Why Your eCommerce Holiday Strategy NEEDS Influencer Marketing

Why Your eCommerce Holiday Strategy NEEDS Influencer Marketing

Privacy changes are rocking the digital marketing landscape, with more upheaval ahead.

With businesses of all sizes seeing dramatic losses following Apple’s introduction of iOS 14.5 and its App Tracking Transparency feature, it begs the question: What can you do to stop the bleed — especially heading into the holiday season?

This is where influencer marketing comes in.

With targeted ads set to go the way of the dinosaur, this red-hot digital marketing strategy is a must for brands looking to efficiently and successfully reach their target audiences.

Let’s take a closer look at why influencer marketing is your secret ingredient this holiday season, along with tips for making the most of it.

The Demise of Digital Paid Ads

Before iOS 14.5, behavioral tracking was allowed on iPhones by default.

Whether users were aware of it (or wanted it), mobile app developers could track their data across different apps and websites, then cobble it together — not only to more effectively target them with advertisements but also to sell that data to other companies interested in the same marketing segments.

On the surface, App Tracking Transparency may not seem like an earth-shattering change. After all, users previously had the ability to opt-out of this tracking. The monumental difference with the update? The choice is now center stage.

Users who log into any app are immediately greeted with a standardized Apple-created prompt seeking their permission to allow tracking. If they click “Allow,” it’s business as usual. However, if they click “Ask App Not to Track,” it’s game over. With one simple tap, users are now preventing developers from tracking their data.

The fallout has been (to put it bluntly) brutal. Since App Tracking Transparency’s rollout, businesses are reporting significantly higher customer acquisition costs and substantial drops in revenue due to opt-in rates in the neighborhood of just 25 percent.

Small business owner Nadia Martinez told The Financial Times of the impact, "Ads have become more expensive, we have less access to data, and they aren’t as effective as they used to be.”

Why You Need Influencer Marketing for the Holidays

In our brave new post-iOS world, marketers are diverting money away from Meta and other performance channels into influencer marketing because it reduces their customer acquisition costs.

Influencer marketing is an incredibly effective solution for several reasons. For starters, it leverages the power of fully consensual marketing thanks to its double opt-in nature through which users choose to follow creators and creators choose to work with brands who are the right “fit.” And what better way to start implementing influencers into your marketing efforts than throughout the holidays? 

Not only do their ads reach the exact audience that's seeking out the content of particular creators, but privacy concerns are rendered obsolete. And because influencer marketing is perceived as more authentic than unsolicited paid ads, it also builds consumer trust.

Given these benefits, it’s not surprising that 74.5 percent of marketers in the United States say they’ll engage in influencer marketing in 2022, with an anticipated 27.8 percent increase in influencer marketing spending to $4.99 billion this year.

What You'll Need to Plan Your Holiday Campaigns

While influencer marketing has tremendous potential, it’s easier said than done. In order to leverage its full capabilities, brands need the following four things:

1. Goals

As with all marketing campaigns, your goals will largely dictate your strategy.

For example, if you’re looking to increase brand awareness – especially during the holiday season – your content should prioritize brand UVPs while also linking back to your social media profiles.

On the other hand, if your goal is to increase website traffic and conversions, consider sharing holiday discount codes and live stories where users can click through to your site.

2. Strategy and kickoff

Once you’ve defined your goals, consider these pre-campaign kickoff questions to further refine your strategy and tactics:

  • What is your holiday campaign budget?
  • How many and what size influencers will you work with, and what are their deliverables?
  • What channels should you use?
  • When should influencers post? 
  • How will you track performance? (Pro tip: Compared to the limited visibility of influencer discount codes, tracking links reveal the complete user journey — regardless of whether a purchase is made.)

3. Outreach

Expect to source and invite 10x the number of influencers you want to work with. Take time to craft a strong, branded email that shares top-line campaign details and excites influencers about the prospect of working with your brand.

4. Management

If you’re looking for an insider tip – you’ve got it! Our secret to a seamless eComm holiday strategy is to start early before the holiday’s really kick off! Expect to dedicate at least two months to campaign management, including the following:

  • Selecting influencers
  • Negotiating and confirming contracts and deliverables
  • Answering product and brand-related questions
  • Shipping products
  • Approving content drafts and providing feedback (if necessary)
  • Tracking posts
  • Coordinating payments
  • Reporting on campaign performance

Managing an influencer campaign isn’t a small endeavor. This is why it pays to hire a full-service eCommerce marketing agency like CAKE to take the day-to-day responsibilities off your hands.

Planning Your Holiday Influencer Marketing Campaigns

The good news? The influencer marketing process doesn't change much during the holiday season. However, it’s essential to start early.

Based on CAKE's portfolio of clients, we saw October accounting for 45% of Q4 revenue in both 2020 and 2021.

Even better news? Influencers and the holidays are a perfect fit. In addition to providing your target audience with early access to holiday promotions, influencers can also share holiday gift lists, stocking stuffer ideas, and more.

An Insider Tip From the CAKE team? 

For a seamless user experience, create landing pages for your influencer content with direct links to products.

But that’s not all! It’s also important to discuss the use of content across other paid social channels because of the terms of the content agreement. Having your influencer team and paid social team work hand in hand gives your paid social campaigns more user-generated content (UGC) that can provide stronger social proof and trust in the brand by users who are not following the influencers picked within the campaign.

Speaking of insider tips, when it comes to influencer marketing and other digital marketing strategies, we’re full of them. With the holiday season on the horizon, you’ve got many business-specific priorities — and limited resources to focus on them. Partnering with CAKE will free up your team to focus on what you do best while letting us do what we do best — for you.

Not convinced? To get a FREE digital marketing audit conducted by CAKE's top-notch team of eComm marketing strategists, contact us today.