Summer and Labor Day are behind us, which means the annual buying and marketing extravaganza of the holiday season is closer than you think. As many marketers already recognize, the season is a critical marketing period for many industries. Consumers increase their expenditures for holiday gifts and entertaining, and marketers ramp up their own messaging as well, contributing to increased demand for advertising and higher ad prices.

With so much money riding on consumer spending and holiday-themed marketing efforts, the savvy use of creators in your next holiday campaign can have a big impact. Not only are influencer campaigns a more cost-effective way to extend the reach of your next holiday marketing program, they’re also a great way to “cut through the clutter” of the same old boring holiday ads, generating memorable, shareable content that’s likely to leave an impression and help close sales. So with this year’s holiday marketing season in mind, here are a few trends and creative opportunities to integrate creators into your next holiday campaign.

  1. Add a charity or cause to your holiday message: The holiday season sometimes seems like it’s all about buying. But the true holiday spirit is also about giving back. In fact, an influencer campaign is a great way for brands to partner with a creator and a cause to help generate goodwill and build brand awareness. One example of this kind of program involved creators Louis Cole, who has more than 1.9 million subscribers on YouTube (right). Cole teamed up with the charity Pencils for Promise and Microsoft to create a video record of their efforts surrounding a $10 million investment in education and development projects in Latin America. While this campaign wasn’t holiday-specific, it’s easy to see how such a program could be tied into holiday-themed causes or programs.
  2. Map digital to the real-world to gauge results: In-store sales are a crucial component of many marketers’ holiday balance sheets. The good news with influencer campaigns is that it’s increasingly possible to match online promotional efforts on platforms like Facebook, Google and Snapchat with real-world results. Consider the “Snap to Store” ad tool, which allows marketers to determine how influencer-driven campaigns on Snap contributed to real-world foot traffic, as one example of this trend. Make sure to investigate the wide variety of in-store sales measurement tools when building this year’s holiday influencer program.
  3. Simplify consumers’ holiday gift giving and entertaining: The holidays are often a whirlwind for many consumers, who must juggle preparations including selecting gifts, attending holiday events, and preparing food and drinks for holiday parties. One benefit of creators is that they can bring a wealth of inspiration and creative ideas to the holiday preparation process, simplifying holiday planning for consumers. Brands like Whole Foods have partnered with creators on recipe ideas for the holidays, while other brands like MAC Cosmetics use influencer campaigns to promote holiday-themed “unboxing” videos with gift ideas. Fashion marketers like Express have also used the creator approach, offering seasonal clothing inspiration for gifts and party outfits.

Getting the attention of busy consumers during the holiday season can often seem like a difficult, costly, challenge. But with a little inspiration, and the right measurement tools, a thoughtful influencer campaign can often be the key to holiday marketing success. With the holidays just a few months away, it’s never too early to start exploring ideas. Reach out to the Captiv8 team today for insights and campaign ideas to kick off your own holiday brainstorming.