COVID-19 has made influential marketing more influential than ever. But how did COVID-19 help influencer marketing? The article gives an insightful review on the impact pandemic had on the remarkable rise of influencer marketing.
Businesses have been collaborating with celebrities to leverage their influence on the target audiences for decades. However, in an online world, influencing people is not limited to a few celebrities and well-known personalities.
Influencer marketing uses a hybrid approach in which it takes the idea of celebrity endorsement and places it into a content-driven marketing plan. Brands collaborate with influencers who are not just celebrities. Many of these social media influencers are not famous in an offline setting.
Here’s a look at three reasons which led to the rise of influencer marketing during COVID.
1) Increased Influencer Engagement
The consumers and influencers both were spending more time on social media because of the lockdowns. The disruption of normal routine led more people to focus on healthy eating, life advice, fitness, and online shopping. They wanted to take instant and honest advice for different products, which was impossible through conventional marketing channels.
Influencers go back to their roots, and that is what makes them click with the audiences. The recent years have seen that people are more interested in content that is real. They are sick and tired of the glamorous, overly edited images and videos. People want to take advice from and follow individuals like them, not celebrities whose life looks fantasy.
Irfan Junejo is one of the top Pakistani vloggers and has a massive fan following on YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat. He has reached such great heights because of his ability to be himself, which allows the audience to connect with him.
The need for transparency has increased the engagement with the influencers because they keep things real. Some vloggers even highlight their blunders on their YouTube channels because that is what they owe to their audiences.
2) Ease in Content Creation
While the production houses could not create and publish marketing content due to the lockdowns and COVID restrictions, social media influencers prepared themselves to record their content at home. The term “homefluencers” emerged as viewers could easily follow their content while both parties were spending more time at home.
Gone are the days when the brands needed extensive marketing budgets to produce marketing content for the audiences. Influencers have now become the production powerhouses. They are adept at creating relevant content at speed and from their homes. They can do so because they understand that there is no need to be perfect. There is no delay in approvals and rework.
Anusha Khan is a Digital Content Creator who has over 0.35 million followers on Instagram. She collaborates with even the most recognized brands, such as Ponds.
3) Squeezed Marketing Budgets
The pandemic triggered a global economic recession. The disruption in economic activity led to the closure of many businesses and put pressure on marketing budgets. Many brands could no longer afford hefty marketing expenses to reach the target audiences.
The high return on investment in influencer marketing encouraged many marketers to participate in their overall marketing mix actively. Specifically, many brands preferred micro-influencers to promote their brands. They have a smaller but focused following, which is why they can build a better relationship with the audiences. Marketers love them because they provide access to a small subset of the target audience.
Due to the smaller scale and size, micro-influencers are affordable for the brands. They also are more actively responding to the follower messages, which helps leverage that connection and relationship with the brand. For companies with unique products or niche markets, marketers can find a micro-influencer who is an expert in that field and hire them for long-term collaborations.
A young Pharmacy undergraduate student, Vania Tariq is a micro-influencer with a small but focused target audience. She posts daily and has an active follower engagement, making her an ideal fit for brands looking for cost-effective solutions.
Influencer marketing is here to stay but it remains to be seen what shape it takes in the next decade. COVID-19 accelerated the pace of influencer marketing and allowed many brands to break free from the traditional marketing approach. However, marketers are still learning how to make the best use of influencer marketing. With so much to offer, influencers have a large role to play in the marketing world.