A Pandemic’s Influence on Influencer Marketing
Written by Courtney Raguso, Social Media Content Creator
COVID-19 is changing the way we communicate to consumers.
Peoples’ relationships with brands are evolving. As the world settles into a new normal, the role of influencers has shifted, and more businesses are turning to this new type of marketing. Many businesses are finding themselves backed into a corner, realizing that traditional marketing is no longer as effective as it used to be. This just being one of many reasons why it’s important to invest in your digital marketing strategy, now brands will need to find more meaningful ways to engage. One way is through influencer marketing. However, it’s not just companies that will need to adjust, but influencers will also be experiencing many changes to their personal marketing strategy as well, especially those in the travel and luxury sector. Let us say this again, no one wants a tone deaf brand. That goes for both the influencer as well as the business they are promoting. In order for an influencer campaign to go well, a real impact and connection needs to be made. For that to happen, you will need to be careful when choosing an influencer to work with. Also don’t forget, a successful influencer with an established personal brand will be very choosy when deciding who to do business with. Just like you should partner with an influencer that has your target audience, they should partner with brands that share their values and that they use in their everyday life.
If content was King yesterday, content is Emperor today. Ask yourself: which influencers can add depth to my brand with content that drives engagement? Focus on storytelling and engagement rate when looking at an influencer. There are many tone deaf accounts, so be cautious of the ones that continue to post for popularity without even acknowledging the pandemic. Social distancing rules out certain content routes which will separate the ones with quality content from the ones who have nothing else to offer from what they had before the pandemic. A good influencer, and a successful one at that, will have a high engagement rate and come across as authentic and personable. A good influencer will also keep up with their audience and evolve with them, staying relevant and current. This shouldn’t be a popularity contest, and an overpromotional account that sounds boastingly obnoxious that focuses on showing off won’t make any real connections. Not all influencers are the same, and it’s not a one size fits all situation. While there are many accounts with surface level content, materialism is a thing of the past, and now what’s really cool is authenticity. You can ask Gen Z, who accounts for an already massive growing portion of our consumer base. It’s emotional currency that’s going to be a valuable asset to those online. More and more influencers who are truly passionate about their work are producing real quality content. They nurture their audience, which is what builds their brand and creates stronger connections. They are great collaborators and partners, and they are worth the investment. In fact, you would even spend a fraction using them instead of paying for a fancy production with all the bells and whistles.
When getting back to normal life post-quarantine, influencers will need to be very careful in their messaging promoting businesses as they reopen, keeping health guidelines in mind, and making a point to be sensitive in their messaging. There are no guarantees, and we might be stuck at home again. That’s why it’s important to be able to pivot your messaging in a way that is still on brand but also offers a useful solution in some way. Influencers and brands that ignore these societal changes will end up alienating audiences who feel overwhelmed, anxious, and unsure of the future. Take travel influencers as an example. They are facing the fact that their main source of content is now insignificant and now have to create new ways to connect with their audience. Whether it is doing a good deed and donating to a hospital or talking about their actual life at home, they can make a positive difference for both their brand as well as the community. Now is the time to get creative and to be multifaceted. Influencers and brands will both need to adapt to the changing world and acknowledge this new normal in order to stay relevant. The shift is already happening, and people are looking for a more personal connection with who they follow. The pandemic has caused many to struggle on a daily basis with their mental health, so they want to see content that is both positive, real and useful. They want real people and want to feel acknowledged, and influencers are a great tool… if you pick the right ones. It’s a win win for both ends and poses the opportunity for all brands to be that creative, sponsor and engage audiences authentically with a dose of positivity but also reality. It’s about understanding what your audience needs in this moment in time and partnering with the right company who can support you in doing so.
Is COVID-19 going to kill influencer marketing? Some are asking that question, however, that could not be more false. What it’s going to do is evolve influencer marketing. There are already so many strong, well-established influencers who truly put effort into their personal brand and connecting with their audience. With over a 50% increase in the use of social media compared to last year this past month, influencers and brands have a great opportunity to connect, engage and build their business. It’s of no surprise that even the World Health Organization turned to a selection of influencers for its Safe Hands Challenge campaign to encourage the public to wash their hands properly to help educate. Now is the time to be online and purpose-driven marketing is what’s going to drive your success as a brand. What is your brand’s cause? That is something both businesses and social media influencers have to think about. With increased visibility and more time on your hands, it’s a great opportunity to innovate, connect, and pivot your strategy to a more engaging one. How are you going to captivate your audience?
At MSM DesignZ, we are dedicated to bringing out the best in your brand. The consumer is evolving and so should your marketing. Having a digital presence should not be an option, it’s imperative. We value the importance of creating valuable content that speaks to your audience and making the right connections. With over two decades of experience, we know what works and what doesn’t. From web development to social media management, we’ll work directly with you to build a personalized strategy to not only retain but also gain business. We are assisting in all areas for our clients. Visit our contact page at https://www.msmdesignz.com/contact/, and we’ll work with you to devise a custom plan that will keep your brand alive and well. We look forward to working with you!