Memorial Day weekend is here, and with it comes the beginning of the summer season.
Summertime is an excellent opportunity for businesses like yours to roll out effective targeted marketing campaigns designed to make the most of the hottest time of the year. Right now, one of the best ways to reach your audience as they prepare for fun in the sun is through influencer campaigns.
Having popular social media personalities work with you can increase brand awareness and create a sense of trust in your audience. Many people have parasocial relationships with the online personalities they interact with, and a recommendation from them is like a recommendation from a trusted friend.
But creating a summertime influencer marketing campaign can differ greatly from influencer campaigns at other times of the year. In this informative guide, we’re going to walk you through how to create the perfect summer influencer marketing campaign.
Why is summer the perfect time for an influencer campaign?
When summertime rolls around, you see a lot of retail businesses creating campaigns that essentially encompass the entire season.
First, you have Memorial Day sales that start in May and run through the beginning of June. Then there are July 4th sales that start in late June and continue through July. Finally, there’s back-to-school season, with sales in some markets starting in late July or early August, depending on when the schools in that area return from summer break.
Image via Adobe Stock
Influencer campaigns can assist with all three of these major initiatives, but there’s a reason the summer is so packed full of meaningful promotions. The sun is shining, it’s warm out, people are taking big vacations, and the days are longer.
In other words, consumers are generally happier during the summer months. Happier people in the summer emphasize creature comforts and having fun. They’re always looking for the next product or service that’ll make this summer the best ever.
You have the ability to capitalize on this enthusiasm by enlisting the aid of popular personalities who these people already trust. You need to know which influencers to approach and how to utilize their skills best.
5 influencer marketing trends to look out for in 2023
Influencer marketing in 2023 differs from just a few years ago. Here are some of the biggest marketing trends to watch out for when planning your summer influencer marketing campaign.
AI-Generated ad copy/graphics
Artificial intelligence will make the marketing world much more affordable and accessible in 2023. With the creation of systems that generate ad copy and stunning visuals at the press of a button, businesses are arming influencers with computer-generated resources.
Major focus on video
Video is the preferred medium of the masses in 2023. While audio content, like podcasts, is still effective, people like to be able to see the influencers they trust. Putting a face to the voice helps solidify the connection.
Short-form video content
Since Snapchat and, more recently, TikTok have hit the scene, many younger consumers gravitate toward short-form video content.
Image via eMarketer
That could be TikToks, YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, Facebook Stories, and more.
When approaching influencers, it’s a good idea to take a broad look at the platforms they’re on. It’s common for influencers to extend their reach across social media. For example, a popular YouTuber could also have a popular TikTok account. When launching a campaign with them, consider expanding it to multiple platforms for the best results.
Ongoing partnerships over one-offs
Businesses are starting to forge significant connections with influencers, extending their ongoing partnerships instead of simple one-off campaigns.
4 best practices for successful summer campaigns
Planning your summer campaign far enough in advance so your influencers have enough time to prepare
You don’t want to roll out your entire campaign to an influencer a week before its launch. Instead, try talking to them months in advance. At the very least, you should start discussing it in April, if not earlier.
Using summer-related hashtags to extend your reach
By using summer-y hashtags, you can extend the reach of influencer campaigns, capturing your audience’s attention as they start to plan their summer activities. Of course, you must ensure that these are hashtags your audience uses.
Try something like:
You can also use third-party tools like Hashtagify and RiteTag to find popular hashtags in your niche or industry.
Showcasing diverse summer looks
If you’re a fashion brand looking to get the word out about your summer lineup, make sure you’re presenting diverse offerings for your audience.
Image via Glamour
Take a look at your different audience segments and push out campaigns for each with the influencers they’re known to follow.
Focus on summer destinations and goals
Center your campaigns around summer destinations like the beach, tropical islands, cruises, and theme parks. Using imagery associated with these places can fill your customers with happy thoughts that’ll go a long way toward moving them through your sales funnel.
When it comes to summer destinations, few places are more beloved in Southern California than Malibu. A Malibu florist might tap into this love by creating campaigns that showcase their beautiful floral arrangements against the backdrop of this picturesque coastal city. From bouquets featuring the colors of the ocean to centerpieces inspired by the local flora, there are endless ways to create a summer vibe that customers will be eager to buy into.
You should also focus on the goals your customers have for the summer. It’s a season where everyone wants to look their best. That’s why influencers sponsor exercises or diets that can help followers lose a few inches of their waistline.
Marketing messaging for diet plans, meal subscription kits, and weight loss programs like Form Health, is easily adapted to summer campaigns by playing on the emotional connection of feeling confident in swimwear.
Choosing the right influencers for your summer campaign
You’ll need to select the right influencers for your summer influencer campaign to be effective. Here’s some advice on how to do just that.
Types of influencers
The influencers you choose must have a large following that includes your target audience while also fitting your marketing budget. Larger influencers are hugely impactful, but most require payment upfront, which can be a gamble most smaller companies can’t afford.
There are five major types of influencers. Choose those that best fit your niche and budget.
