Influencer Marketing thrives on context. Sometimes, marketers can get so excited about simply publishing with a great partner that they can overlook the context their consumers are actually seeking.
The timing of a post is just as – if not – more important for the success of content than the quality of the post itself. From an upcoming music festival to back-to-school or mother’s day, there’s always a reason for consumers to make a purchase.
The challenge for marketers, however, is how much money to spend on ads in order to earn a potential customer’s mind-share. Too little spend, and your ad will be out in the void. Too much spend and you’ll get customers at a CPA that isn’t exactly scaleable. To stand out effectively — especially as the influencer space gets increasingly saturated — marketers will need to arm themselves with data that will help them unlock the budget they need to stand out.
How Much Brands are Spending on Influencer Marketing Per Month
To paint a clearer picture of what and when brands are spending, we took a look at data from 8,000+ campaigns run on the Grapevine platform since 2015. Here’s what we discovered:
Avoid the Peaks, Aim for the Valleys
Influencer Marketing spend – on a high level – peaks right when Summer is about to start and – as expected – again during the Holiday season. This means that during the lead up to the summer and the holidays, channels like YouTube and Instagram are hyper-saturated with #SponCon. For brands with smaller budgets, you might want to try creating campaigns for major events in-between those peaks to sneak around the competition as opposed to directly competing against it.
Unless you have the budget to swing it, don’t aim for the peaks! Sometimes, you’ll be able to get more out of harvesting great content from the valleys. An easy way to truly derive massive value for your influencer marketing campaigns, no matter the season, is to assign an internal champion to work on your collaborations nearly full-time.
To do sponsored content well and at scale you need to have someone dedicated to the success of the channel and willing to put the time in. If you don’t have the internal bandwidth, there are some influencer marketing platforms (including ours) that can run fully managed campaigns for you, but they often require higher spend commitments or management fees.
Influencer Marketing Campaign Calendar
It’s very easy for marketers to blow their budget and go all-out on campaigns during peaks like the Holidays. However, it’s possible to be more strategic throughout the year.
We’ve put together the official Grapevine 2019 Influencer Marketing Calendar. In this calendar you can find tips and tricks of not only when to launch your campaigns, but also the the time you need to plan your campaigns. No matter what month it is, there’s always an opportunity to build an influencer marketing campaign around something great.
Although knowing when to publish your campaigns is incredibly important, there are few things you should know about maximizing your investment. Here are some essential practices every marketer who aspires to grow their influencer channel should turn into habit:
What are your goals?
Set some goals to help you better imagine what you want from your influencer marketing initiatives. A useful exercise would be to write a quick creative brief for your campaign. Be specific about what you need. Are you trying to drive more clicks to your landing page? Drive sales? Lift your brand’s footprint? Attach your goals to clear measurable metrics such as CPA, CPM, or total views.
Give time for Influencers to respond and schedule posts
Influencers, especially larger ones who are in-demand, need advance notice to ensure your collaboration to be published on time. Marketers should start planning their campaigns with creators 4-6 weeks in advance of their target launch date. This will also give you time to review and suggest edits to content.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach
Stack your influencer marketing deck for success. Leverage creators of different sizes on YouTube and Instagram to maximize your potential reach and also your engagement. Try to Diversify your influencer “portfolio”. Invest in up and coming talent with high engagement instead of going all in on one large creator.
What is your target customer searching for? What need is your brand satisfying? The most important piece of your influencer marketing campaign is the person watching your video.
It should go without saying, think about what your audience might be searching for when collaborating with an influencer. Below are some great examples of brand-influencer activations per event. These videos and Instagram should give you a better idea on what content to create:
New Years Campaigns
Why we like it:
New Years is all about getting on top of your resolution to get that perfect #FitPic. What’s great about Chris Baris’ fit pic is how it not only clearly showcases his goals for the New Year but he also integrates his favorite brand in a non-intrusive way!
[Correction: 1/28] A previous version of this post stated that the post was sponsored, it wasn’t! That doesn’t mean this can’t be a style of post you could emulate for your own partnerships.
Why we like it:
Spring Break means music festivals! Music festivals give attendees a chance to let loose. Furthermore, it gives them a chance to be super creative with outfits. Collaborate with influencers to include your brand in their look books.
Why we like it:
While Valentine’s Day may be a holiday full of expensive gifts and dinners, self-care is just as important! Keisha Charmaine posted a great video that features a pillow massager. Keisha proves that any brand can work themselves into any type of #SponCon, they just need to get creative!
Back to School
Why we like it:
Back to school means reinvention. With reinvention comes a great opportunity to reach consumers who might not usually be in your demographic. Because of this, Drew Scott’s Back to School haul does a great job at showing off a huge variety of different outfits to emphasize just how many different looks he can adopt for going back to school to become a new version of himself.
View this post on Instagram
Which would you pick, his or hers? ❤️ My pick is a @dunkindonuts iced apple cider with their new apple crisp donut (guys, it’s filled apple pie filling🤤) Michael opted for an iced pumpkin coffee with a traditional pumpkin donut. #ad So which would you pick? 🍎 or 🎃? . . . #dunkinsummer #dunkin
Why we like it:
For those hot summers, try to offer something both fans and creators absolutely love. Kallie Branciforte teamed with Dunkin’ to show her fans that they can cool off with some delicious and cool new drinks.
Always be Posting
The strongest and most versatile brands are relevant across all seasons and events. If you’re not posting, there’s a competitor that will. It’s important to spend dedicated time and think of how you can make sure your brand stays visible throughout the year.