The holiday season is a great opportunity for social media influencers to unveil new services, products, and social causes that will pique consumers’ interest. Brands can get their products, services, or causes in front of consumers authentically and relevantly in many ways this season. Coming up with creative Thanksgiving Influencer Marketing campaign ideas is as easy as 1-2-3-4-5 when you use these ideas as springboards!
Thanksgiving Influencer Marketing Ideas to WOW Your Consumers
Online sales for Thanksgiving rose from $4.2 billion in 2019 to $5.1 billion in 2020. The numbers are promising, but they also imply that competition is at its fiercest this time of year. Getting noticed is difficult for small and large brands alike. Differentiating yourselves from competitors is key. Take inspiration from our experiences and others’ to make your Thanksgiving campaigns successful!
1. Encourage Giving Back
What better way to express gratitude than by giving back? We conducted a blog tour and live event campaign with Huggies. Not only did this campaign drive incredible awareness for a huge problem facing many families in the US: diaper need. But it also generated 2,471,233 impressions, exceeding the contracted reach by 582%.
Does your brand have a cause it’s passionate about? If you’ve partnered with a nonprofit or have one in mind, Thanksgiving can be a great time to drum up awareness of your “in-the-trenches” efforts to make a difference, especially when working with influencers.
2. Focus on the positive.
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals involved influencers in its light and heartwarming Give Miracles blog tour campaign. Its two objectives were to 1) increase funding for children’s hospital care across North America and 2) launch their mobile fundraising app. The influencers shared how the organization had changed their lives or the life of their loved ones. The campaign was a success! It generated a lot of social media activity, drove website traffic, and increased donations.
3. Encourage influencers to provide long-form content and coupon codes in their Instagram posts.
Instagram influencer Lisa Lihn (@bylisalinh), in a campaign with @crosspens, neatly wove her use of their special pens into her life story. She generated higher-than-average engagement rates by featuring a Cross pen in a well-staged photo with a story about how it helped her plan her way out of some hard spots.
Similarly, Instagram influencer Kristi Elong (@thecurrentcrush) told a bit of her story and included a Cross pen that she’d had engraved with her personal motto: “take a chance.” She also used the hashtag #longstoryshort. Both influencers included coupon codes in the comments, reports The Shelf. Even though neither Lisa nor Kristi mentioned Thanksgiving at all, their posts were published right around Thanksgiving. This demonstrates that even companies whose products aren’t obviously associated with Thanksgiving can, with the right amount of creativity, communication with and trust in their influencers, and use of the most-relevant hashtags, still score a Thanksgiving touch-down. And using coupon codes for your Black Friday deals, if you’re running any, could prove especially timely and sales-boosting.
And, while we’re on the topic of coupon codes and product purchases, I strongly suggest adding paid social or affiliate programs to these types of campaigns to drive conversion. Adding these elements will help spread the word and drive up sales.
4. Involve Family and Food. Because Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is not only a good time to promote food, but also quality time spent with family. There was (and still is) a huge trend on TikTok about “A Thanksgiving Surprise.” Thanksgiving can be all about bringing family and friends together. These shares spread joy and positivity while honing in on the Thanksgiving spirit.
For a campaign with Alpha-Bits cereal, 50 bloggers produced product reviews and shared their fall-themed and holiday snacks and activities using Alpha-Bits. The campaign, sharing across blogs and the influencers’ most popular social media channels, exceeded the contractual reach by 359%.
If you’re a food brand, Thanksgiving is the optimal time of year to run Influencer Marketing. Think about asking our influencers to come up with unique recipes and/or creative ways to present your product with family around the dinner table during a sweet Thanksgiving Surprise!
5. Think Outside the “Box” of Certain Platforms.
While it might seem like blog posts and Pinterest are the way to go for food brands when doing Influencer Marketing campaigns, you might be surprised at how much Instagram helps in that space, and how many stories can be told on the subject of food. For a campaign we did with Idahoan Mashed Potatoes, more than 100 Instagram Influencers shared their personal stories with mashed-potato-inspired pics. Moreover, thousands of Instagrammers engaged in the brand’s user-generated-content contest. Winners (one selected each hour for 12 hours straight) posted creative pictures showing their love for mashed potatoes. Additionally and to drive greater awareness and hashtag visibility, we hosted a Twitter Party with engagement resulting in 1,446% more reach than was contracted, and over 556 participants generating 5,469 tweets, and 52,014,138 impressions.
Brands Getting Thanksgiving Influencer Marketing Campaign Ideas Right
This credit card brand got their Thanksgiving 2016 Influencer Marketing campaign right by, surprisingly, making their influencers’ method of payment NOT the focus of their sponsored posts. They were more “day in the life,” and their influencers, including @kellyinthecity, invited their audiences to get involved in their preparations for the special holiday.
According to Mediakix.com, the best way to do Influencer Marketing campaigns on YouTube is to partner with influencers outside of your typical advertising category. Again, this appears to go against the grain, but the majority of brands who collaborate with influencers on the very popular platform find that mixing things up a bit does the trick. Naturebox, a subscription snack box, partnered with YouTuber Kipkay, who posts videos about how-to tricks, most of which are related to science, technological hacks, and DIY tips. He did a video describing how Naturebox’s snacks are healthier than the fun Easter egg surprise he demonstrated. While this campaign isn’t about Thanksgiving, it could be easily adapted (think: hollow chocolate turkeys!).
Two Things to Keep in Mind
As the above examples illustrate, the success of a Thanksgiving Influencer Marketing campaign ideas depends not just on knowing your goals from the outset, like we mentioned here, but also on how well you’re able to strike an emotional, “real-life” resonance through your influencers. If there’s ever a time of year when authenticity really matters, it’s the holidays. And if there’s a better way to strike that authentic chord than Influencer Marketing, we have yet to find it.
That being said, there are two things other than timing and authenticity to keep in mind to help you find the resonating “sweet spot” AND drive sales.
- Choose the right channels. There are tons of channels available, but your Influencer Marketing campaign does not need to run on all of them. Doing so can be not only useless but also costly. If you’re having a difficult time choosing, this post might help you choose.
- Plug into the passion. Obviously, it doesn’t make sense to ask a foodie influencer to post about the best children’s clothes brands. Getting the right mix of just-right influencers who can speak passionately and honestly about your product is critical. But so is plugging into what their audiences are passionate about. What’s trending on Quora or TikTok, or what questions are people asking related to your product or products like it on AnswerThePublic?
Wrapping It All Up
Thanksgiving is indeed the perfect season to boost sales. But equally important, it is also the best time to increase brand awareness. Make sure you stay ahead of the competition through fun and relevant influencer marketing campaigns. Get inspiration from the above brands!