Outside, the sun was warmly shining on a bright blue early-Autumn London morning. Inside, four influencer marketing experts, and one very talented compere (Alex Reeves, Europe Editor at Little Black Book) were talking about Christmas.
With some already getting excited at the prospect of mulled Wine, Christmas Trees and family arguments, Christmas became a key topic at Buzzoole’s most recent Influencer Marketing Hustle (standing room only again) on 27th September at the lovely Mortimer House’ loft & gallery.
There’s no better time to be thinking about influencer marketing.
When the topic of Xmas was raised, and a number of eyebrows followed it, Saffron Steele, the Culture and Influencer Director at Halpern, quelled the doubters: “It’s logical to be thinking about Christmas now. People are siphoning off savings and looking for experiences and presents. There’s no better time to be thinking about influencer marketing.”
James Silverstone, Senior Influencer Marketing Manager at Publicis, added: “Tiered campaigns work really well in the festive season. You can start building awareness and pushing products.”
Tiered campaigns work really well in the festive season.
However, Influencer Sophia Rosemary added a slight cautionary note for any wannabe influencers in the audience. “It’s still knitwear and autumnal at the moment, so no Christmas briefs just yet. An influencer would look nuts in Christmas outfits now.” This isn’t surprising as brands start planning their Influencer Marketing campaigns much earlier than when they get in touch with Creators.
But it wasn’t all tinsel and Mistletoe, the panel covered a wide gamut of topics from measurements and benchmarking to Main Feed Vs Instagram Stories.
Obviously, the Listerine #ad came up as a cautionary tale about authenticity, but our Ian Samuel had an interesting take on it. “When you think about the Listerine above-the-line advertising it’s not always incredible pieces of work. It’s designed to get people to choose Listerine over the own brand equivalent. A lot of complaints about the Listerine ad actually came from the industry itself, from grumbling creatives saying “how dare someone create content aside from us”?”
Many of the comments around measurement indicated that there is now a growing belief that to properly measure influencer marketing’s effectiveness it needs long term benchmarking against other media spend – something Ian has previously written about for eConsultancy.
On the other side of the fence though, Sophia told the audience that for influencers “It’s still a game of likes and follows.”
She also added her support to the growing popularity of Instagram Stories seeing the channel move from being the Strawberry soft centre Quality Street that everyone eats last to quickly becoming the Purple one (last year voted as the nation’s favourite Christmas treat). “Stories are a great way to get people to find your feed and there is a definitely a culture of people scrolling through your posts now. The swipe up function is brilliant for products-led campaigns.”
It’s still a game of likes and follows.
Last year, 64% of online conversions in the UK during the festive season happened on mobile. Moreover according to a survey by Instagram, 60% of people say they discover new products using the app, and looking at the internal data by the same social media platform 1/3 of the most viewed stories are from businesses. Whether you are looking to increase awareness or drive sales, mobile and Instagram are a must for brands this festive season.
While the crowd may not have been rushing out into the warm Autumn day to buy that uber-cool Star Wars Christmas jumper, you can bet they were all thinking about how they could leverage influencer marketing to improve their Christmas presence this year.
Are you planning to your next Christmas campaign? Get in touch!