‘Coronavirus means isolation. And isolation means social media’
If your work in the marketing field, you probably already know that Covid-19 has led to a significant increase in Digital Media consumption.
People are confined at home, all outdoor advertising and physical selling channels have disappeared. As such, many companies have redistributed their budget and moved it into social media, most of them choosing to partner with content creators.
Here are the main reasons why influencer marketing, with prudently-managed messaging and collaborations, can be a decisive factor in what companies will make it through the ‘C’ crisis.
More Time Means More Engagement
Times are tough and social media is more than ever serving as a distraction. Until recently, brands struggled to gain the attention of extremely busy users who, despite their compulsive use of social networks, had little time to analyze and filter thousands of commercial messages.
The availability of time through confinement and the predisposition to seek distractions increases the chances of your target audience interacting with your content on social networks. These interactions can happen either on your own account or through the amplifier of influencer collaborations.
The data speaks for itself. According to a recent study from ‘Obviously‘ there has been:
- A 76% increase in daily accumulated likes on Instagram #ad posts over the last two weeks.
- A 22% increase in Instagram campaign impressions from the last months of 2019 to the first quarter of 2020.
- And a 7% jump in engagement on average on the video content platform TikTok.
This growth is a direct answer to the increase in social media usage, but also of the public’s need to remain connected to other people at this time. Which brings us to the next point.
People Need to Feel Connected, Now More Than Ever
The reason social media platforms like Instagram or TikTok are growing is that they are based on human-to-human content.
In times of uncertainty, maintaining a constant flow of communication contributes to having a sense of normality within the new circumstances. And in digital times, an influencer can fulfill the role of a friend or, at least, (take this with a grain of salt) confinement-companion.
Citizens are adapting to a completely unusual situation, acquiring new routines and accepting the rules that are being established. Along with trusted organizations and close friends, users look to their preferred content creators to help keep them informed and entertained. They are a light-hearted alternative to the bombardment of information and the vast amount of fake news on the net recently.
Influencers that are agile and mindful in adapting their messaging to a community-driven approach, while still being genuine, add unlimited value to their follower base in times like this. Even niche content creators from the most challenged sectors, such as travel and hospitality, keep engaging with their audiences in a meaningful way.
It’s no wonder that not only brands but also public institutions, such as the Spanish Ministry of Health, are reaching out to renowned profiles to convince millennials to stay home and stick to government rules.
At the end of the day, influencers are ordinary people dealing with this unprecedented situation, just as we all are.
People are Sending E-Commerce Sales Through The Roof
Figures make it safe to assume that consumers are shifting to online shopping during isolation. In Italy, currently one of the most affected countries by the pandemic, online sales grew significantly during the first quarter compared to the same period last year.
Check the graph below.
As you can see, the e-commerce sector was largely impacted, particularly during the weekends. As a matter of fact, on March 8th, online sales registered an increase of 90% compared to the same period of the previous year.
It may be too soon to understand whether these consumer behaviors will remain after the crisis, but it is safe to say that influencer marketing, if not the most, is one of the most cost-effective online strategies. In other words: if people are buying online, then you need to advertise online.
The good news about having a full digital buyer journey is that you will actually have it easier to measure your ROI, as the customer journey is trackable. And the same comes with influencer marketing. Evolved tools, such as those provided by Primetag, provide companies with intelligent knowledge not only on their awareness campaigns but also regarding their conversion goals.
Conventional Content Production? You’ll need to go DIY
Or, in this case, IDIT, Influencers Do It Themselves.
As the filming and commercial photo shoots are being shut-down, your brand may be struggling to find alternative content production processes that are both safe and remote-friendly.
Influencer marketing can be a cost-efficient way of outsourcing content production, with all the positive secondary effects that come simultaneously, such as the social media distribution and reach of a segmented loyal audience. Not only influencers are already fully equipped to create quality content from the safety of their homes, but their DIY style has already built a fan base.
Of course, you can still produce your own content as home filming and webinars are still viable, but influencer marketing will take away the distribution piece from your worries cake. Just make sure you pick your content creators wisely.
Your Opportunity to Educate
If any other thing, confinement has become an opportunity for personal growth and knowledge sharing. Influencers – and brands! – are educating their followers in multiple ways. From helping share accurate information about the virus to creating and sharing informative content, brands are becoming an active contributor in helping audiences be cautious while working on new skills.
As an example, some of the initiatives that businesses are taking online include:
- Fitness centers are giving instructions on how to stay fit without leaving your home and doing Instagram directs on how to get in shape in 30 minutes from your living room.
- Some restaurants are giving ideas on how to cook or take advantage of the foods their audiences have at home, to prepare tasty meals.
- Many online businesses are giving advice on how to remote-work properly. From how to set up a lean home office to the key productivity tools that every remote worker needs.
Users Are Craving Binge-Worthy Entertaining Content
‘Now more than ever, brands need to listen to their consumers.’
Forget the ‘be concise, precise and direct’ rule in your social media content. At least for now. The new mantra is ‘entertain, entertain and entertain’. It doesn’t matter how long your next Youtube video or Instagram live will go, as long as you are able to grab your audience’s attention and hold it up. Your audience is craving for it.
These days, Instagram stories can be short and creators are shifting more than ever to the IG live format. Youtubers are being asked to upload longer storytime videos. Podcasters are putting out there one-hour ‘specials’, when they would usually limit their casts to just 20 minutes.
This is your chance to connect with your audience on a deeper level and an opportunity to deal with more complex messaging through long-lasting quality deliverables.
Don’t try to capitalize on this unfortunate situation, but strive to adapt your strategies and messages to the current uncertainty. Influencer marketing, with prudently-managed messaging and collaborations, can be an incredibly powerful tool to comfort your audience during ‘C’ times.
Don’t forget to show your stakeholders and potential clients that you are with them, giving them the support they need when they need it most. They will remember you when difficult times are over.
So bring your ‘A game’ in these extraordinary times, and ‘go hard or go home’ or in this case ‘go hard and stay home’.