Coronavirus has altered both our personal and professional livelihoods and the advertising industry is no different. Cautious not to misstep and working with limited ad dollars, many brands and advertisers have paused, postponed or redirected their marketing efforts.
Marketing during Coronavirus presents its own set of challenges and circumstances. The American Marketing Association (AMA) notes the importance of adaptability and how “one-to-one personalized communications are the most effective.” Harvard Business Review emphasizes the rise of social media, apps, and more than ever, the demand for e-commerce.
Influencer marketing (promoting a brand’s product or service via social media influencers — individuals well regarded by their fans and followers) is uniquely positioned to navigate these new challenges and help advertisers effectively market during Coronavirus. See six reasons why influencers are the perfect marketing solution during the pandemic and growing advertiser boycott of Facebook ads:
With social-distancing in place, it’s paramount that marketing is personable and offers prospective customers a relational type of experience. Harvard Business Review advises marketers to “present with empathy and transparency.”
Much of influencers’ success can be attributed to their ability to reach, engage and connect with audiences, fans, and followers on a level most brands can only aspire to cultivate. Whereas older generations looked to traditional celebrities, Millennials and Gen Z (with spending power of $1.4 trillion and $140 billion, respectively) identify most closely with influencers.
For many Millennials and Gen Z, social media influencers are held in close regard as peers or even “close friends” who share and weather life together. Many Millennials and Gen Z relate much more strongly to their favorite influencers as opposed to traditional celebrities.
As such, it’s easy to see why cause-based marketing campaigns with influencers have been home run successes — many brands have recently partnered with influencers to raise money and awareness for various COVID-19 relief efforts. Unlike celebrities, many influencers have also been impacted firsthand by the effects of Coronavirus, and as such, their messaging is relatable, relevant and provides much-needed candor.
Influencer pricing can vary significantly due to a number of factors including social media platform, followers, historical campaign performance, whether they’re with a manager or agency and more. With the success and proven results from influencer marketing, many social media influencers increasingly charged more.
Coronavirus and the forthcoming recession is affecting everyone — influencers included. For brands and advertisers seeking to capitalize on influencer marketing, now may be the best time to strategize, test, build and scale a cost-effective, long-term influencer program.
Coinciding with the growth of social media, influencer marketing has become one of the most popular ways to advertise. While some people feel that influencer marketing is all hype, Mediakix surveyed nearly 200 marketing professionals (including marketers from Bayer, Sephora, Capital One, Ticketmaster, top PR firms, talent agencies and more) about their actual experiences with influencer marketing.
The result? Influencer marketing is proven to drive the best results:
Additionally, nearly 90% of marketers agree that influencer marketing ROI is comparable, better or much better than other types of marketing. When comparing the quality of customers/traffic generated from influencer marketing, over 70% of marketing professionals agree or strongly agree that influencer marketing comes out on top.
Certainly a byproduct of shelter-at-home orders, time spent on social media has skyrocketed in recent months. TikTok alone added over 115 million users in just one month quickly overtaking much more established platforms including Snapchat, Pinterest and Twitter. With everyone stuck at home (thus curtailing traditional shopping and advertising efforts) and on their phones, influencers are well positioned to help advertisers reach audiences online.
Influencers are everyday social media users who have built up a meaningful following or fan base (influencers can range widely in follower count from “nano-influencers” to much larger tiers). Oftentimes these influencers are well-regarded in specific niche interests or topics (e.g. DIY, pranks, vehicles, gaming, fashion, etc.) or have broad appeal as aspirational lifestyle influencers.
As we move increasingly towards a digital and social media-centric world, marketing with influencers provides advertisers distinct advantages — namely the ability to leverage influencers’ clout and established digital/social footprints.
Influencers make great, shareable content — this is one primary reason why they’ve achieved social media success. Moreso, influencers have a knack for telling engaging stories and delivering creative content day after day.
Marketing during Coronavirus presents a challenge to many brands because they are unable to film and produce content as before (using studios and full-fledged production crews).
To solve this challenge, many brands are partnering with influencers to address their content and production needs. In addition to their social presence, the best influencers are essentially nimble digital production and content powerhouses adept at producing in a variety of mediums and formats (e.g. photos, videos, live streams).
With influencers being more cost-effective than ever, brands now have the opportunity to rapidly scale with influencers. Whereas previously costs may have limited advertisers to one-off campaigns, marketers can now test, refine and prove out a successful business model with influencers and then quickly scale (partner with more influencers) to continue generating ROI.
Furthermore, many Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube influencer campaigns begin trending or become popular with audiences/fans/followers and are rapidly shared resulting in millions of views, impressions, UGC (user-generated content from fans to support the original brand-sponsored influencer posts) and more.
Bounty recently partnered with top influencers on TikTok for a sponsored hashtag challenge. The #QuickerPickerUpper campaign featured an original sound clip, reminiscent of a radio ad jingle, that has so far been used by over 21,000 TikTok users in video renditions of the original ad.
This phenomenon and type of results are not easily achieved with other types of advertising making influencer marketing one of the best ways to advertise.
Verizon, REI, Starbucks and many more have pulled their Facebook Ads indefinitely (some including Instagram) in response to the #StopHateforProfit campaign from the NAACP and ADA (Anti-Defamation League). Advertisers are dissatisfied with Facebook’s negligence or lack of action when it comes to monitoring and taking action against hate on Facebook and Instagram.
For many of these companies, Facebook and Instagram ads may represent a significant portion of how recurring and new revenue is generated online. Without these ads, brands will need comparable ways of marketing to their target audiences on Facebook and Instagram.
Marketing with influencers across Facebook and Instagram may provide these brands a comparable and arguably better form of advertising in place of Facebook and Instagram ads. As surveyed in our Influencer Marketing Industry Benchmark, partnering with influencers is effective for 1) brand awareness, 2) reaching new audiences, and 3) generating sales/conversions.