How Brands Can Work with Creators to Capture Seasonal Moments | Industry Insights | All MKC Content | ANA

How Brands Can Work with Creators to Capture Seasonal Moments


Seasonality is a cluttered space for brands. We often see the same messages rolling out on loop, with brands following category conventions and packaging up old messages in a fancy new ad. So, it's little surprise that partnering with influencers in the battle for cut-through is gaining traction; it's an effective way to tap into the unique traits that have made creators popular with their specific audience. Influencers' opinions carry credibility, and their audience trusts them.

But finding the right influencers is not as straightforward as finding someone with a large following, and when you're focused on seasonality, several new criteria come into play.

Know What Success Looks Like and Plan For It

Your creator strategy should always be determined by what you want to achieve, and this is no different when working on a seasonal campaign. Are you looking for increased brand awareness, more conversions, or content creation? Set KPIs and be prepared to measure outcomes like reach and impressions. Attribution tools can help track conversations/sales and look at brand uplift surveys to show you the effect influencer content is having on brand sentiment. Another common objective when working with creator partners is content production and quality, especially when looking for content your brand can repurpose.

Once objectives are in place, you can recruit creators who can help you get there. For example, if your chosen goal is to increase brand awareness, you may want to partner with an influencer with a larger audience so they can share your brand with more people.

However, if you want to increase conversions, consider partnering with micro influencers with a strong sense of trust in their community and high levels of authentic engagement. Macro influencers will be better for mass awareness and social clout/relevance, while micro influencers are great for targeting more niche communities.

Leverage Existing Partnerships (and Start Early)

Find those who can showcase your products in a natural and innovative way, as a priority, brands should reach out to influencers they already work with when recruiting for seasonal campaigns.

Seasonality is an extension of an annual marketing strategy, and the existing talent base are already ambassadors. It helps that most influencers are comfortable sticking with who and what they know; a survey from Collective Voice found that 85 percent of creators focus on "nurturing their existing brand relationships" when selecting brands to partner with for the holidays. Only 14 percent look for partnerships with brands they haven't previously worked with.

However, if you do decide to seek out new talent, look not just for those that already have an interest in your product or brand, but also have a track record of creating compelling content during the holiday period you are looking to engage in. Opting for an influencer who enjoys high engagement all year round is fine for out-of-season campaigns. But if you're targeting a specific event, it pays to find an influencer with a proven track record of performing well during that period.

Whether you're working with existing or new talent, timing is critical. Seasons are of course not controlled by brands, so early prep is key. Good talent is likely to be highly solicited so it's crucial to move early to secure the right people; the fourth quarter is a busy time of year for content creators, with editorial calendars in the works for months.

Being prepared is also essential from a publishing perspective as the most effective campaigns will start publishing content early. A successful seasonal campaign will make use of important dates and holidays to launch key activations, building momentum with posts in the lead-up to key moments, and then making the most of heightened engagement by using content that drives conversions.

Don't Always Go for the Hard Sell: Offer Help

Seasonality can often bring stress for consumers. Whether it's struggling with stocking filler ideas or predicting summer fashion trends. This is a great opportunity for brands not to just focus on a hard sell, but to instead help people along with their seasonal duties.

One of my favorite seasonal campaigns is Adidas's work during Ramadan, the month-long period of fasting and spirituality observed by Muslims all over the world.

For instance, Adidas tapped into the little considered insight that any sport enthusiast might want to keep up their fitness regime during Ramadan, but don't have the information to do so. Adidas highlighted that people shouldn't have to choose between fasting or working out during the Holy month and created social content featuring Swedish footballer Nabil Bahoui and boxer Zahra Al-Mougrabi sharing how they do it. It's a campaign built around a great insight and genuinely helpful content for millions of Muslim people all over the world.

Connect with Your Overall Brand Story

Targeting a particular season can generate good results, but the most successful brands are usually those who push a consistent message all year round, with individual campaigns leading into a wider brand story.

This is where the consistency of influencer partners helps, working with familiar faces all year round will lead to increased association for your brand and the talent. And while seasonal campaigns are often more short term and promotional in focus, they will work harder if you can ensure a clear connection with the broader marketing approach. Whether it's Christmas, Diwali, or Valentine's Day, summer sales, or Halloween, an aligned influencer and social media strategy is crucial for success.

The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.

Mobbie Nazir is global chief strategy officer at We Are Social.