How to run successful influencer marketing campaigns in the summer?
Vacation season is here! It can be a low season for marketers. However, even the low seasons let marketers experiment and try new ideas on influencer marketing campaigns when the majority of contents are usually covered travel tips and guides. But like social media itself, influencer marketing is also capable of adapting to new trends and flow of ideas. So this time can be useful to try various areas of influencer marketing like the food and beverage industry.
Influencers have already changed the way we approach social influence, particularly in the food and beverage industry. The predictions are that influencer marketing is here to stay because recommendations of these strong social personalities carry a lot of weight than the brand itself. You can infiltrate the whole summer with a sustainable idea powered by influencers for broader reach. Here are some famous examples of lucrative summer influencer campaigns.
“Malibu Drinks campaign”
Malibu is a rum-based beverage brand with a budget as tiny as a cocktail umbrella. In 2016 it was tapping into influencers all around the world to target young adults in summer via “The Malibu Games” campaigns. So Malibu created a large festival on a tropical island resort and turned summer fun into a competition of Olympic proportions.
According to the owner brand – the Absolut Company, the goal of the campaign was to focus on daytime drinking while addressing a shift in consumer behavior towards richer experiences and average alcohol consumption.
The campaign was manifested through the phrase “Your summer you is your better you” – meaning summer makes people do things they usually wouldn’t do; it makes people became their better-selves.
They needed a group of influencers whose personalities were in line with Malibu’s, but not typical influencers. Malibu collaborated with 32 influencers from 9 countries, including Dominican recording artist Natti Natasha and model/comedian Hannah Stocking, who have all participated in different summer-inspired games. They featured a series of videos and shared during the summer with the hashtags like #BecauseSummer and #MalibuGames.
In 2018, the campaign generated 155 million video views, 2.1 million website visits, and finally, 5.4 million engagements. Besides this, influencer marketing campaigns established Malibu as an icon of summer.
“Halo Top’s ice-cream campaigns”
Halo Top was a low-calorie ice-cream company which was founded in 2011 in the UK. It’s famous for its health low-calorie ice-creams. Five years ago the company was hanging by a thread, but now each box of ice-cream is flying off the shelf.
In the beginning, for building up its name, the brand was using traditional in-store sampling and demonstrations at trade shows. But sooner they found out that this method simply was costly and not working.
So what type of marketing strategy helped Halo Top to make their way to the top?
It merely bred “buzzword” around influencer marketing. Halo Top sent free samples of newly released ten flavors to YouTube influencers, such as fitness gurus are ideal for a healthy ice-cream brand.
As these influencers made a top-rated review of products, it may safely be said that their strategy gets a success. By tapping influencers into their strategy, Halo Top managed to build its name at an affordable cost.
In addition to this, Halo Top focused on increasing social presence as well. It emphasized its distinction from regular ice-cream brand and spread positive reviews across mainstream media outlets like USA Today, Popsugar, Spoon University, and Buzzfeed. It tempted consumers to try out brand’s products. Now, according to figures of IRI, by September 2018, it had already sold roughly 3.3 million pints of ice cream, which means roughly 1 pint every 9 minutes.
Tips to influencer campaigns for summer
What kind of campaign techniques should you use to ensure delivery of important results?
It is the best way to showcase your product thoroughly by inviting influencers to an event so they can network. If you aim to raise your brand’s awareness, stories, and posts covering the event on mainstream social media platforms would especially work well.
As in the case of “Malibu Games,” they chose a location boasting summer sun, sand, and water, as this was in line with the summer vibe that Malibu wanted to promote.
Product reviews on mainstream social media
This is a classic word-of-mouth technique. Bold reviews of the product on mainstream social media platforms will not only increase brand awareness but also makes consumers note the product for future consideration. In Halo Top’s example, what made it a center of top-rated recommendations is its focus on unique features such as natural and healthy ingredients.
Recommendations from professionals (e.g., fitness gurus)
Nowadays, we usually turn to social media when we seek recommendations and advice from professionals. These people are considered as a trusted source of recommendations. According to the study, 40% of people depend on their recommendations and decide to purchase something after seeing it on social media channels. If consumers are confident about their reviews, they will make decisions accordingly.
Besides, these influencers are niche focused specialists with a like-minded audience – meaning targeting those audiences is highly likely to drive more conversion rates.
Collaborating with micro’s
Micro-influencers seem to be all the rage right now. We’ve discussed in the past the pros and cons of micro-influencers. So, depending on your brand and how specific your target market is, micro-influencers can be very beneficial if you are relying on strong conversion rates. Try running a small campaign with micro-influencers in the 1000 to 10.000 reach range.
Influencers at this size will sometimes post in exchange for some product. So there might not be much to lose, and in return, you might find your own perfect influencer campaign. Of course, the big “con” for micros is content quality and control, so if you do choose to trial a campaign and have important brand guidelines, you may be better of with the semi-pros in the mid-level range.
Explore beyond YouTube and Instagram
We know Instagram and YouTube influencers are dominating in this influencer marketing game. The way these social platforms are set up makes for compelling campaigns and easy-to-track engagement and conversion rates, but it might not hurt to explore other areas. TikTok, in the past several months, has seen a huge growth in numbers and could be the perfect platform if your target is in the under 18 age range.
There are also streaming platforms, like Twitch, which bring in an insane amount of viewers and incredibly influential users.
The popularity of podcasts has even exploded in the past year causing many marketers to turn there for influencers. We aren’t saying to ditch Instagram and YouTube altogether, but be aware of the impact of other social channels. Especially if your audience is Gen Z.
Summer could be the perfect time to begin long term influencer campaigns that’ll last throughout the remainder of the year or even into 2020. Maybe you are unsure of which way to go in influencer marketing–this is your chance to test the waters with different types of posts or a variety of influencers to see what works and what doesn’t.
You also have the chance to start building long term relationships with influencers with the goal of them becoming brand ambassadors. This season is a great opportunity to experiment so that when the busy months and holidays come along, you’ll have set your campaign up for true success.