The COVID-19 crisis has had a huge impact on all areas of our lives and all industries. Marketing is no exception, so numerous businesses have realized that they need to take a pause and rethink their marketing strategies. When everyone’s lifestyle and the whole world we’re living in change, businesses must make sure that they spend their marketing budgets effectively.
Although some marketing tactics turned out to be useless during the COVID-19 crisis, this is not the case with influencer marketing. In fact, influencer marketing has become more effective than ever because now people use social media more often. The use of YouTube and other video platforms also increased because people are looking for engaging content that can entertain them while they’re at home. For many brands and celebrities, live streams and social media became the only way to connect with their fans and customers.
Influencer Marketing as a Core of Your Crisis Strategy
Influencer marketing has always been beneficial for SEO and enabled brands to increase conversions. Now, it is one of the most effective ways to expand your audience. Although many influencers were forced to switch their focus from travels and other outdoor activities to new types of content, people still engage with them on social media because online communication is the only accessible form of communication now. You can use social media influencers to communicate with your potential customers in an authentic way, building trust, and boosting your sales.
The coronavirus has impacted businesses both directly and indirectly, challenging the traditional approaches to marketing and sales. Although the lockdown limited communication opportunities, digital communication is bigger than ever. This is no longer an option but a necessity so it’s the right time to invest more in digital marketing, and influencer marketing, in particular. Besides, companies now can save a lot of money on even marketing and trade fairs so such an investment won’t be a problem.
Adjust Your Current Influencer Marketing Strategy
Although influencer marketing is on the rise, it has changed a lot. Influencers can no longer use photos from picturesque locations because of the lockdown, neither can they post pictures of their sophisticated meals. Restaurants are replaced with takeout boxes, and the demonstration of excessive spendings no longer attracts people who deal with pay cuts and layoffs.
Collaborate With Micro-Influencers
What didn’t change, however, is the consumers’ desire to use brands recommended by influencers. As much as 70% of social media users aged 18-34 are willing to purchase a product or service recommended by an influencer. You can still promote your brand but you need to change the content. It must be more relatable and it should correspond to your audience’s current needs. Many brands used to focus their influencer marketing efforts on celebrities and models, and now it’s time to consider micro-influencers who don’t post pictures of their luxury mansions and are more approachable.
Influencers who have fewer than 10,000 followers post more authentic content. They usually put more effort into their captions and maintain a strong emotional connection with their audience. Although micro-influencers have a smaller audience, it’s much more engaged. Influencers with 1,000 to 5,000 followers consistently demonstrate the highest engagement rates so they offer you an opportunity to get a much more effective reach.
Rethink Your Content
Obviously, many influencers no longer can create the same content as they used to so you should put some effort into planning your messaging. Many businesses and influencers feel tempted to simply recycle their older content, which is not the best approach. “Nobody actually knows when the pandemic is going to end, and you won’t be able to post throwback photos forever,” explains Whitney Howell, a digital marketer at Pick The Writer. Besides, such content has nothing to do with the lockdown reality so it’s irrelevant.
What you should do is to use your creativity and do your best to deliver value. Now users are more focused on their physical and emotional well-being, and they also want to be entertained and comforted. We recommend that you focus on useful and informative content that can help your audience in their everyday lives. You should also be human and build your messaging around empathy and hope because this is what people need most now.
How to Implement an Effective Influencer Marketing Strategy
Neither the influencer nor the brand should create content in a complete vacuum. If you want to develop an effective marketing campaign that will make the necessary impact, you should put some effort into collaboration. You should make sure that the influencer will deliver the right message, and the influencer must be directly involved in the creative process to deliver authentic content.
You must make sure that you’re working with the right influencers. The chosen influencers should not only fit your budget and have the right audience but also support your brand values so that they can deliver your brand message in an effective and genuine way. If you choose the wrong influencer, even the best campaign won’t fulfill its purpose.
To choose the right influencers, ask yourself a few important questions. You should determine:
- what audience you need to reach;
- what you want your audience to do;
- what types of influencers fit our objectives (micro-influencers, celebrities, top influencers, etc.)
Given that the importance of influencer marketing grows, you should make sure that you can make the necessary impact. You can use various influencer marketing tools, and you can also put some effort into vetting your influencers manually. Analyze important metrics, including follower dynamics, engagement rates, comment quality, audience geography, and the percentage of inactive or fake followers, as well as competitive partnerships and their strategies associated with the pandemic.
The success of your influencer marketing directly depends on your measurement plan. You need to measure your campaign throughout its whole timeline because, otherwise, you won’t be able to understand what impact you make. “You should set clear KPIs for different points of your funnel and plan your measurement strategy. This way, you’ll be able to make sure that your campaign works as intended,” explains Latoya Stevens, a digital marketer at Writing Judge. We also recommend that you measure not only traditional KPIs (e.g. impressions, engagement, clicks, etc.) but also your audience’s attitude in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.
The COVID-19 crisis has influenced our lives in different ways. Some marketing tactics no longer deliver the desired results, while others are more effective than ever. If you’ve never used influencer marketing, it’s time to start using it now. If you’re using influencer marketing, you may need to rethink your approach. We hope that our tips will help you adapt to the new coronavirus reality and get the best out of influencer marketing.