The Magic of Holiday Gift Guides: Influencer Strategies

By Henley Worthen · November 10, 2023

The Magic of Holiday Gift Guides: Influencer Strategies

The holiday season is go time for marketers offering a golden opportunity for businesses to boost their sales and spread a little extra holiday cheer. But how do you capture shoppers’ attention in a crowded marketplace brimming with gifting options and competitive brands?

The holiday gift guide is one of the most potent tools at a marketer’s disposal during this season. By partnering with social media influencers, brands can be included in curated lists of recommended products for holiday shoppers overwhelmed by choices. 

The landscape is competitive because every brand vies to be included. And top-performing influencers receive hundreds of free products from brands pitching them to be included. 

As we unwrap the art of maximizing the potential of holiday gift guides, you’ll discover how to discover with the right influencers, capitalize on diverse holiday dates, and harness the power of data.

1. Beyond Basic Demographics 

Some influencers might receive hundreds of products prior to the holidays — so how do you identify the right creators who will include you in their gift guide and help sell your product effectively? 

Go granular. 

Think beyond: “Gift Guides for Moms”. There are infinite use cases and niche audiences that use your products. Would your product be a good stocking stuffer? Secret Santa gift? Gift for homebodies? Gift for wellness lovers? 

Before diving into the world of influencer partnerships and Gift Guides, getting to know your audience inside and out is crucial. Are they tech-savvy gamers or cozy homebodies? Do they explore national parks, or are they beauty enthusiasts? By understanding audience interest, you can partner with various influencers that reach a broad spectrum of demographics.

As you can see, this creator @ClaraPeirce has nearly 1 million TikTok followers and deeply understands the different types of Gift Guides audiences desire. She has created various types of guides with links to funnel audiences to owned sites and drive sales.

She even includes a Gift Guide for Holiday Party Hosts, as many consumers will attend many festivities over the next few months. 

When you go beyond basic audience demographics to understand audience interests, you can uncover influencers who speak to those specific audiences.

In the graph below, we compare three creators whose social media audiences contribute to ILIA cosmetic sales. The “market share” number indicates what percentage of ILIA’s Amazon shoppers watch content from these creators. While they all have large audiences, they vary in the topics they discuss on their channels. These slight variations from Gucci to makeup artist and acne would allow a brand like ILIA to market its products against slightly different audiences and offer niche Gift Guides.

For instance, Liah Yoo would be a great collaborator to create a ‘Gift Guide for skin care girlies” while Lisa J might be a better partner to create a “Gift Guide for makeup lovers”. 


While there is no shortage of social creators, finding ones that speak to your target customer can be difficult. In order to land partnerships and get your products featured in their Gift Guides, pitch creators with niche concepts that align with your products and use cases. 

2. Promotions & Special Deals

Creators love to offer discount codes that incentivize their audience to shop! After all, the hallmark of a successful partnership is proven ROI. 

Considering 2023’s difficult socioeconomic environment, deal days and sales will be more critical than ever for shoppers. Many people will be creating budgets and planning out their purchases wisely. 

For expensive purchases like Technology, Kitchenware, and Gaming, Tubular’s Consumer Insights indicate that shoppers are searching for “Black Friday” deals earlier. But when it comes to cheaper items like makeup and fashion, these shoppers are more likely to search for sales closer to deal days and make impulse purchases. 

The graph below from our most recent Holiday Trends report shows that those shopping for Gaming Consoles and Technology are shopping earliest, alongside parents shopping for toys. People are planning expensive tech purchases and hoping to get great deals on products that are easily above $500+. Fashion and Beauty shoppers, however, are searching for “Black Friday” deals last minute.

Key Takeaway: 

Depending on your product category and price range, plan your deal day promotions according to when your shoppers are looking for deals. Collaborate with influencers to accurately time their Gift Guide sales and deal days.

 3. Affiliate Creator Programs

Discovering, contacting, and contracting an influencer partnership can be a lengthy process including time-consuming negotiations and management. This makes it challenging to assemble an extensive influencer portfolio that targets various audiences and consumers. When all teams are ultra busy throughout the holiday season, an affiliate program can help you extend reach and get featured on Gift Guides with much less effort required. 

Affiliate programs incentivize creators to feature your products to their audiences and earn a commission rather than a paid influencer partnership. Consider Amazon’s affiliate program, Amazon Associates, which allows influencers to create a storefront to drive traffic to products they love and earn commissions from sales. 

Below are the top mentions on holiday Gift Guides on TikTok in the past 365 days. Many Amazon Associates are already creating Gift Guides for all types of consumers and occasions. 

Key Takeaway: 

Consider launching your own affiliate program that allows creators to offer their audience promo codes and earn commissions from sales. Likewise, ensure that your products are available with big box retailers like Amazon, Target, and Walmart. This makes checkout and shipping simple while also providing affiliate options to creators enrolled in programs with big box retailers. With Tubular’s Consumer Insights, we can help you identify which creators’ audiences are shopping for your products and at what stores. 

Your Guide to Holiday Gift Guides

As we wrap up our exploration of holiday Gift Guides, it’s evident that this festive season is not just about giving and receiving—it’s also about creating memorable experiences for audiences. Partnering with the right influencers, aligning with deal days, and offering affiliate programs are the keys to unlocking that magic.

  • Go beyond basic audience demographics to explore diverse use cases for your products. Stand out by going granular and offering social audiences unique Gift Guide renditions. 
  • Align Gift Guide campaigns with holiday deal days, as this season will surely be marked with tight wallets and budgeted shoppers. Use Consumer Insights to understand when your target shopper is looking for deals and time Gift Guide campaigns accordingly. 
  • Consider affiliate creator programs and ensure your products are widely available. It’s no secret that shoppers lean into check-out ease and quick & affordable shipping options. If you don’t offer your own affiliate program, ensure your products are available with big box retailers who do so that more creators can earn commission from driving sales for your products. 

These strategies, combined with the influencer identification strategies Tubular offers, will help your brand stand out amongst holiday Gift Guides. 

For more insights on holiday trends and deal days, download Tubular’s latest report: 2023 Holiday Content Trends Unwrapped. 

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