3 Tips to Shape Your Spring and Summer Influencer Programs
When we think of spring and summer, sunshine, barbecues, and time with family and friends come to mind. From Mother’s Day to Labor Day, to fun-filled weekends, there are so many moments to celebrate. For content and influence marketers, the possibilities are endless.
But brands have to pick and choose the holidays and celebrations to rally around to ensure they make a lasting impact. For most, holidays mean a day off and time to celebrate. That’s not everyone though. Take a considered approach and consider cultural and other considerations as you brainstorm creative ideas and select creator partners for campaigns around holidays, lest your marketing come off as disingenuous or tone deaf.
Not All Families Look Alike
Mother’s Day (May 14, 2023) and Father’s Day (June 18, 2023)
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day aren’t joyful days for everyone. People who have recently lost a parent or those who might have a strained relationship with their parent or child experience these holidays as a reminder of what’s missing.
Not to mention, the terms mother and father are markers of a heteronormative family.
Families with non-binary parents, same-sex parents, and single parents are likely to feel excluded on these holidays. So much so that some have taken to honoring parents in different ways.
Instead of sharing a happy message on behalf of your brand, marketers should think more critically. Many brands have started offering consumers a chance to opt out of marketing emails about the holiday.
To go a step further, brands can partner with mental health creators or a diverse range of mothers to help spread the nuance behind the day.
Consider the Deeper Meaning
Memorial Day (May 29, 2023), Independence Day (July 4) and Juneteenth (June 19)
Memorial Day (May 29, 2023) and Independence Day (July 4) have both come under scrutiny. With more news, protests, and general public attention focused on police brutality, many are finding it hard to celebrate holidays they view as perpetuating a militaristic and violent culture. And that’s if people even remember the history behind Memorial Day (only 17% of Americans actually celebrate in a way that commemorates the holiday).
With Juneteenth a newly inaugurated federal holiday, brands can show broader support by giving it equal recognition during this season. Authenticity is key and understanding is the first step. Juneteenth commemorates the Emancipation Proclamation and freeing of enslaved peoples. Campaigns that are performative or serve only to drive sales are not appropriate. There are plenty of stories of brands fielding tone deaf campaigns around Juneteenth specifically. Don’t do that.
Instead, work with creators that understand the history of the holiday and can underscore that in their content. In recent years, companies like Citi have used its brand platform to amplify the voices of Black activists and leaders.
Care for More than a Month
AAPI Month (May), ALS Awareness Month (May), and Pride Month (June)
Month-long cultural observances often shed light on communities and issues that go under-recognized throughout the year.
While awareness months pave the way for important conversations, it leaves many thinking about what happens during the other 11 months of the year. This is especially true when brands fall completely silent on an issue after being vocal for a month. For awareness month campaigns to have an authentic impact, the ethos that drives them can’t be contained to just the four weeks of that month.
Instead of partnering with AAPI or LGBTQ+ creators for a one-off project, show that you care by continually working with diverse creators throughout the year.
Abercombie & Fitch has maintained a partnership with the Trevor Project and their LGBTQ+ creators year round since 2010. Or, take a page from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and strive to generate awareness for decades.
Don’t Just Sell Stuff
Graduation and End of School (May/June)
If a brand is interested in producing a retail campaign for the spring, events like graduations or the start of summer and the end of the school year are strong opportunities to leverage.
Retail brands can capitalize on gift-giving moments while food and beverage brands have an opportunity to market themselves to a party-throwing audience.
Student ambassador programs are ideal for helping brands find new influencers. Members of these programs make content that is already tailored to school and the student lifestyle. They can make your product an authentic part of the conversation.
A successful example is Red Bull’s Student Marketeer program, where students around the world promote the energy drink in Red Bull’s target market while earning perks like attending sporting events.
Keep the Love Flowing
Every holiday and calendar moment is an opportunity for brands, but not all of them need to be taken. Focus on the ones where you have something unique to offer. Typically, these are the calendar moments that make sense for your brand considering values, mission, and vision.
Find holidays that fit your brand. It’s better to sit one out rather than to field a campaign that could cast your brand in a negative light.
Influencer Marketing Made Simple
The BENlabs team uses proprietary AI tools to help make influencer marketing smart, scalable, and successful. From finding the perfect content creators, automating A/B testing of content, copy and CTAs, and surfacing clear, predictive analytic insights early, when they can make the most difference, BENlabs is here to help.