• David Hoos

5 STRATEGIES TO EFFECTIVELY LEVERAGE INFLUENCERS FOR BLACK FRIDAY/CYBER MONDAY

Updated: Oct 19



Ah, Thanksgiving. A time for counting our blessings, gathering with family, and camping outside of Walmart so that we can purchase an 80-inch flatscreen television at an all-time low price.


Let's be honest: together Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) have become somewhat of a national holiday. For consumers, it's an opportunity to snag great deals from their favorite brands. For retailers, it's an opportunity to drive significant revenue in a relatively short amount of time.


However, success on BFCM doesn't just happen. You can't just throw out some deals and expect people to flood your website or brick-and-mortar locations. You need a well-planned strategy, and influencer marketing should be a key part of that strategy.


Read on to learn how to effectively leverage influencer marketing for BFCM.


1. GET STARTED EARLY

If you really want to make a splash on BFCM, you absolutely need to get started early with your promotional efforts. Planning and executing an influencer marketing campaign takes time, so you need to start reaching out to potential partners in advance. This will give you the best chance of working with your favorite influencers in your niche. Consumers are shopping earlier and earlier which means that more creators are going to be booking up their inventory earlier as well. If you know who you want to work with, it’s important to get them locked in early.


Also, zig when everyone else is zagging. Everyone is fighting for the same limited consumer attention over Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Shoppers can only process so many flash sales, price drops, and bargain buys. After a while, it becomes all noise and no signal. If you want to stand out, you need to do something different at a different time. Starting your campaigns before BFCM can set you apart from your competitors.


2. EXPAND YOUR OFFER WINDOW

Major shopping events are starting earlier and earlier. Christmas in July isn't really a stretch anymore. Halloween items start appearing in stores in the middle of September. BFCM isn't any different. There has been so much noise around the strict BFCM window, and with supply chain and shipping/delivery issues plaguing the industry the past few years, consumers are starting to shop earlier and earlier.


One way to cut through the noise is to ask your creators to repromote the integrations through their social media channels. To get the best results, ask your creator partners to share reminders with their audiences at least three times.


3. MORE THAN A DISCOUNT

If you want to win the BFCM battle, you need to offer your audience more than a discount. Literally everyone and their mother offers a discount on BFCM. Unless you want to take the Walmart approach and try to win on price, a discount isn't enough to convince shoppers to buy. Over the past few years, consumers have learned to tune out much of the BFCM hype, which means you need to get creative.


Use influencer campaigns to create a halo effect around your brand and products leading up to BFCM. Come up with creative ways to promote your offerings that go beyond just a discount. You could offer early access to specific deals, exclusive products, and unique customization options. Or you could partner with an influencer for a giveaway of a prize package leading up to BFCM.


The point is that cutting the price will no longer cut it on BFCM. You need to think outside the box and get creative with your promotions if you want to win.


4. THINK LONGER TERM

There is less of a sense of urgency with consumers with Black Friday and Cyber Monday than say, five years ago. Consumers don't feel like they need to rush out after work or be online at a certain time to snag deals.


Use influencer marketing to build your brand equity throughout the year. Then when BFCM rolls around, your brand will be top of mind. Consumers will be much more likely to click the "Buy" button because your brand has been occupying some of their attention throughout the entire year.


So, sure, run some campaigns around the BFCM holiday, but think about what you can do that can increase brand equity and affinity beyond the holidays.


5. THINK ABOUT GIFTABLE OPPORTUNITIES (ESPECIALLY ON PAID PLATFORMS)

Gifts are an opportunity to connect not one, but two people with your brand: the giver and the receiver. The 4th quarter of the year is one of the best times to focus on products that might be given as gifts. After all, Christmas is right around the corner and most shoppers are already intent on making purchases.


During this time, advertising on paid platforms can pay off big. Yes, the inventory costs are high and competitive, but the strong purchase intent and higher conversion rates make advertising worth the cost.


If your budget is tight, start advertising earlier in the year, even as early as late September or earlier. Make sure that your budget strategy, creative, messaging, and audience targeting is in line well before you start.


One caveat to this recommendation: if you sell products that people tend to buy for themselves or if you have a longer purchase-decision window, you may want to wait until the "new year new you" season begins. Reduce your marketing efforts on BFCM so that you have more resources available when the New Year comes.


FINAL THOUGHTS

The competition around Black Friday and Cyber Monday isn't going to slow down. It's only going to keep going. The keys to success with influencer marketing are to start thinking about your plans early, get creative with your promotions, focus on building brand equity leading up to the holidays, and be strategic with your ad spends. Strive to find some excellent influencer management agencies that can really put your products on the spotlight.


In the movie Field Of Dreams, an ethereal voice tells Kevin Costner that if he builds a baseball field, people will come to it. If only that were true with BFCM. You can't wait for shoppers to come to you. Rather, you need to be strategic about using influencers to cut through the noise and drive sales.