Perfect for Any Season: How Seasonal Brands Use Influencer Marketing to Increase ROI

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Man with branded trunks and surfboard on the beach

If you sell a seasonal product—we’re looking at you, holiday decor retailers—you might be wondering whether it makes sense to advertise in your off-season. Most people aren’t looking to purchase a Christmas tree in June, after all. 

However, waiting until a few months before can leave you behind the pack. Naturally, competitors in the seasonal brands arena begin ramping up their ad spend around peak season, which can leave you using a large chunk of your budget to try to compete. 

But advertising year-round may keep costs lower and help you build brand awareness long before your competitors start their campaigns. 

And creators are the ideal partner to help you get there. They can use their storytelling abilities to help your product reach new audiences, and their knack for creativity means they’ll find a way to naturally include your product in their content, even in the off-season. 

What is a seasonal brand? 

A seasonal brand is a company that sells specific products only during a certain time of year, whether because of a certain kind of event, season, or holiday.

Seasonal product examples by time of year 

There are two main types of seasonal products: strong and weak. When an item is strongly seasonal, it is typically only used for a set period each year. On the other hand, weakly seasonal products have a period when they hit peak use, but they’re also used less frequently throughout the rest of the year. 

For example, a Christmas tree is a strongly seasonal product since most people use it during one specific time each year. In contrast, a swimsuit is weakly seasonal because demand peaks in summer, but people can use them year-round (hot tub, anyone?). 

Let’s explore some examples of seasonal products and the time of year when they hit peak demand.  

Spring & summer 

As the weather grows warmer and school lets out, people want to be outside, and their purchases reflect that. 

  • Swimsuits 
  • Grills 
  • Camping and outdoor gear 
  • Bug spray 
  • Gardening supplies 
Woman skiing downhill

Fall & winter 

When the crisp autumn wind starts to pick up, people begin to slow down on outdoor purchases. Since the fall and winter seasons have a lot of holidays, things like Halloween costumes and decorations are in high demand. 

  • School supplies 
  • Costumes 
  • Holiday decor 
  • Coats and winter clothes 

Occurrences that can affect the seasonal market

Just as the seasons themselves can impact demand for a product, so too can holidays and yearly occurrences. Here are a few examples: 

  • New Year’s – Common products that get a huge marketing push around New Year’s include exercise equipment, gym memberships, nutrition products, organizing tools, and any other product that could relate to a New Year’s resolution. 
  • Spring cleaning – As people begin resetting their homes in the spring, the demand for cleaning supplies and organizational tools tends to increase.
  • Summer break – As kids get out of school and the weather heats up, people are more interested in booking vacations, purchasing outdoor gear and swimsuits, and stocking up on protective products like sunscreen or bug spray.  
  • Back to school – The demand for school supplies, cheap home decor (for dorms), and kids’ clothing skyrockets as school starts back up. 
  • Black Friday & Cyber Monday – Demand for high-value items and gifts increases during this weekend in the holiday season. 
  • Holidays – Sales of decorations, costumes, and gifts all increase during the holiday season in the fall. 

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When should seasonal brands begin their marketing efforts? 

Understanding the different types of seasonal marketing 

There are two main types of seasonal marketing: short-term and long-term. Short-term seasonal marketing focuses on promoting products or services for a few weeks or months, while long-term campaigns can last anywhere from 3+ months to indefinitely. 

Typically, a seasonal brand uses a short-term campaign during peak season when they know customers are looking to purchase. These plans often focus on conversions. 

Meanwhile, a seasonal brand may use a long-term campaign to build brand awareness in their off-season, so when demand spikes, customers will already know who to purchase from. 

Should seasonal brands utilize influencer marketing year-round? 

The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including: 

  • Seasonality – Is your product weakly or strongly seasonal? It’s more likely that people will buy your product year-round if it’s weakly seasonal, but people may not be looking to purchase your product at any point in the year if you have a strongly seasonal product. But that doesn’t mean that year-round promotion wouldn’t be beneficial! Partnering with creators all year can help build brand awareness, which will give you a leg up on the competition when the typical purchasing time rolls around. 
  • Budget – Obviously, it’s going to be more expensive to partner with creators all year than to partner with them for a few months. However, you can work around a smaller budget by partnering with only a few creators in your off-season and then ramp up your efforts a few months before the demand takes off. 
  • Creativity – Strongly seasonal brands working with creators in the off-season need to find those who can showcase their products in a natural and innovative way. Otherwise, the product recommendation will seem unnatural and inauthentic. One example of a brand doing this really well is King of Christmas. You wouldn’t think a Christmas tree could work year-round, but their creators will prove you wrong. 

How brands should embrace the seasonal market with influencers 

1. Choose a time frame. 

There are a few variables to consider when choosing a time frame for your influencer marketing campaigns. First, is your product or service strongly or weakly seasonal? If it’s weakly seasonal, it’s probably good to consider a year-round approach. If it’s strongly seasonal, ask yourself: When is the peak purchasing season for my product? 

It’s also wise to think through any occurrences or holidays that might impact demand. From there, consider having your creators start posting about three months before your peak season. This gives people time to become aware of your brand and start thinking about making a purchase. If you wait until the last minute, your audience may have already been swayed by a competitor.

