Maximize your 2021 Holiday marketing ROI with data based insights and influencer marketing

Kelsey Formost

13 Sep 2021 · 3 min read

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Planning for the 2021 holiday shopping season has many marketers looking to social media data for insights. After the pandemic, one thing is certain: the way people shop has changed forever with more and more business being done exclusively online.

There are many things to consider about these new consumer habits including seeking vs. browsing, generational differences, and allowing time for exchanges and delivery challenges.

Truly smart marketers will take into account both changes in customer behavior as well as overall industry trends. Here are some data-based insights for how brands can optimize their marketing strategy for the 2021 Holiday Season.

Changes in consumer behavior; past data informs future projections

Perhaps the biggest overall change in how we shop in a post-pandemic world isn’t just the increased share of online purchases versus in-person shopping, but also the thought process of how we make a purchase decision in the first place.

Whenever people want to make a decision about anything these days, they go to the web to do research first, and holiday gift giving is no exception. Because of the emphasis on research, consumers have largely adopted a “seeking” versus “browsing” shopping strategy.

Before the pandemic, it was about a 50-50 split of people making holiday purchases online and going into brick and mortar stores to browse for gifts. Now, most, if not all, consumers are actively doing research online to look for a specific item or product that meets their needs instead of browsing at a store and making an impulse purchase.

So how does this affect marketers in 2021? Adjust your strategy to reach your ideal customers through influencers whose opinions they already trust.

Influencer partnerships are one of the best ways to make reaching your target audience feel personal. The consumer has already actively chosen to follow that account, and therefore trusts what that creator has to say. If an influencer gives your product a good review or does a demonstration that appeals to the customer, it feels like organic research rather than targeted advertising.

Generational differences that affect the likelihood of purchase

An often overlooked aspect of influencer marketing is the fact that you’re not just trying to reach the person your product appeals to, but rather, you need to consider who’s actually doing the purchasing. For example, you might want to sell a t-shirt to an 18-year-old Gen Z’er who cares about eco friendly fashion, but if their mom is the one buying the shirt as a holiday gift, different types of content and different purchasing experiences will appeal to her versus to her child.

To make this insight work for you, make sure you work with influencers to talk about both the product and the purchasing experience. Offer a unique discount or free shipping code (this helps with tracking ROI as well!), and explain the return policy. When it comes to holiday shopping, ease of returns and exchanges is a major factor in whether or not a consumer will actually hit “buy now” or just abandon their cart.

It’s all in the timing

Over the past decade, holiday marketing campaigns have started easier and earlier with each passing year. This is because with each year that goes by, more people are shopping online versus in store, and when you shop online you need to account for estimated delivery dates delays.

Because consumers want that buffer time to receive, evaluate, and potentially return or exchange items, it’s always a good idea to start your holiday marketing as soon as October with the hardest push coming in November. Those weeks are the perfect window of time to maximize your share of voice in the marketplace and secure early bird purchases.

To capitalize on this insight, use a technology tool like Tagger to hone in on influencers who are currently reaching your target audiences and partner with them now. If you want even more bang for your buck, consider offering them a long term partnership! Brands that work with influencers on a long-term basis show higher ROI than one-off creator campaigns. This is due in large part to an increased feeling of “know, like, trust”; repetition is recognition, and recognition leads to familiarity and trust!

People are looking for deals and discounts on social media, now more than ever

Another reason people like to shop online versus IRL is because of coupons and deals. People are more likely to spend more than they originally intended in order to get free shipping or choose your product over another because of a discount code. One of the first places consumers look for discount codes? Their favorite influencers.

Someone interested in cookware will know they can get discount codes from their favorite food blogger because they’ve followed her for a long time and have seen her talking about cookware brands in the past. Someone looking for a specific fashion item will go to their trusted fashion influencers to watch their try-ons and reviews. Whatever the vertical, people know influencers are offering deals and are likely to seek them out.

Influencers are the key to holiday 2021 success

If you'd like to learn more about how Tagger helps global brands and agencies identify which influencers will drive the highest ROI for their campaigns, be sure to check out our product page and schedule a demo!

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