A New World
It’s Getting Easier for Brands
The recent pandemic of COVID-19 has been more than just a wave of a new sickness. Lives have truly been changed forever in more ways than we can count and the same definitely goes for business. Nowadays brands have had to reinvent ways to bring exposure and maintain relevance in order to keep their business alive. We can say the new ways of marketing which they were never accustomed to before has made things a lot easier but not before it got hard.
The Landscape Change
With the shift due to COVID-19, there were a lot of changes that occurred that were naturally bound to take place. A lot of people thought it would only be a matter of time. One shift that took place was the creation of human-relatable content where life seems less filtered and more authentic and realistic. This allowed influencers to become more relatable to their audience and bridge a connection that may have not had prior to the pandemic. “Everyday influencers” has been on a steady rise with everyone being in the comfort of their home and the ability to get creative where they are. Whether it was showing their morning routine or giving a transparent glimpse into their family life, things got a lot more human in the influencer marketing world. This allowed brands to show up as a part of something and not just a product or service that was promoted based on a request. For example, influencers had major opportunities to work with brands like Tide or Clorox because they were able to make it a part of their daily life. Another great example was cooking and different items used to make meals.
Pandemic Challenges for Influencer Marketing
One challenge that presented itself as no surprise was budget cuts. This was a major impact on influencers and brands alike. The industry was hit and it was hit hard as cuts to budgets were made that eliminated event production, content production and even product production. A lot of brand deals were put on hold and programs that drove commissions and sales were at a halt. With less money being made, the true purpose and essence of influencer marketing came to light and that was brand awareness. Besides sales, it became apparent that bringing awareness to a brand does it all even drive sales. Brands and influencers had to get creative on collaborating together and brands actually begin to gear more towards partnering with influencers.
Marketing budgets—and thus creators’ paychecks—have shrunk, meaning brands have less money to spend on influencer marketing, and influencers are less likely to partner with a brand for free. Influencer marketing still tends to be used more for brand awareness than sales, which may prove challenging in an economic downturn as brands have revenue goals to meet.
Geared towards influencer partnerships
With folks sitting at home, if you weren’t working, you were on social media. During the pandemic, a lot of people have had the flexibility and time to engage more on social media. This has also helped them bring to life different content ideas and look into partnering with other influencers. As covid highlighted how we were “all in this together,” it was only fitting. Because of the increase in interaction and partnerships, influencers are able to offer brands a more efficient and less expensive way to promote and market their business. Working with influencers during covid brought on the ability to save money in an area of business that helps keep brands afloat. It also prompted new creative ways in different outlets such as tik tok on how influencers created content and how brands wanted to be exposed. Where one brand and business may be super traditional such as finance, covid helped them broaden their horizon with the new ways influencers were influencing.
What are best practices for working with influencers during the pandemic?
We’re all about social distancing at this point, right? So most brands are trying to figure out the most effective way to collaborate with influencers. Even though most brands are used to having a brand manager in place to manage and control production, COVID has done the opposite. Now, influencers have been given more creative control, somewhat, on how and what to produce regarding content. To be honest, it’s a great thing. It allows influencers to grow and stretch becoming limitless which in return helps them show up well for brands. They can begin focusing on how they can show brands how to add value to the new reality people are facing. In return, this helps brands connect more with their target audience and builds a loyal, trusting customer. These are new ways that more strategies are beginning to develop in the influencer marketing world which changes it altogether.
All in this together
It’s clear that COVID isn’t going anywhere and neither is the new way of life. Not only has COVID shifted the trajectory of our lives but has changed how we do business and how businesses are marketed. As predicted, influencer marketing has taken off and is thriving despite the derailment of COVID. If anything, the pandemic has propelled the industry so much further. If you’re a brand, looking to take the leap into influencer marketing amidst a pandemic, go for it! From this article, you can see that things are still alive and well in the industry. There’s just a new way of how things are done. And it’s good.