2. Select KPIs. 

Now it’s time to figure out what you want to achieve through your influencer marketing program. Increased brand awareness, more conversions, or content creation, perhaps? 

Choosing a few solid KPIs to track can help you measure the success of your program. While this is important for any marketer, it is especially essential for seasonal marketers since you have a shorter period to run your program.

Think about your goals and what metrics you could use to measure success. For example, if you want to increase brand awareness, consider tracking impressions, engagements, and new followers of your brand account. 

3. Identify content creators. 

Once you have a solid idea of what you want to achieve, it’s time to discover and recruit creators who can help you get there. 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. 

If you have a creator management platform, use it to search for creators who fit your needs. And if not (or even if you do), download the free GRIN Web Extension, which lets you access analytics about a creator while you’re scrolling through social media.  

4. Repurpose influencer-generated content. 

Sharing creator content on your brand’s social media accounts is a win-win for you and your partners. You’ll get authentic content without having to secure a budget for production, and your creators will have their work seen by a new audience. 

You can even use creator licensing—or whitelisting—to help both of you reach new people. Essentially, this means running ads from a partner’s account, so while your brand is putting the budget behind it, it looks like the ad is coming from the creator, which can increase trust. 

Just be certain to attain content rights from the creators you’re working with, as they hold the copyright to all of the posts they produce. Otherwise, your brand may end up with some negative PR or even legal trouble. 

5. Analyze data. 

As previously mentioned, if you’re running a seasonal influencer marketing campaign, you won’t have as much time to adjust to get your desired results. That’s why tracking and analyzing data frequently is crucial.

You’ll want to be able to make adjustments quickly if your results are looking less than ideal. Otherwise, you might not meet your overall goals. 

A creator management platform can help you keep track of this data in real time, saving you the time of gathering and calculating results and giving you more freedom to strategize if adjustments are needed. 

6. Adjust accordingly. 

See a few creators that are absolutely killing it? Consider reaching out and developing an agreement for more posts. Or use GRIN’s free influencer lookalike tool to find more content creators just like them. On the other hand, if you have creators whose posts aren’t getting the right results, it may be time to look for new partners. 

And if results are low across the board, consider looking at different social networks, asking creators for different types of content, or reviewing your creator briefs to see if your partners may do better with a little more creative freedom. 

Seasonal brands excelling with influencer marketing 

Cupshe 

Cupshe is a swimsuit, cover-up, and clothing brand that partners with a team of creators called the #CupsheCrew. One of the most common post types these creators share is a try-on haul, where they show off multiple pieces within a short period, allowing viewers to find a suit that matches their style.

Cupshe partners with all levels of creators, from micro to celebrity (including a collection collab with Joelle Fletcher), and they repurpose creator content across their social channels.

They partner with influencers year-round, posting getaway photos that encourage people to book a beach vacation and find the perfect suit. And since they operate in both hemispheres, there’s never an off-season for them. 

Canada Goose 

@alexcosta From busy LA to the blue skies in Joshua Tree. Thanks #CanadaGoose for pushing me to #LiveInTheOpen #mensfashion #menstyle #outfitinspo #ad ♬ Still Don’t Know My Name – Labrinth

Canada Goose is a winter coat and outerwear company that partners with creators to audiences on various platforms, including Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat. Their influencers typically post in the fall, winter, and early spring, with only sparse content in the summer. 

They are also very intentional with which products they promote in each season. As the weather begins to heat up, they focus more on showcasing vests and boots, which aren’t as strongly seasonal as their coats. 

Traeger Grills 

Traeger Grills partners with creators in various niches to serve as Traeger Ambassadors. From pro spearfishers to pitmasters to fitness instructors, Traeger relies on their team to help build brand awareness inside and outside of the grilling community. 

Since grills and barbecues are weakly seasonal, Traeger utilizes their team of ambassadors year-round rather than in one specific season. 

Key takeaway: Influencer marketing can help seasonal brands cut through the noise. 

When demand for your product or service skyrockets at a certain time of the year, so will your competition. As more and more brands try to gain customers’ attention and earn those sales, authentic creator content can help you stand out, reach new audiences, and build trust. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Seasonal marketing is any type of promotional activity that focuses on a specific time of the year, whether a season, a holiday, or a special occurrence. For example, a fitness brand running a New Year’s resolutions campaign would fit into this category. 

There are various seasonal campaigns advertisers can use, but three common ones you can use for inspiration are: 

  • New year, new you – All kinds of brands can jump on the trend of reinvention at the start of each new year. While the health and wellness industry may seem like the most obvious vertical to use this idea, it can also apply to apparel, home goods, travel, and so much more. 
  • Cause-based holidays – Brands can use these observances to highlight their values and what matters most to them, whether it be showing off sustainability efforts for Earth Day, highlighting a Pride collection for June, etc. However, be sure that your brand actually lives up to the ideals of these holidays because if not, these efforts can backfire. 
  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales – Most brands are jumping on the bandwagon of offering deals leading up to and on these days. Consider having creators share discount codes or affiliate links to drum up excitement and build awareness. 

A seasonal branding change is when a company may alter its logo, tagline, or other promotional collateral to reflect holidays or a certain season. One example would be companies changing their logos to feature a rainbow during Pride Month in June.

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