Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday have always been big dates for retail; this year is no exception. In fact, the National Retail Federation predicted a sales increase of 3.6% this November and December, compared to the 2.5% average of the last ten years’ holiday seasons.
However, the digital shift has remarkably (and rapidly) revolutionized marketing — so much that many famous companies have gone under due to their failure of keeping up with the times (Blockbuster and Polaroid, we’re looking at you). If retailers wish to stay relevant in an ever-evolving landscape and come out on top during Black Friday Weekend, they must respond by restructuring.
Brands are catching onto the vast benefits of influencer marketing, investing millions of dollars into the relatively new form of advertising. But, are they spending their money most effectively? A recent survey by Sidebuy of more than 270 online influencers shows that 72% of brand collaborations were focused around sponsored blog posts, while social media and video posts accounted for only 19% and 3.52%. Considering consumers named Instagram and video content as the most valuable resources for holiday shopping ideas, there is a clear disconnect between the platforms brands invest in and the platforms that generate the highest ROI.
Instagram with 300 million daily active users could very well be the most effective platform come Black Friday Weekend, as it now combines its original features with video content. Instagram Stories’ latest updates, in particular, gives social media marketing a whole new luster. Newer features like Live video instantly connect friends and followers, causing a sense of urgency. Viewers are also able to comment during the Live video, allowing even more interaction. Better yet, Instagram Stories now allows users to @ tag other users, giving influencers the ability to direct traffic to brand accounts.
Lisa Tant, fashion marketing guru and former Vice President of Marketing & Customer Experience at Holt Renfrew, noted that “it is interesting to see how retailers will take advantage of Instagram’s new feature, ‘Stories.’”
There’s no doubt that influencers are strongly shaping consumer behavior. Will brands and advertisers take note and utilize the most powerful platforms this Black Friday Weekend?
Header image by @arvidabystrom