes and comments, and officially approve content in writing before it goes out into the ether of the internet.

ANALYZE “THE BIG 3”

There are three key areas you need to gather specific data on for holiday marketing success: your target audience, influencer authenticity, and campaign success reporting.

First, you need to analyze your audience in depth. We already mentioned that you should plan ahead and target those who already know, like, and trust your brand. The key here is you want to find out who your highest value audience demographic is. During the holidays, you want to target users who are already primed to buy. This means re-targeting audiences with whom you’ve already been successful, or who share an affinity with a similar brand.

Second, you want to ensure that the influencer you contract with has a high authenticity rating. This means analyzing an influencer’s behind the scenes behavior to ensure they’re free of fake followers, purchased likes, or other behavior that could potentially devalue your investment. Some platforms, like Tagger, have a feature that allows you to run a test and measure the authenticity of an influencer profile. This is especially valuable during the holidays when ad spending is the most expensive. You don’t want to be wasting valuable dollars on fake followers!

Third, it’s extremely important that you have a plan in place to analyze the success of your campaign where it matters most. Having the ability to report and analyze relevant data (instead of just getting lost in a “numbers soup”) is absolutely essential. Look at your planned holiday campaign KPI’s and plan for a way to report those specific metrics come Jan. 1, 2020.

The holiday season can be an overwhelming time for marketers, but brands and influencers can use these guidelines to work together to create a strategy that sets everyone up for success.

Happy Almost-Holidays… Ladies & Gents, start your engines!