It’s hard to imagine today the state of what was once the thriving social media platforms. Influencers were all over promoting travel, stays, restaurants, bars, fashion, lifestyle, and beauty.
Cut down to the present, the post-Covid-19 times. With more people post-pandemic, brands are redesigning campaigns to suit the changing customer sensibilities. Influencers are still on social media platforms. But they are promoting fitness, mental health, and online education.
Undoubtedly, Covid-19 has changed the world, and influencer marketing is no different.
Brands have cut the budget for influencer marketing, but they have increased the percentage allotment. More than 50% of the brands now allocate at least 10% of their budget to influencer marketing.
How has Covid-19 changed influencer marketing?
Covid-19 affected all industries worldwide. Marketers drastically cut down on ad expenditure. It forced people to stay indoors. The recession meant a cut in salary and loss of jobs. Stuck at home meant more time on social media. It opened up avenues for fitness, mental health, home gardening, and online education.
Even though the product promotion took a hit, brands showed collective support to address the Covid-19 issues and be with the people in times of grief. Brands have been sensitive to people’s woes. This is the positive impact of influencer marketing. It has helped brands forge a strong relationship with consumers.
Covid-19, for sure, has changed influencer marketing. It is now driving a greater impact on the target audiences with diversified content. Brands are collaborating with influencers strategically. Influencer marketing has fueled progress and growth for brands in an all-inclusive way.
Let’s see how!
Adapting to changes
Brands have been quick to adapt to changes in market sentiments. Covid-19 puts stress on physical & mental health and fitness. Brands redesigned their campaigns to be sentiment-inclusive. Ads no longer meant travel, stay, going out to hotels, and luxury spending. It meant staying at home, being with family, and taking the stress out by staying physically and mentally fit.
During the pandemic, social media platforms became the source of information, guidelines, and support. People formed support communities to help each other out. Brands played an essential role through donations and help campaigns. They used their platform to educate the people of Covid-19 precautions through their influencers. Brands adapted to the changes in influencer marketing by leveraging it to build trust and loyalty rather than focusing on profits.
Diversification of content
Brands had to pause campaigns owing to Covid-19. The unexpected turn of events meant brands had to understand customer sentiments and redesign campaigns to suit the changing needs. The continued pandemic made brands rejig their strategies. They diversified the ad content to be in sync with the changing times.
For instance, brands diversified their content to include Covid-19 support and stress the importance of health. For brands, caring for the well-being of customers comes first. They showed it through influencer marketing campaigns. Thus they were able to build strong customer loyalty around their brand.
Building authentic customer relationships
Brands faced the difficulty of trying to build authentic relationships with their customers online. When a human touch is needed, influencers are hired for the job. The influencers help brands communicate the message naturally and deepen the brand resonance. They become the virtual storefront for brands that struggle to get customers on board.
With the Covid-19 effects subsiding gradually, it will take time before normalcy is restored. Till then, brands have to depend on influencers to connect with customers for product recommendations. Brands are hiring micro-influencers and regular influencers to engage with customers for sales. These influencers have less followers but create genuine content to forge good relationships with their followers. Brands are gathering with people who have higher engagement rates to bring their campaigns to life.
More than 52% of the brands believe the advertising of influencers to be personal and natural. About 37% feel that the quality of influencers and their recommendations affect influencer marketing. It is quite evident from this that the biggest asset of influencers is the ability to connect with the audiences authentically.
Brands no longer create content and provide it to the influencers. But they encourage influencers to create content. Influencers know the pulse of their audience and the type of content that gels well with them. They create content that engages their audience. Brands have to educate their influencers about the product and the brand value to convey the message naturally. When an influencer knows more about the product, they endorse it in a non-intrusive manner. Their followers welcome such endorsements that feel genuine and not forced.
Long Term Collaboration
A one-off campaign activity or campaigns during occasions is what brands prefer for cost-cutting in influencer marketing. While it depends on convenience and budget, it is always better to forge a strong relationship with the creators.
Brands have to be proactive in recognizing the benefits of influencer marketing. Influencers have to be brought in at the planning stage to understand the business goals and the campaign objectives. Brands need to collaborate with influencers long-term for their followers to get familiarized with the products. It drives a greater impact on brand loyalty and sales.
How can an influencer marketing platform help brands minimize the effects of Covid-19?
Post Covid-19, there has been a fundamental shift in the way brands connect with the audience. Brands finding it challenging to realign their strategies can always look up to influencer marketing platforms for help.
An influencer marketing platform helps brands find relevant influencers of their niche. It designs conversion-optimized campaigns for brands to save time, money, and effort. It helps brands to diversify content to suit the evolving customer tastes.
The Covid-19 pandemic has proved that influencer marketing can adapt itself to the changes quickly. Moreover, brands have realized the power of influencer marketing in bringing them close to their consumers during Covid-19. The benefit of influencer marketing is when brands collaborate with influencers for long-term campaigns. Only then can brands achieve incredible results!