2020 was a difficult and uncertain year for many people due to Coronavirus, and many businesses are still battling to come to terms with the new change. Amid the re-imposition of COVID-19 restrictions, brands are now looking for a way to develop personalized interactions with their target audience.
In the cluttered advertising environment, influencer marketing has received attention from all sectors. It’s become more relevant than ever, not only for brands but influencer’s as well. What was once considered a job depending on product launches, exciting travel and being social, has changed drastically.
Why are brands turning to influencers during the pandemic?
The pandemic has changed the influencer industry, and for the better. COVID-19 has sped up the changes that were already underway, like the unfiltered trend or less scripted content and rise of everyday influencers.
According to a Global Web Index, 87% of US consumers and 80% of UK consumers have consumed more content during COVID-19 than in previous years. This means there’s a good opportunity for brands to engage with their audience through impactful messaging.
Cooped up at home, consumers are now spending more time on social media and are constantly interacting with content creators. Influencers provide brands with a quick, less expensive and easy way to promote their products when consumers turn down large scale ads.
How has COVID-19 changed influencer marketing?
Authenticity and trust are two terms best used to describe influencers, and these people can be the game-changer for brands to step up their marketing plans and develop long-term relationships with customers.
1. Influencers will step up as content creators
Production and creative agencies are the saviors for brands when it comes to creative marketing. But with their doors shut, brands now have to reach out to Instagram micro-influencers for high quality editorial content at a low cost. According to a recent study, 33% of brands turn to influencers to create photo and video assets. Brands are now interacting with influencers to create content that powers the brand’s whole marketing mix.
2. Social media boom-growth of live content
Live content is becoming a COVID-19 boom. Instagram Live, in particular, is thriving in the social distancing space, with views and mentions of IG Live on Instagram, and Twitter skyrocketing by 526%. Instagram Live is a feature that influencers use to reach out to young people who are hungry for new content. 31% of young consumers say they’re watching more live content on social media. In view of this, brands are making live influencer content a marketing priority, a trend that’ll last after COVID-19, too.
3. Campaigns for the collective goodwill take center stage
Based on a survey of 1,000 influencers, 80% said they would participate in charitable campaigns for no compensation, and 97% said they would post about a business or cause they care about. Influencers love the proliferation of community content, challenges, live streaming and are eager to work with brands that emphasize the collective good.
4. Health and wellness isn’t dependent on a single vertical
Influencers lead the health and wellness space, with 72% consuming fitness and wellness content. After COVID-19, the need for nutrition and mental health content has become more important than ever. 56% of influencers claim they’re already creating this type of content, sharing anxiety remedies, and finding ways to help their customers during difficult times. Influencers also use Instagram Live for hosting Q&A sessions that’ll help their followers.
5. Content has come a long way
Influencers are shifting their focus and while doing so, they’re changing their priorities as well. Customers’ needs have changed from new hobbies and DIY projects to at-home workouts. This change in need requires a shift in the strategy adopted by influencers to interact with their audience. They run promotional giveaway programs to fulfill a wider purpose. COVID-19 has redefined influencer marketing as purpose-driven marketing. Influencers are now using new channels and outlets, making them a greater asset for brands.