Leveraging Influencer Marketing During Coronavirus
In light of the global pandemic, businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to develop relevant and new content that can promote their brand. Social gatherings have been put on hold, travel has decreased and many businesses have closed entirely to the public. Brands are continuing to try to reach their consumer base, but are struggling to stand out with fresh creative. According to an article in Vogue Business, brands who have been able to utilize influencer marketing to develop content have significant leverage.
Prior to the virus, influencer marketing has been a primary objective within business marketing initiatives. Competition has forced companies to increase advertising budgets on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Businesses who had invested in influencer marketing before the pandemic still have a reliable source of content, and can adapt to the new way of communicating with consumers during this time. Michael Gagliano, head of platform revenue at influencer marketing platform, #Paid, explains that even though many brands have currently paused their digital advertising, influencer partners give brands a window into organic communities that continue to drive conversation even when ads aren’t running.
Many businesses are relying on influencer marketing to boost engagement with their brand while consumers remain at home. Some brands have been utilizing their influencers through the use of digital marketing strategies. Outdoor brand, Dakine, launched a campaign called “Mind Surfing” where its roster of influencers highlighted healthy ways to remain active in their daily lives. Other brands, such as swimwear company Vitamin A, have found contests with influencer partners to be more effective. As noted in the Vogue Business article, an influencer giveaway in December of 2019 “generated over 500,000 impressions across channels, boosted week-over-week sales of the swimsuit styles featured over 400 percent, and produced a 30 percent spike in daily website traffic for the 2 days following the post.” Vitamin A is now working on establishing long term contracts with influencers, and attributes their recent use of influencer marketing to their continued success during this time.
Now more than ever, influencers can be used to generate content rather than direct response ads. Before international travel ceased, Pura Vida took 20-30 of their influencers around the world solely to collect media content. This has allowed the brand to stock up on ample content that is helping them with their content strategy through the upcoming months. Other companies who were not as wise have noted that their brand only has a few weeks left of stored content to use. Companies who tend to use their own photoshoots for material are now turning towards influencers to help fill the gap until regular business practices can resume.
Business Insider reported that businesses should expect sponsored post prices to decline in light of other changes during this time. Izea, a company that connects brands with influencers, recently conducted a study on how this pandemic would impact the influencer marketing industry. The company reported that despite increased social media usage, the prices paid per post on all social media may drastically decline in the short term and could continue to do so, depending on the duration of the coronavirus outbreak and its overall impact. Izea also noted that as brand deals get put on hold, “influencers and marketers should consider mixed-compensation models and revised structures to manage costs and improve overall return on investment.” Despite this, the campaigns that remain are getting more engagement. As more people become confined to their homes, social-media use appears to be increasing. Influencer marketers are seeing a spike in ad impressions and user engagement on sponsored posts on apps like TikTok and Instagram.
Utilizing influencer marketing during this time could be a make or break between the success of a business. Finding different ways to incorporate influencers can generate a community for a brand and bring in revenue during a time of uncertainty.