For most people, June 24 was nothing more than another summer day. In the retail marketing world, it was the start of the five-month countdown to Black Friday.

Black Friday might seem like it's a long time away, but some of the most worthwhile holiday marketing activities require at least five months of planning. That's particularly true when marketers want to prepare for tactics that they haven't used before, but want to implement in Q4 2017.

Creating and implementing a micro-influencer marketing campaign is one such effort that requires prep work.

Micro-influencers are everyday consumers who have relevant influence within their social circles. They might not even know they have influence, but when they post about brands and products on social media, they drive their friends, family, and followers to action as a result.

Building and launching a micro-influencer campaign isn't as simple as your typical ad buy. Identifying influential customers, and discovering the most effective ways to encourage them to post about your brand, takes a lot of planning as well as a certain amount of trial and error.

If you're interested in building a micro-influencer program for the holiday season, here's a five-month plan to help you get started.

End of June: Define outcomes and content strategy

A good place to start is figuring out what you want to accomplish by using micro-influencers, and how you will measure performance.

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image of Lyle Stevens

Lyle Stevens is a co-founder and the CEO of Mavrck, an influencer activation platform. He is responsible for product operations and delivering value to Fortune 500 consumer brands.

LinkedIn: Lyle Stevens