Is Influencer Marketing Dead or Just Challenged?
For a while, influencers have become one of the most important and effective marketing strategies, particularly with brands that heavily invest efforts on social media. Celebrities, thought leaders, and trend makers have become the most trusted means of getting the word out when it comes to brands.
But then, the Coronavirus pandemic happened. Influencers, particularly those engaged in travel and outdoor activities are now stifled with having to stay indoors. On the other hand, companies find it suspect to use people who can’t even go out to spread the word about their business. So, is influencer marketing dead? Not quite, but instead, there is a brewing evolution in its ranks.
More relatable, more engaging, more authentic, more effective
While it is true that influencer marketing may have started off as endorsements from celebrities – household names that have national or even international name recall, the trend these days for influencers is to be more authentic and highly engaging, qualities that may not really be expected of more popular figures who may not have the time to engage with each and every member of an online community. Those who can tap into the audience’s want for a sense of belonging are at the forefront of the evolution of influencer marketing. After all, the audience of brands nowadays has more time in their hands to engage on social media, with the current lockdown situation. Moreover, the availability of time also allows them to be more conscious of which influencers are more present and engaging than those who just post content related to the brand but do not engage with the “community”. This may be a cause of the shift towards the more engaging and relatable micro-influencers.
Brands also see other merits when it comes to engaging micro and nano influencers, such as having higher engagement and for more niche products and services.
Diversity has become key, resulting in popularity of UGC
With the pandemic since February, another trend also rose – civil action towards equality and diversity. While movements like #MeToo already started last year, Black Lives Matters and racial equality issues became more popular this year, with even the pandemic not stopping people from taking matters into the streets. Thus, highlighting the diversity of a customer base in marketing messages is a must and no longer just some nice-to-have attribute. In the realm of influencer marketing, there is no better way to showcase diversity than to lend a voice to the users themselves. Users producing content is easy, convenient, and cheap, not to mention that it clearly reflects the diversity of the customer base of a business. With genuine users churning out reviews, tutorials, how-to’s, and other content, businesses can be revealed to not only serve a particular market segment. So, why not use it to a brand’s advantage?
Unlike Traditional marketing which is just focused at selling the products produced, UGC unlocks the maximum opportunities for the marketers, proving why UGC matters now.
Creativity on the rise?
Influencer marketing has become more of a challenge with the current situation. How are influencers supposed to have photoshoots and produce other exciting content when everybody is still encouraged to stay at home? The challenge now is to produce content that is still compelling despite the limitations brought about by the pandemic. That, of course, will only depend on the amount of creativity both the influencer and the brand have. Despite limited resources caused by the pandemic, influencers need to step up their game by engaging with the community and coming up with creative ways to endorse the brand.
Far from creators simply making do, within these strict confines, their innovation and creativity has soared. All around the world, we’ve seen influencers pushing their innovative methods even further.
Do you need expert advice on getting into influencer marketing for your business? Let us guide you through the most effective digital marketing strategies.