- Nano influencers: 1,000 to 10,000 followers
- Micro influencers: 10,000 to 50,000 followers
- Mid-tier influencers: 50,000 to 500,000 followers
- Macro influencers: 500,000 to 1 million followers
- Mega influencers: Over 1 million followers
Nano to smaller mid-tier influencers are more likely to accept a commission-based campaign, while higher-end mid-tier influencers and up will typically want payment in advance.
Analyzing influencers’ engagement rates on social channels
Ensure that the influencers you choose have high social media engagement rates to help you reach the audience effectively.
Using a CDP to collect first-party customer data, including social media interactions with your customers, will allow you to build a robust customer profile to help you choose the right influencers to engage with your customers.
Best practices for influencer marketing according to each social media channel
Now, let’s examine some best practices for working with influencers on various social platforms.
TikTok influencer campaign
TikTok is extremely popular with Gen Z consumers and focuses on short-form video content. Here are a few general guidelines for working with influencers on this popular platform:
- Use influencers to create trends around your brand that others will make videos about.
- Many TikTok influencers want payment upfront, as the short-form content doesn’t lend itself to lengthy sales pitches or shooting out promo codes.
- Quick product reviews go over very well on TikTok.
- Use a TikTok scheduler to save time and maintain a steady social media presence.
Instagram influencer campaign
Instagram is another major influencer platform. You can make a ton through Instagram influencer partnerships if you know what you’re doing. Here are some Instagram influencer marketing best practices:
- Influencers can inspire other users to create user-generated content for you.
- Smaller Instagram influencers might take free products as payment.
- If you have in-person events, invite the influencers to cover them live.
- By running giveaways with influencers, you can attract attention while the influencer grows their audience.
- Have them highlight your products in Instagram Stories and Reels.
YouTube influencer campaign
YouTube is the world’s top video platform, and these influencers here tend to create different content than one might on Instagram or TikTok. When working with a YouTube influencer, ensure that you:
- Allow the influencer creative freedom. Provide resources but never script them. YouTubers have specific voices and styles, and any deviation will result in a lack of authenticity that the audience will pick up on
- Sponsor YouTube videos. Since many YouTubers create long-form content, they could include a mention of you within those popular videos with a promo code, like a commercial.
- Make sure your YouTube account is optimized, as you’ll likely get new subscribers from influencers. For example, a summertime YouTube banner background that coincides with your summer influencer marketing campaign would be highly effective.
LinkedIn influencer campaign
B2B organizations can find a lot of success with LinkedIn influencer marketing. LinkedIn is a professional network, so your influencer campaigns will be a lot different than something more casual like Instagram or TikTok.
LinkedIn has several hundred official influencers, but many of these are celebrities, and they come with a high price tag that your average small to mid-sized business can’t afford.
When launching an influencer campaign on LinkedIn, remember to:
- Keep in mind that you’re looking at follower quality over quantity.
- Network with popular professionals that deal in your niche.
- Build meaningful professional relationships with these influencers for long-term cooperation.
3 Summer influencer marketing campaign examples to inspire your own
Now that you understand how you can go about creating a summertime influencer campaign that pays off, it’s time to take a look at some notably effective examples that could help shape your ideas for the future.
In the image above, you’ll see an influencer on Pinterest with over 900,000 subscribers sharing a DIY project for the back-to-school season. This kind of content is excellent because it’s not overly salesy, provides a service to a specific audience, and is easily shared.
An art supplies company working with this influencer could provide affiliate links to every supply needed for this project. The influencer can hype these products while explaining the steps, providing links in the video’s description. They could even hype a special discount for followers. Then, when someone clicks that link and purchases at the discounted price, the influencer receives a cut.
Back-to-school campaigns are an important part of the summer marketing season you shouldn’t ignore. While it might not be as fun as something like the beach or camping, going back to school is an inevitability that your customers will ultimately have to face.
The summer is a time to vacation and travel, so tourism destinations can get a lot of publicity by inviting influencers on trips at no cost and getting them to document their adventures. A London hotel invited the influencer pictured above on a lovely vacation, which she shared with her 9.2 million followers.
Posts like this go a long way toward hyping the destination with the influencer’s audience. They live vicariously through a trip, a person they “know” and trust enjoyed.
This kind of influencer campaign typically works on a barter system. The influencer is getting a free dream vacation out of the deal, and you won’t have to pay anything other than the cost of their stay.
Fun in the sun
Fear of missing out, also known as FOMO, is effective in gaining the attention and business of an influencer’s audience. In the example above, this influencer, with more than 200,000 followers on Instagram, posted a hosted stay at the Margaritaville resort in Hollywood.
But instead of posting about the accommodations, he’s posting about his experience surfing at the resort, which is a fantastic summertime activity many of his followers will want to participate in. By seeing this action photo, his audience members will want to get out there, lest they miss an incredible opportunity for fun in the sun.
This is another summer influencer campaign where money doesn’t have to change hands. If you can find local influencers, you won’t even have to pay for their travel. Allowing them to experience an attraction for free costs you nothing but can bring a ton of attention to you and the influencer you’re working with.
The summertime is the perfect opportunity to embark on influencer marketing campaigns designed to increase your reach and capitalize on the joy and fun of the year’s warmest season.
By following the advice listed above, you can create a highly effective partnership with powerful influencers across various platforms that’ll make your products a part of the summer experience for their audiences.