4 Ways to Authentically Engage Influencers for Your Summer Campaign

Summer is right around the corner, and with it we know your advertising and branding campaigns are heating up. Influencer campaigns have been one of the leading strategies for consumer marketing this year, and since social activity increases in the summer – by over 26% according to Facebook – it’s no time for your marketing efforts to take a vacation.

To help get your gears going on how you can authentically engage influencers during this peak social season, our team has put together four ways you can incorporate influencers into your campaigns this summer:

 

Grilling and Entertaining

Besides the holiday season, there’s no other time of year where life revolves more around food than summer. Summer brings about grilling and barbecues, picnics and parties, ice cream and ice cold beer. In other words, lots of opportunities to have an influencer feature your brand in their delicious recipes or gorgeous food spreads. As we look ahead to the summer season, our brand partners and influencers are taking full advantage of being able to inspire and reach audiences with food-focused content that authentically puts brands at the forefront. These opportunities aren’t limited to food and beverage brands – there’s grilling gear, patio products and retailers, serveware, and even electronic companies (what’s a barbecue without some fun tunes in the background?) getting in on the fun.

 

Vacations

 What’s one of the best parts of summer? . . . Vacation!! According to Travel Pulse, 45% of Americans take some sort of travel vacation in the summer and Enterprise reports that nearly 8 in 10 Americans will spend at least one weekend away. That is a lot of people to reach and influence for your brand, and partnering with travel influencers that consumers already look to for insider tips on the best places to go and what to do, is a great way to bring awareness to your hotel, airline, car rental service, restaurant, travel gear, travel tours, etc. Influencers can share photos, stories, videos and even reality videos of their experience with your brand. Just one word of caution – make sure to partner with influencers whose audiences align with your target market. As an example, are you a luxury hotel brand? Just because the influencer travels to high-end locals, doesn’t mean their audience has the means to do so as well. Before selecting an influencer, make sure to gather some insights on their audience’s buying habits and trends to be sure it’s the right fit.

 

Movies

You can blame it on blockbusters hitting the big screens, days being longer, or even the cool air-conditioned theaters providing an escape from the humidity and heat; but movie sales peak in May, June and July according to Investopedia. Even with overall movie sales being down, it’s still more than a 4 billion dollar business annually. But, even before ticket sales start coming in production companies have made a huge investment in their latest release, so utilizing marketing strategies that deliver a big ROI is crucial. Across all industries, influencer marketing averages a $6.50 return for every dollar invested according to Content Marketing Institute so it’s a pretty good strategy to hang your hat on as far as returns go. Influencers can not only talk about their favorite flicks that are coming out or give a review of the latest big screen they’ve gone to see, but they can incorporate stories that get more feet through the doors of the theater and into the seats watching your big films. We have mommy influencers talking about their family night activities, millennial women talking about girls night outs, couples sharing about date nights and even the rough and tough guys talking about going to see the latest action flick with their friends. Movies are one of America’s favorite past times, and influencers are a great way to inspire others to see your film.

 

Back to School

Even though we may never want summer to end, back to school is a reality of the season. The good news is that means lots of consumer spending, and every year that spending goes up and the shopping starts earlier. According to Deloitte, parents will spend $488 dollars on their children during back to school season. Deloitte also reports that digital technologies and social media will continue to shape the shopping journey, with 61 percent of consumers researching online before they make an in-store purchase. But, this comes as no surprise; parents are already looking to social influencers for parenting advice so it’s intuitive that they’d look to them for advice on where to shop and what to buy as well. Mid-level influencers are especially effective in the mommy world, because they have large reach – think 10K – 500K, but still have the bandwidth to have one to one conversations with their followers which makes for a very highly engaged audience that really takes the influencers’ advice and recommendations to heart. When thinking of back-to-school, don’t feel limited if you’re a brand that doesn’t fit into the school supplies category. This is also a big time for families getting back into routines, which could include dinners, lunches, cleaning, etc. Back to school also means getting ready for cold season for a lot of families, so they’re tending to stock up on cold/flu medicines, tissues, hand sanitizers and more. Families of college students are also thinking about dorm supplies, and maybe even first time apartment furnishings. If moms are your market, back to school is a key time to tap into the power of influencer marketing.

A few other important things to keep in mind . . . Timing is critical – on social media getting ahead of the trends or season is a must so that consumers feel inspired to incorporate your products and brands into their upcoming plans before the moment has passed. Don’t forget to include custom hashtags that tie the content back to your brand as well as applicable trending hashtags to reach a larger audience. And, finally even with a good theme and the best hashtags it’s really important to find the right influencers for your campaign. We’ve shared recommendations on how to do that here.

If you’d like more information, inspiration or help with your influencer campaigns, let us know. At Mattr we partner with brands and agencies to recommend and activate full-service campaigns with the right mid and micro level influencers on a cost-per-engagement pricing model.

Here’s to a happy and fun-filled summer with lots of likes, shares and impressions for your brand!

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