Can the year of the influencer thrive through National Day campaigns?

Aaron Brooks is the co-founder of Vamp, a global mobile content and influencer marketing platform. Vamp connects the world's biggest brands to their closed community of creators for powerful social campaigns. Clients such as Adobe, Estée Lauder, Huawei and eBay have achieved great results with the high-quality content created by Vamp's influencers.

With Mother’s Day and Easter disappearing into the distance for another year, many brands will be analysing the performance of their themed marketing campaigns. This year, there is even more of a compelling argument to include influencers in this strategy.

The 2017 festive season saw around half of young people purchase products promoted by popular influencers on social media – no wonder 2018 has been dubbed ‘The Year Of The Influencer’. With Father’s Day not far behind, brands shouldn’t miss this opportunity to stay ahead of the curve.

There’s a National Day for everything

From the well-known Halloween and Father’s Day to more niche National Coffee Day, Pink Day or Say Something Nice Day, national days offer a whole host of new marketing opportunities. They give brands alternative, strategic methods to drive brand awareness and engagement, while positioning them in a positive conversation that they may have otherwise been left out of. This creates relevance, even outside of their typical seasons, and generates more brand awareness throughout the year – rather than becoming subject to peaks and lows in campaigns.

When you add influencers to the mix, the results can be even more engaging.

Global food brand, Nutella, recently embraced the power of influencers, recruiting two of the biggest content creators in the UK (Zoella and Pointless Blog) for its #WorldNutellaDay social campaign which generated over 700,000 Instagram likes and reached over 15 million Instagram users.

It might not be the right approach for all brands to create their own national day, but with over 1,000 existing days up for grabs every year, brands have plenty of opportunities to get in on the act. National days can also help people associate a brand with a worthy cause and create more of an emotional connection. As Starbucks demonstrated when it partnered with World AIDS Day and donated 25 cents for every festive beverage sold to help raise money and awareness.

Authenticity is key here. Audiences are five times more likely to purchase something promoted or reviewed by an influencer versus a celebrity. They trust the endorsement when it is in-keeping with the content they are used to seeing. The same is true for a brand’s choice of national day – it should chime with their values and audience.

The influential era

For inspiration on where to shop, what to wear and eat, over half of UK young adults look to influencers and made purchases directly promoted by them in 2017, and that number is set to rise dramatically in 2018 with 90% of brands expected to test and launch influencer campaigns this year.

By collaborating with these influencers, brands gain access to their highly-engaged audiences, bringing them more potential for conversation and conversion. Using influencers also gives brands purpose-built content showing their product positioned in the correct context. It gives them bespoke content that can be repurposed in their own advertising channels.

Influencers can also help brands stay up-to-date with the latest social trends. These digital natives know which hashtags are trending – an essential element in such campaigns – and can offer brands unique insights into their audiences. Instagram’s new feature allowing individual hashtags can be followed and tracked only highlights this importance.

Many brands are using online platforms to align their brand with influencers on National Days and seeing above average customer engagement due to the high-quality content and timely nature of the campaign.

For Father’s Day last year, David Beckham ‘Respect’ cologne used online management platforms to align its brand with Father’s Day. The campaign encouraged them to discuss their idols on Instagram using the hashtag #DavidBeckhamRespect. This link heightened emotional connection around the campaign and positioning the fragrance as the perfect gift for Father’s Day.

Brands should look to maintain an ongoing influencer campaign throughout the year and national days offer a fresh and innovative opportunity. In ‘The Year Of The Influencer’, commercial power can be amplified further by engaging these content creators who offer limitless creative opportunities for brands. Ultimately differentiating their offering and keeping them a step ahead of the competition.

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