Influencer marketing has grown consistently alongside the pervasive rise of social media. More platforms haven’t diluted the power of a strong personality with a big following. In a holiday season being shaped by a pandemic, influencers are having their day.
Over-caffeinated polar bears, foreign cars dressed in big red bows, and excited children playing with new toys under the eyes of loving parents. Holiday marketing has a very specific look, but this year, it may be changing. Driven by a pandemic and a unique mood shared by millions of consumers, influencers are taking the reigns of some of the biggest campaigns of the season on behalf of household brands. Instead of a form of guerilla marketing, influencers are taking center stage. Which, knowing plenty of them, is exactly where they want to be.
One example comes from an industry you might not expect. Lowe’s, of home improvement and hardware store fame, has tagged no fewer than 18 influences to spearhead its “Letters to Home Campaign this month, a major investment for a company with deep pockets and in an industry that’s seen a lot of positive growth in spite of COVID-19’s economic impact. That’s been the case across the marketing world, with requests for influencers up by approximately 20%.
That doesn’t mean the pandemic isn’t a factor. The high costs of keeping talent and production teams safe with staggered schedules, longer shoots, delays, and personal protective equipment means that many agencies are looking to influencers to create content on their own or in the small, close-knit groups they feel comfortable with. In a lot of ways, it’s a revolution in production, and elements of it may stick around long after the pandemic is history.
It’s also a matter of platform. With record levels of consumers staying home and spending more time on social media, tagging in influences to put the content where the people already are is a no-brainer, especially for brands that may be working with smaller budgets or more focused product launches and campaigns. The digital realm is where transactions are happening, with brick-and-mortar stores hurting and point-of-sale marketing a real gamble, even in locations without strict COVID-19 guidelines in place.
While the production and platform may be different, most influencers are diving into the typical festive fare in full force. Santa hats and snowpeople, hot cocoa, and Christmas trees are the exact recipes of Nostalgia Stew that we’re all craving this year. We’re finding that people want to see familiar, safe, and comforting; they want this holiday season to look like they always have, and the way life used to. In a way, looking back is a way of fortifying and convincing ourselves that, at some point, we’ll get back to normal again.
Spotted any great holiday marketing? Share it with us!