Retailers may not be alone in feeling as though yet another December has crept up on them. As the country rushes to the finish line of 2023, many retailers’ Christmas marketing plans are likely well underway. But what if you’ve left the planning a little too late? Or what if you are keen to bulk up your marketing approach in the last few weeks before Christmas, to maximise sales?

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA), in conjunction with Roy Morgan, predict $66.8 billion will be spent in the November to December 24 period. Typically, the majority of this spend occurs at the very tail end of the holiday season, meaning marketers still have time to beef up their strategic and tactical approach to get the absolute most out of their sales.

Influencer marketing is a highly effective marketing tool that can be strategised and implemented quickly — particularly if you use automated influencer marketing tools to help. 

Striking a balance between efficiency and volume is essential to maximising your holiday sales performance as a marketer. Influencer marketing can and should be a tool in your arsenal to reach new and existing customers with engaging and personalised content.

In a climate where the Australian shoppers may be feeling uncertain about how and where to purchase from this Christmas — through a combination of hyper-awareness about being scammed, as well as wishing to economise and make their dollar go further amidst the rising cost of living — influencer marketing can outpace other marketing forms due to the level of trust built into it. 

According to a survey from Oracle, 37% of consumers trust social media influencers over brands themselves. With just a few weeks to go until the big day, an investment in social influencers could make a big difference with fairly minimal effort.

Time’s running out — how to get a good influencer campaign up quickly

First — make sure your objectives are clear. The two most common objectives in an influencer campaign are direct sales and brand awareness. Direct sales measures click-through rates from user content, as well as sales conversions from those clicks. Brand awareness is a gain in overall reach and share of voice to a target audience via promotional content on an influencer’s page. This can be measured not only in terms of the uplift in a brand’s following, but the volume of and type of engagement that occurs with the influencer’s content from the audience.

During the Christmas period, having a blend of both objectives is most effective, because it will boost the bottom line over this vital short term period, and set the brand up for success in the new calendar year. 

Secondly, hone your goal as simply as you can, keeping messages and offers specific. Engaging an influencer to promote a suite of products will dilute your call to action, resulting in users having to choose what products interest them the most. A good rule of thumb is to have influencers promote a product that speaks to them and their following as personally as possible. For example, a ‘mum’ influencer may be best off showcasing gifts purchased for children, whereas a beauty influencer may prefer to showcase a product that they themselves use.

Remember, during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale periods, people tend to shop for themselves, when compared to the 20 or so days leading up to Christmas, where gifting for others overtakes as the priority. This sounds deceptively simple, but it’s a distinction that can speak volumes when deciding your holiday influencer strategy.

Finally, when time is in short supply, it’s always best to track the impact of the campaign as a whole, not each post’s performance in isolation. Measure each post, story, and video as a part of the whole campaign, and how it is tying back to your objective/s. Getting bogged down in which individual pieces of content are and aren’t working will obscure the true purpose of the exercise — it is also unlikely you will have time for this level of granularity at the busiest period in the retail calendar too.

The final stretch of the year is super competitive, and for a marketer, time becomes somewhat of a luxury. It’s vital when you embark on an influencer marketing campaign — especially one that’s fairly last minute — to have the right tools and features at your disposal to give you a helping hand. 

Alex Frolov is CEO and co-founder of HypeAuditor.