This Christmas Is All About Influence

It's the time of year when the holidays begin to take over our everyday existence. From nonstop carols in every aisle to candy cane versions of just about everything (candycane toothbrush, really?), there's no question that the holiday season is all about consumers and commerce. But that isn't new. The holiday shopping season has long been the time when brands spend more money to get you to spend your hard-earned dough. In fact, about 20% of all retail sales come from this one month time period, so advertisers spend more on TV ads and more on things like Black Friday deals to capture your attention during this pivotal time. 

But this year, advertisers are doing much more than just running commercials and mailing you flyers - they are focusing on influencers. Focus on influencer marketing has increased immensely in the past few years, and statistics abound: 

- 90% of people believe online reviews are more convincing than an in-store salesperson

- 92% of people trust recommendations from other people, even those they don't know, over branded content 

- 67% of shoppers purchased a gift they found on social media 

On Instagram, having user-generated content, such as that by a blogger or an influencer, means that a consumer is 6.4x more likely to purchase an apparel/fashion product than if there was just branded content. Similar number exist for other verticals, and brands are starting to catch on that Instagram is more than just a photo-sharing site.  

The influence of Instagram users, especially during the holidays, is now indisputable. But what that means is that your feed is about to be inundated with influencer "ads." Brands will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to these content entrepreneurs, just to have their massive audiences hit that "like" button. But with more ad posts, their audiences become more and more "post blind." Audiences start to ignore the celebrity ads, and focus more on their friends. 

That's why Heartbeat makes sense - when your friend posts about something they actually like, it's not an ad. It's an endorsement from someone you know and trust, and it serves exactly the same purpose as an influencer post, without all of the baggage. 

Reach out to us with questions about working with Heartbeat this holiday season: 


Kate Edwards