Opinion: Tips to find relevant influencers for your festive marketing campaigns

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With the ongoing festive season, Ankit Agarwal from Do Your Thng suggests tips to find influencers that function as a natural extension of the brand for their festive marketing campaigns.

The festive season started with a big bang, with eCommerce players clocking an eye-watering $2.7 billion in sales in mere 4 days. Needless to say, with Diwali, and Christmas on the horizon, there is still much that brands can do to cash in. However, running high-impact, large-ticket marketing campaigns is not an easy task. Why? Because every brand is vying for the consumer's attention on the same 6-inch screen.

Creator collaborations, of course, are one way to cross that bridge. They have a way of reaching target audiences that feels personal and like organic research rather than targeted advertising. Yet, marketers trip, and stumble through influencer marketing campaigns for all sorts of reasons. The biggest being discovery.

Only 22% of marketers say it’s easy to find the right creators, according to the Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report 2021.

With that in mind, here are a few tips for discovering effective influencers for festive season campaigns.

Look For Engagements & Interactions

Stop focusing on indicators such as likes and follower count. Following an account or double-tapping, a post has become a part of automatic, valueless behavior. We do them without thinking, so they’ve lost their meaning. These actions don’t signify that an influencer truly has the power to sway purchase decisions. To tap consumers in the intent phase, you need to consider harder engagements like:

  • Views
  • Shares
  • Comments
  • Post saves
  • Story tap backs 

Collectively, they fall under engagement rate (ER) and paint a clearer picture of how responsive followers are to creator content. Think of them as buying signals, indicating high consumer desirability.

Consider ER For Every Platform

The linchpin to finding the right creators is analyzing the Engagement Rate (ER). However, you need to do it for each platform. Why? Because they often differ widely. For instance, a travel blogger may have a middling ER on Facebook but an off-the-charts ER on Instagram. 

Arming yourself with this information helps target the most effective platform. Yes, manually calculating the ER of each creator for each platform is cumbersome, complicated, and frustrating. So, make the smarter choice. Use an influencer marketing platform that automatically and comprehensively calculates it for you.

Vet For Influencer Authenticity

Are the followers real and not fake? Are the comments from bots? Is the influencer offering relevant, credible value to their followers or simply publishing cash-grabbing commercials?

Double-check these elements, and you’ll land the right creators. Why? Because how your festive marketing campaigns perform is a function of how well the influencers' content is perceived. And the more authentic the content, the more it drives engagement and action. 

So, stringently vet for fake followers and bot activity before onboarding, and ensure that you don’t partner with anyone who has inflated numbers. 

Also read: Opinion: How to drive sales through social media marketing during the festive season

Look For Brand Advocates: They Solve The Crisis Of Trust

Consumers trust the content that feels like a recommendation from a friend and not a paid ad. They are more receptive to it, which brings us to the next tip - look for brand advocates.

Advocates are people who love a brand, and they either already use the product or aspire to do so. When you partner with them for campaigns, they don’t parrot brand messaging in posts that stand out like a sore thumb and scream #sponcon. Their posts look like a natural part of their content, and it feels like an extension of your values, tone, and imagery. 

Opt For Personality-based Matching

Keyword-based influencer discovery is a “let’s throw it on the wall and see what sticks” approach. A better one is personality-based analysis. Besides the usual filters like gender, age, location, and niche, personality-based creator search empowers you to match storytelling, past content, audiences, etc. It assists in finding creators with communities that resonate with your messaging, building brand love, and driving a lot more stickiness.

Choose Quality Over Quantity

The key to finding appropriate creators is understanding the nuances of influence. The real currency of influencer marketing is not followers. It’s the content. A collaboration with low-quality, sub-par content is never successful, irrespective of how many people follow the influencer. You’ll just end up with negative brand associations. That’s why how good creator content is every bit as important as any other factor. So, make sure all past work is at par with your standards.

What helps is switching your perception. Don’t think of influencers as an ad buy. Consider them as passionate, creative directors, and then view them through the lens of quality content.

Rely On Machine Intelligence

Tech makes everything easier and more efficient. So, the last tip is to offload most of the grunt work of influencer marketing to an AI-powered algorithm for festive marketing campaigns. Focus less on processes and more progress by relying on an influencer marketing platform to discover ace content partners. That means being clear on your campaign objectives even before you start identifying influencers. These goals will inform and shape your strategy and in turn, help in bringing brand/creators synergy, leading to natural, relevant and compelling content that forces the audience to pay attention.

This article piece has been authored by Ankit Agarwal, Founder, Do Your Thng

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