The global pandemic continues to affect every area of our lives these days, including our day-to-day entertainment. We spend a lot more time on our phones, research shows up to 5h40min a day, that’s an 18% increase. And it will only continue going up with more and more people starting to work from home or worse, being laid off.
So while the world’s economies struggle with the realization of an impending financial crisis, businesses are trying to survive here and now. You might think that in these unprecedented conditions influencer marketing is dead but that’s not the case. Sure, about 20% of influencers report most if not all of their ongoing campaigns being paused or cancelled, and the brands are slashing their marketing budgets across all industries. But right now we see some incredible opportunities for brands and influencers to start tackling this issue together.
What can brands do?
Don’t dismiss influencer marketing completely if you can. This could be a great opportunity for your brand to start an eCommerce campaign and introduce it to various audiences by working with influencers, or simply reinforce your messaging to your existing customers by including a relatable content creator and their own voice.
Influencers are eager to work now more than ever, with over 40% reducing their rates. The times are tough but the creativity is at an all-time high. Isolation at home is well, isolating, and after a while, creative minds start coming up with some incredible content to make the best out of this unusual situation. And when the content is paid, they simply go above and beyond.
At the same time social media audiences are looking for some sort of normalcy in their lives during this self-isolation period, and seeing relatable and familiar creators posting sponsored content in a tasteful manner might be both entertaining and educating.
If you decide to work with an influencer on a campaign during this time, preview the content prior to it being posted. This is the time when your brand needs to be 100% certain it is being represented the right way. Did the influencer adhere to all the health advice from your local government? Was the caption sensitive to the current situation? As discussed above, the audiences spend a lot more time on social media now, so they also have more time to monitor the content they are consuming. Mistakes can cost a lot more now so make sure your brand is represented by the right people in the right way.
What can influencers do?
When all campaigns are cancelled or on pause, it’s easy for an influencer to fall into despair. Like with any job, being an influencer is at risk right now. We see a lot of content creators jumping on lives on Instagram and Facebook, trying their luck on TikTok, starting podcasts, and offering free masterclasses. But the most important thing they can do right now is to reach out to the brands they have previously worked with and offer help. Yes, a free post, a shoutout on an Instagram story, a mention in a YouTube video. This might feel strange but it’s the perfect time to build and strengthen these relationships.
Considering reducing your rates can be a great incentive as well. Not every brand minimized their budgets now but all brands are watching them closely. Bringing your rates down means you understand what everyone is going through and you are still willing to work.
And the most important thing is to be sensitive to your content, sponsored or not. Promoting a brand through the content linked to travelling or going out is completely inappropriate right now so be mindful of how you choose to represent the brand you’re working with.
We know that these days marketing is confusing. But if you decide to go ahead with your marketing strategy, even if it looks different these days, influencers can be an incredible force for good. Working with talented content creators can help make your message heard, and even if you’re not pushing for sales these days you can still let your customers know where you stand during COVID-19 with the help of an influencer.
This situation is not forever. If you can continue building your relationships through influencer marketing, when we all come out of the isolation you will have a head start whether you’re a brand or an influencer.