After a year like 2020, it’s clear that Christmas will feel a little different. Yet the period will be more important than ever for marketers. Especially those looking to maximise their sales potential after a difficult year and missed opportunities.
Vamp recently surveyed over 300 consumers to discover their 2020 Christmas spending plans and the results revealed many reasons for marketers to be optimistic. Including the fact that 84% predict they’ll spend the same, or more, on Christmas this year, compared to last year.
However, it’s 2020 and of course there are still plenty of challenges ahead. Marketers need to navigate slashed budgets and socially-distanced shoots. Not to mention strike the right balance between festive optimism and pandemic sensitivity.
These challenges aren’t static. Brands will have to constantly adapt. With the pandemic and its restrictions changing by the day, single mass marketing message, developed months in advance, could easily miss the mark.
While influencers have already proven themselves to be an effective way to drive sales and engagement, this Christmas they’ll really come into their own. They will become the cost-effective way brands can continue to create highly-relevant, reactive content that bridges the gap between aspiration and reality and most importantly, delivers online conversions.
Here are five ways influencers will deliver value to marketers this Christmas:
1. Setting the festive scene
Of course influencers have had to change their lifestyles to adapt to the pandemic - we’ve seen enough high fashion swapped for tie dye loungewear to attest to that - but we all know their super power is the ability to inspire. As our first COVID Christmas approaches, customers may struggle to imagine how they’ll capture the same magic amid restrictions and cancellations. Influencers’ aspirational content will help shoppers plan and get excited about a Christmas they can’t yet envisage.
2. Boosting shopping confidence
87% shoppers we surveyed said they’d be using online reviews to inform their purchasing decisions this year. So while consumers are willing to spend more - and presumably try new products - they’ll be careful about how they’re spending money. Influencers can offer the guidance they seek and help them shop with confidence. Marketers should look to influencers to review their products in this key consideration period. A recommendation from a trusted advisor can go a long way. 90% said ‘yes’ or ‘possibly’ when asked if they’d buy a product following an influencer’s recommendation
3. Optimising stretched budgets
Even if your big budget shoot can go ahead this year, many marketers will be looking for cost-effective alternatives having grappled with reduced marketing budgets. Influencer content is affordable and has been proven to deliver ROI. A brand can collaborate with multiple micro influencers for the cost of a celebrity or big budget shoot, creating a big bank of effective social content that’ll allow them to have regular conversations with customers in the lead up to Christmas.
4. Making it personal
With more content available for your budget, marketers can focus on scaling their approach with more personalised, locally-relevant and meaningful content. Christmas will be looking pretty different depending where you are and what restrictions you’re facing, but we know that familiarity resonates. With influencer content, marketers can be sure their customers are seeing people that look like them, sound like them and are having the same experiences.
5. Driving ecommerce sales
Whether it's to avoid the crowds or for convenience, shopping online is the most popular option this year with three quarters (75%) of consumers predicting that’s where they’ll do the majority of theirs. Ensuring a smooth ecommerce journey will be crucial for brands wanting to maximise revenue this Christmas. Investing in influencer-generated social content can kick start the process, inspiring scrollers and turning them into shopper with a couple of taps.
It’s important marketers meet customers where they are this Christmas. Not only in the mood of their communication but with a social strategy that suits their new spending habits and an ecommerce journey that makes their lives easier. I predict we’ll see some incredible influencer campaigns this festive season that hit all three.
But marketers should move fast. Burned by a year of periodic panic buying, shoppers are keen to start early. 41% shoppers anticipate they’ll have already started their Christmas shopping by the end of October.