As discussed in a previous blog post, influencer marketing is one of the hottest growth areas in the field. Some speculated that consumers would get sick of the new fad and a “social recession” would follow.
With the pandemic, companies are looking for areas to save and marketing tends to be an area evaluated. From February to March, brand spending on Instagram influencers fell 24%. Furthermore, sponsored posts are down 85% on Instagram and 57% on Facebook. Beyond budget cuts, some companies have been criticized for being tone-death having influencers promote their lavish product during a pandemic, which coined the new phrase “pandemic shaming”.
There’s a reason why influencer marketing is a hot topic, the cost savings and effectiveness are game-changers (See my previous post “Influencer Marketing: The Next-Gen Marketing Approach”). In times of crisis, companies should do even more influencer marketing if they can. Below are some reasons why influencer marketing is the way of the future even during a pandemic.
With many consumers stuck at home, this raises the potential reach of an influencer. As people adapt to life at home, many are using new forms of content. While TV production is down, streaming services, social media, and YouTube are becoming suitable alternatives. With everyone at home, it can be difficult for a company to put out new content. Influencers again can solve this issue, most are equipped with home studios making it easy to put out new content with the validation of a company.
Today, most advertisements revolve around a central theme of togetherness and there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s as if large corporations are checking off criteria on what needs to be conveyed in a 30-second ad. This creates a sense of standardization in media. I grew tired of these ads after the first week (See my post on “Content Marketing” during COVID-19). Months have past and commercials remain the same. The benefit of influencer marketing is that it is unique. Brands can be creative and form a sense of community around an influencer.
Another issue with generic commercial responses is that they rarely address a solution to help you in this time of need. Instead, it is recommended that a company monitors frequently asked questions about your company or industry. An influencer can quickly turn these questions into solutions that can be helpful and build loyalty.
Examples of Influencer Power during COVID-19
RB’s Dettol #HandWashChallenge | 18 Billion Views
P&G #DistanceDance | 15 Billion Views
L’Oreal & NYX #ButterGlossPop | 9 Billion Views
Influencer marketing is here to stay. It enables companies to be flexible and creative during this uncertain time. Influencers are inexpensive and can provide a unique and timely message to your customer base. Lastly, please let me know in the comments how TikTok works, it appears to be the next promising influencer channel and I do not understand it at all.