With the first day of Fall just around the corner, comes a change in season and marks one of the busiest times of year for brands. Every holiday season, brands promote their products through all sorts of ways in order to stay top of mind for consumers during the Christmas shopping frenzy.
Blogger outreach is one way to effectively create positive buzz for brands during the holiday season. If you’ve been following GroupHigh, you’ll know how to build up a network of influencers to promote your product during this busy season.
But beyond knowing the bloggers to team up with, you’ll also need a captivating campaign that rises above the marketing noise, along with knowing how to bring it into fruition.
Examples of Awesome Holiday Campaigns with Bloggers
To kickstart your creative brainstorming, I’ve curated three of my favorite blogger outreach campaigns from the holiday season. Use these to fuel your own holiday marketing ideas.
Balsam Hill’s “12 Bloggers of Christmas”
Image via blog.balsamhill.com
Each year, Balsam Hill puts on a blogger series and grand prize giveaway. Last year, Balsam Hill connected with 12 influential bloggers in the home decor and lifestyle space and sent them an artificial tree for them to decorate. The bloggers then shared their finished trees with their readers during a weeklong blog hop. Balsam Hill also gave 12 readers the chance to win one of 10 gift cards valued at $100, a gift card worth $300, or the top prize of a $750 gift card, all of which could be used to purchase a Christmas tree.
Balsam Hill boosted reader engagement by formatting their holiday campaign into a blog hop series where bloggers linked to each other so readers could easily hop along to each post. What’s also great is that Balsam Hill offered huge incentive for readers to keep participating through the giveaway.
Takeaway: When thinking of campaign formats, consider a blog hop series as a way to encourage views and engagement from readers with a corresponding giveaway at the end.
Home Decorators Collection’s “Holiday Home Tour”
Last year, Home Decorators Collection teamed up with 16 talented bloggers in the home decor and DIY space and generously allowed each of the participating bloggers to choose multiple products to include within their home tour reveals. Additionally, Home Decorators Collection gave the chance for two readers to win one of two $250 gift cards so they could the same products used.
Home Decorators Collection tapped into an already existing campaign between bloggers, called a “Home Tour”, and offered a natural way to add to the experience with offering their products. While the home tour didn’t exclusively feature Home Decorators Collection products, like a blog hop would, bloggers still shared how they incorporated these items within their homes to their readers.
Takeaway: When brainstorming campaign ideas, try looking at what your current network is already doing to see if there is a natural tie in. You’ll often find the greatest campaign ideas from the bloggers themselves.
Home Depot’s Holiday Style Challenge
Home Depot challenged a group of bloggers in the DIY niche to decorate different areas of their home- like the fireplace, living room, and front porch- by using mystery boxes filled with products. Participating bloggers could use any or all of the products within the boxes and had freedom to alter them in any way for their unique designs. They also received gift cards to ensure they could complete their stylized scenes. The bloggers then revealed their new looks with their readers, as well as with Home Depot’s Blog Readers.
Home Depot offered a unique experience by hand selecting surprise items within their mystery boxes, and also provided creative freedom for bloggers with additional gift cards.
Takeaway: When considering your product offerings for bloggers, try mixing up the approach with curated kits and gift card combos to add a surprise element.
How to Start Your Own Awesome Holiday Campaign
Now that you have a little more inspiration for what your holiday campaign could be, it’s time to start mapping out how to make your campaign come to fruition. Below are three helpful tips to kickstart your campaign execution.
Create a Workback Schedule
While December might seem far away, it’s actually closer than you think when you start factoring in time for outreaching to bloggers, shipping their products, and having them create their posts. Each of these milestones within a campaign takes time and should be planned for in advance. The easiest way to do so is to first mark when you want the campaign to take place and then work back from that date, noting milestone deadlines along the way.
Finalize Your Product Offering
Getting together a complete list of products for the campaign sounds easy enough, but what’s often overlooked is checking the quantity available for each product. It’s never fun to have to go back to a group of bloggers because you no longer have a certain product in-stock that they requested, so make sure you check the quantities, have a wide variety to offer, and know your budget caps. Additionally, if you’re incorporating hand selected items for the bloggers, like with the Home Depot example, you’ll also want to factor in creating the mailers for these curated kit, as well as planning the best way to ship them.
Outreach to Bloggers ASAP
The holiday season is a busy time for bloggers, as many different brands look to incorporate influencers within their marketing efforts. As a result, these bloggers’ editorial calendars fill up fast where they have to plan out their posts far in advance. With this in mind, you’ll want to get on their radar early to ensure campaign participation. For example, even if you don’t have all of your campaign details mapped out this month, you should still start outreaching to bloggers to gauge their upcoming availability so you can adjust your campaign dates accordingly.
What are your favorite holiday campaigns with bloggers? Share in the comments below or on Twitter @GroupHigh.