Are you ready to crush your Black Friday weekend with a micro-influencer marketing campaign?
In 2018, consumers spent $6.2 billion on Black Friday shopping, a 23.6% increase from 2017’s sales, according to Adobe Analytics. Further, as Black Friday sales now regularly continue through the subsequent Sunday (and often to Cyber Monday) the post-Thanksgiving weekend is now the biggest online shopping weekend in the United States, generating an additional $6.4 billion in revenue over top of Black Friday!
Despite the opportunity for record-breaking sales, many brands procrastinate on holiday influencer marketing campaigns. Don't miss your chance or limit your success by getting a late start. To ensure you're not left behind, we've outlined when to start planning and why it's so vital to start early.
Black Friday Planning Starts in September
Waiting to begin your influencer marketing campaign until the last minute only reduces its impact and limits your opportunities to repurpose content. So while starting in September may sound premature, it’s the only way to ensure you maximize the results this holiday season.
Case in point: In 2018, the full season (November 1 to 26) drove $58.5 billion in online sales, according to Adobe Analytics. Each day leading up to Black Friday generated well over $1 billion. To tap into this pre-Black Friday potential, your campaign has to be running at full tilt (meaning, influencers are already posting) by the beginning of November if not before. Moreover, findings from a recent influencer survey by ApexDrop showed that the vast majority of influencers start posting holiday-themed content at least a month in advance. The vast majority of influencers post one month in advance.This means influencers need merchandise by the end of October at the absolute latest. Because they need their products well before the holiday, you need to reach out to an influencer marketing agency by September to ensure your campaign is positioned for success.
Consider the Content, Context, and Scope
Authentic content is vital to a successful influencer campaign. That’s why at ApexDrop, we recommend that brands allow content creators to take the reigns. Essentially, when brands demand creative control, the authenticity of a post is lost, at which point it becomes little more than an ad—which is in direct opposition to what genuine user-generated content is supposed to be.
However, there is a significant difference between offering guidance and suggesting ideas (many of our influencers actually appreciate this) and dictating the fine details and nuances of every post. When you invest in influencer marketing, you should be excited about the variety of content. Frankly, we can’t emphasize enough how critical it is to have diversity in your marketing material.
That being said, while diversity is critical, brands should consider how many and what “type” of influencer they’d like to work with, as there are influencers who simply won’t fit their brand contextually (i.e., a health expert endorsing a sugar-filled gummy bear brand). From foodies to fitness gurus, there are endless styles, personalities, and aesthetics on Instagram, and your brand may want particular influencers involved in the trade collaboration.
As far as quantity, we generally recommend 100 posts to start. With that in mind, it’s absolutely essential that you take an objective look at your capacity to handle the production and fulfillment of influencer gifts and the ability to repurpose their content (more on this later). While brands of all sizes can capitalize on the power of influencer marketing, small organizations need to be mindful of just how thinly they can spread their team during the holiday season.
For instance, shipping out 100 extra packages to influencers can absolutely overwhelm a modest crew. Sometimes starting with 10, 20, or 30 influencers is better. If you’re looking for some guidance on how many and what kinds of influencers your organization should work with, ApexDrop’s account management team will guide your brand through this selection process.
Proactively Leverage Campaign Content
Not only do influencers’ posts offer priceless insights into a brand’s target audience, but the sheer quality, quantity, and variety of lifestyle images that are produced would likely cost tens of thousands of dollars to replicate in-house. Arguably, the leverageable material that brands receive from influencers is the most valuable element of the campaign.
As a baseline, the industry standard is $100 per post. If that sounds steep, consider this: Photographers often charge between $100-$150 an hour and up-and-coming models charges around $20 an hour. And remember, those hours don’t stop at the photoshoot. Images still need to be edited and optimized for social media. Plus, it can take weeks to find the right model (or models) and scout locations, whereas, with ApexDrop, we have a vetted network of Instagram influencers ready to post.
However, the expense of production is just one disadvantage of creating content in-house. By going the in-house route, you’ll also miss out on the brand awareness and trust that influencers impart.
Moreover, when brands repurpose content on their own social profiles and websites, there is an opportunity to gain even deeper consumer insights. This wealth of actionable data appears when brands utilize media for shoppable Instagram posts and see a return on investment (ROI) in exact dollars as well as when they monitor Google’s suite of webmaster tools for precise website referrer traffic.
All this is to say, content is an invaluable asset. Unfortunately, brands budget enough time to leverage it properly. To avoid missing out on repurposing, resharing, and regramming your content, schedule time on your calendar immediately after you sign up for a campaign. Speaking of signing up for a campaign: With such a tight Black Friday timeline, you need to be ready to ramp up in September.
So that begs the question: are you ready?
Contact ApexDrop Today
It may seem distant, but Black Friday and all of the shopping mania that leads up to it is right around the corner. If you’re interested in an influencer marketing campaign this holiday season, start early and give yourself time to reuse the incredible content that your influencers create. If you’d like to learn more about our ramp-up process, the brands we’ve worked with, and what differentiates ApexDrop, schedule a time to chat.