Digiday+ Research: Influencers will grow more important to brands’, retailers’ holiday marketing

This research is based on unique data collected from our proprietary audience of publisher, agency, brand and tech insiders. It’s available to Digiday+ members. More from the series →

Social channels are already lit up with holiday marketing campaigns, many of which are centered around influencers. This will only become more so as the holiday season progresses, according to findings from Digiday+ Research.

We already know that Instagram and TikTok will grow in importance for brands and retailers when it comes to their holiday marketing plans. Digiday surveyed 56 brand and retail professionals and found that influencers are also poised to grow in importance this holiday season, which corresponds with what marketers say will be the most-used tactics heading into the holidays.

Digiday’s survey found that most brand and retail pros are utilizing influencers. To be exact, 89% of respondents said they have used influencers as part of their marketing so far this year, making the channel a vital part of many brands’ and retailers’ marketing strategies.

On top of that, nearly half of brand and retail pros (45%) said influencers will become even more important to their marketing plans for the holiday season. Meanwhile, more than a third (39%) said influencers’ importance will at least stay the same to their marketing plans through the holidays. All in all, 84% of brands and retailers expect influencer marketing’s importance to grow or stay the same through the end of the year.

Only 16% of respondents to Digiday’s survey said influencers will be less important to their holiday marketing this year.

Influencers’ growth in importance to brands’ and retailers’ holiday marketing plans corresponds to the types of marketing tactics brand and retail pros said they expect to employ during the holidays this year, Digiday’s survey found.

For instance, 56% of respondents said they’ll use gift guides in their holiday marketing, making the tactic the most popular among brands and retailers through the end of the year. Influencers will likely play an important part in brands’ and retailers’ gift guide marketing plans, either by posting the gift guide content on their own channels or promoting the items that brands and retailers include in their guides.

Meanwhile, 40% of brand and retail pros told Digiday they expect to use unboxing videos as part of their holiday marketing strategies this year, putting this tactic in third place among survey respondents (behind brand experiences, which 51% brands and retailers expect to employ). Influencers are clearly key to the brands and retailers deploying this marketing tactic, since they’re the ones who will likely do the actual unboxing.

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