Grab your board shorts, don your romper, and load up on that SPF-protection – summer is here! In just a few short weeks, men and women all across this great country will be enjoying those long summer days. Which means that if it’s been a “hot minute” since you’ve mixed up your advocacy marketing program (see what we did there), now is the perfect time to revise and retool your advocacy marketing strategy for the summer.
2022 summer is going to be one for the records! Customers are excited to get back to their pre-COVID summertime habits. As such, we’ve updated this list with the top 4 7 summer best practices for your advocacy marketing program.
7 Summer Advocacy Marketing Best Practices
1) Match the Seasonal Cadence of Your Advocates
As the season changes, so too does the everyday life of your advocates. Families are on vacation, employees are taking time off, and people’s weeks are just (in general) busier.
These schedule changes can have a huge impact on the performance of your advocacy marketing efforts. There’s no guarantee that the posting schedule that worked for you in February is going to hold up in July.
If you want to drive strong performance during the summer months, start by taking a deep look at your audience makeup. Is your program full of families? Or do they skew younger? Each demographic is going to have its own general summertime cadence.
For example, if your program audience skews more Females 35 – 50, then chances are that many of the women in your program have children that may be enjoying their summer break. So while they might have had late mornings free while the kids are in school, they may not be checking email as frequently over the summer.
Bottom line, if you start seeing a dip in response and open rates during the summer months, do yourself a favor and start testing a different publishing cadence. Work to understand the schedules of your audience so that you can meet them on their time.
2) Go Mobile
As a general best practice, all of your advocacy efforts should be mobile-friendly. However, during the summer a mobile-first advocacy marketing effort is even more critical.
Simply because more people tend to be out-and-about during the summer months. The more active your audience, the more likely they are to engage with your program through their mobile devices rather than their desktop or laptop computers.
What constitutes a mobile-friendly program?
- Content is easily viewable and accessible through a mobile device.
- People can easily participate through their mobile device.
- All links or any branded interactions “work” on mobile.
3) Summer Content Facelift
It’s not rocket science, summer-oriented content earns more engagement and sharing during the summer months. People have summer on their brains, and as such, are naturally going to be keeping an eye out for summer content.
Ready to give your summer content a facelift? Here’s how to get started.
a) New Color Palette – Who Dis?
Summer is an ideal time to freshen up the look-and-feel of your content pieces with some new coloring. Opt for bright colors (think neon and pastels) that communicate the seasonal aspect of summer.
For photos, go with outdoor shots or patio hangs over interior pictures. Create visuals that communicate a story and underline that the content you’re asking your advocates to share is related to summer.
b) Take It Local
Your fans and advocates are out enjoying the weather, your brand should too! Get out and participate in local events. Whether you’re a small local shop or a national brand, summer events are the perfect vehicle for creating summer-themed content.
Here are some ways your brand can participate in local events:
- Sponsor an event
- Participate as a vendor
- Attend the event as a representative of your brand
You could even encourage your advocates to create user-generated content on your behalf when they attend an event.
For more information about user-generated content, check out our blog post here.
c) Theme Your Summer Content
Enough with the content creation 101 advice, let’s drop in some advanced best practices. Theming your content.
Sure, summer is in it of itself a theme, but it’s quite broad. To set a proper theme, you’ll need to narrow in on a specific aspect of the summer experience.
Themes cannot only help you focus your content (and generate more content ideas in the process), it can also help to communicate your underlining brand values. When you theme your content, you’re reinforcing the intangible way your brand ladders up to that overarching theme.
Start brainstorming your summer theme with these example themes below:
- Summer Break
- Me Time
- Pack N’Go
- Explorer Nation
You get the idea. And we’ve got even more ideas for summer-themed content here.
4) Prizing Perfect For Summer
While your advocacy marketing program isn’t required to offer an incentive, our experience shows that programs with strong rewards perform better from an ROI standpoint than programs with no rewards or incentives.
As with your advocacy marketing content, the summer is a perfect time to retool and regroup on your program prizing. Get your fans excited to participate in your program by providing them with the opportunity to enhance their own summer experience with the perfect summer incentive.
Need some ideas?
- Beach Bundles (towels/chairs/sunscreen/beach gear/portable speaker)
- Outdoor Toys (corn hole/ladder golf/bocce/trashcan jam)
- Beverage Accessories (coolers/koozies/beach drink spikes/bottle openers)
Want some more inspiration? Check out these 25 ideas for summer prizes.
5) Take Your Advocacy To the Streets
This summer is the perfect time to hit the road and connect with your advocates in person. Sponsor concerts/festivals, hold in-person events, and craft summer-themed experiences that will resonate and excite your advocate audience. In-person events can be a powerful multiplier to your advocacy marketing efforts. In fact, 95% of marketers believe that in-person events can help achieve business goals.
To make the most of your advocacy program, be sure to weave it into the fabric of the event:
- Allow new advocates to join your program on-site.
- Hold photo contests that encourage advocates to create and share content from the event to their personal networks.
- Give away tickets or VIP experiences to events that your sponsoring.
6) Expand Your Social Media Presence
Summer is an ideal time to expand your social media strategy and engage with new platforms or content types that you might otherwise ignore. The reality is that your audience’s preferences are constantly evolving. Chances are they’re moving away from standard Facebook and Instagram posts and engaging instead with Reels, Stories, and TikToks.
Your job is to be there for your advocates. Encourage your fans to participate in your advocacy marketing program by creating and sharing content built for these newer media. Here are a couple of best practices to keep in mind:
- Ensure your content is sized appropriately for the intended channel.
- Capitalize on current TikTok and Reel trends, but, and this is critical, don’t handfast your brand into this content. You’ll just appear “cringe” and turn off your audience.
- Include calls to action where relevant to drive engagement in your advocacy program and bolster your other marketing efforts.
7) Embrace Summer Lifestyles
We talked above about the importance of timing your advocacy marketing efforts around the new seasonal summer schedules of your target audience, but summer also brings an opportunity to create and share content that resonates with the summer lifestyles of your biggest fans.
How, you ask?
Using SocialToasterr’s built-in quiz and survey functionality, poll your audience and identify their favorite summertime activities. Are they active cyclists? Beach-bound fans? National park explorers? Once you’ve uncovered the summer lifestyle of your advocates, get to work creating content that ties into this lifestyle and demonstrates that your brand is there to support their advocates in their favorite summer activities.
Make Summer Work For You
Just because your employees are taking some time off during the summer, doesn’t mean that your advocacy efforts have to. By incorporating these tips, you can create an advocacy marketing program that is sure to inspire some summer brand loving.
Excited to get started? If your brand doesn’t have an advocacy marketing program in place, you’re missing out! Reach out to SocialToaster today and we can help you get your program launched with plenty of summer left to go.