Guide to influencer marketing during COVID-19- The last few months have been really challenging for the brands and marketers all over the world as the Corona Virus outbreak has continued to dampen the market situation. Businesses have been forced to change and reform their marketing strategies during these hard times and understandably, things have not been really simple for them. As the pandemic is something historic for all of us, the regular marketing books will not be handy as the people are having really different mindsets right now.
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Many marketing experts are of the opinion that what could really work right now is: ‘Influencer Marketing‘. Although it is a very popular strategy these days because of the high success rate that it provides but during the Covid-19 situation, it can benefit brands to the next level.
So, this article will be all about how marketers and brands can still maintain brand relevance and can achieve their marketing objectives without being facing public backlash due to the sensitivity of the current situation.
Need of Influencer Marketing During Covid-19
It is known to everyone that how much this pandemic has affected the landscape of influencer marketing. However, the good thing remains that it is still the best way to market during these hard times due to multiple reasons. Here’s why:
Increase in Consumption of Content
The pandemic has been really influential in the sharp increase of social media usage and the overall increase in the consumption of online content. So, it is only logical that your advertised content will be viewed by a greater number of people than normal.
Influencers are utilizing this boom in social media by creating relevant and trending content for their audience which is also the reason for their increased engagement rates.
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Influencer Marketing is Cost-Effective
At this point of time, where most businesses are struggling to maintain even the break-even point, it is pretty obvious that the advertising and marketing budgets are going to reduce significantly.
However, bringing marketing to a complete standstill is not something that is recommended as it is also really important to stay relevant to your audiences and consumers. Relevancy and activity become even more important at this point of time where the consumers are going to make some major changes in their demand and consumption.
Influencer Marketing can be life-saving here because it is really cost-effective and flexible in terms of budget. A Report from Obvious.ly suggests that the creative and production costs reduced up to 50% when working with an influencer instead of a high production value celebrity advertisement. The best part is that neither the quality of the content is reduced, nor in any way, the objectives of the campaign are compromised.
Influencer Marketing is Feasible Remotely
Traditional forms of marketing are not possible in this situation where social distancing is vital for survival. Due to the closure of studios and cancellation of shoots, no creative and production agencies are able to operate.
Influencer Marketing becomes more convenient in this case as the influencers are themselves professionals who mostly design and plan their shoots and brand deals themselves and that too from their respective residences. They have been creating quality content without any production and creative crew all this time so it’s not much of a challenge for them.
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Tips for Successful Influencer Marketing Strategy During Covid-19
Experiment and Expand
An important thing to keep in mind now is that all the marketing tricks and tips are not even relevant to the situation we are in presently. So, do what marketers do the best, adapt. It is time to quickly assess the situation and the mindsets of the consumers and to experiment with some new strategies.
Try out new content ideas and new formats to present your content. But make sure that the content possesses some relevance and adds some value to the consumer’s life during this crisis.
Additionally, it is just about the time to expand your marketing strategies to different avenues. Influencer Marketing is not just limited to Instagram. Try out other platforms like media sites, bloggers, Tiktok and so on.
Create Video Content
The Covid-19 outbreak has given a huge boost to the consumption of video content all over. Facebook. As people are staying at home, they are open to watching videos for every aspect of their lives. Facebook reported an increase of 50% in the people using the Facebook Live option and they are also working on making the Live experience even simpler. The same is the case with Instagram.
The report from Obvious.ly also showed that 92% of the influencers are trying out new video content in the form of Instagram stories, IGTV/YouTube Videos and also live streams on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
So, brands can partner with Influencers who create video content especially on certain niches like Lifestyle, Fitness, Cooking, etc. as these ones are experiencing an increase in viewership lately.
Focus on Information and Education
I know marketing is all about making the most out of the trends and using them to your benefits but assessing the seriousness of the situation, brands should not use CoronaVirus as a marketing tool. They should focus on educating the consumers about the current situation so as to keep them more alert and informed.
Brands should focus on creating a marketing campaign that is able to deliver relevant and valuable messaging to consumers. Inform them about the safety measures that you are taking to tackle Covid-19 and to ensure the safety of your employees. Also, tell them how your product or service can help the people or society during this time of crisis. ‘Don’t tell them to buy your product. Tell them why they need to buy your product’.
Remember, if you just focus on capitalizing on the situation and making profits during a stressful time, there is a chance of you facing public backlash. So, go slow and steady and the current goal should be to nurture relationships, and then it will eventually lead to success in the future.
Give Tiktok Influencer Marketing a Chance
It just cannot be stressed enough how Tiktok is the real big thing when it comes to social media marketing. It’s just a matter of time before it surpasses all other social media giants to become the center of attraction for all the marketers. Also, keeping in mind the increase in the consumption of video content, Tiktok becomes all the more important.
There has been an increase of about 30% in the engagement rates in April compared to February. Moreover, some Tiktok Influencers are no less than social media celebrities and are highly reputed and trusted by their audiences. So, a Tiktok Influencer marketing campaign during Covid-19 can do wonders if planned well.
Tiktok is also great if your goal is to deliver a social message through influencers as it is a great community support app which is providing relief to the people through entertainment and comedy when need it the most.
Help the Community
Influencers all over want to work with brands that desire the collective good of the people. So, plan and put out content that is focused on selflessly helping out the society. Many businesses understood the sentiments of the public and then came up with content that motivated and helped the people.
For instance, Cadbury Five Star came up with an interesting Influencer Marketing Strategy called the #5StarDoNothingChallenge where the influencers gave a challenge to their audience where they had to a particular task and at the end of the week, winners were announced. So, this was a nice way to motivate people to stay home and to find ways to entertain themselves during the lockdown.
Likewise, many businesses like Unacademy, Byju’s, etc. have made their courses completely free so that education is not at all compromised at any cost even during these challenging times. It sends a positive message to the consumers who may later on even buy the subscriptions if they are impressed by the quality of service they have been getting.
To be practical, the pandemic and its after-effects will last for some more months and maybe the whole year will be somehow affected by it. However, do not stop working on ideas and even if things are too complicated right now to implement a marketing strategy, plan and prepare for the future.
For the time being, accept this as the ‘New Normal’ and remember, those who can adapt to the changes in the marketing patterns and consumer ecosystem will emerge successfully.
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