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Influencer Marketing
December 10, 2023
min read
Noam Yadin

What's the hottest time of year for influencer marketing?

Whether you are a veteran with influencer marketing or just starting to tap into brand sponsorships, the underlying question any and every brand asks itself is - When is the best time during the year for influencer marketing?

Obviously there isn’t one, cookie cutter answer. Each brand and industry approaches their influencer marketing endeavors uniquely, tailoring strategies to align with overarching business goals. However, the crucial determinant factor that is consistent across all brands and industries is - the target audience. Understanding and engaging with the right audience remains at the heart of influencer marketing decisions, shaping when and how brands allocate their resources across the four quarters of the year.  

We asked a range of different brands that tap into a variety of different industries the question: 

During which quarter of the year does your brand invest the most in your influencer marketing campaigns?

We spoke with a variety of different brands about which quarter represented the their highest influencer marketing spend. It was clear that there are three underlying factors that determine in which quarter a brand should invest the most in their influencer marketing campaigns: 

Aligning with social trends 

One of the most pivotal factors determining when brands should intensify their influencer marketing campaigns is the strategic alignment with social trends. It is crucial for brands to understand which social trends tie in with their product and service, and pinpoint when that social trend is most prevalent throughout the year.

For example, George Yang, Founder of Yanre Fitness and Oxygenark, disclosed that they invest the most in their influencer marketing campaigns during the second quarter because “this aligns with when people start focusing on health and fitness for the summer…it corresponds with an increase in demand for our exercise equipment. For instance, sales of gym memberships typically increase roughly 5,000 in comparison to previous quarters.”

In some cases, there are a number of factors that coincide with the social trend and can lead the brand to increase their influencer marketing activity multiple times throughout the year (rather than just focus on a singular quarter). By truly understanding your target audiences behavior, your brand can pinpoint when your target audience would be most engaged and influenced. 

Mike Millerson, Founder of Survive Nature, shared that the brand intensifies its influencer marketing campaigns twice a year - during the second quarter and fourth quarter. Millerson breaks down the factors that attribute to this marketing strategy, “The second quarter aligns with the summer outdoors season when people are most likely to engage in activities like camping, hiking and hunting. This is a prime time for relevant brands and influencers in the survival and outdoors industry to maximize the visibility and impact of their sponsored content. The fourth quarter coincides with the holiday season, a time when individuals and families are ready and willing to invest in equipment and products for their holiday adventures as gifts.”

An important aspect to keep in mind when discussing social trends is social media activity and behavior. Influencer marketing campaigns obviously take place on social platforms so its important to consider when your target audience is most likely to engage on social platforms and be interested in content on your product/service. 

Kayden Roberts, CMO at CamGo, discloses that the brand focuses its influencer marketing campaigns during the second quarter “as it aligns with the beginning of the summer season, when people are more active on social media…Leveraging influencer marketing during this time allows us to tap into potential users’ heightened online engagement and enthusiasm.” Roberts adds that the fourth quarter, which includes all the major (gift-giving) holidays is another critical period for influencer marketing as “there’s a significant spike in social media usage.” Karol Klacynski, Head of Product at Brand24 added that the fourth quarter is the “peak season for social media engagement and online shopping, especially around Black Friday and the holiday season. We find that influencers have a higher engagement rate during this period, which maximizes the impact of our campaigns.” 

Here is a great example of brands intensifying their influencer marketing campaigns during the fourth quarter (data collected from ThoughtLeaders’ platform):

Leading up to specific events

There are events that take place on specific days each and every year that affect social media behavior as well as consumer behavior and engagement. It is important for brands to align their influencer marketing campaigns with these specific dates in order to maximize its effectiveness. 

For example, Kacper Rafalski, Demand Generation Team Leader at Netguru, share that “In [their] experience, the third quarter sees the highest investment in influencer marketing campaigns. This is strategically chosen to align with back-to-school where we see a surge in online engagement. Influencers during this time are crucial in driving our back-to-school promotions.” 

Similar to the back-to-school hustle, Kelly Chan, Marketing Manager at Accountant Online shared that “the second quarter aligns with the peak of tax season. It’s when individuals and businesses seek financial advice.” As a brand that specializes in all-things accounting, Accountant Online intensifies its influencer marketing strategy during the lead up to tax season as its “noticed a surge in engagement and conversion during this period, leveraging influencers to demystify tax complexities and provide timely financial insights.” Chan adds that “a special focus is placed on April, which is designated as Financial Literacy Month. During April, we strategically collaborate with influencers to roll out campaigns that promote financial education and showcase our brand as a trust guide in navigating fiscal complexities.”

Consumer activity and spending

At the end of the day, the deciding factor regarding the best time to invest in influencer marketing is consumer behavior - when are people more likely to purchase the products/services they are exposed to. You can invest the entire budget during a specific quarter and sponsor the top YouTubers, but if people aren’t paying, it won’t be a successful campaign. 

When it comes to consumer spending, brands across the board agreed that “consumer spending is at a peak” during the fourth quarter. Jessica Moore, CEO of Silkydurag, disclosed that “[Silkydurag] invests the most in influencer marketing during Q4…influencers have a powerful sway in directing consumer purchase decisions during these high-stakes shopping periods.” Isaac Bullen, Marketing Director at 3wh, added “During this time, various events like Black Fridays and Black Weeks contribute to increased consumer activity, making influencer advertising particularly valuable. Also, during the colder season, when it gets dark earlier, people tend to spend more time indoors, positively affecting both higher viewership of various influencer advertisements and an increase in the purchase of various services by consumers. Of course, the Christmas period undoubtedly plays a significant role in the relevance of investing in influencer marketing during this time.” 

With the new year rolling around, there’s no time like the present to tap into influencer marketing or amplify your current brand sponsorship strategy. We can help you better understand your target audience, pinpoint when your audience will be most receptive to your marketing campaign, and of course build your entire influencer marketing strategy - you just need to reach out

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