Black Friday: How Influencers Can Help Your Brand This Holiday Season

It can be hard to stand out during the festive sales season, but your brand’s campaigns can be truly outstanding with influencers on your side. Here’s why Influencer Marketing will be the gift that keeps on giving this Black Friday.

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As Black Friday draws near, it won’t be long before the festive panic sets in. Originating in America as the post-Thanksgiving discount day, it has grown into a global phenomenon that marks the onset of retail’s busiest period. Last year, online shopping on Black Friday accounted for 4.8% of total holiday season sales, with spending set to hit $10.96 billion in the US this year. Unsurprisingly, Cyber Monday sales were unprecedented in 2020 and marked the biggest day for eCommerce in US history. These trends will only increase this November, with concerns mounting across the world over the supply chain crisis which has led to huge shortages throughout the retail sector.

Fears of continued shortages over the festive period will create even greater demand this Black Friday, as consumers stock up on gifts to avoid the disappointment of empty shelves. Stock levels aside, the highly anticipated discount days provide an opportunity for consumers to bag a bargain, discover new brands and products, and nab an item they’ve had their eye on for a while at a fraction of the original price. 

Brands and Black Friday

For brands, Black Friday provides an ideal chance to clear old stock and make way for the new in time for Christmas. More importantly, it offers a golden opportunity to capitalise on the heightened demands and expectations of consumers, driving traffic and sales. Getting the word out there is one thing, but cutting through the noise online is an even loftier task, especially considering the eCommerce strides that social platforms have made in the last year.

Make sure your brand is set for success this holiday season, with our top tips for a stand-out strategy:

Set your goals and spread the word

Get the word out there that your brand is one to watch, and encourage consumers to keep an eye out for upcoming deals. Putting yourself on people’s radars is key for raising brand awareness with potential customers, and increasing product discovery for existing ones. Some brands will stay true to the Black Friday one-day approach,  whereas others will take advantage of the anticipation with longer sales windows.  Extended windows for sales can alleviate the pressure on brands, and on small businesses in particular. What’s more, an extended promotion period allows brands to space out their messaging, and do so across multiple touch-points like email marketing and paid media. 

Whether you’re wanting to build the hype for your one-day sale, or you’re opting for a month-long tease of deals and discounts, it’s important to have a killer strategy in place.

Use Influencers

With so much competition during seasonal sales periods, it can be hard to stand out –  especially online. Influencer marketing is on track to become a $15 billion industry by 2022, highlighting the popularity, success, and necessity of the influencer approach.  Influencers are not only the most effective way of reaching younger demographics, they also broaden a brand’s digital presence, and ensure a more streamlined eCommerce experience. Social media platforms have completely transformed since last year’s Black Friday sales, with a host of improvements to the eCommerce capabilities and advertising opportunities open to brands. Creator-led campaigns help to focus the spotlight on your brand, while taking advantage of the branded content features, product discovery tools, in-stream advertising, and in-app payment features that are transforming the social media landscape for retailers.

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While Black Friday draws consumers in with the promise of a discount, the task for brands is ensuring they are drawn to the right places, through engaging, authentic and creative content. Incorporating influencers into your marketing approach helps to do just that. 

According to our 2020 Whitepaper, a third of the consumers surveyed agreed that brands that use influencers to communicate are more compelling than those that don’t.

Creator-led campaigns can be as simple as promoting the fact your brand is partaking in Black Friday, but why not take it a step further? Here are a few ways that influencers can elevate your approach:

Discount Codes and Rewards

Giving influencers a unique code to share with their followers is a great way to encourage purchases and create a sense of exclusivity. Share an extra discount on sale items, or complimentary extras such as free delivery or gift-wrapping on full-price products.

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Early Access Links

Provide influencers with an early access link to share with their followers, giving them the chance to bag the bargains before others. This not only creates a sense of urgency, so as to not miss out, but also provides that sense of exclusivity.

Live-Stream Shopping Events

Shoppable live-streams are all the rage, with platforms like TikTok, Facebook and Triller expanding into live shopping events. Live-stream shopping takes eCommerce to a new level, allowing brands to interact with their customers, while cultivating an immersive experience for potential shoppers. This is an ideal opportunity to collaborate with influencers that match your brand’s niche, to host and promote live-shopping events.

‘How to Style’ Content

Allow creators to showcase their favourite piece from your collection that will be going on sale. Whether it’s fashion, food, interior decor, or tech, creators’ talents and expertise span a whole range of niches, and they represent the audiences that your brand aims to target. Influencers become an extension of your brand, so giving them some creative freedom to do what they do best can go a long way. They can create their own ‘edit’, showcasing how they style or use a product, to give their followers inspiration and motivate them to purchase in the sales.

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Gift-Giving Inspiration

Research conducted earlier this year by Future PLC found that almost £200 billion has been saved by UK consumers in preparation for the festive season, with nearly 30% expecting to use Black Friday as their main opportunity to buy Christmas gifts. Capitalise on the festive hype by having influencers create their own gift guides, showcasing products that your brand will be entering into the Black Friday sales. This is a great chance for influencers to get creative with their content: perhaps they could show how they would gift wrap the product and present it to a loved one? This would give their followers some tangible gift-giving inspiration, and highlight your product as being perfect for a particular recipient. Our research showed that 32% of people find influencer content more relatable to their real lives than brand’s own advertising content, and relatability is key for the season of giving.

A Multi-Platform Approach

 A multi-platform approach, like TAKUMI’s, can optimise reach and maximise the success of your campaign by tapping into a creator’s platform and audience across social media.

Recommendations

Influencer marketing embraces the powers of recommendation, which will have the biggest impact on whether consumers spend with your brand, or go elsewhere. According to our 2020 Whitepaper research, a quarter of 25-34 year olds said they’re likely to trust a TikTok influencer’s recommendation over a friend’s. What’s more, a 2021 shopper survey by Bizrate found that good reviews and high ratings had the biggest influence on their purchasing decisions. So, whether it’s Black Friday, Christmas, or a campaign for your latest collection, it’s always a good time to invest in influencer marketing.

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How can brands source the best influencers for their campaigns?

Our creator-led campaigns are powered by 6+ years of first party data and insights from our award-winning Creative Tech platform, offering an end-to-end service with a human-focus. From creating a brief and recruiting the best influencers for your campaign, to tracking insights and measuring results, TAKUMI makes the whole process simple and impactful.  Get in touch today to find out how you can partner with the very best creators to bring your Black Friday campaigns to life.

If you would like to guest contribute to our blog, simply drop the team an email and we’ll get back to you hello@takumi.com.