The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has significantly affected the influencer marketing space like most things. Social distancing and quarantine measures coupled with the government imposed lockdown have inflicted serious repercussions on businesses. Marketers have to rethink and re-strategize their marketing plans, and revamp their marketing methods. Social media is being consumed tremendously. 2019 saw an upward swing in the influencer marketing industry, that was predicted to gain a worth of $15billion by the year 2022. However, coronavirus induced COVID-19 saw a drop in the GDP by 4.8% in the first quarter of 2020 itself. According to a recent survey of 237 brands, 69% of brands expect to reduce their ad spend in 2020.
Influencers are content creators with a loyal follower base curating content for a niche market. Brands tap into the closely knit audience of the influencer to aid marketing and sales for their products and services. Over the past few years, businesses and brands have leveraged influencer marketing over traditional forms of marketing. While influencer marketing has helped giving a boost to brands by promoting higher ROI and better conversions, it has prospered by promoting aspirational and unreachable standards of lifestyle, fitness, travel, food and fashion. The pandemic is bound to have broad ranging ramifications on advertising, marketing, e-commerce, travel, FMCG, and even entertainment.
Implications of COVID-19 on Influencer Marketing
Staying at home, working from home has increased the consumption of content more than ever which has inadvertently led to a massive increase in demand. Content creators have grabbed this opportunity to their advantage and are churning out content at an explosive rate. They have ventured into different niches and even diversified to multiple social media platforms to acquire more followers.
The global health crisis has led to a reduction in ad spend by several brands. This has largely reduced competition, further decreasing bid costs on all social media platforms resulting in a higher return of investment. The cost of advertising has plummeted multiple folds as compared to pre-COVID-19 times. This itself suggests the need for influencers to create content consistently to establish your presence in the influencer marketing field.
Influencer marketing if employed effectively can offer novel revenue opportunities to brands and influencers alike during such testing times. While influencer marketing is the best way to push boundaries and reach target audience for higher engagement rates. Diversifying to different social media platforms particularly garnering an audience base in Twitch, and Live Streaming can encourage long term conversions. These platforms can be optimised to launch products and services as well.
What Does it Mean For the Influencer Marketing Industry Now?
Covid-19 has reshaped the way we look at the marketing industry. Considering the spike in media consumption, this is the best time to engage with users and penetrate their mindsets to influence purchase decisions. Brands and influencers need to step up in the right direction and strengthen their marketing strategies to build on their presence. This can be accomplished by :
- Be more conscious of content; be more creative and identity driven.
- Be more empathetic and build inspiring brand messages cognisant of the present times.
- Focus on building genuine relationships with followers.
- Generate more engaging content primarily video posts on a consistent basis.
- Create movements and conversations that kickstart trends and push for changes.
- Use relevant hashtags around COVID-19 to drive traffic.
- Monitor the needs of your consumers when voicing your brand story.
- Invest in the right technology solutions to measure the success of influencer marketing campaigns.